Laser is a focused beam of light that can concentrate a large amount of energy in a small area.When this happens, the material in front of the laser burns, melts or evaporates, creating a hole.Add a few CNC's and you have a machine that can cut or carve very complex parts made of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, foam or other materials.
Each material has its limitations and advantages when laser cutting.Not every material is suitable for laser cutting.Because the material must reduce a certain amount of energy.For example, cutting paper requires much less energy than 20 mm thick steel plates.A 40-watt laser cuts paper, cardboard, foam and thin plastic, while a 300-watt laser cuts thin steel and thick plastic.If cutting steel plates of 2 mm or thicker, a minimum of 500W is required.
1. Close the outline
All cut profiles must be closed.This is the most important rule.If the contour remains open, the part cannot be removed from the original metal plate.There are exceptions, if used for engraving or etching, you may not close the contour.
2. Round hole
If you must have a small tolerance hole, drill with the laser first and then drill with the drill.Drilling creates a small hole in the material and is guided by the drill bit during the drilling process.The diameter of the perforation should be around 2-3 mm.In my experience, in this case, use the smallest possible hole, preferably one of the same thickness as the material, and gradually drill larger and larger holes until the desired diameter is reached.
3. Screw holes
This applies only to materials with a thickness of at least 1.5mm.Steel, for example, melts and evaporates during laser cutting.After cooling, the cut becomes hard and difficult to thread.So before thread cutting, it is better to drill with laser and then drill again.
Sheet metal parts may have sharp corners, but adding chamfering (at least half the thickness of the material) will make the parts cheaper.
5. Gaps and lugs
Minimum width of the notch shall be at least 1 mm or the thickness of the material, whichever is greater.The length must not exceed five times the width.Lugs must be at least 3mm thick or twice the thickness of the material, whichever is the greater.As with grooves, the length of a groove should be less than five times its width.The distance between the grooves must be at least 3mm and the minimum distance between the lugs must be 1mm or greater in material thickness.Failure to follow this rule may cause parts to deform.
6. Multiple or thin components
A good rule of thumb when cutting multiple parts on the same metal plate is to make sure they are no less than the thickness of the material.If two parts are too close together or the part being cut is too thin, the material between the two cutting lines may burn out.