High-Quality
Sheet Metal
Laser Cutting

Parts in days anywhere in the USA.

Sheet Metal Laser Cutting offers:

Quality Matters  |  AS9100D Certified, ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, & ITAR Registered

Certifications and Registrations

* Not all locations have all certifications and registrations. Parts requiring these will be made at facilities with the correct certifications and registrations.

Prototek Metal Capabilities | Laser Cutting
Table of Contents

What is Sheet Metal Laser Cutting?

Laser cutting is a highly sophisticated process using a computer-controlled laser beam to precisely melt or vaporize metal sheets. This results in clean and accurate cuts, making it an ideal choice for various automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics industries. Laser cutting has become an indispensable tool for many manufacturers who require high precision and consistency in their production processes thanks to its versatility and efficiency. Whether you need to create intricate designs or cut through thick metal sheets, laser cutting technology provides a reliable and cost-effective solution that delivers excellent results every time.

How does Sheet Metal Laser Cutting Work?

Sheet metal laser cutting is cutting sheet metal using a high-powered laser beam. The laser cutter is programmed with the desired cut pattern and aligns the sheet metal into the cutting area. The laser then emits a beam of light that heats the sheet metal to its melting point and vaporizes it. As the laser moves across the sheet metal, it precisely cuts the metal along the programmed pattern.

The laser cutter uses a chiller unit to keep the laser running at a constant temperature and a nozzle to deliver assist gas to the beam, which helps to produce a clean and precise cut. The assist gas, usually nitrogen or oxygen, also helps to cool the metal as it is being cut.

Laser cutting has several advantages over traditional methods, such as higher precision and accuracy, faster cutting speeds, and fewer mistakes. It is a popular choice for cutting precision parts used in various automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries.

Types of Laser Cutting Machines

CO2 Laser Cutter: This technology uses a high-powered laser to cut, engrave, and etch materials like wood, acrylic, plastic, fabric, and metal. A focused light beam creates the laser. It is highly accurate and widely used in the manufacturing, prototyping, art, and design industries. 

Fiber Laser Cutter: This is a precise and efficient method of cutting materials, particularly metals, using a high-powered laser beam generated from a bank of diodes. The heat from the beam causes the material to quickly heat up, melt, vaporize, or burn away. Fiber laser cutting is faster, more efficient, and less prone to human error than other methods.

Punch Laser Cutter: Combination of the capabilities of a punch press and a laser cutting machine. This cutter type is often used in the manufacturing industry to produce various parts and components precisely and accurately. The punch laser cutter uses a laser to make the initial cut, and then a punch press is used to create the desired shape and contour. 

Sheet Metal Laser Cutting

Sheet Metal Laser Cutting at Prototek

OEM:

Amada, Beam Dynamics, Epilog, IPG

Lead Time:

1 – 15 Days

Max Dimensions:

61 x 99 x 11.8 in

Tolerances:

± 0.0004 / 20 in

Material:

Aluminum, Copper, Stainless Steel, Titanium

Prototek's Materials for Sheet Metal Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is an exact method for cutting various materials like aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and titanium. Each material has unique properties that affect the laser-cutting process. While aluminum can be easily cut, it may produce burrs that need to be removed in post-processing. Copper, on the other hand, requires precise laser temperature control to ensure optimal results. Stainless steel is an efficient material to cut, while titanium requires high-powered lasers and specialized techniques. Laser cutting is a versatile and practical method for manipulating materials in manufacturing and engineering. A thorough understanding of the distinctive characteristics of each of these materials leads to optimal results and the production of high-quality products. 

 

Our team can cut the materials we offer, taking necessary precautions to ensure the best results for your project.

Laser Cut and Bent Parts

Designing Parts for Laser Cutting

When designing parts for sheet metal laser cutting, it’s essential to consider the capabilities and limitations of the machine, including the maximum thickness of material that can be cut and the minimum internal radius that can be achieved. It’s also essential to design parts with a consistent thickness and minimal features to reduce the chances of distortion during the cutting process and simplify manufacturing. Proper material nesting can be achieved by utilizing nesting software and optimizing the arrangement of elements on the sheet metal. Finally, thoroughly testing and prototyping designs before starting production will ensure that the final product meets the requirements and is manufactured efficiently and effectively.

Feature Recommended

Fillets

Necessary for smooth finishes

Holes

Size of hole ø < t

Space between holes ≥ 2t

Space from edge to hole ≥ t

Kerf

0.008 - 0.012 in

The width of a cut resulting in the removal of material.

Laser cutting results in the least amount of material being removed compared to waterjet and plasma cutting.

ø (diameter)  |  in (inches)  |  ± (plus or minus)  |   > (greater than)  |  ≥ (greater than or equal to)  |  t (material thickness)

Feature Recommended

Fillets

Necessary for smooth finishes

Holes

Size of hole ø < t

Space between holes ≥ 2t

Space from edge to hole ≥ t

Kerf

0.2 - 0.3 mm

The width of a cut resulting in the removal of material.

Laser cutting results in the least amount of material being removed compared to waterjet and plasma cutting.

ø (diameter)  |  mm (millimeter)  |  ± (plus or minus)  | > (greater than)  |  ≥ (greater than or equal to)  |  t (material thickness)

Finishes for Sheet Metal

There are various finishes available for sheet metal laser cutting. The finish depends on the desired appearance and the end product’s functionality. Some of the standard finishes include painting, powder coating, anodizing, electroplating, and passivating. Painting and powder coating are standard finishes for laser cutting as they provide aesthetics, durability, and corrosion resistance. On the other hand, anodizing is used to add a protective layer to the metal surface, enhance wear resistance, and improve corrosion resistance. Electroplating is another finish option that can improve the metal’s appearance and protect it from wear and corrosion. Passivating is a chemical process that removes impurities from the metal surface to enhance corrosion resistance. The best finish for sheet metal laser cutting depends on the intended application, and it’s essential to consult a professional to determine the ideal finish for your product.

Sheet Metal Finishes 3
Why choose Prototek for your next laser cutting project?

Prototek is a top provider of laser cutting services. There are several reasons why customers prefer Prototek for their next laser-cutting project. Firstly, Prototek has over 30 years of experience in the industry, which means that we have refined our processes, enabling us to produce high-quality and precision parts. Secondly, we have state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that allow us to work with various materials and thicknesses. Thirdly, Prototek is committed to customer satisfaction, evidenced by quick turnaround times, competitive pricing, and the ability to produce custom parts to meet unique customer needs. Lastly, Prototek has a team of experienced engineers and technicians who work closely with customers to ensure that their needs are met and their projects are successful. By choosing Prototek, customers can be assured of receiving top-quality laser cutting services.

What do our customers say about us?
They are competitively priced for their services and a very personable team to work with. If you haven't used them - do it! You'll have a lifelong vendor you be happy with that repeatedly goes above and beyond what is asked.
Product Designer
Finding Prototek by chance was like hitting the Strategic Sourcing Easy Button.
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