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.