Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: tmsmith on February 14, 2011, 03:17:02 PM

Title: Laser Power
Post by: tmsmith on February 14, 2011, 03:17:02 PM
The other day I saw a laser (controlled I think by Mach3) cutting shapes from 1/16" steel sheet, very interesting.
A couple of questions come to mind which I am sure someone can answer.
What power/type laser would be required to cut up to 1/8" steel?
Can a laser repeat the cut to cut thicker metal?

I have spent some time looking through the Forum but not found the answers

Thanks M Smith
Title: Re: Laser Power
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on February 15, 2011, 02:00:41 AM
Hi TMSmith,

The laser power would almost certainly have been controlled externally to Mach3 (there would be no advantage to using the Mach PWM signal).
Depending on the type of laser, CO2 for example would need many kilowatts of power to cut 1/8" steel.
Multipass does not work so well (if at all) because laser cutting metals relies on the assist gas blowing the molten material out of the kerf (a bit like oxy or plasma cutting I suppose). YAG lasers are better suited for use with metals but, in return, carry a hefty price tag.

Title: Re: Laser Power
Post by: tmsmith on February 15, 2011, 03:07:59 PM
Tweakie, thanks for your reply.
I think you have given the info. I was fishing for.
 That I could not just strap a cheap laser onto the head of my CNC mill and cut metal.

Ah well, I'll just invest in some more cutters.

Malcolm Smith