Laser Cutting Parameters: Top Tips for Frequent Adjustments

All laser cutting machines essentially consist of a laser, a light guiding system, a numerical control motion system, an auto-adjusting cutting head, a work platform, and high-pressure gas blowing systems.

Many parameters can affect the laser cutting process, with some depending on the technical performance of the laser and machine tools, while others need to be adjusted based on specific needs.

Key Adjustments for Laser Cutters:

Beam mode

The fundamental mode, also known as Gaussian mode, is the most ideal for cutting and is mainly found in low-power laser cutting machines with power under 1 kW. Multimode is a combination of higher-order modes, which has poorer focusing and cutting capabilities compared to single-mode lasers.

Laser power

The required laser power for a cutting machine depends on the cutting material, material thickness, and cutting speed requirements. Laser power has a significant impact on cutting thickness, cutting speed, and kerf width. Generally, as laser power increases, the cutting capacity for thicker materials also increases, resulting in faster cutting speeds and wider kerfs.

Focal point position

The focal point position greatly affects the kerf width. Generally, positioning the focal point about 1/3 of the material thickness below the surface results in the deepest cut and narrowest kerf width.

Focal length

When cutting thick steel plates, a longer focal length beam should be used to achieve a vertical cutting surface with good quality. A larger focal depth increases the beam spot diameter, reducing power density and cutting speed. To maintain a certain cutting speed, laser power must be increased.

For cutting thin plates, a beam with a shorter focal length is preferred, as it results in a smaller beam spot diameter, higher power density, and faster cutting speeds.

Assist gas

Oxygen is commonly used as the cutting gas for low-carbon steel to promote the iron-oxygen combustion reaction heat during the cutting process, which results in faster cutting speeds and better cut quality, producing slag-free kerfs.

Increased pressure leads to higher kinetic energy and improved slag removal capability. The cutting gas pressure should be determined based on material, thickness, cutting speed, and surface quality factors.

Nozzle structure

The structure and size of the laser cutting machine’s nozzle also affect cutting quality and efficiency. Different nozzles should be used for different cutting requirements. Common nozzle shapes include cylindrical and conical shapes.

Coaxial gas blowing (where the gas flow is concentric with the optical axis) is generally used for laser cutting. If the gas flow is off-axis, excessive spattering may occur during cutting.

To ensure cutting process stability, the distance between the nozzle end and the workpiece surface should be controlled, typically between 0.5 to 2.0 mm, for smooth cutting.

Don't forget, sharing is caring! : )
Shane
Author

Shane

Founder of MachineMFG

As the founder of MachineMFG, I have dedicated over a decade of my career to the metalworking industry. My extensive experience has allowed me to become an expert in the fields of sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical engineering, and machine tools for metals. I am constantly thinking, reading, and writing about these subjects, constantly striving to stay at the forefront of my field. Let my knowledge and expertise be an asset to your business.

Up Next

Mastering CAD/CAM: Essential Technologies Explained

Basic Concepts of Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is a comprehensive and technically complex system engineering discipline that incorporates diverse fields such as computer [...]

Virtual Manufacturing Explained: Concepts & Principles

Concept of Virtual Manufacturing Virtual Manufacturing (VM) is the fundamental realization of the actual manufacturing process on a computer. It utilizes computer simulation and virtual reality technologies, supported by high-performance [...]

Understanding Flexible Manufacturing Systems: A Guide

A Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) typically employs principles of systems engineering and group technology. It connects Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools (processing centers), coordinate measuring machines, material transport systems, [...]

Exploring 4 Cutting-Edge Nanofabrication Techniques

Just as manufacturing technology plays a crucial role in various fields today, nanofabrication technology holds a key position in the realms of nanotechnology. Nanofabrication technology encompasses numerous methods including mechanical [...]

Ultra-Precision Machining: Types and Techniques

Ultra-precision machining refers to precision manufacturing processes that achieve extremely high levels of accuracy and surface quality. Its definition is relative, changing with technological advancements. Currently, this technique can achieve [...]

Exploring High-Speed Cutting: Tech Overview & Application

Cutting machining remains the most prominent method of mechanical processing, holding a significant role in mechanical manufacturing. With the advancement of manufacturing technology, cutting machining technology underwent substantial progress towards [...]

Top 7 New Engineering Materials: What You Need to Know

Advanced materials refer to those recently researched or under development that possess exceptional performance and special functionalities. These materials are of paramount significance to the advancement of science and technology, [...]

Metal Expansion Methods: A Comprehensive Guide

Bulge forming is suitable for various types of blanks, such as deep-drawn cups, cut tubes, and rolled conical weldments. Classification by bulge forming medium Bulge forming methods can be categorized [...]
MachineMFG
Take your business to the next level
Subscribe to our newsletter
The latest news, articles, and resources, sent to your inbox weekly.
© 2024. All rights reserved.

Contact Us

You will get our reply within 24 hours.