What is laser cutting?
Laser cutting is a way to cut precise patterns in metal, plastic, wood, and practically every other material that man works with. It allows a level of accuracy and complexity impossible with conventional machining tools. Laser cutting works by exciting a gaseous medium, commonly carbon dioxide, causing it to amplify light reflected back and forth multiple times within the laser chamber. The light emerges from an aperture and is focused by a lens onto a specific point.
A typical process laser has a beam about a 1/5 of a millimeter in width, focusing 1000 to 2000 watts of energy. This is enough to melt most common materials. Because lasers become less focused and lose energy as they penetrate through a material, there is a limit of about 20 mm for the deepness of the cut. Laser cutting machines are integrated into a larger CAD/CAM (computer-aided-design, computer-aided-manufacturing) system that takes a design file and implements it on a workpiece. These machines represent a stepping stone in the continuing trend away from hands-on manufacturing, putting human workers in a more removed, creative design role.
What is Pressing?
A press brake is a special type of machine press that bends sheet metal into shape. Some press brakes have CNC controls and can form parts with accuracy to a fraction of a millimetre.
What metal thickness can your laser cut?
Mild Steel = Up to 20mm
Stainless Steel = Up to 12mm
Aluminium = Up to 8 mm
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