When dealing with sheet metal fabrication, your two major options will usually be either laser cutting or stamping. Laser cutting has some significant advantages over traditional sheet metal stamping, even though sheet metal stamping is generally less expensive.
1. Laser Cutting Is More Precise
When stamping there isn't always a complete uniformity. Not only will the stamps change slightly over time (the first run metal will be different from the last run metal), but there will also be some natural deformity in the stamping process. Laser cutting is always uniform and identical, as it is done by a programmed machine and does not rely on any stamps or casts. Laser cuts can be quickly reprogrammed for accuracy while stamps would need to be entirely changed.
2. Laser Cutting Is More Flexible
Because laser cutting involves the programming of the laser cutting device, it's very easy to change the process of cutting the sheet metal. Laser cuts can be quickly changed, sized, and otherwise altered, depending on needs. This means that laser cutting can also be used for runs of any size: whether you need one item or a hundred items, the actual programming process will be the same.
3. Laser Cutting Is Simpler
Laser cutting doesn't involve any additional clean up following the actual cutting. In stamping, the edges may need to be worked and materials may need to be removed from the actual product. With laser cutting, the product is usually completely finished after the cutting process has been completed. It can be immediately shipped without any additional finishing process, thereby streamlining the manufacturing and reducing the associated costs.
4. Laser Cutting Is Versatile
Laser cutting can be used with a variety of materials. For those who would rather prototype in plastic before committing to sheet metal, laser cutting can still be used. Lasers can also cut through a variety of thicknesses, whereas some stamping methods and other sheet metal fabrication methods may only be usable on thinner sheets. For those who are interested in investing in an all-purpose cutting machine, a laser cutting solution will usually be far more cost-effective than a dedicated sheet metal stamper.
Laser cutting isn't always the best option, but a precision sheet metal manufacturer will be able to review your plans to determine which is the best solution for you. For parts that require fast, reliable manufacturing, laser cutting is often the best solution. For more information, contact companies like J&E Metal Fabricators.Share