Advantages and disadvantages of laser cutting

Home Advantages and disadvantages of laser cutting Cutting is the most basic and widely used process in metal manufacturing. One of the main technologies used for metal cutting is laser cutting. Laser cutting is a technology that involves cutting materials with the help of a laser beam under the action of inert gas. In the laser cutting process, a laser beam is used to cut different materials such as metal, plastic, wood, rubber, etc. This technology has become an essential part of the manufacturing process. The laser cutter is equipped with a computer-controlled programming system that determines how and where the interface is integrated into the material. Laser cutting is part of any reputable machining provider as it offers an affordable and accurate method of producing almost any shape of a sheet or sheet metal. Whether you need a 2D or 3D cutting process, a fully equipped machine shop can exceed your expectations. Although laser offers great benefits, it also has some limitations, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of laser cutting technology. Advantages and disadvantages of laser cutting What is laser cutting? Today, many manufacturing industries use CNC machines to speed up the production process. These
What is laser cutting

What is laser cutting?

Today, many manufacturing industries use CNC machines to speed up the production process. These machines use a number of processes, one of which is laser cutting. Basically, all CNC machines involve translating digitized drawings into computer language and then giving commands to the machine.
This language provides the device with the instructions it needs to execute the design. The relationship between language and machine is like sending a picture to a printer. Also, this works the same way as laser cutters, they can execute designs in a short amount of time.
The design of a laser-cut product requires the use of a 2D vector file to guide the laser. The most basic of laser cutters is the laser resonator, which has glass fibers, or a gas mixture that may sometimes contain crystals. The composition of the resonator depends on the designer’s method of cutting the material and applying the capability to the mixture starts the cutting process. Then, after sending the mixture through different mirror lenses, the laser will be focused.

How does a laser cutter work

How does a laser cutter work?

Before diving into the pros and cons of laser cutting, it’s crucial to understand how a laser cutter works. A laser cutter works like a CNC machine, but it uses a high-powered laser. The laser will guide itself through the CNC and optics to guide the material or beam. The device will use the CNC or provided G-code to cut the material and control the movement.
After the laser beam is focused, melting, vaporization, and combustion occur. Also, when you blow the material with the gas jet, you get a high-quality finished edge surface. Laser material is stimulated by a lamp or electrical discharge to generate a laser beam in a closed container.
Amplification of the laser material then occurs after internal reflection by a partial mirror. This phenomenon continues until enough energy is accumulated in the form of a coherent monochromatic flow of light to allow it to escape. The intensity of the light increases after focusing on the work area using optical fibers or mirrors.
The diameter of the laser beam is less than 0.32 mm at its thinnest edge. In contrast, incision widths as small as 0.10 mm are possible. However, this depends on the thickness of the material. If cutting the material with a laser cutter does not start from the edge of the material, use the perforation process.
The perforation process allows the laser to make holes in the material using high power. For example, it takes 5 to 15 seconds to burn through a 13mm stainless steel plate.

What are the advantages of laser cutting

What are the advantages of laser cutting?

If you work in manufacturing and are considering laser cutting for your next project, you may be wondering what the advantages of laser cutting are. Let’s take a look at the advantages of laser cutting.

High precision and precision cutting

Laser cutting uses an extremely small and powerful laser that delivers a focused beam of light to the material it cuts with extreme precision. The powerful laser melts and vaporizes material with unrivaled precision, in most cases to a typical tolerance of 0.003mm to 0.006mm. In contrast, plasma cutters typically have tolerances around 0.02mm, and some die-cutting tools have tolerances as high as 1-3mm or more.
When extreme accuracy and precision are required, laser cutters are always the best choice. This is one of the reasons why laser cutting is often used in the aerospace industry with extremely tight tolerances.

Low operating cost and cost reduction

One of the best benefits of a laser cutter is that it is economical to use laser cutting even for projects of limited operation. That’s because a laser cutter doesn’t use any tools that must be customized or modified for your project, nor does it have a worn physical cutting surface. To create an assembly or part with a laser cutter, all you need is the material to cut, the laser cutter, and a schematic that can be loaded into your computer. Reduces overall cost even for low-volume projects, especially compared to traditional tooling and fabrication. Laser cutters also have fewer mechanical moving parts, which reduces maintenance and operating costs and helps reduce costs for companies using laser cutters.

Can handle almost any complex job

Few jobs are impossible for a laser cutter. High power lasers can be used to work on very narrow sections of material with very little warping and distortion of the area being cut. With the right schematics, laser cutters can quickly and easily create cuts of the most complex geometries with unmatched precision and exceptional tolerance levels.

