Laser Cutting Articles

The laser cutting technology area has information on 2-D and 3-D cutting machines, optics, resonators, cutting gases, and automated material handling systems. In addition to conventional CO2 systems, it has information on solid-state fiber and disk lasers.

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Sheet metal blanking milestone: Continuous-feed laser blanking launches into production

October 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Earlier this year Worthington Specialty Processing, a toll processor serving the automotive industry, among others, installed a continuous-feed, coil-fed laser blanking line. An idea with roots in the 1990s has finally become reality.

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Is this laser cutting lens damaged?

September 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Laser operators and maintenance technicians have a new diagnostic tool: a tiny crossed polarizer, which can detect lens stress. The crossed polarizer clips onto a smartphone and utilizes the phone’s polarized flat-panel display.

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Heating up with a new punch/laser combo

September 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis

ACP Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, needed the speed and flexibility of modern fabricating technology to increase its manufacturing capacity as it looked to manufacturer two new product lines in its only domestic manufacturing facility.

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A fabricator founded on operator skill

August 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston

In quiet, rural New Ulm, Minn., technicians at DLC Manufacturing & Fabrication are perfecting the craft of cutting and bending sheet metal and plate, making clean cuts in steel 1.5 in. thick (and even thicker). It’s a small shop where skill runs deep.

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Reducing headaches associated with slag on laser grating

August 2, 2016 | By Dave Fox, Eric Chalmers, Mark Jeans

Slats in a laser cutting machine don't look important, but they can be the key to an efficient laser cutting operation. Fabricators need to stay on top of keeping slag off the slats to achieve high-quality parts and to ensure the laser cutting machine remains in operation.

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Coil-fed fabricating

July 11, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Most manufacturers associate coil processing with the metal forming industry. They also likely assume the punching and laser cutting combination machines consume sheet metal. Elleci S.p.A., a metal fabricator in northern Italy, has a new line in place that will require many manufacturers to alter their preconceived notions about coil consumption in a fabricating facility.

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A ticket of entry to laser cutting

July 5, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Alkras has introduced a laser small enough to fit on the gantry of a cutting table. It’s being marketed as a ticket of entry for those fab shops—especially small ones—that have not yet entered the laser cutting arena.

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Cutting to the chase on gas delivery for CO2 lasers

June 29, 2016 | By John Karpus

A working knowledge of the ways in which purity, pressure, and flow affect how lasers use gases is key to setting up a gas delivery system that both works correctly and is cost-effective.

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3 questions to ask for better laser cutting

June 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Brent Donner, president of DLC Manufacturing and Fabrication, has spent almost a decade as a laser cutting consultant. Over that time he has noticed several fundamentals that many operators miss: properly cleaning and polishing the optics, centering the nozzle, and calibrating the beam focus.

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Best practices for laser cutting tube, pipe, profiles

April 18, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Interviews with BLM, LVD Strippit, Mazak, and TRUMPF reveal tips and tactics for buying, handling, cleaning, cutting tube. Other topics include machine maintenance, software upgrades, and operator training.

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Laser cutting in a new light

April 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis

In the past, lighting manufacturers introduced product designs that might last 10 years. Because of the lengthy product lifetime and volumes, these manufacturers didn't think twice about relying on hard tooling. Today product designs change regularly, and the constant evolution of LED technology means a manufacturer has to react quickly. For TAMCO, Port St. Lucie, Fla., that meant it needed its own laser cutting capability.

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Head and optics innovations key to laser cutting growth

April 4, 2016 | By Dru Schwartz

Today a fiber laser can cut both thick and thin material efficiently and with good edge quality. Key advances in laser optics and cutting head design have helped make this possible.

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Considerations for designing parts for laser cutting

February 1, 2016 | By Kevin Fradette

Laser cutting has been a widely accepted fabricating technology for almost 20 years, yet with more new blood entering the industry, some fabricators lack a deep understanding of the cutting technology. This tip sheet aims to boost their laser cutting IQ.

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Small-scale laser cutting for stent, tube fabrication

October 27, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

Metal fabricators have been using CO2 lasers for decades and fiber lasers for years, but these technologies aren’t optimal for making the ultrafine features needed for medical devices such as catheters and stents. Femtosecond disk lasers recently have emerged as a viable technology for such applications.

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Venturing into fiber laser cutting

October 7, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Fabricating metal parts for price-sensitive customers means that Lynam Industries Inc., Fontana, Calif., has to make the right investments in technology at the right time. The investment has to contribute to the reduction in production costs. The metal fabricator's purchase of a fiber laser cutting machine in late 2013 is a recent example of this strategy.

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