Using plastics for home projects

The Pros And Cons Of Laser Cutting

If you need a piece of wood, plastic, or metal cut with precision, you have various techniques that can be used to cut through the material. However, the most common methods are laser cutting and waterjet cutting. Laser cutting utilizes a high-powered laser that reflects off of optics to heat up and guide the cut. Learning the pros and cons associated with laser cutting will help you determine if this the best way to make small, precise cuts on the material of your choice or whether another option, such as waterjet cutting, may be better for you.

Cons of Laser Cutting

  • Laser Cutting Doesn't Work Well With Mixed Materials

Some items that need to be cut are mixed materials. For example, you may have an item that has wood on one side and metal on another. Or a sandwich of wood, plastic and wood. A laser is not good at cutting these mixed items. The laser needs to be set at a distinct temperature in order to cut the materials. If you have mixed materials, the laser may not be hot enough to cut through some materials and too hot for others, giving mixed results. In the case of mixed materials waterjet cutting is better.

  • This Method Produces Smoke and Dust

The other downside to laser cutting is that smoke and dust are produced when cutting with this method. This can make your space dusty and may make it difficult to breathe if you are not wearing a breathable face mask or if you have a breathing condition, such as asthma.

Pros of Laser Cutting

  • Precision Cutting is Possible

One of the biggest advantages of laser cutting is that you can make tiny, precision cuts using this method. When you are cutting small items, you need the cuts to be precise. This can be hard to do with many cutting methods but it is a breeze with laser cutting.

  • Works on a Variety of Solid Materials

The other benefit to laser cutting is that a laser can cut through a wide array of solid materials. Many other cutting methods are best used on only one or two types of materials. However, if you cut through a variety of materials, you may have to buy different machines to perform different cutting methods. This can get quite costly. Finding one machine, such as a laser cutter, that can cut a lot of different materials makes more sense financially. 

If you want to learn more about laser cutting, talk with J&E Metal Fabricators Inc for more information. Taking the time to learn the pros and cons of laser cutting can help you decide if this method of cutting is ideal for the materials and items you need to cut through.