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CNC Cutting vs Laser Cutting

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In order to produce intricate, precise and reliable components, manufacturers use methods such as CNC cutting and laser cutting. Both cutting methods do the same job, however, each method works in different ways.

Both tools are managed by Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, which makes understanding the difference between a CNC router and laser cutter a bit confusing, as each application performs similar functions.

method similarities

Both methods are used to perform programmed precision processes used for fabricating parts, like jigs and fixtures, with a CNC machine. These computer-controlled machines can cut through nearly any material imaginable to new products that require precision uniqueness of design (engineering for CNC parts).

Each application offers its own benefits to industrial manufacturers. There are distinctions that factor into which process is best suited for use.


CNC Cutting

CNC cutting is a connection based process that can produce parts with an extremely high degree of positioning and velocity. Using a CNC router has one advantage over laser cutting. CNC cutting cuts through materials through friction, giving this method the upper hand on achieving straight lines, curves and diagonal cuts.

CNC cutting can cut material like foam, wood, plastic, and acrylic like a laser, without discoloration of edges and can produce three-dimensional cuts.

There are five types of CNC cutting:
1. Drilling
2. Male Cuts
3. Female Cuts
4. On Center Cutting
5. Cleanouts

Laser Cutting

Like CNC routers, a CNC machine guides the laser cutter to cut custom shapes and designs. Unlike CNC cutting, laser cutting is a non-contact, high-energy laser beam that burns through material rather than carving it out.

Laser cutting is more commonly and appropriately used for industries such as electronics, shipbuilding, and metallurgy due to its high precision.

Below are the benefits and major characteristics of laser cutting.

1. Precision Cutting at High Speed

Industries that require high tolerance, like aerospace and medical, make laser cutting its best option for high-quality parts. The beam of light is extremely focused, cutting through material with high accuracy and precision. Laser cutting methods use double the speed and more precisely cut corners and curves than CNC cutting.

2. Uses Less Energy and Produces Less Waste

Laser cutting decreases the cost of projects and has a beneficial impact on the manufacturing process by having low power consumption and uses a high percentage of sheet material. In turn, speeding up production time, reducing material waste, and using less energy.

3. Low Operational Costs

Unlike CNC cutting processes, laser cutting proves to be more cost effective for minimal and large production. Because laser cutting involves less moving parts, this results in low maintenance and operational costs.

So why choose laser cutting?


And guaranteed high quality cuts!

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Choose Precision Laser Cutting for your laser cutting services and more. We are committed to producing quality work and are confident in achieving ultimate customer satisfaction. Contact us today to get started.

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