When you think of Laser Cutting Machines, a certain picture may come to mind. You may think of technicians gluing laser cut metal pieces together. Perhaps you’ve even seen the industry films in which a pro uses the machines to create intricate masterpieces, such as movie posters or photo albums. Laser cutting machines are used to produce virtually any shape, from guitars to toys, and there is little difference among machines that use a laser beam.
There are three main types of machines: water jet, air jet, and rotating drum. They all perform the same task of cutting metal at high speeds using a pulsed beam of light. They all have one of two methods of operation: electric motors or hydraulic. Electric motors drive the rotary wheels to operate the rotary cutter.
Using a fluid, or liquid, to propel the machine up and down may seem inefficient, but the fluid also helps keep the drum from spinning too fast. By avoiding a rapid rotation, the drum maintains its center of gravity. This gives it the accuracy necessary to cut a precise angle.
A laser machine is just one type of laser cutting machine. Other types use radio frequency, ultrasound, and wave radiation to accomplish the same thing. The only difference between the lasers is the wavelength of the light beam used to execute the cutting process.
Finding the right laser cutter can be a challenge, especially with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The best way to decide what kind of laser cutter you need is to first consider the amount of work you plan to do. If you will be doing small jobs, you may only need a single cutter.
However, if you will be creating a large number of jobs, a machine that can cut hundreds of pieces per hour would be a much better choice. Of course, the laser cutter will need more room than the old style wood lathe. For this reason, you will also need to find a spot that is large enough for the machine. Small machines are not ideal for cutting large patterns.
Some machines will be more efficient than others, depending on the process you plan to use it for. For example, an ultrasonic cutter will produce a high quality edge on an uneven surface. An air jet cutter will make a smoother edge on a well finished piece of metal. Choose your machine based on what you want the end result to look like.
It is a good idea to have a minimum of two machines. One will be used for smaller jobs where one cutter will suffice. Another machine will be used for larger jobs where a four-cutter machine would be ideal.