FABRICATING Laser 76
these linear drives permit very high rates of acceleration
and deceleration which in turn leads to shorter cutting
times because the drives ramp up the maximum speed so
much faster without loss of accuracy.”
Adjusting and focusing the laser beam can help improve
the cutting process.
“LVD fiber lasers feature an advanced cutting head
design that provides automated adjustment of focus
position and focus diameter,” says Colle. “Because of this
‘zoom focus’ capability, which is controlled by the CNC,
the laser cuts at the highest possible speed and with the
highest quality edge finish, no matter the material. The
latest fiber laser cutting machines feature drive systems
able to deliver dynamic cutting performance when
processing large format sheets.”
Most customers purchase laser cutting systems because
they’re more efficient and more flexible than most any
other cutting solution.
“They have a lower cost of operation. They don’t
require a lot of maintenance,” says Bohlen, although
he cautions many customers are concerned with the
cost of nitrogen as a cutting assist gas. “We continue to
mature the way we’re cutting with a fiber laser and now
we’re using a new novel technology, a direct diode laser.
We’re using new cutting techniques to lower the nitrogen
consumption. So, you’re still getting the advantages of
solid state laser and there are still speed advantages. We’re
not negating the speed advantage but we’re finding new
ways to deliver a less expensive cutting process.” SMT
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advances in fiber laser technologies allow them to cut thicker materials.
Seen here on the left is a 25. 4 mm (1 in.) mild steel part cut on Mazak
optonic's DDL laser machine. at right is a 15. 88 mm (5/8th in.) stainless
steel part also cut on Mazak optonic's DDL machine.