Laser and the 1 last update 2020/08/07 cutting tables make it easy to create CAD/CAM-designed, high-quality parts from a variety of different metals and materials. So which one is right for you? It can be hard to tell without experience using both types of equipment.Laser and cutting tables make it easy to create CAD/CAM-designed, high-quality parts from a variety of different metals and materials. So which one is right for you? It can be hard to tell without experience using both types of equipment.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Plasma Cutting Tables
Plasma cutting has been in use since the 1970s and 1980s, though it only became thoroughly refined in the last few decades. Early plasma cutters were inefficient and left behind scars and chips on cut metals and materials, so they were not an ideal choice for precision applications.
Today, though, plasma cutting technology is much more refined. It is used by millions of shops and companies around the world—and it’s by far the best way to cut conductive metals such as stainless steel and aluminium.
Here are some of the pros and cons of plasma cutting tables.
for 1 last update 2020/08/07 Pros: Pros:
- Lowest operating cost: Plasma cutting consumes less power than laser cutting, meaning the operating cost of a plasma cutter is somewhat lower than a comparable laser cutter.
- Fastest production rate: Plasma cutting has a very fast production rate, especially when working with thicker materials, which can slow laser cutters down by quite a bit.
- Cut extremely thick materials: Plasma cutting tables can easily cut materials that are multiple inches in thickness, unlike laser cutters.
- Not ideal for precision cuts: The plasma jet used to cut materials is not quite as accurate as a laser. This is not usually a problem except for extremely low-tolerance applications, however.
- Cuts may need refinishing: Plasma cutters can cause dross and debris to adhere to the sides and bottom of a cut, so each cut may need to be refinished.
- Can only cut conductive metals: Plasma cutters must react with a conductive material to cut. This means that they can only cut conductive metals such as steel and aluminum.
Laser Cutting Tables
Laser cutting uses a high-powered C02 laser to cut metals and materials of all types. Laser cutting has been in use for decades and is still a good option for shops and manufacturers that need increased flexibility.
Here are some of the pros and cons of laser cutting tables compared to plasma cutting tables.
- Can cut a wide variety of materials: Laser cutting can be used on metals, some fabric and plastics and even wood (in some cases), making it more flexible for different projects.
- More precise and accurate: Lasers provide a more precise and accurate result compared to plasma cutters, though they may also leave heat scars/marring in some cases.
- Can be used for detail work (such as engraving): Lasers can be used to add detail to a finished project, including engraving and other decorations.
- Can’t handle extremely reflective materials: Extremely reflective metals such as copper often cannot be cut by laser because they simply reflect the laser light.
- Slower production rate: Lasers are much slower than plasma cutting tables for most applications in the workshop.
- Can’t cut thick materials: Materials that are more than a few millimeters in thickness can’t be cut by most lasers.
What’s Right For My Business?
If a business owner is going to use the cutting table to create parts out of highly-conductive, thick metals, a plasma cutting table is definitely the right choice—especially if it’s needed on a high-volume project.
However, if versatility and precision are desired, a laser cutting table may be the best option. Take the time to compare these two products and figure out which one is the right choice for your needs.