4 Important Factors to Consider When Designing Parts for Laser Cutting

By March 8, 2016 Article No Comments
CNC laser cutter

Laser cutting has been a widely acknowledged fabricating technology for two decades now. With the oldest of the boomers nearing retirement, we will be having a new generation of metal fabricators who may not have the kind of training the former have had. For this and among many other reasons, it is important to go back to the basics.

The basics of parts design has to be revisited. We are talking about laser cutting, of course. The following design tips will help the new generation of fabricators enhance and speed up their skills to perform their jobs well.

First tip is the manner in which a material, like metal, is changed by laser. A high-intensity light source that generates a laser beam is extremely hot; it melts metal in a millisecond. In short, the laser changes the material in just a short amount of time. Anyone who uses a laser to process parts should be aware of this.

Second tip: As laser beam is not perfectly straight and is shaped like an hourglass. Therefore, all lase-processed parts have some degree of a taper. It becomes noticeable in materials that are as thick as 0.50 inches or more.

Third tip is about bend reliefs. Improper bend reliefs that are drawn into parts are common part design errors. However, using a laser to process sheet metal allows you to create just about any shape. Dross forming on the relief edge results from a melted material not ejected properly while the laser travels back up the other side of the relief. Now, that dross will get in the way of the bend. Therefore, the part should be redrawn so that the laser can do its job well.

Fourth, what happens when the piercing is in the wrong place? Compared to the early years, piercing through a material with a laser has astoundingly improved today. Fabricators now use various piercing methods. But the question is what happens when the pierce is in the wrong place. The design engineer avoids many issues by moving the pierce point away from the edge.

Other important factors that should also be in the minds of young metal fabricators are when to powder coat metals, how thick the material should be, and which part shape will affect cutting efficiency.

For your large production laser cutting needs, let us be of service to you. Kemplon has the most qualified and competent professionals who are ready to work with you anytime.