Precision 3D Cutting

Precision 3D Cutting

Precise control of an extremely high-quality laser beam allows fast, accurate cutting of metals up to a quarter of an inch thick. Coupled with a robust five-axis CNC machine tool and a large 3m x

1.5m x 1.5m work envelope, our laser system provides unparalleled cutting flexibility and accuracy.

Common Applications

  • Hydroformed components
  • Custom fabrication
  • Tooling and fixturing

Method
A high-powered carbon dioxide laser, designed to produce an exceptionally high-quality beam profile, is directed toward the surface to be cut in tandem with a high-pressure cutting gas.

As the laser begins cutting, a piercing cycle produces a series of penetrating pulses to break completely through the material. Once the penetration is complete, the gas delivery nozzle reduces its standoff to the surface to direct maximum gas flow into the cut. The laser energy melts the material, and the gas jet ejects the molten material from the cut as the head passes over the surface. Simultaneously, capacitative height-sensing circuitry allows the system to maintain a constant and minimal proximity to the workpiece, ensuring maximum cutting pressure and a smooth, accurate cut. The cutting head is attached to a five-axis CNC device, which can be programmed to precisely steer the cutting head over complex surfaces.

Practice
The entire cutting operation is controlled by a suite of computers managing all aspects of the process. These systems are, in turn, following direction from a single NC program that details both the motion path for the cutting head and the cutting parameters to be used. The program is generated in a custom software package capable of integrating nearly any common three-dimensional solid model. Contours on the model’s surface can be selected and modified and used for directing the cutting tool. Since the same model for the initial fabrication of the three-dimensional part can be used, the cutting program can be guaranteed to accurately follow the component’s surface.