Laser cutting is a process where a material is cut through the use of a laser beam. This can be for small & fine materials or materials with a much greater level of thickness (e.g. metal sheets). The process simply involves the use of a focused laser beam (e.g. pulsed or continuous wave) to cut a wide range of materials to a high level of accuracy, using a process, which is highly repeatable.
The laser beam can easily be programmed to precision cut a diverse range of thicknesses and materials (e.g. metals (including reflective metals such as copper, silver and aluminium) – brass, tungsten, steel, pewter and titanium etc.), gemstones (e.g. diamonds), ceramics, graphic composites, silicon and many types of plastics.
Even the most complex, awkward and intricate of shapes can be accurately cut through a Fiber Laser as the user has total control over the beam intensity, duration and heat input. Laser cutting has some similarities to other laser-based processes such as engraving and drilling, which also use a focused laser beam to effectively make designed cuts into a material.
There are a large number of application areas, particularly in industrial manufacturing where a higher output is required but is also used in schools, aerospace (e.g. high-strength components which can withstand the pressures of outer space) the military and in small businesses.
Systems for cutting with lasers are used in a wide range of industries such as cutting stents in the medical industry, cutting parts to shape in manufacturing and industrial settings, cutting silicon for solar cells and semi-conductors (including resistors) as well as cutting of gems (even diamonds) for use in the jewellery industry. Also delivering precision cutting applications for e-mobility, lasers can be effectively used in the cutting of stator plates, battery foils and also in the manufacture of various electric vehicle components.
Once a Fiber Laser has been used to cut, organisations will never revert back to traditional techniques. These are often much slower, involve costly tooling charges, can struggle to cut very thick materials and often entail lengthy process set-up times. Laser cutting processes also typically consume much less power than traditional cutting techniques and also waste much less material so could be a bona fide part of reducing an organisation’s carbon footprint.
The whole process is non-contact, which in itself has multiple benefits. These include reduced downtime and increased profits due to lower personal injury risk, no “wear and tear” of moving parts and no material damage due to contact.
For further information about the wide-ranging benefits of Fiber Laser cutting, read our application insight.
SPI Lasers equipment cuts through a variety of materials with a high level of speed and efficiency, all while maintaining perfect quality, to leave a smooth edge finish with any material that it cuts. Whatever your cutting application, the SPI laser range of Pulsed and CW Fiber Lasers will be perfect for the task. Our range is adept at the absolute precision cutting of even the finest of materials and is able to cut a wide range of materials of differing thicknesses.
Laser cutting to ensure smooth edge finishes while maintaining the efficient speed and production rates can be easily achieved with the correct power Fiber Laser, even reflective metals can be effectively cut with pinpoint accuracy. Trust SPI Lasers to supply very high-quality Fiber Lasers which will improve operational efficiency. Also, buy one of SPI’s Fiber Laser range and use it for a variety of other applications too such as marking, drilling, welding, engraving and much more!
Read our FAQs with answers about Fiber Laser cutting by clicking this link. Read through our collection of laser applications and insights for more details on this topic.
‘Applications Insights’ are detailed articles on specific applications.
‘Application Postcards’ are bite sized insights on specific applications, designed to be easily digested in a matter of minutes.
LINTECH has worked closely with SPI Lasers for many years. As a laser module integrator, LINTECH uses the SPI laser system mainly for marking and engraving applications. In addition to the production of laser systems, LINTECH also offer their... read more >
variMODE is a new feature designed to overcome the limitations of previous lasers, giving a more flexible approach to laser processing. Using a novel, all-in-fiber technique the output beam quality and mode profile can be selected in real time to... read more >
Laser cutting, laser drilling, laser ablation – there are so many different processes that lasers can be applied to that sometimes it is difficult making out the wood from the trees. Here we will try to cut through all the mumbo jumbo, tech talk... read more >
Resistor trimming is a standard process in the electronics industry. Both thin film and thick film resistors are trimmed to fine-tune their resistance. They are designed so that after deposition, their resistance value is lower than required, and... read more >
Laser cutting of sheet metals is a well established production method, with many thousands of cutting systems operating worldwide. In the last 10 years solid-state fiber-coupled lasers such as fiber and disk systems have become the laser of choice,... read more >
E-mobility is a major trend in automotive and many other industries. Lasers are already very actively involved in vehicle and parts production and this trend will continue with the switch from Internal combustion engine (ICE) models to electric... read more >
