Laser technology has always sounded like something straight out of a Star Wars movie. In reality, though, specialists and engineers use lasers in a number of different industries; the first functioning laser machine was built in 1960, and its applications branched from there.
It seems odd to hear of such an advanced technology used on something that shaped the early civilization of humanity. This is the evolution of the age-old art of metalworking: the fashioning of metals using lasers.
The Art of Laser Cutting
Laser found prominent use in industrial manufacturing around the world, simply because it is one of the fastest ways by which metalworkers can cut, shape, and design metal sheets. Apart from this, metal fabricators such as Cypress Metals list the general advantages of laser cutting:
• Precision cuts
As opposed to manual cutting, laser metal cutting can cut metal more precisely, faster. With no other solid material coming in contact with the metal sheet during the cut, there is very little risk for contamination as well.
• Compatibility with materials
While machinists and metalworkers prize laser cutting for metals, other manufacturers use it for other materials such as rubber, plastic, wood, and ceramic, with similar quality. Its versatility enables laser systems to come up with even the most intricate designs.
• Minimal human intervention
A computer typically handles the operation of a laser-cutting machine. This means operators do not have to increase their overhead to hire labor for metal cutting. With very little human intervention, there is also little risk for errors as well as injuries and accidents.
Of course, laser cutting have its drawbacks, such as high power consumption. Working on plastics with lasers also tend to release harmful fumes, which could be a health hazard. Despite this, laser cutting is a more cost-effective method of cutting metals and designing on surfaces, due to its precision, speed, and reliability.