Laser cutting machines are becoming more essential to metal fabrication shops. They produce precision cuts on almost every material a shop will work with, and these cuts are made by burning, vaporizing, or melting the material. But how exactly do these machines work? Read on to learn more about industrial laser cutting machine design.

The Lasers

The first and most important part of the laser cutting machine design is the laser assembly. While lasers vary across different models and applications, the machines all typically come with mirrors, laser cutting heads, and a laser resonator assembly. There are other components, but they are all used to accomplish the complex laser cutting process of beam generation, beam focusing, localized heating and melting, material ejection, and beam movement. The lasers are highly concentrated beams of light that, along with the help of gases, heat and melt away metal, producing the intricate cuts required for the finished part.

Laser-Assist Gases

Another significant factor of the laser cutting machine design is the assist gases; typically, these machines use gases such as N2, O2, or even plain air, each for different uses. For example, N2 is generally used to eject material because it is the highest-pressure gas and won’t interfere with the cutting. Air is used similarly but is overall less pure, containing about 80 percent N2 and 20 percent O2. Shops don’t often use O2, as it can be harmful in the cutting process, but in some cases it is beneficial. For example, in cutting aluminum it reacts with the steel to amplify the laser’s energy, assisting in thicker material cutting.

The Machine Enclosure

Industrial laser cutting machines are enclosed machines. It is an essential part of their design that protects operators from harmful lasers and stray material from the cutting process. Most systems will use a shuttle or a transfer table so the material can be loaded outside the enclosure and then transferred in. In addition, some machines have an enclosure system that automatically opens and closes, enabling operators to load and cut larger-format materials.

Industrial laser cutting machines may seem complicated in their design, but every part of the machine carefully works together to produce the desired part. At Mac-Tech Inc., we can help you with all your metal fabrication needs, including finding the perfect fiber laser cutting machines that work for you. Contact us today to begin your laser cutting journey; we’re here to provide top-of-the-line service!

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