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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Best practices for laser cutting tube, pipe, profiles

April 18, 2016

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Interviews with BLM, 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Gas gives the big assist in laser cutting

July 13, 2015

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Assist gas aids cutting and evacuates molten material from the kerf. It’s a key variable, one that may be the culprit for a bad cut edge. Just know that it’s not the only potential culprit.

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Adding to the arsenal of metal cutting technologies

June 2, 2015

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Despite having low- and high-powered laser cutting machines and two waterjets, a fabrication shop recognized that it might have a need for more laser cutting capacity. To fill that gap, Advanced Laser & Waterjet Cutting installed a 1-kW CO2 laser cutting machine.

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Reaping rewards with precision laser cutting

April 8, 2015

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In 1973 full-time farmer Mike Van Mill tried his hand at building a grain wagon for a neighboring farmer, and he has been at it full-time since incorporating Brent Industries a few years later. Now the operations manager for Unverferth Mfg., Shell Rock, Iowa, Van Mill is part of a team that manufactures implements under the Brent brand name. The staff runs the facility like a savvy farmer runs a farm, always looking for a better way but proceeding cautiously. A sheet laser purchased in the early 2000s led to a tube laser purchased in 2014.

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4 ways to a better laser-cut edge

April 2, 2015

Edge quality in laser cutting has improved significantly over the decades, and many of those improvements come from four areas: better materials, nozzles, process control, and beam quality.

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Holy fabrication work!

February 10, 2015

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Design Fugitives of Milwaukee tackled a project for a church that required as much creative muscle as it did fabricating power to bring the ideas to life.

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Managing maintenance for laser cutting machines

January 15, 2015

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Unscheduled downtime is an incredible headache for a busy fabricating operation. An adherence to a smart maintenance schedule and empowering a maintenance team can eliminate these production surprises.

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Pushing the solid-state laser speed limit

January 9, 2015

Solid-state lasers theoretically could cut through thin sheet at up to 1,000 meters per minute, though no machine in the world can drive a laser at that speed. But new approaches to laser cutting are bringing laser cutting speeds closer to the theoretical maximum.

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Plasma cutting or laser cutting? How about both?

October 22, 2014

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Not all parts need the tight-tolernace edge that laser cutting provides; now a fabricator canhave the fine touch of laser cutting and the poweful force of plasma cutting for thicker materials in one machine.

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Keeping sheets and parts moving with automation

July 29, 2014

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Modern laser cutting technology can achieve speeds of more than 400 inches per minute, and that puts pressure on the automation used to load sheets and unload cut parts and skeletons. If the automated material handling system can’t keep up, the fabricator won’t be able to maximize uptime on the laser cutting machine.

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