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Laser cutting 3D

3D Laser Cutting burns and creates cuts in curved surfaces of sheet metal using high-intensity light

Illustration of Laser cutting 3D

The process

A laser beam [1] is generated and then directed to the cutting head [2] using mirrors. Where the beam is focused with a lens [3] and a cutting gas [4], which usually consists of oxygen or nitrogen, is supplied to the cutting head and surround the laser beam during the cutting process. The laser beam is focused [5] on the workpiece [6], which heats up, melts and partially vaporizes the material and a cutting section is created.

The molten material formed during the cutting process is blown away by the cutting gas. This protects the lens from splashes from the cutting area and also makes the laser beam free of vapors that could absorb parts of the laser beam.

By using oxygen instead of an inert gas, a higher cutting speed is achieved since it contributes to faster combustion of the material but leaves an oxide layer on the cut surface, which may be negative in some cases.

The cutting head is positioned usually by means of a portal system in combination with additional shafts to provide tilting and rotation. There are also control with dedicated robots with higher location accuracy than typical industrial robots.

This method is often used to clean contours and to add holes in form pressed sheet metal parts.

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Advantages and disadvantages
In comparison with alternative methods
High precision
Saves a lot of time
Can create very precise cuts
Do not need much manpower
Often requires complex fixture
Uses a lot of electricity
Requires experienced operator