E-mobility will continue to rise in terms of adoption, causing a number of challenges to electric vehicle manufacturers in many areas of operation. There is not only the scale of production required, but there are also the precision manufacturing... read more >
Silver is widely known for its use in luxury goods such as jewellery and silverware. It is malleable and has a highly appealing aesthetic finish making it suitable for jewellery manufacture, but its uses are gradually being explored in other areas.... read more >
In modern-day manufacturing and other industries, a fundamental requirement is to have multifunctional processing. This is where processing is made possible by a tool which achieves more than one function in one place. One such example of... read more >
Lithium ion batteries can be found everywhere from phones and laptops to electric cars. The automotive industry is set to increase it’s demand for these batteries drastically in years to come. This means the manufacturing process will need to... read more >
Laser cutting is a popular technique for metal profile cutting, particularly for Stainless Steel due to faster cutting speeds and exceptional quality. The process uses a focused laser beam with a co-axial assist gas to remove the excess molten metal... read more >
Laser cutting is an established industrial process for fine tolerance cutting of metals, to produce accurate detailed shapes with smooth edges, generally in thin sections. SPI’s lasers may be used to cut a variety of metals including mild steel,... read more >
Aluminium is a versatile metal used for many industrial applications due to its impressive strength yet light weight. It is used by the transportation industry, such as the aerospace and automotive sectors to increase fuel efficiency and reduce... read more >
These foils are typically made of aluminium or copper with coated are bare areas on both sides. This can be challenging to process as edge quality must be consistent across all areas of the workpiece. Fiber lasers are ideal to use to cut foils,... read more >
In our latest whitepaper, Dr. Mark Richmond (Product Manager, CW Lasers) explains how our portfolio of CW Lasers can enhancing our customers cutting productivity via the effective use of the inbuilt piercing software.
To download the full article... read more >
Laser cutting is just one of many different processes that our high-quality fiber lasers are capable of. While one of our machines is capable of performing multiple processes for varying applications and materials, in this article we explore the... read more >
Metal is perhaps the most common material that is cut with lasers. There are over one hundred different types of metal, and hundreds of industries around the world use some type of metal, whether at the beginning or at the end of the manufacturing... read more >
The automotive industry is a huge industry, encompassing everything from the designing, developing, producing and manufacturing of automotive vehicles, and finishing with the testing, marketing and selling of said vehicles.
There are hundreds of... read more >
The aerospace industry is another industry in which the laser cutting process is extensively used. It’s extremely similar to the automotive industry in that it contains the design, development, production, manufacture, marketing and selling of... read more >
We’ve previously looked at how lasers are used to cut materials, parts and components to form larger finished products in the aerospace and automotive industries due to parts becoming much smaller and more intricate.
This has been the same for... read more >
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... read more >
The semiconductor industry involves everything from the design, development, manufacture and selling of small electronic parts, card and chips. These semiconductors will be present in pretty much every single modern technical device that we use.... read more >
Laser cutting is one of several processes, with the others being marking, welding, drilling, engraving, ablation, additive manufacturing and cleaning. The cutting process has some similarities and overlaps to the drilling and engraving processes and... read more >
Laser cutting is one of many processes that have noticed a much more widespread use over recent years. Many of the laser-based processes have similar benefits and applications, and as one laser machine can perform multiple processes, it can be hard... read more >
As the world of technology continues to develop at a rate like which we’ve never seen before, industries, manufacturers, developers and governments look for ways to speed up processes, cut back on costs and deliver improved quality and... read more >
Laser cutting is now one of the most widely used manufacturing processes in the world. Finding a home in industries such as the aerospace, automotive, electronics, semiconductor and medical sectors, it’s clear that it offers a huge range of... read more >
Laser cutting is now an extremely common process in many sectors, being used widely in manufacturing plants, for laser-based surgery and even as a means of art. But, despite this widespread use, cutting along with all laser processes, remains as... read more >
There are several types of cutting processes on the market, and even several types of laser cutting processes. It can be hard deciphering the range of different information that is often laid before you, and deciding which may be the best process... read more >
As with any process or type of technology, laser cutting has developed over the years not only as an alternative process to other conventional forms of cutting, but to also include several types and techniques itself.
