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Hawk

Laser cutting in metal

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I see that PPD ltd. now offer lasercutting in metal in addition to their etching services.

 

Have anyone here tried this service? I would love to see what the edges look like in 1 mm steel, for instance. And does anyone know the diameter of the laser beam when cutting material 1-2 mm?

 

They can also combine etching and laser cutting, have anyone tried this?

 

Comments on pricing would also be very welcome

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Hauk

If it is a proper industrial machine you do not need to know the beam dia. The machine software takes care of the offset, you supply the exact geometry of what you want made. The beam dia by the way is about 0.2mm. Edge finish at 1 to 2 mm thickness is good, I only take of the cusp where the beam has started and finished. You will need deburr the edges. If you want to get an idea of pricing, look at the 

Modelengineerslaser.co.uk

Website, they do a huge range of laser cut parts for O gauge through to 10 1/4 in gauge. 

 

 

Edited by kipford

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Be warned though, there is a hardening effect on the edges of laser-cut steel which is not good for files etc.....

I have used laser-cutting a lot for my job - mostly 4mm to 12mm thick, but occasionally down to 1.6mm. It can be brilliant.

Specify your acceptable tolerances, and holes may have a nib protruding where the cut starts. Sometimes it is better to have a hole cut underside, and then drill it out to the correct size.

 

Where precision and finish is imperative,  you should consider water-jet, which doesn't harden the material- but it is more expensive.

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Thanks for the replies!

 

I was not aware of the hardening effect, water jet cutting might be a better choice.  But then the question is of course who offer this service and is willing to take on very small orders from individual modellers...

 

The diameter of the laser/ cutting stream is of interest regarding the rounding of inner corners on the parts. 0.20 mm will give a noticeable rounding.

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19 minutes ago, Hawk said:

The diameter of the laser/ cutting stream is of interest regarding the rounding of inner corners on the parts. 0.20 mm will give a noticeable rounding.

 

A 0.2mm cutter radius is hardly noticeable and inner corners look,  to all intents and purposes,  square.   I've use cutters between 0.5mm and 0.2mm radius in my CNC machine to "square" corners on profiles cut by larger diameter cutters and they look fine.   My Emblaser 1 has a laser beam diameter of just under 0.2mm and cut a lot of window frames in fine card and they look square cornered.

 

Jim.

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This company does water-jet, and if I remember rightly it's run by a model engineer....

 

http://sciss.co.uk

 

I had some stuff done by them a long time ago, and very good it was.

 

(The Emblaser have a rectangular beam, rather than a round one, as they are diode lasers. You can just see this if You take a close up photo whilst focussing.)

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