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Everyone loves a good tube laser cutting. It’s fast, efficient, and incredibly. So, why not make it even better with some tips from our laser experts? Here are some of their top suggestions for making the most out of your laser tube-cutting machine:
Make sure your design is suitable for laser tube cutting.
You’ll want to check for any limitations of your laser tube cutting machine, software, material, and design before moving forward. For example, did you know that material thickness affects cut quality? If a material is too thick (over 1 inch), the beam cannot focus enough power on it to cut it. That’s where a high-power laser tube-cutting machine comes in handy because it can handle those thicker materials more easily than lower-powered models.
If you aren’t sure about any of these things, then please reach out, and we’ll help you figure them out!
Don’t Forget to Do NDT Test
You mustn’t forget to perform NDT test on your laser tube-cutting machine. Nondestructive testing (NDT) is a type of quality control test that provides information about the condition of an object, such as its internal structure or flaws, without damaging it.
NDT tests can be completed with a variety of methods. Some common methods include radiographic testing, ultrasonic testing, and magnetic particle testing. These tests are often done at the customer’s location or at the manufacturer’s location, depending on how much space they have available in their facility for conducting these types of tests.
The tube can be welded to a flat bar, box, or angle section.
Welding tube to flat bar, box, and angle sections.
The laser tube cutter can be welded to a flat bar, box, or angle section. The following is an example of how to weld a tube to a flat bar:
- Cut the end of the tube at a 45-degree angle using a metal cutting saw or grinder with a cutting wheel attachment. This will allow you to start your weld at approximately 45 degrees from vertical, which is essential in getting good penetration with your weld bead.
- Maintain that same angle when you start your weld by holding the end of your welder against the end of the cut piece of pipe (refer back to step 1). If done correctly, this should leave you with what looks like two pieces connected at about a 45-degree angle, one vertical and one horizontal.
- Continue welding until all gaps are filled in between both pieces; this will ensure there are no gaps between them when complete, so they can’t be seen once installed together into whatever structure you’re working on!
Hold the tube in place with a clamshell.
If you’re planning to use a laser tube-cutting machine, you’ll need to hold the tube in place. A clamshell is one of the best ways to do this. Clamshells are available in different sizes and shapes, so you must choose one that matches your needs. They can be made of steel or plastic and attached to the tube using screws or bolts.
You should also make sure that your clamshell is compatible with whatever sort of materials you plan on using for cutting purposes if they aren’t, your results will likely suffer from poor quality and inaccuracy.
Tubes can be cut at various angles.
The angle of the cut depends on the application. For example, a straight line is most often used for cutting tubes, but it can also be used to make tubes fit into other parts. A curved angle is usually not recommended for that purpose because it may not be strong enough to hold together when pressure is applied.
Work with the natural grain of the tube.
You can determine grain direction by looking at the tube’s end, surface, or both. The natural grain of acrylic and glass tubes will always be parallel to the long axis of the tube (from one end to another). This is because these materials are created using extrusion. Extrusion involves forcing a mixture of raw material through a die that compresses and shapes it into the desired form. Since this occurs along its lengthwise direction, it results in a finished product that has uniform properties throughout.
The widthwise direction is also known as cross-grain because it goes across those same uniform properties; however, unlike longitudinal grain, cross-grain does not have any specific orientation within an object or material – its orientation depends entirely on how your cutter was designed for cutting out parts from sheets with different thicknesses (or similar applications like engraving).
Cut the tube tangentially to give it a clean look.
It’s important to cut the tube tangentially to give it a clean look. Cutting the tube tangentially to the shape of your laser tube will give you a cleaner edge, which is what we’re looking for.
If you cut in straight lines or at right angles, then you won’t have that clean-cut look that makes this process so attractive in the first place.
Do not exceed the diameter of your laser head.
You should not exceed the diameter of your laser head. The diameter of the laser head is the maximum size of material that can be cut. The diameter of the laser head is usually between 1 and 3 inches. If you try to cut anything larger than this, it will not fit in your machine due to safety reasons and damage to equipment. Exceeding this limit also makes it harder for your machine to draw heat away from its surface and could result in damage to both people and machines alike.
Allow for proper placement of supports both on and off-cutline.
To determine the proper placement of supports, you’ll need to consider how the parts will be assembled. For example, if you’re cutting out a square piece with another square piece attached on each side, you would want to place a support under each of those corners. This is because the part being cut out has two sides that are parallel and will not be supported by either other cuts or walls in the material itself. You may also decide to use supports at these points when cutting out irregularly shaped parts or curve profiles for which there aren’t any other surfaces for support.
When placing your supports (or “coping”), it’s best practice to have them sitting as low as possible within your material without compromising surface quality or accuracy on any faces being cut out (which could lead to poor-quality joints). In addition, these copies must be placed on both sides of an edge being removed so they can be secured properly when assembling pieces later.
Keep in mind the limitations of power and speed of the laser machine The shorter its wavelength, a laser’s energy will dissipate quickly over distance. This means that higher-wattage lasers have greater power penetration than lower-wattage lasers when moving from thicker material to thinner material. This also means that you must take care that high-powered lasers do not deform thinner gauge material or tubes when cutting or marking certain materials or tubes with tight tolerances, such as stainless steel gas springs and dental implants. The thinner the material, the lower the powered laser you should use to avoid deformation or burn-throughs. Lower-powered lasers are also less likely to cause micro-cracks in thinner materials than high-powered lasers, which can make them ideal for medical devices and other precision applications where cracks could compromise structural integrity. What happens to the material after it has been cut or marked?
Materials cut or marked by lasers can be used for a wide variety of applications, including:
- Industrial manufacturing
- Medical devices and instruments
- Aerospace products and parts
- Construction materials
The bottom line is that laser tube cutting can be an effective way to cut tubes and other parts. With careful planning and consideration of the right materials, you can achieve excellent results without damaging your equipment or wasting time. Keep these tips in mind while designing your next project!
You may also like: In the Name of Efficiency: 5 Maintenance Tips for Your Laser Cutting Machine
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