Feb 3, 2016 Off Comments in Laser Cutting by

The most popular and widely used cutting processes of today include Mechanical cutting and Metal Laser Cutting. Both of these methods perform the same task yet they are different in terms of equipment, production capabilities and cost. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Mechanical Cutting process and its equipment

Mechanical Cutting uses power-driven equipment to form and shape the material according to a predefined design. Lathes, drill presses, and milling machines are the most common machines that are used in Mechanical Cutting.

Lather, is metalworking machines that use a computer-controlled motor to spin the material. To create the desired shape, hardened cutting blades are used to remove the unnecessary cloth.

A milling machine is used for making the desired cuts, it has a moveable table which has the work piece attached to it along with a stationary cutting tool. Directions that are required to move the table and create the desired cut are either given manually or through a computer. Omniversal, universal, plain-milling and hand milling are the four main categories of the milling machine.

A drill press is driven by an induction motor and it is bolted to the floor or mounted on a table. It comprises of a drill head, a spindle, a table, a pillar and a base. Cylindrical holes are made into the workpiece using a drill bit that is lowered and raised by a three-pronged handle.

Laser Cutting Process and its procedure

Laser cutting is the new and more efficient way to cutting material. It uses the energy emission device in order to do the job. To make the required cuts, a high concentration of photon streams is used. These streams are subjected to the area where the necessary cut is to be made. The fact that these lasers are computer controlled, eliminate the chances of error.  There are two different types of Laser Cutting cutters namely, ND YAG and CO2.

Laser Cutting vs. Mechanical Cutting

Due to the fact that Laser cutting not only cuts the material but it applies a finish to a product, thus it can easily be said that laser cutting is a more streamlined process as compared to its alternative, mechanical cutting. In laser cutting the chances of accidental marking or contamination is very less because there is not direct contact between the material and the laser device. Also, lasers produce a smaller heat affected zone which results in lower risk of deformation and material wrapping at the cutting site.

However, laser cutting can be very costly and complex fabrication method. Mechanical methods, on the other hand, are very cost effective and they can easily be incorporated into the manufacturing services. Unlike laser equipment that requires powerful energy source, mechanical require less energy source and they don’t consume energy as rapidly as laser equipment. Laser devices are mostly peripheral equipment and they are expensive. Machinery like, lenses, zinc selenide and gold mirror yield additional expense, nonetheless, they are very important for laser cutting method.

When choosing between mechanical and laser cutting, it imperative to remember that these processes are not exclusive of each other. Choosing between one depends on what is your priority, saving cost and energy or reducing the chances of deforming and damaging of given material.