Precision laser cutting creates new possibilities for designers who are on the leading edge of their industries. Thanks to non-traditional fabrication technologies and turnkey manufacturing options, designers have developed many innovative devices that make advanced scientific and surgical procedures possible. Medical devices, electroplated components and high-accuracy prototypes are pushing new boundaries.
Demand for high-precision fabrication services is growing quickly. These manufacturing methods improve dimensional accuracy, reduce cutting widths, eliminate thermal distortion and create perfectly formed edges. Today’s cutting systems are faster. They slice through a wider range of materials, including thick metal plates and ultra-thin tubing. Precision laser cutting is the ideal solution for production initiatives where speed, accuracy and cost are critical. The latest machines produce exceptional results on challenging materials with complex contours. That’s why it is now the preferred method for creating catheters, arthroscopic stents and endoscopic devices used in biopsies and surgical procedures.
Outsourced Laser Cutting
Although precision laser cutting equipment has many advantages, it is expensive to purchase. Many new and established companies hire third-party firms to assist with initial designs, production runs and final quality checks. Experts consider all variables, including the manufacturing techniques, cutting speeds, design contours and materials before a prototype is created. Specialists improve existing designs and make changes so that the finished product meets all specifications. Finally, quality control experts examine each component for compliance with the client’s specifications.
Wet and Dry Precision Laser Cutting
High-precision wet and dry cutting systems have distinct advantages depending on the material and the design. Hybrid cutting equipment combines the best features of different fabrication methods. For example, laser-assisted waterjets and micro-jets easily bore through thick, dense materials. The cutting force is minimal at all speeds. There’s no thermal impact or distortion. At just .2 mm, the cutting width is extremely narrow.
The kerf for dry lasers is generally 0.15 mm. These systems excel at cutting complex geometric shapes in ultra-thin sheeting and tubing. Fiber lasers are a popular choice for precision cutting. These powerful machines are faster, and they can cut through thicker materials. Some units are designed to handle jobs that require extended material lengths, which are beyond the limits of conventional setups. Similar equipment is used for drilling, structuring, welding and engraving.
Advantages of Precision Laser Cutting
- Lasers achieve extremely narrow kerfs on all materials.
- The positioning accuracy is within .003 mm.
- Computer-controlled routers automatically compensate for actual kerfs.
- Precision equipment ensures exceptional dimensional accuracy.
- Narrow kerfs allow for optimal nesting and more efficient use of raw materials.
- Finished products meet requirements that aren’t possible with conventional methods.
- The process creates burr-free edges that are ideal for surgical applications.
- Thanks to the superior edge quality, products require minimal finishing.
- Precision laser cutting produces sharp contours and complex geometric patterns.
- On- and off-axis cutting increases the possibilities that are available to designers.
- Non-contact cutting, engraving and drilling methods protect delicate materials.
- Small and large runs are economical since the design is infinitely repeatable.
Precision laser cutting is ideal for applications that require the highest degree of accuracy as well as speedy prototyping and manufacturing. Projects quickly move through each production stage. In most cases, laser fabrication methods slash production schedules by 50 percent, which reduces product development costs and hastens the time to market.