Background • Laser cutting has been used in industry since the 1970's. • The first common application was for sign-making, mainly cutting acrylic. • It is now a significant process in every manufacturing economy.
Introduction • Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut precise patterns in most all types of materials such as metal, ceramic ,paper and so on.
Introduction • There are two types of lasers used for cutting: • the gaseous CO2 laser • the solid-state Nd:YAG laser.
Applications • Wood • Paper • Leather • Glass • Ceramic • Metal
Benefits • The flexibility and precision cutting of simple or complex parts; • A non contact cut which means no marks or contamination of the material; • A high quality cut with no extra finishing required; • The ability to cut almost any material.
Drawbacks • Material limitations (including crystalline and reflective materials) • Producing a piercing hole that can make the pattern design more difficult. • Reflected laser light can present a safety hazard • The cost of laser cutting machine is much higher than other cutting processes
Components of System • Control Unit (CNC program) • Power supply (120 or 240 v) • Work piece positioning table • may be fixed or move in up to 2 directions • May contain fastening devices • scrap removal system • Optics Unit (focusing unit) • mirrors, focusing lens, • Fasteners • Gas/debris removal system
Optical Unit • Mirrors direct the beam from the source down to the lens • the lens then focuses the beam into the desired geometry • finally the assist gas is added to remove the molten metal
Capabilities • Materials • Steel, Titanium, Paper, Wood, Leather, Wax, Plastic, Fabric • Easily cuts .5 inch stainless steel • Limitations • Reflective materials, highly conductive • Many applications
Examples Use • Hobby shop • Small production runs • Used for prototyping and hobbies • Generally use a Moving Optics configuration • Connected to fume hood for ventilation • May be home made
Production Machine • Medium to large production runs • Used for producing production components • Can be one of all 3 configurations • Connected to fume hood for ventilation • Contain production line facilitators http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80-ZIWDNfIE
Processes and Practices • Laser Cutting Results • Majority of applications are in 2D • Extreme precision can be achieved • Capable of providing high tolerances and providing high quality surface finishes • Results on the Material • May affect hardness • Possible change in grain size • Narrow heat-affected zone
Laser Applications • Laser Welding • More accurate, reliable and fast than traditional welding methods • Laser Marking • Similarly accurate, reliable and fast in comparison to traditional marking methods
Current Uses of Laser Cutting Systems • Primarily 2D Systems • Either melts, burns, or vaporizes away material • Used to cut flat-sheet metal and piping/structural materials
3D Laser Cutting Applications • The future of laser cutting
About 3D Laser Cutters • 6-axis rotary head to allow beveled and mitered cuts • Capable of cutting round, square, channel, angle and other structural shapes • Up to ¾” cut thickness • Industries Served • Automotive, industrial, electrical, constructions and aerospace
Economics of Laser Cutters • High Initial Costs, some machines $300,000 + • Protective glass, gas nozzles, dust and particle filters need replacement • High use of cutting gasses 500-2000 L of O2 or N2 (.36 $/L)
Efficient use of Laser Cutters is very material and application dependent • Initial startup costs are high, but the larger cost is the gas used to expel the material out of the cut • Creates very precise cuts with little to no finishing work required
Safety Hazards • Contact with hot workpiece • Hand/eye contact with beam • Inhalation of fumes • Smoke, Fumes, dust particles have environmental risks
5 Words • Laser cutting - Laserski razrez • Crystal Line materiales - Kristalni materiali • Fasteners - Vijaki • Initial Costs - Začetni stroški • Vaporize away material- uparjevanje materiala stran