ExecutiveChronicles.com | Everything You Need to Know About Laser Cutting Businesses | Laser cutting might sound like a futuristic concept. It involves lasers, after all! Yet the technology behind laser cutting dates to the 1960s.
It’s been refined over the years, and now it’s not an unusual or rarely-requested service. Some businesses do their laser cutting in-house, creating products and bespoke solutions.
Others outsource theirs since they may not do enough to justice buying their own machine. Or, they may have a machine but need extra capacity from time to time.
So what do you need to know about laser cutting businesses if you want to outsource work? Read on to learn more.
What Is Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting is considered a thermal process. It uses a laser to slice through a whole range of materials. That includes metal, acrylic, wood, and cardboard.
A laser cutting machine doesn’t simply cut. You can also use them to etch designs onto a surface. This can be cheaper than engraving if you’re using metal.
Since it uses a single beam, technicians don’t need to change tools for different cuts. The same machine does all the work. This beam also makes laser cutting accurate.
You can use laser cutting for a host of products. It gives repeatable results since the machines are so precise.
What to Look for in a Laser Cutting Business
There are a few questions you should ask when choosing a laser cutting service. The answers will help you to choose between services.
Notice we don’t mention costs. Ask these questions before you gather prices so you only get quotes from businesses that fit your needs.
The Cutting Process
Find out the size of the cutting area. This dictates the size of what can be cut. That will affect the computer file you set up.
Check the maximum thickness of materials that they can cut. If you’re cutting metal, you may need plasma cutting if it’s too thick for a laser.
Find out about their positioning and accuracy ratios. This tells you how ‘true to the design’ the cutter will be. Depending on what you’re making, this may not be as critical.
Ask about lead times. How long will it take between submitting your files and receiving your goods? You can also ask how much cutting work they do to gauge how busy they get.
Files and Formats
Check how you need to send your files to them. They may have an in-house file transfer platform. Otherwise, you might need to use another solution.
Find out which file format they prefer. The machine they use will dictate which software they use. Some machines prefer DXF files, and some will work with AI files. You should also ask if they have a specific template you need to use.
Enjoy Your Outsourced Work
A good laser cutting business will be able to answer these questions. They may even be able to supply samples, depending on what you need to cut.
Get these answers and then compare quotes from the best-fit services. You’ll enjoy better work when you’ve got compatible approaches.
Keen to find out about other ways to support your business? Check out our business articles for more advice.