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laser cutting vs cnc

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Laser cutting vs. CNC
31st October 2019

What is CNC?

A CNC or computer numerical control router is a type of cutting method that utilises computing power and modern technology in order to automate a large number of traditionally manual tasks that a carpenter or metal worker might have had to complete by hand in days gone by. As a game changer in the world of computer aided manufacturing, CNC technologies are now widely used in a number of different trades.

CNC machinery offers a greater deal of accuracy compared to a manual approach and is really simple to use in a workshop; once you’ve created your design file using CAD software (Computer Aided Design), simply upload it to the machine, set the power and speed and press go.

What is laser cutting and why is it different?

CNC in its most basic form is the method of how a machine cuts materials, of course the actual tool that’s used by the machine can vary based on the material or purpose. A CNC system could be used with a number of tools such as a router, plasma cutter, punch press, mill, welder or a laser.

So a laser is the tool that delivers the CNC instructions. If you imagine a CNC machine as a racing driver, knowing exactly where the corners are and when to break, the car is the laser; a means of getting round the track. The better the car, the easier the race and a laser is one of the best out there in terms of accuracy and precision.

A lot of traditional CNC routers use saws and consequently friction as a way of cutting through materials, however lasers use heat which brings with it a lot of advantages such as;

Greater accuracy:

All CNC machines are accurate however a laser CNC machine offers the most accuracy and a higher level of precision due to the physical tools not getting in the way. No matter how complex the design is, you’re guaranteed a higher degree of accuracy and millimetre precision for the most intricate designs.


Better finish:

Using laser CNC machines also offer a better finish to materials due to its use of heat rather than friction. The heat burns the edges which not only keeps it clean it also seals the edges and adds to the final finish and appearance.

At CTR Lasers, all of our high-performance laser cutting machines are suitable for long term industrial use and they represent exceptional value for money. If you want to use a modern cutting method that’s quick, effective and precise, contact CTR lasers today on 0844 800 4727 or 01604 675 417.