Hobbyist-quality laser cutters can be a minimal restrictive as to the varieties and thicknesses of materials that they can reduce. We’re generally conversing about CO2 and diode-based mostly machines right here, and if you want to reduce non-plastic sheets, you are ordinarily going to be on the lookout to natural products these as leather, materials, and thin wooden.
But what about metals? It’s a common beginner’s question, usually requested with a resigned search, that they already know the solution is going to be a challenging “no. ” On the other hand, YouTuber [Chad] resolved to react to some feedback about the possibility of chopping steel sheets employing a large-energy diode laser, with a straightforward experiment to basically determine what the limits really are.
Using an XTool D1 Pro 20W as a testbed, [Chad] tried out a wide range of materials together with mild metal, stainless, aluminium, and brass sheets at a assortment of thicknesses. Metal shim sheets in thicknesses from one particular to eight-thousandths of an inch appeared to be beautifully cuttable, with an acceptable air assist and speed configurations, with thicker sheets needing a very good few passes. You can undoubtedly see the effect of extra warmth in the workpiece, ensuing in some discoloration and noticeable warping, but people concerns can be mitigated. Copper and aluminium weren’t touched by the beam at all, probable thanks to the extra reflectivity, but we do have to marvel if proper surface area treatments could improve issues.
Naturally, we’ve witnessed that diode lasers can have an influence on metals, simply smearing a little mustard on the workpiece seems to make marking a snap. While we’re on the subject of diode lasers, you can get a great deal of mileage from just strapping this sort of a laser module on to a desktop CNC.