Laser Cutting in the Medical Sector
The medical sector is one of the most vital sectors around the world and is one industry where it is perhaps more imperative than most that the processes from beginning to end-run smoothly.
Laser cutting is most often utilised in this industry for the creation of medical devices; devices which can be extremely small. Furthermore, these devices will be used to save lives, so their quality and reliability need to be assured from the start.
In the article below, we have detailed how cutting with a laser helps to ensure this, and explain how and why it is used within the profession.
Some background information
Although medicine isn’t similar to manufacturing, it is comprised of many different sectors itself which help it to run smoothly from beginning to end. Lasers are used for cutting primarily in the medical technology sector, although it does find a use in patient treatment too.
The medical technology sector has a value of around $338 billion, and this will only continue to rise as new and innovative ways are found to create life-changing technologies. As these innovations continue to progress, the industry is looking for ways to cut down on costs and find processes that can keep up with the increasingly intuitive demand.
While this sector is not chiefly profit-seeking, savings must still be made to make health care and medical devices as accessible to as many people as possible. Laser-related processes, including cutting, marking, welding and engraving, are just some of the processes that are helping to bring life-changing devices to the masses.
Why is laser cutting used in this sector?
As with pretty much all industries around the world, devices and products continue to get smaller and more intricate, all while continually being produced at a faster rate than we’ve ever experienced before.
Innovation and change in ideas requires innovation and change in the processes used, right down to the very foundations. Cutting with lasers is just one such change that has brought a huge number of benefits.
The benefits that lasers have delivered in this sector are:
- They allows for extremely fine and precise cuts, meaning medical devices can be smaller
- They use very low power and have low maintenance costs, making cutting with lasers an extremely cost-effective solution
- Should laser machine need to be fixed, they uses inexpensive parts, further adding to their cost-effective nature
- Lasers can cut multiple materials, including metal, plastics, glass, and even human tissue; all materials which are used or worked on in the sector
- Cutting by lasers is a highly safe method, with the laser beam enclosed in a light box, and is useful for multiple applications
These wide-ranging benefits mean that lasers can be used for cutting in many industries and sectors around the world.
How is laser cutting used in medicine?
As we have touched on, we can easily find more than just one use within this sector.
Creating medical devices
One of the most vital uses in is to create or laser cut medical devices. An example is the cutting of high-grade stents, devices which are used for things such as birth control or controlling kidney stone pain.
Precision tube cutting
Cutting with lasers enables precision tubes to be cut; items which are extremely popular within the sector.
We explained above how cutting can be used on skin and human tissue, and this is because a cut can be made quickly, cleanly and precisely, without causing heat damage to the surrounding area.
Laser surgery is a better alternative to more conventional methods, such as using a scalpel, and you’ll often find laser surgery being used for processes such as eye surgery.
Other uses within the sector are for creating vascular clips, valve framers, bone reamers, hones and flexible shafts.
Find out more information from SPI Lasers
As you can see, it’s not just for manufacturing purposes, such as in the automotive, aerospace, electronics and semi-conductor industries, which laser cutting, can offer real benefits. It is also used as an important process to help offer treatment and save lives.
If you have more questions about laser cutting and how it might be of use to you, or about our range of Fiber Lasers, then one of our expert applications team would be more than happy to explain this beneficial process to you. Simply get in contact with us here.
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