To help make it clear to you... read more >
Reflective metals, as their name may suggest, are metals which can reflect back wavelengths that are directed at them. Examples of these metals are copper, brass, and bronze. Some of the most reflective are aluminium, gold and silver, the latter of... read more >
Laser cutting is one of the most reliable and efficient processes available to industries around the world. While it is not a new process, recent advancements have seen it becoming increasingly effective, and is now used in dozens of industries,... read more >
SPI Lasers are delighted to provide our general guide to laser cutting. This is a snapshot of content from various application insights all assembled into this guide... read more >
Aluminium Nitride (AlN) has been developed into a commercially viable product with many useful mechanical properties. These properties include one of the highest thermal conductivities of any engineering ceramic and a thermal expansion coefficient... read more >
Silicon is used across a number of industries including; solar cells, microelectronics, micromachining and semiconductor manufacturing. There is also growing potential in other sectors including entertainment goods. In the vast majority of... read more >
Kapton is a Polyimide film (or tape) which has a number of useful properties such as high thermal conductivity, electrical resistance and excellent mechanical properties. These material properties remain stable in both high and low extremes of... read more >
The technique of scribing engineering ceramics such as silicon nitride or alumina involves a groove being cut into the material, the width of which can be controlled. The material can then be broken along this groove. This leaves a high quality edge... read more >
Tungsten is a very hard metal with great tensile strength and an extremely high melting point. It is often alloyed with other metals but in its purest form, it is commonly used in electronics applications – for example as interconnect material in... read more >
SPI Lasers’ range of quality manufactured Pulsed and CW Fiber Lasers can be used for cutting metals, graphite composites, ceramics, gemstones, plastics and other materials too. Cutting is a standard application of our fiber lasers and just one... read more >
Hydroform tubes are used for high strength and high stiffness, as well as convoluted shapes for truck frames, engine cradles, radiator supports, instrument panel beams, and other components. Some holes can be pierced in the Hydroform die, however... read more >
Lasers have been used to process wafers for many years. The main benefits of using a Laser are:
Faster processing times;
Smaller kerf widths;
Ability to process different wafer materials and... read more >
Across many industries today, fiber laser cutting is a process that is outsourced to specialist machine builders which are set up for the sole purpose of high volume, high quality metal cutting.
These companies can accept, on any given day a wide... read more >
There are many industrial applications of Laser profile cutting sub 2mm sheet metal parts, and this technology is widely used in industries such as automotive, electronics, and general manufacturing.
This application insight looks in to sub 2mm... read more >
Until recently high precision micro cutting has been the domain of DPSS Pulsed Lasers and CW-M Fiber Lasers, as epitomised by applications such as electronic stencil and medical stent cutting. However, the short high peak power pulses of our... read more >
Although more typically used for marking, nanosecond Pulsed Fiber Lasers are ideally suited to cut a surprising range of materials. They are low cost, compact, reliable and require no maintenance.
The scanner based cutting process can be applied... read more >
Although more typically used for marking, the nanosecond Pulsed Fiber Laser is also ideally suited to metallic cutting. They are low cost, compact, reliable and require no maintenance.
The scanner based cutting process can be applied to a wide... read more >
Modern industrial design for metal fabrication demands complex connections, improved aesthetics, cleaner lines and increased structural integrity. Lasers are increasingly being deployed to cut not only flat sheet materials but also 3D applications.... read more >
Silicon is widely used in a number of industries but primarily in solar cells and in semiconductor manufacture, with growing applications in jewellery and entertainment goods. In the majority of applications the source material is in the form of... read more >
Laser cutting of very thin-walled tubes has developed rapidly in line with demands from the medical device industry. It is possible to Laser cut extremely complex shapes in 2 mm OD tubes with walls as thin as 0.2 mm. This application has placed... read more >
The success of pulsed nanosecond (ns) Fiber Lasers for marking applications is well known as over the past 10 years they have become the dominant Laser source for metallic marking, and as average powers are increasing their use for engraving is... read more >
Fiber Laser Cutting of silver has many applications in both consumer and industrial applications. The use of silver, as with other refractory metals, has long been sought after for its aesthetic and functional qualities such as electrical... read more >
The use of carbon fiber composites is growing significantly. Initially used in aerospace applications its use has expanded into sports equipment and even consumer goods.
Manufactured by embedding high strength carbon fibers in a resin these... read more >
Many Lasers in the metal cutting industry are used to cut a huge variety of material thicknesses which means it is not unusual to have a multi-kW Laser running at a fraction of its output when cutting thin section.
By using a low cost, low power... read more >
Our Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used for a variety of micro cutting applications. The high peak power and short pulses of these Lasers ensure that there is good coupling and material removal for a range of metallic (including highly reflective and... read more >
This is an example of thin 0.015mm metal foil slitting. Trials showed that WF0 produced clean, fast cuts, however the fastest speed was not obtained at PRF0 but at 100kHz.
This cutting process uses single pulse processing and the maximum cutting... read more >
In the jewellery market there are specific requirements for precision cutting of precious metals such as silver, for items that have filigree features.
Our redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers are ideally suited to this application and are capable of... read more >
This thickness of brass can be cut using a multi-pass method where the cut is created by ablating through the sheet thickness. With the single mode Laser the spot diameter is small (around 32µm in this instance) which enables a high material... read more >
To commemorate our participation in the 2013 Munich Laser World of Photonics we produced a special pewter ‘tankard’ pendent.
Pewter is a malleable metal alloy primarily made of tin with low levels of alloying elements. It has a very low... read more >