Laser Cutting

Alloys

Process Data

  • Laser beam kerf width varies with alloy, thickness, and speed of process. A typical range is 20microns (0.0008”) to 100microns (0.004”). We recommend planning on a kerf of 30microns (0.0012”) if your part can accommodate it.
  • Strut width variation typically falls within a +/-5micron (0.0002”) window.
  • Typical material thickness ranges from 25microns (0.001”) to 500microns (0.020”).

Sheet & Tube Cutting

Tubular cutting

Tube-cutting uses a stationary laser beam delivery positioned over an x-y-rotary motion system.

  • Diameter range: 0.1mm (0.004”) to 12mm (0.5”)
  • The tubing feedstock is advanced automatically after each part
  • Advanced energy-management techniques produce a clean, smooth edge

Sheet cutting

Sheet cutting can accommodate fairly large sheets. As a minimum, we generally need at least 200mm (8”) on one side.

FAQ

What is the laser beam kerf width?

That depends on the application. A typical range is 20microns (0.0008”) to 100microns (0.004”). If your part allows, plan on a kerf of about 33microns (0.0013”).

What is the shortest length of tubing you need to hold?

Typically, there is 100mm (4”) scrap from each length of tube. We do have methods of cutting shorter pieces if the application demands it.

What is the tolerance in the laser cutting?

There needs to be more metrology-wise truth-telling about tolerances in the precision manufacturing business. The strut width variation, as noted above, is typically +/- 5microns (0.0002”). But a true tolerance has to take into account measurement system error and operator error in addition to part variation. For this reason, we recommend setting a tolerance of +/- 15microns (0.0006”) for laser-cut parts and +/- 20microns (0.0008”) for laser-cut and electropolished parts.

Of course, error varies from design to design, so these are just general recommendations. Design engineers usually blanch at such “wide” tolerances on narrow features, but experience shows that most performance specifications can be met with tolerances in this general range. Moreover, manufacturing and quality assurance engineering demand taking all the sources of variation into account when setting tolerances.

Lumenous can help you craft a design verification study that justifies your tolerance-setting and gets all the viewpoints (design, manufacturing, and quality assurance) onboard.