Category Archive: 3D laser cutting
The advent of computer numerical control (CNC) cutting machines has elevated 3D laser cutting as a superior option for manufacturers. One of the key reasons why we love using 3D lasers in conjunction with CNC systems is because it simplifies the process of cutting complex designs. It also provides fast turnaround times for high volume projects. Here are other reasons to consider this precision solution for your laser cutting projects.
How Many Dimensions?
Whether you choose 2D or 3D cuts, the result should generally be a clean, professional cut. One of the primary differences between these laser cutting methods is that a 5-axis system provides more depth and definition. By contrast, a traditional 3-axis design usually involves cutting on a single plane, which means it’s dramatically limited. Both 2 and 3 dimensional laser cutting jobs allow for cutting on flat, slanted or curved surfaces.
A 3D design certainly looks more innovative and futuristic by comparison, while the 2D laser cutting approach is more affordable. The 3-axis system utilizes an X, Y and Z axis, as the 5-axis system adds a A and B axis. These designs are created in a computer graphics program that directs the controller where to make laser cuts. The 3D approach is not as common as 2D, but is used by high-end companies when projects call for maximum precision on stamped, formed and spun parts.
When choosing to work with two dimensions on flat sheet materials the depth is consistent for all cutting. Adding a third dimension suggests there are different levels of depth to cut. If your project involves repeated cutting of complex curves quickly at variable depths, the best solution is 3D laser cutting.
Precision and Repeatability
A huge advantage to 3D laser cutting over traditional cutting methods is that it saves time and money. A company that needs to fill a large order in a short time frame gets more efficiency out of 3D laser cutting than any other method. A typical cutting project that takes about a month to complete can be cut down to a matter of a few days using 3D laser technology.
OEMs and fabricators commonly use 3D lasers as a solution to meet quick deadlines for partners, suppliers and investors. Ultimately, the more sophisticated the job and the more precision is required, the greater the likelihood you need to use the 3D laser solution. It’s the most reliable choice when precision cuts to .004 are required.
For fast turnaround high quality 3D cutting projects, your best choice for machinery is a 3D laser cutter. Contact Serra Laser & Waterjet at (714) 680-6211 in Orange County or Sun Valley, Ca for more information about 3D laser cutting or any other type of work that requires a laser cutter.
Today the most effective way for manufacturers to cut preformed machine parts is with a 3D laser cutter. The process involves designing parts in computer-assisted design (CAD) software then programming a laser machine to automatically cut preformed parts quickly on sheet metal, pre-bent tubing or other material. This technology is widely adopted by fabricators to save time and money. Here’s a deeper look at the process of making laser cut preformed parts.
Characteristics of Preformed Parts
Preformed parts for machines or other applications can be made from various materials such as aluminum, stainless steel and copper. The type of laser machine affects the quality of the end product and the amount of processing time. These machines are able to cut holes, slots, copes and various angular or tubular shapes with high precision. Usually the thickness of the material is what determines the right type of laser cutter to select.
For projects designed to be sculptured surfaces, you should use the 2-D or 3-D mode of the laser cutter, depending on the thickness of the parts. Sheet metal with a thickness of .87 inches works effectively for 2-D parts. Laser cut preformed parts help speed up the fabrication process.
Designing Preformed Parts
Using CAD software, a preformed parts designer can envision and create plans for parts easily and quickly. 3-D CAD files are transformed into 3-D illustrations of the final products. Once in this mode, a programmer may add modifications to the design. This process encompasses the use of G-code, aka NC-code, a popular numerical control (NC) programming language.
G-code is used to control the automated process that determines how the motor functions and how fast it moves. The laser and other machine components move according to the instructions in the G-code. The part must fit inside the laser’s work envelope, otherwise the programmer must raise or lower the part. Ultimately, the multiaxis rotary laser trims material based on precise instructions for the cutting path, using X, Y and Z axes on a 3-D grid. Laser machines provide tools for making quick adjustments.
CAD software, G-code and a laser machine can be used to create endless unique products across multiple industries. They are highly efficient and reliable tools for reducing costs, creating disruptive products and expanding opportunities for customized fabrication.
If you are looking for customized solutions for making preformed machine parts, make sure you get the right advice from seasoned experts. Contact us at Serra Laser & Waterjet to learn more about designing and manufacturing laser cut preformed parts for your production projects.
Each decade offers new technology that was considered science fiction last century. This century’s developments in 3D laser cutting have been a great assistance to designers, manufacturers, and fabricators who routinely cut metal. Here are key points to know about how 3D laser cutting has developed.
Professionals Who Use 3D Laser Cutters
- metal fabricators
- original equipment manufacturers
- machine shops
- sign makers
- graphic designers
- aerospace industry
Advantages of 3D Laser Equipment
One of the most important advantages of 3D laser cutting is that it speeds up projects compared with using traditional cutting equipment. 3D laser cutting machines are useful for cutting custom shapes for tubes, pipes, and other industrial materials. 3D cutting helps provide flexibility in the production process for metal or steel fabricators. It’s a useful tool for making round holes or angled edges on metal surfaces. Another primary advantage to a laser cutter is its precision for making accurate cuts.
Evolution of Laser Cutting
Albert Einstein, along with other physicists, had written about the photoelectric effect in 1905. Work by physicist Charles Townes at Bell Laboratories in the fifties led to a device called Microwaves Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (MASER) for military and industrial applications. Further developments led to laser technology in the 1950s, as the term LASER was coined to stand for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
The earliest laser device that influenced laser cutting traces back to 1960. Cutting was one of the earliest functions used in laser technology. In 1965 the Western Engineering Research Center in Buffalo, New York became the first company to use a laser as a cutting device. Early forms of laser cutting were ruby laser technology for drilling holes and the less expensive carbon dioxide laser technology, which was introduced for cutting metal in 1967. Two years later Boeing became the first major company to use CO2 laser cutting as part of its production process.
3D Lasers Today and Tomorrow
The rise of 3D laser cutting process based on a 5 axes rotation system was introduced by Italian company Prima Industries in 1979. Today 3D laser cutters have high-precision beams and can be used to cut various materials up to 20 mm thick. The future of laser cutters will continue to be of concern to workshops and manufacturing plants, particularly those that produce automobiles and solar panels.
The advent of 3D laser cutting has led to faster and more precise cutting in manufacturing and metal fabrication processes. Contact us here at Serra Laser to learn more about the various options for fast, functional, and effective cuts.