With greater demand for products made with laser cutters, growing numbers of small businesses and large manufacturing plants are replacing traditional mechanical cutting methods with laser cutting, from Advanced Cutting Technology . Highly accurate finished pieces made with laser cutters have a much finer tolerance than mechanical-cut items. The edge load from a cutting blade introduces minor warp distortions on the finished shape.
Distortions on the finished shape of a cut product may be so small as to be invisible to the naked eye, but when working under tight tolerances this can still be enough to reject a piece and require re-manufacture. A beam of light doesn't wear out like a cutting blade does. That wear on a mechanical cutting blade can introduce variation when cutting many parts and the difference between the first and last piece in a batch can be substantial. On the other hand, laser cutters produce finished pieces that are exactly the same on a consistent basis. Mechanical cutting introduces the possibility of contamination, either of the blade or the piece being cut. With no physical contact involved, laser cutting reduces or eliminates the possibility of cross-contamination.
Benefits of laser cutting as opposed to mechanical cutting include:
- Manufacturers that incorporate laser cutting into their process often find that they can provide additional products and services
- Laser cutters are capable of creating complex shapes with fine detail that are beyond the capability of even the smallest saw blade
- Pieces that previously had to be handled manually to add detail or eliminate rough edges come out of the cutter ready to ship through the use of laser cutting
- The cuts from laser cutting machines often require no or minimal finishing
- Software makes the process of laser cutting easy and safe. It also makes it simple to change jobs as the user moves from one production batch to the next
- Setup of laser cutting systems is quick and production is likely to increase when moving away from mechanical systems