View Full Version : The possibilities of cutting metal

Roger Turnbough
09-12-2004, 10:53 AM
Good morning all,

I realize that your laser machines are normally capable of doing engraving work, but is it possible to cut 1/8" tool steel with your machines?

I am about to embark on a rather lenghty project that will require approx 36 pcs of tool steel cut to tolerance. The thought of being on the end of a hacksaw and files for hours on end is not one that appeals greatly to me.

Let me know what you think, and if you cannot do this, if you would be so kind as to point me in the right direction, I would be most appreciative.

South of Chicago

Mark Dickens
09-12-2004, 2:48 PM
It is possible to cut steel with a C02 laser, but not the kind that most of us own. If I recall correctly, the kind of laser needed to cut steel puts out 2,000 or more watts and costs $250,000...

It seems to me that a much more cost effective alternative would be for you to find a machine shop and have them take care of this for you using a mill, lathe, plasma cutter or something like that.

Kevin Huffman
09-13-2004, 9:33 AM
Hello Roger,

Yag is the laser word of the day. Yag Lasers are the main metal cutting lasers.
CO2 lasers under 1000watts are unable to cut any type of metal. Unless they are the laser Oxygen or Nitrogen assisted ones.
Unfortunately I don't know of any manufacturers that sell either.

Michael Wells
09-13-2004, 9:25 PM
Hey Roger,
I agree, unless you have a company close to you that has a large YAG laser, look for someone, usually a small fabrication shop that can do the work for you with a Plasma Cutter, or WaterJet. If you are looking to do a lot of this kind of work and need to make money off of the machine you can get a CAD-CAM Plasma cutter for around 10 grand that is very much a money maker like the lasers are!

Chuck Burke
09-15-2004, 1:29 AM
Here is a website I came across while researching my laser. I think that can be helpful. http://www.globalspec.com/ They provide specs on a lot of scientific and manufacturing equipment and accessories.
Once again I am amazed by Kevin Huffmans knowledge. YAG lasers are your next step.
Do a search for metal cutting lasers if you have not already and you will be amazed at what you find.

Chuck Burke
Pacific LaZer Works.

Roger Turnbough
09-19-2004, 8:39 AM
Thanks all for the info. Looks like I have a lot of research to do to get to where I want to be.