Laser cutters are powerful tools that can be used for a variety of applications.
These machines are available in different sizes and machining capabilities, suitable for all types of businesses, ranging from a DIY startup to large-scale manufacturing industries.
Adding a capable laser cutter from brands like dplaser.com to your arsenal of tools will not only open new doors to customize your products but also provide the ability to enhance their quality.
This article provides a quick overview of applications of laser cutters with respect to different business scenarios.
Business Applications of Laser Cutter
Laser cutting machines can be used for machining of various materials like wood, plastics, paper, glass, acrylic, leather, metals, etc.
However, it is important to select the laser cutter suitable for your application.
A CO2 laser is ideal for non-metal industry, whereas fiber lasers are optimal for metal applications.
On the other hand, diode lasers can be used for machining both metals and non-metals, but their low power options limit them to DIY and small-scale applications.
Applications in Woodworking Business
The highly focused nature of laser beam makes it possible to perform clean cuts with utmost precision, which otherwise could not be achieved easily by other machining operations.
However, the ability of a laser to perform through cuts in a wooden workpiece depends upon various factors.
According to a research paper published under Forest service- US Department of Agriculture, there are three major factors that affect the ability of a laser to cut wood: 1) characteristics of the laser beam; 2) laser equipment and processing variables; and 3) properties of the workpiece
A high-powered CO2 laser will provide the ability to cut wooden workpieces into complex geometries with high precision and quick cycle time.
Whereas a comparatively lower laser power can be used for laser etching and engraving wood.
Laser engraving wood results in high-contrast engravings, providing laser cutters an edge over their CNC counterparts and making them ideal for applications such as engraving images, logos, and other detailed graphics on wooden workpieces.
Apart from a CO2 laser, a diode laser cutter can also be used for customizing your wooden workpieces with unique engraving patterns and designs.
Therefore, a laser cutter can enhance the productivity of your woodworking business by providing the ability to perform high quality cuts and engravings with minimal cycle time.
Applications in Metalworking Business
Similar to woodworking, laser cutters can also be used for making intricate cuts in metals such as aluminum, steel, titanium, copper, brass, etc.
Generally, a fiber laser is recommended for metalworking businesses as it provides excellent cutting speed with a high quality surface finish.
Apart from that, fiber lasers can be focused into a tight laser spot, which reduces the heat affected zone (HAZ), thereby reducing the risk of damaging the metal workpiece.
According to Wikipedia, laser cutters have a high positional accuracy of around 10 micrometers with a repeatability index of around 5 micrometers.
This makes laser cutters ideal for large-scale metal industries, where high accuracy with quick cycle time is desirable.
You can also use laser cutters to engrave metal workpieces and produce a permanent mark on their surface.
Laser engraving provides an efficient alternative to traditional methods for metal engraving and can be used for engraving intricate shapes and patterns with relative ease.
One of the most popular applications of laser cutters in metal industries is engraving of barcodes, serial numbers, batch numbers, or other valuable information on the manufactured parts.
Furthermore, a MOPA fiber laser is capable of producing colored engravings on metals such as titanium and stainless steel.
All these features provide you with the ability to drastically reduce the lead time and enhance the productivity of your metalworking business.
Applications in Craft Business
Craft business is one of the fastest growing small-scale businesses, and with the availability of affordable desktop laser engravers, many DIY enthusiasts are stepping into this business.
It deals with manufacturing or customization of various small size products such as leather accessories, acrylic desk lamps, wooden signboards, customized clothing, paintings, and other artwork.
Leather accessories such as keychains, belts, bags, etc., can be laser cut and engraved with high accuracy and sealed edges.
Similarly, laser engraving custom designs on T-shirts, jeans, caps, etc., and making wooden signboards can prove to be profitable business ideas.
Apart from that, laser engravers can be used for printing photographs and other artistic images on paper, wood, acrylic, etc., to make intricate artwork for homes and offices.
An interesting technique that can be used to produce creative acrylic products is sub-surface engraving.
In this technique, the focus of the laser beam is manually adjusted in such a way that the focal point shifts from the surface of the material to a point inside the material.
This technique is used to produce three dimensional engraving patterns inside an acrylic block.
Therefore, a laser cutter can help you produce unique DIY craft projects to start a successful business venture.
The ability of laser cutters to replicate almost any design with high accuracy makes them an ideal tool for producing complex parts.
These machines can be used to cut, engrave, or etch almost any material, and therefore add versatility to your business applications.
Apart from manufacturing goods, having access to a good laser cutter can help you expand your business and provide laser cutting/engraving service to other businesses.
Furthermore, operating a laser cutter does not require special machining skills, but developing good design skills will enable you to produce unique products on customer demand, thereby providing you an edge over other businesses.