Laser Cutting for metal fabrication: too good to be true?

Sheet metal and lasers go hand in hand. While it sounds futuristic, the process is relatively simple – by taking electronic data from a CAD drawing or 3D modelling software, laser cutting machines then create flat form parts by burning or melting the metal.

Laser cutting sheet metal

Laser cutting works by moving a laser beam into the cutting area of a metal sheet, which burns or melts the metal. Then, an assist gas is used to clear the cut zone of the molten material, producing a cut. This process works best on carbon steel or stainless steel, and an experienced operator operating the machine needs to be present at all times – to run the laser efficiently and accurately, many hours of training are involved.

Laser cutting benefits

Rather than choosing other cutting methods, laser cutting is more precise, resulting in higher accuracy cuts and a better-quality finish. It’s very cost-effective since the machines are fast and reliable. The speed of the machines decreases turnaround times and provides a more cost-efficient method of metal fabrication. Laser cutting machines are also immensely flexible, offering almost unlimited choice when it comes to patterns.

Laser cutting limitations

The quality of the laser cut edge is dependent on the type and thickness of the sheet metal used. As the thickness increases, the edge of where the molten area meets the cool zone become more prominent – this is important to keep in mind if you want a clean finish.

Laser cutting for aesthetics

With its immense precision, laser cut metal sheets can be as unique as you want.

You can incorporate your own unique personalized touch, such as a company logo or design brand to create innovative, unique screens or panels.

Laser cut metal screens can be used internally for railings or wall features, suspended ceilings and privacy screens. They’re also used as room dividers, for example, in the dining and breakfast area in various hotels.

When used externally, laser cutting is used for window shutters and balconies. Laser cut screens are ideal for stairwells as they retain the flow of light, but act as a protective barrier.

It’s no wonder that laser cutting is a favorite in the sheet metal fabrication industry. At ColibrisODM, laser cutting stands as one of the most popular options of manufacturing for our clients.