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CNC Metal Laser Cutting: Frequently Asked Question's

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KMF Group is a leading UK metal manufacturing company that specialises in light gauge, volume sheet metal fabrication for equipment manufacturer's requiring a complete fabrication service.

Laser cutting is a key technique used in the metal fabrication process and, with over 50 years' experience of laser cutting services, KMF has extensive expertise spanning a wide range of industries and components.

Do you have questions about our laser cutting service? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below:

What is CNC metal laser cutting?

Metal laser cutting is the process of using a laser beam to cut complex shapes and profiles out of sheet metal. A high-powered laser beam, directed by a CAD file sent directly to the machine, moves across the workpiece and the heat produced causes the material to melt away.

Laser cutting is a hugely efficient metal profiling solution that delivers a clean cut finish or engravings. More detail on laser cutting

What metal materials can you cut with a laser?

We can laser cut a range of sheet metal materials in different thicknesses.

The most common materials we work with are mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper and brass, however we also regularly laser cut galvanised and coated steels.

What thicknesses can you laser cut?

Our advanced laser cutting machines have the ability to cut mild steel up to 20mm, stainless steel up to 12mm, aluminium up to 10mm and copper or brass up to 8m. However our recommended maximum thickness may vary.

Our engineering and design teams work closely with customers to optimise components for competitive and efficient manufacture.

What technology is used for laser cutting?

Laser cutting machines can be split into three main types, C02, crystal and fiber.

As sheet metal fabricators we employ two types of CNC laser cutting machines, optical fibre and CO2.

CO2 and Fiber lasers have unique benefits and their use depends on their application. Generally, however, fiber laser machines are usually used on thinner, reflective materials while CO2 lasers deliver a fast cutting rate for thicker materials.

For more information, please contact a member of our engineering team, info@kmf.co.uk.

How accurate is laser cutting?

One of the biggest benefits of the laser cutting process is the precision that it delivers.

Our C02 and Fiber Trumpf laser machines cut materials with a repetitive accuracy of 0.02mm. The narrow, focused laser beams used by our Trumpf laser machines are less than half a millimetre in diameter and the level of accuracy achieved is unrivalled.

Parts need to be welded, painted and assembled. Can KMF help?

Yes, KMF is one of the largest metal fabrication subcontractors in the UK and laser cutting is just one process in our complete sheet metal fabrication service. We act as a single supplier for all client requirements, handling manufacture from design to integration and delivery.
Other fabrication processes include CNC metal punching, metal forming, welding and finishing methods such as powder coating and product assembly.

What are the benefits of laser cutting?

CNC laser cutting is often favoured for its ability to produce intricate designs with ultimate accuracy and control, without damaging the material surface; however other benefits include:
- Material versatility: Laser cutting allows the profiling of a wide range of materials
- Precision: The narrow laser beam (less than half a millimetre) produces clean-cut edges that are highly accurate and often do not require post-processing
- Highly energy-efficient
- Speed: Laser cutting is much faster than traditional methods and offers quicker turnaround timesNo tooling cost overheads.

Learn more about the advantages of laser cutting metal.

What are the limitations of laser cutting?

CNC laser cutting is a highly popular cutting technique with metal fabricators. However, there are applications better suited to other cutting techniques such as CNC punching. For example:

  • Laser cutting is often better suited for thinner materialsCNC punching can be faster when manufacturing simple, large volume components
  • Laser cutting cannot replicate punched forms such as taps, ribs and extrudes.Learn more about the dis-advantages of laser cutting metal.

Will laser cutting damage my material?

No. Laser cutting is a non-contact process and the highly focussed beam ensures heat damage is minimal to the surrounding material. This can be advantageous in terms of cost and aesthetics.

Part nesting can be more efficient with laser cutting. Processes such as CNC punching need to account for punching nibble tools, significantly adding to material wastage.

Is laser cutting better than other cutting techniques such as CNC punching?

Different metal cutting techniques, such as laser cutting and CNC punching, offer different benefits in metal fabrication and are better suited to different components and applications.

Check out the Laser Cutting vs CNC Punching section in our laser cutting blog for more details.

What does KMF need to provide me with a quotation?

We can provide a quotation from existing CAD files such as DXF or PDF files along with estimated order volume and order frequency. However, we aim to build long-standing partnerships with customers and so most relationships start with a visit to our manufacturing facility and engagement with our design and engineering teams.

If you have an enquiry, please contact us via our enquiry form and one of our sales team will get back in touch.

What laser cutting experience does KMF have?

KMF purchased their first laser cutting machine in 1994 and so we have over 45 years' experience with laser cutting components for various industries. (Laser cutting is used in many industries because of its material versatility, high control, precision and cost-effectiveness.)

Examples of industries who use KMF for metal laser cutting services include the aerospace industry, electronics industry and packaging and processing equipment for the food industry, although our services are favoured by a wider range of manufacturers who require small or intricate components.

Why should I choose KMF for sheet metal fabrication?

KMF Precision Sheet Metal is a reputable sheet metal fabrication company that is committed to innovation, high-quality and exceeding customer expectations.

With over 255,000 sq ft of manufacturing space and more than 500 employees, we have the capacity to partner with global manufacturers who require a flexible yet reliable metal fabrication service.

Looking for a reliable metal fabricator?

KMF Group holds four ISO accreditations and has the agile processes, technology and experienced staff to consistently deliver fabricated components that meet your exacting specifications, on time. Protect your OEM business by partnering with a flexible metal fabricator that can deliver complete supply chain continuity.

Contact our Team

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