Engineer using the step by step laser cutting process

In today’s rapidly evolving manufacturing industry, laser cutting has emerged as a cutting-edge technology, revolutionising the way sheet metal is processed. Among the various types of laser-cutting machines, fibre laser-cutting machines have gained significant popularity due to their precision, speed, and versatility.

In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through the laser-cutting process step by step, with a specific focus on fibre laser cutting machines. So, let’s dive in and unravel the fascinating world of fibre laser cutting!

1. Understanding Fibre Laser Cutting Machines

Before we delve into the laser-cutting process, let’s familiarise ourselves with fibre laser-cutting machines. These machines employ a high-powered laser beam generated through fibre optics. Fibre lasers offer exceptional beam quality, allowing for precise and clean cuts across a wide range of materials, including most commonly sheet metals. They are known for their efficiency, low maintenance, and high cutting speeds, making them ideal for industrial applications.

Want to know more about fibre laser cutting machines? Check out our recent post The Power of Precision: understanding fibre laser cutting.

2. Material Preparation

The laser cutting process begins with material preparation. Ensure that the sheet metal is clean and free from contaminants that may interfere with the cutting process. Additionally, determine the appropriate material thickness and size to optimise the fibre laser cutting machine’s capabilities.

3. CAD Design and Programming

The desired design or pattern can be created using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. This digital representation acts as the blueprint for the laser-cutting machine. From the CAD software, the file is sent into the Laser programming system, and from that system, a single part, or group of parts, can be nested onto the sheet, and then posted to the machine.

Parameters such as cutting speed, power, focal length, and assist gas type are set based on the material and design requirements. This makes the entire process far more efficient and accurate.

4. Machine Setup

With the programming complete, it’s time to set up the fibre laser cutting machine. This involves mounting the sheet metal securely on the machine’s worktable or shuttle bed. The focal point of the laser beam is aligned precisely with the material surface to ensure accurate cutting. The assist gas system, such as nitrogen or oxygen, is also configured based on the material being cut.

5. Laser Cutting Process

Once the setup is complete, the fibre laser cutting machine is ready to unleash its power. The laser beam is emitted from the machine’s cutting head and directed onto the material surface. As the focused laser beam makes contact, it rapidly heats and melts the material, creating a narrow cut. The high-pressure assist gas can blow away the molten material, leaving behind a clean and precise cut edge.

6. Monitoring and Quality Control

During the laser cutting process, it is essential to monitor the machine’s operation to ensure optimal results. Modern fibre laser cutting machines are equipped with advanced sensors and cameras that provide real-time feedback on the cutting progress. This allows operators to make adjustments if necessary and maintain the desired cutting quality and accuracy.

7. Post-Cutting Operations

Once the laser cutting process is complete, post-cutting operations may be required depending on the application. These can include removing any slag or burrs left on the cut edge, cleaning the workpiece, and performing inspections to ensure the dimensions and quality meet the desired specifications.

Next Steps?

Fibre laser cutting machines have revolutionised the sheet metal processing industry, offering unmatched precision, speed, and versatility. By understanding the step-by-step laser-cutting process, from material preparation to post-cutting operations, you can harness the full potential of fibre laser-cutting technology.

Contact Press and Shear today to explore our range of CNC sheet metal machines. From expert guidance to reliable support, our team will ensure you find the perfect solution tailored to your needs. Get in touch now and experience the future of sheet metal fabrication.