The utilization rate of the board is higher and the waste is less

Another benefit of laser cutting is that it can utilize a very high percentage of sheet material. By using the correct nested cut, a laser cutter can maximize the cut of any given material. Again, this reduces the overall cost of the project and speeds up the time to completion. Less time is required to change to new material, and less raw material is wasted during machining and cutting.

No damage or warping even when cutting very thin materials

A common misconception about laser cutting is that high temperatures cause a lot of deformation and warping, which is a misconception. The heat-affected zone (HAZ) of laser cutting is actually very small and usually does not cause problems with the tolerances of the part or assembly. So lasers are actually ideal for cutting very thin materials. Laser cutting material is very fast and the material does not overheat or warp. The heat-affected zone (HAZ) of laser cutting is so small that it can be easily machined away even if the required cutting accuracy is high.

Low power consumption

While lasers are used to cut materials using a considerable amount of energy, laser cutters do not have any other moving parts and therefore require less energy than presses and some other cutting tools. Presses and other types of cutting tools require a lot of energy to use a physical die to provide the cutting force. For example, a punch may consume up to 36kw of energy when used at full capacity, while laser cutters rarely require more than 10kw, even if they are used to cut extremely thick reflective materials such as aluminum. This helps reduce overall operating costs and reduces the overall environmental impact of a laser cutter.

Extreme cutting versatility – can be used on almost any material

When it comes to the advantages of laser cutting, this is a very important one. Laser cutting can be used for a variety of different tasks, not just cutting material completely. Lasers can also be used for functions such as drilling, marking, and engraving without changing or switching any tools.
Not only that, laser cutters can be used for almost any material. From ferrous metals like stainless steel to copper, aluminum, brass, and even other materials like composites, wood, plastics, and even certain types of textiles. Laser cutters can be used to cut almost anything.
While lasers are generally not suitable for extremely thick metals (a water jet or plasma cutter may be recommended), the versatility of laser cutting makes it a critical part of modern machining.

What are the disadvantages of laser cutting

What are the disadvantages of laser cutting?

Despite the many benefits of laser cutting, it also has some disadvantages that you should be aware of. Below we discuss the disadvantages of laser cutting in the future.

Part of the material evaporates

When cutting materials such as plastics, evaporation is prone to occur, which is a significant disadvantage of laser cutting. But this shortcoming is manageable and can be easily overcome by a professional machine operator. Professional engineers will change some arrangements of the equipment to prevent this problem. However, the cost of implementing these changes is very high today.

Need technical experts

Laser cutters require a professional operator to use all the machine’s features and quickly identify problems. If the equipment is not set up correctly, it will not only affect the cutting quality of the material but also cause more serious damage to the laser cutting machine. Hiring an operations specialist is essential, and it brings in a lot of money because the availability of qualified professionals is limited. Baokun Laser’s engineers will provide you with a comprehensive turnkey service, which includes relevant machine operation technical training. Of course, if the machine encounters any problems during use, our engineers will also provide online technical support, allowing you to complete the maintenance of the machine in the shortest possible time.

Limitation of metal thickness

Although laser cutting is suitable for almost all materials, other cutting systems are best used to cut thicker metals. You can determine the thickest paper from the available machines, which also requires the presence of a professional operator. Of course, the thickness of the metal that the laser cutting machine can cut is determined by the laser power, and the higher the laser power, the thicker the metal sheet that can be cut.

Upfront costs

If you’re looking to purchase a laser cutter, you’ll likely have to spend a fortune. For example, when you compare a plasma cutter to a laser cutter, the latter costs almost twice as much as a plasma cutter. Although the capital required to buy a machine is very high, you will earn more in the long run later on.

Produces harmful fumes and gases

If you’re looking to purchase a laser cutter, you’ll likely have to spend a fortune. For example, when you compare a plasma cutter to a laser cutter, the latter costs almost twice as much as a plasma cutter. Although the capital required to buy a machine is very high, you will earn more in the long run later on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Laser Cutting Do?

Laser cutting helps produce some fantastic products, and it is used in many industries such as the automotive and aerospace industries. It helps achieve results according to the designs made before operating the machine. The laser cutter can cut through almost all materials, including metals, chrome, aluminum, and plastics.

Is Laser Cutting Expensive?

Why is Laser Cutting Perfect for Mass Production?

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Beam Machining?


The introduction of laser cutting has brought immeasurable benefits to the manufacturing industry. Laser cutters help cut multiple materials over a period of time, saving time and reducing operating costs. It also has a wide range of uses in industries such as the aerospace and automotive industries. Understanding the pros and cons of laser cutting will help you make the best choice for your project. Also, you can always contact Baokun Laser for help with your laser cutter.

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