In the past, saw cutting was considered the best and most often the sole method of cutting material and performing intricate detail work on metal-based projects. With the advancement of technology, laser cutting is now an equally efficient alternative for projects that require precision lines and more steady movements.
Both cutting techniques have a place in manufacturing, but which is the best choice for your particular project? Learn more about the main differences between saw cutting and laser cutting.
Laser cutting is a speedy, effective method for material fabrication that can be used for superficial cuts and more precise work. Many companies rely on laser cutters for the creation of products and also provide services. The most common applications for laser cutting include:
- Computer components
- Automotive Parts
- Metal engraving
They use high-intensity laser lights to heat the material and cut and shape materials following the pre-programmed designs or dimensions. Laser cutting also offers the choice of 2D or 3D format.
Laser cutters can be used with different materials, such as:
ADVANTAGES OF LASER CUTTING
Laser cutting provides the perfect fabrication solution for numerous projects due to the following characteristics:
Its precision: Laser cutting offers superior precision and accuracy in detailed work. It often can produce sizes and shapes that traditional saw cutting can’t. This means less costly mistakes and the capability to make products in line with strict standards or specifications, such as parts for computers or engines.
Its Programming options: One of the most significant advantages when using a laser for your project is that it can be programmed. The technician inputs the needed information, dimensions, and shape into the system, and then the laser cuts it in a controlled manner with no need for a steady hand.
Its hands-off design: Computerized, hands-off creation means there is no possibility of contamination of sensitive products in the cutting process. Since the machine separates the finished product from scraps that remain, it removes the need for post-processing. Hands-off cutting is a way that technicians can work on several projects simultaneously, saving both time and money for an enormous project. This also keeps the technician from stressing their tools or themselves.
Before the advent of laser cutting machines, saw cutting was the preferred fabricating method. Two sawing techniques for fabricating are the scroll saw, and the band saw. Scroll saws are hands-free saws that technicians pedal to move upwards and downwards, cutting unique cuts and creating designs. Band saws aren’t able to move up and down as scroll saws. The blade is very thin with unique teeth. It remains in a stationary place and is attached to wheels that permit its cutting.
There are so many kinds of saws. The possibilities for cutting saws are endless. Saw cutting is an excellent option for a wide range of tasks, including fabricating consumer products. Scroll saws are perfect for creating decorative details, while band saws are ideal for working with metal.
A saw can cut numerous materials, including:
- Metal sheets
- Metal tubing
ADVANTAGES OF SAW CUTTING
The advantages of using a saw cutting in your project include:
It’s simple to learn: Compared to laser cutting saw, saw cutting comes with an easier learning curve. The outcome of your project is contingent upon an unwavering hand and a sharp eye. There’s no computer or programming involved. This makes it perfect for projects that don’t need a complex detail task.
It’s a lower investment: The total price of a project will depend on a variety of factors, including the material that is used, the project’s specifications and requirements as well as the business you work with, and the length of time and work that is required. Cutting a project with a saw typically requires a lower initial expenditure than laser cutting because of the absence of computers. These savings can be a significant aspect for small or new companies whose projects don’t require using a particular machine.
Identifying issues is simple: If something goes wrong with an upcoming saw cutting project, it’s typically easy to determine and correct, while laser cutters can be more challenging to diagnose and configure.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CUTTING METHOD FOR YOUR PROJECT
After learning more about the differences between saw and laser cutting, how can you choose the most effective cutting technique for your project or company? Think about the following:
The budget you have: If partnering with a fabrication company, think about the difference in cost between saw cutting and laser. If you’re able to finish your task with either option, select one compatible with your budget and timeframe. If you’re considering purchasing equipment for your business, be sure to consider the cost for the first investment, regular maintenance and training, and the floor space available.
The material you’re working with: Saw cutting and laser cutting work for various materials. Like diamonds or some metals, certain materials can only be cut using laser cutters. The more brittle materials are typically more suitable for traditional saw cutting since specific laser cutting equipment cannot cut through thick materials, but that can vary between fabricators and machines. Speak with a professional fabricator to get more details.
The specifications for your project: The details of your project are an essential thing to consider when deciding between laser cutting and conventional saw cutting. Are there small lines or curves or intricate details in your work? Do you need to be precise, or do you want to add flexibility to the dimensions of the cut? If yes, then a laser cutter could be the ideal choice. If your project is just some simple cuts, then traditional cut-offs are the best way to proceed.
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