In short, a laser is a focused beam of light that concentrates a lot of energy on a small area. When this happens, the material in front of the laser will burn, melt or vaporize, forming a whole. Adding some CNC to it, you can get a machine that can cut or engrave very complex parts made of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, foam, or other materials. When performing laser cutting, each material has its limitations and advantages.
Since laser cutting is a 2D technology, it is very easy to prepare documents. There are some guidelines that should be followed when designing parts. I have collected some for you here:
All cutting contours must be closed. This is the most important rule. If the profile remains open, the part cannot be removed from the original sheet metal. There are exceptions if it is used for engraving or etching, it is not necessary to close the outline.
If you must have a hole with a smaller tolerance, you can drill the hole with a laser first and then drill with a drill. The perforation will create a small hole in the material, which will then guide the drill bit during drilling. The diameter of the perforation should be around 2–3 mm. According to my experience, in this case, please use the smallest possible hole, if possible, it is best to use the same thickness as the material, and then gradually drill larger and larger holes until the desired diameter is reached.
This is only for material thicknesses of at least 1.5 mm. For example, steel will melt and evaporate during laser cutting. After cooling, the incision becomes hard and difficult to thread. Therefore, before thread cutting, it is best to use laser drilling and then drilling.
Sheet metal parts may have sharp corners, but adding chamfers (at least half the thickness of the material) to each corner will make the part cheaper.
The minimum width of the notch is at least 1 mm or the thickness of the material, whichever is greater. The length must not exceed five times the width. The lug must be at least 3 mm thick or twice the thickness of the material, whichever is greater. As with the notch, the length should be less than five times the width.
The distance between the notches must be at least 3 mm, and the minimum distance between the lugs must be 1 mm or the greater of the material thickness. Failure to observe this rule may cause parts to deform.
When cutting multiple parts on the same metal plate, share a good experience: let the distance between them be not less than the thickness of the material. If the parts are too close to each other or the cut parts are too thin, the material between the two cutting lines may be burned.