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Laser Cutting vs. Mechanical Cutting

Metal Laser Cutting and Mechanical Cutting are some of the most popular and widely used cutting processes today. Thousands of manufacturing industries use these techniques as a core part of their day to day operations. Both methods are different in nature but perform the same task with their own specific benefits as well as disadvantages. Companies who want to utilise both techniques will require two different sets of equipment.

This is why most industries prefer to opt for one that best suits their needs and budget. Naturally, every company will have their own preference, which can depend on many things. A few common variables include production capabilities, cost efficiency, and equipment requirements.

In today’s post, we will highlight both cutting methods for our viewers. The idea is to inform them about both approaches and assist industries in narrowing down their choice as to which cutting method would be best for them.

Mechanical Cutting

Let’s talk about Mechanical Cutting first. Utilising power-driven equipment, this cutting technique can shape any type of material according to intended design specifications. The process involves the use of many different types of machines such as drill presses, lathes and milling machines. Each has its own unique purpose. Drill presses are used for drilling, milling machines for milling and lathe machines are used for turning the material as needed.
Laser Cutting

A new, bolder and more efficient approach to cutting material, Laser Cutting utilises an energy emission device to get the job done. High concentrations of photon streams are subjected to the area of the material in order to make the necessary cuts. These lasers are computer controlled which makes them extremely accurate and virtually eliminates the likelihood of an error. The result is a smooth and polished cut reflecting a quality finish. Currently, companies have a choice of two different types of Laser Cutters, namely the gaseous CO2 and the Nd:YAG.
Mechanical Cutting vs. Laser Cutting

Clearly laser cutting holds the edge as far as the result is concerned. Laser Cutting provides both cutting and finishing touches to a material, which makes it that much more desirable for companies and industries as a whole. The entire process of cutting is extremely organised and streamlined compared to Mechanical Cutting.

There is no direct contact between the laser device and the material reducing the possibilities of any contamination or damage to the equipment or material itself. Material warping is a common side effect of Mechanical Cutting. This is not the case with Laser Cutting because using lasers creates fewer and smaller heat affected zones. This protects the equipment as well as the material and prevents it from any wear and tear or deformation.

There is one drawback to Laser Cutting though, and that is cost. Implementing Laser Cutting can be a costly venture, one that would also be technically challenging to accomplish depending on the company’s existing setup. Mechanical Cutting, on the other hand, is significantly cheaper which is why it is used in most industries today. By weighing cost against desired results, companies will be able to determine which approach would be best for them.