Quite often at GF Laser we get asked to get involved with helping customers design parts at the laser cutting prototype phase. Here are some of the things to consider:
- Although sheet metal can be decoiled into various lengths most laser cutting companies stock material in three standard sizes: 3000mm x 1500mm; 2500mm x 1250mm and 2000mm x 1000mm. Sometimes changing the overall dimensions of the parts by just a few millimetres can have a big effect on material utilisation.
- As a general rule we need a 10mm border from the edge of the material to the start of the laser cut parts. So, for example a 2000mm x 1000mm sheet will have an actual usable area of 1980mm x 980mm.
- Another general rule is that we require 10mm spacing between the parts to allow for piercing of material.
- General rules are only general! For example, when laser cutting 20mm mild steel we may need 20mm gap between the parts but when cutting 2mm mild steel we may be able to reduce the gap to 5mm. Much of this depends on the size and shape of the part.
- Laser cutting a hole with a smaller diameter than the material thickness isn’t always possible. See our blog post What is the smallest hole you can laser cut? for more details.
So, if you can bear in mind the 5 things above when designing laser cut prototypes or parts this will help us in giving you the best price we can for laser cutting.
For a free quotation or if you have any queries about laser cutting contact a member of the GF Laser team today.