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How Accurate is Laser Cutting?

The first carbon dioxide (C02) laser was invented in 1963 by Kumar Patel, and just two years later, the first Western Engineering Research Center (in Buffalo, USA) was the first to employ a laser as a cutting device, using a laser to drill holes in diamond dies. By the late 1960s, gas laser cutting was being used to cut through metal with ease and accuracy, something that CO2 lasers originally hadn't been capable of. For over 40 years, laser cutters have improved in terms of speed, performance and quality, but what about accuracy? How accurate is laser cutting today?

The short answer is very accurate. Today, cut width can be extremely small with laser cutting (less than 0.0001 inch) whilst dimensional accuracy is almost as precise (at approximately ± 0.0005 inch). Another big advantage is that modern machines deliver a minimal heat-affected zone (HAZ), resulting in more predictable and reliable components. From cutting out intricate shapes into sheet metal to producing the jagged teeth used in cutting tools and slicing through 100mm thick stainless steel, you're guaranteed exceptional precision, repeatability and speed. Still, it's crucial to find the right laser cutting machine for your application.


Accuracy and automation

Today, the days of employing hundreds of workers to use punching machines, shear cutters and riveters are well and truly behind us. You can now buy laser cutting machines for home applications, meaning laser cutting technology is far more accessible than ever before, but the difference in output, quality and accuracy can vary considerably from one machine to another. In the top tier of laser cutting machines, hardly any manual work is required because the system has been created to be highly automated and configured to an organisation's requirements and workflows. An experienced machine operator will always be important; however, today's machines include feeding systems and follow-up conveyors to automate tedious processes.


What laser cutting machine do you need?

A CO2 laser cutting machine is a clean and precise way to cut a broad range of materials like acrylic, sheet metal, cardboard, fabrics, textiles, wood, leather, MDF and more. Our British designed and manufactured machines bring you a high-quality product at a new, lower price. All of our machines guarantee powerful, versatile engraving and cutting, with higher power for faster processing. We also supply cutting-edge CNC laser cutting machines with various laser power outputs to suit industrial applications.

Whether you're looking to eradicate tedious processes, reduce labour, save space, speed up workflows and improve productivity, CTR Lasers can help! To find the right laser cutting machines for your requirements, our "What laser is right for you?" section, where we can guide you through the best options for your needs. For any further advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team on 0844 800 4727.