What Are CNC Laser Cutting Services?

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CNC Laser Cutting Services

Numerous steel shops offer CNC laser cutting services because they are less costly and use less energy compared to other cutting methods.

For this article, let us discuss the differences between laser cutting and CNC laser cutting (as sometimes they are used interchangeably), how CNC laser cutting works, and the benefits it offers to multiple industrial and engineering-related fields.


Before we jump to the main discussion, a quick refresher on the common terminologies is in order to help you better understand CNC laser cutting services:

  • Laser. This light source stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It produces a narrow light beam with light waves having similar wavelengths. Laser beams can travel long distances. In laser cutting, enough energy is put into the laser beam before it escapes from the container, slicing through a targeted material.
  • CNC. This stands for Computer Numerical Control. This is an automated control machine used for several industrial and manufacturing processes to produce intricate design and cut results. The programs fed into the CNC machine dictate the movement of the machinery or tool. This makes it more distinguishable from other computation forms (it has consoles and programs).
  • CAD. Computer-Aided Design is a software program widely utilised by various engineers, architects, and constructors as an alternative to manual drafting to improve and modify the design qualities. Through CAD, industries can look through several prototype facets in the designing process to ensure that they are relevant, accurate, and efficient. In addition, this software lessens raw material waste since manufacturers can see the cutting patterns even before the actual process happens.
  • Tolerance. This is the ideal variation number of products for the cutting process. Tight tolerances heavily depend on material type, thickness, and method (water jet cutting service, fibre laser, or CO2 laser). This is critical to fit in smaller custom parts and achieve efficient cutting or designing results.
  • Focal point. This refers to the distance between the workpiece surface and the laser focus. A focal point is crucial to ensure that the maximised energy produced by the tube reaches the workpiece. If this is not adjusted correctly (set too high or too low), the density put into the workpiece decreases.
  • Gas jet. This is also called assist gas. During the laser cutting process, some materials are removed, creating kerfs. Gas jet effectively thins the molten layer, removes material debris, and reduces the amount of laser beam energy.
  • Thermal conductivity. This is the material’s ability to conduct or transfer heat energy. A lower heat transfer rate occurs in materials with a lower thermal conductivity than those with a higher thermal conductivity (e.g., metals). Metal’s increased temperature is mainly due to free electrons, while for non-metals, it is due to lattice vibrations.

Difference between CNC laser cutting and laser cutting

Few people directly integrate laser cutting with CNC laser cutting. Both processes are ideally used to achieve precise cutting results and are widely popular in the industrial industry—that much is true. To make it more comprehensive, we will briefly discuss the distinct features that set the two related processes apart.

CNC is more old-fashioned than laser cutting. CNC requires physical contact of an automated machine with the workpiece, using a CNC router to slice through the material. Meanwhile, laser cutting uses a laser beam to cut the material with the support of fibre optics (with no contact required). To simplify it: CNC cutting is done through friction, while laser cutting is achieved through noncontact-based heat.

Laser cutting is more popular among huge industries, and it is more costly. The price difference is due to the energy required to carry out each process. Laser cutting has high energy consumption, while CNC cutting only uses a minimum power supply.

CNC Laser Cutting Process

The three main types of laser cutter are flying optic, moving material, and hybrid laser cutting. Meanwhile, the processing of the CNC cutters ranges from 0.3mm up to 25mm. They can slice through various materials—including stainless steel, mild steel, copper, brass, and pre-galvanised steel, among others.

The core of the entire CNC laser cutting process is the computer numerical control machine, also called “soft-wired” NC. CNC laser cutting uses optics, gas jets, and system guidance to control and focus the laser beam into the targeted piece. This machine involves running a computer which programmers use to feed instructions, dependent on the cutting project requirements. The CNC machine conducts the entire cutting process, from prototyping to finalising the dimensions.

In CNC laser cutting services, fabricators carry out the process by letting customers see the design prototypes (either a 2D or 3D illustration) first through CAD software (AutoCAD for others). And as mentioned earlier, this software is helpful to see and adjust proper dimension and configuration.

Once the experts are done with the software work, they input codes and program instructions into the CNC machine. The program also controls the CNC speed, movement, and focus point. Afterwards, operators merely set up the CNC machine and check the motor and drive components to ensure it functions properly.

Once all these are done, the CNC machine performs the designing process efficiently with little to no errors. Besides, this machine was invented to meet the accuracy requirements.

CNC Laser Cutting Benefits

Although it is more in-demand among small enterprises, it still holds true that CNC laser cutting is sought-after by industries that seek efficient yet cost-effective cutting solutions. Here are other benefits it contributes to various industrial and manufacturing sectors:

  • Time-saving. Compared to traditional methods, this process requires less work from the operators since they merely send codes and programs into the CNC machine through the computer.
    The machine also requires less monitoring. It can even function all day; you only need to supply the instructions, codes, and raw materials. Additionally, it does not require removal since you can leave it to pick up on its next task easily. Plus, the machine conducts the entire cutting process!
  • Cost-effective. CNC laser cutting is less expensive than laser cutting and other cutting methods, and it can produce precise and clean-cut customised shapes and designs. The extremely high-quality results delivered make it ideal for performing repetitive tasks.
  • Energy-efficient. As mentioned above, a CNC machine requires less energy than laser cutting and other cutting methods in conducting the cutting process. The generated heat by spindles and motors is regulated with CNC machining, which also helps you save. With less energy, the machine functions at peak performance.
  • Flexible. A CNC cutting machine creates diagonal, curved, or straight-line cuts quickly and accurately, making it a popular alternative for traditional cutting methods. In addition, it can cater to the needs of a wide variety of materials. So, it saves you time and money and saves you the trouble of finding other cutting techniques ideal for your ferrous and non-ferrous materials.

Related Post: Sheet Metal Laser Cutting

Taking Creativity to the Next Level with Special Build

Now that you’re armed with ample information on CNC laser cutting services, seeking efficient labour is your next step. However, it can be exhausting, considering the wide competition in the market in present times. More and more establishments now seek this service type to keep up with the emerging business demands.

If you want top-quality service and results, we at Special Build will make sure the results meet your residential or commercial project requirements. We have a team of highly efficient and expert CNC machine operators for three decades to guarantee our clients top-notch cutting results.

Learn more about our services by clicking https://specialbuild.com.au/services/. For your enquiries and quote requests, connect with us on +61 2 9616 7444.

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