5 Popular Uses for Laser Cut Parts
Do you have a laser cutter for your manufacturing facility, or are you thinking about investing in one?
Laser cutting is a versatile process that has become a staple in many industries over the past few years. Advances in technology have allowed laser cutting to be used for a variety of different materials.
Laser cutting can be used to cut a precise line through a thin plate of steel, engrave, or mark many different materials with varying degrees of thickness. The idea of cutting gears and other flat parts is probably the most apparent use for laser cutting, but it has many other interesting uses as well.
Learn 5 of the most popular uses for laser cut parts below.
Popular Uses for Laser Cut Parts: 5 Industry Applications
Laser cutting is most commonly used in the automotive, die, mold, tool, jewelry, and medical industries. It can be used to create parts for medical devices, computers and electronics, and much more. Materials that are difficult or impossible to cut using other methods make excellent candidates for laser cutting.
“The use of laser-cutting across all industries is expected to grow by 9% before 2023.”
It’s no surprise that laser cutting has become so popular. It offers several advantages over other methods. High accuracy, precision cuts, low lead times, less waste, lower power consumption, cutting versatility, the ability to handle complex jobs, and the lack of damage to thick materials make laser-cutting far superior. You’ll be able to cut costs and achieve higher quality results with laser cutting.
1. Automotive Industry
With laser cutting’s ability to accurately reproduce parts relatively quickly, it has found a home in the automotive industry. The automotive industry has a great need for exact replicas of a part of different shapes and sizes. Laser cutting it used to cut metals and plastics to form body pieces of the vehicle, electronic components, as well as interior covers and buttons.
Additionally, laser cutters can be used to engrave buttons on the interior of the vehicle to have the light come through or even to record the serial number and part number onto manufactured pieces. The dies that are used for cutting different pieces can also be laser cut.
Laser cutting lends itself to being able to cut hydro-formed parts. These are usually strong tubes that are used to lend support within the structure of the vehicles. Commonly, these pieces are used to create the engine frame or the instrument panels.
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2. Die, Mold, and Tool Industries
As mentioned above, laser cutting can also be used for making dies to cut replica pieces. With the laser’s ability to cut different depths into the metal, an extremely accurate die can be made for stamping pieces that will last through the repetitive process of die-cutting.
Laser cutting can make replicating the die a quick and accurate process as well. Laser cutting can be used to make injection molds with the same accuracy that it does with dies. This simplifies the process of mold making and makes reproducing the mold precisely a much less time consuming and costly endeavor.
Within the tool manufacturing industry, laser cutters can be used not only for marking and engraving as done in the automotive industry, but also for the manufacturing of simple hand tools. The speed of laser cutters might even make it better than die-cutting on sturdy metals. With its versatility of material usage, you can even use the laser to engrave company logo and tool information onto the rubberized handles of most tools.
Recommended Reading: Laser Cutting: Advantages and Benefits
3. Jewelry Industry
The precision of laser cutting lends itself easily to the jewelry making process. For example, visualize a watch with its many small gears. Lasers cut with such incredible accuracy that gears can be made with less waste and less production time. In addition, the laser’s engraving capabilities can mark the parts as part of the manufacturing process.
Since the laser can cut precise shapes and thicknesses, laser cutting can be used to make jewelry as well. Creating a ring or bracelet of an exact width, depth, and diameter is easily done by the laser. The laser can also be used to engrave designs and inscriptions onto the interior or exterior surface of the piece.
Recommended Reading: Limitations of Laser Cut Parts
4. Medical Device Manufacturing
Laser surgery and the creation of medical devices are the most significant benefits of laser cutting in the medical industry. Surgeons can make more precise cuts, and patients heal from laser surgery much faster. Laser-cut parts are used to create medical devices that improve the quality of life for patients. For example, stents, valve framers, vascular clips, bone reamers, flexible shafts, and hones are all manufactured with laser cut parts.
5. Ceramic Manufacturing
Ceramics have several properties that allow them to be used for a wide range of applications for engineers. Low electrical and thermal conductivity makes them excellent insulators, they don’t react with other chemicals, they have high melting points, and they are incredibly durable. Lasers are frequently used to cut ceramics because they reduce processing time without compromising edge quality. Airplane jet engines, electric motors, loudspeakers, headphones, power plant generators, electric cooktops, and even incandescent lamps all have ceramic parts.
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6. Silicon Manufacturing
Silicon is another material with a wide range of applications that can benefit from laser cutting. Precision cutting allows engineers to produce smaller silicone parts than is possible using other cutting methods. Silicon is tolerant of high temperatures, age-resistant, and is easily manipulated. Typical applications for silicon are found in computers, electronics, textiles, household products, automobiles, and architecture.
These examples are just a few of the examples of laser cutting applications in manufacturing. The technology behind it continues to advance, and while it is not without limitations, the possibilities are endless.
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