Benefits of Laser Cutting in Metal Fabrication

Benefits of Laser Cutting in Metal Fabrication
  • Opening Intro -

    Metal fabrication has become an increasingly precise operation.

    Parts for autos, planes, and industrial machinery must meet exacting specifications, or they won't fit where they are supposed to go or perform as they should.


Creating metal parts for large machines begins with sheet metal, which acts as a blank slate. Sheet metal can be stamped, bored, cut, or bent to attain the proper shape and size of the desired part. The benefits of laser cutting in metal fabrication include precision and cost-effectiveness, among others.

Speed and Precision

Laser cutting is fast. Compared to other methods that use heat to cut metal, like flame or plasma cutting, lasers win the race.

Lasers are limited, however, by the thickness of the metal they can cut, but in sheets of 10mm thickness or less, they can create precision cuts faster.

Laser-cutting machines have a very small margin of error, ensuring consistency in the cuts and parts they produce.

Contactless Cutting

While light does the cutting, the physical part of the laser cutter never actually touches the metal. This reduces friction, creating less wear on the cutting tool and fewer flaws in the parts being cut.

Contactless cutting also eliminates the risk of a tool contaminating the surface of the sheet metal.

Efficiency and Flexibility

Laser-cutting machines use comparatively less energy than other cutting machines, and they are more versatile. Lasers can cut more complex patterns, and some lasers can also mark or engrave metal. Lasers can cut through a variety of materials.

However, fabricators must take special precautions with some materials, like plastics, that emit harmful gases when heated and cut. Installing and maintaining proper ventilation and providing other protective equipment can add to the cost when cutting such materials.

Lower Labor Costs and Fewer Injuries

Laser cutters are controlled by computers. This reduces human-machine interaction, minimizing the risk of injury. Of course, careless use of laser-cutting technology can cause severe injury, so safety precautions are still a primary responsibility when using this type of cutting tool.

Expert operators who know how to set up and use the equipment properly must be on board to ensure the required quality of the final product. Thus, while laser cutting may require fewer workers, the workers it requires must be highly skilled and very well trained.

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Less Heat Deformation

Laser cutting can still leave burrs. The heat that lasers generate to cut materials causes bits of the metal to melt, and when it cools, small blobs and rough edges are left behind. Various deburring techniques remove these imperfections and prepare parts to receive paint or coatings.

A benefit of laser cutting, however, is that the laser process causes fewer imperfections. A laser’s heat is more highly focused on the precise area to be cut, reducing the amount of material that may melt or deform.

While lasers have limitations in the type and thickness of materials they can cut, laser cutting has become fairly standard in metal fabrication.

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