Laser cutting is a technique you can use to manufacture a product, just like rapid prototyping. However, laser cutting is entirely different from rapid prototyping. Laser cutting namely uses a laser, as you could already tell from its name. This high-power laser beam will be employed in order to melt, cut, or burn a sheet of material. Often the material used is some type of metal, such as brass, steel, or aluminum. Many different industries could start laser cutting to produce items, however, it is definitely a favorite in the medical firms. The materials mentioned below are quite common when it comes to laser cutting.
Stainless Steel 304
Stainless Steel 304 is one of the options available to you. A benefit of this material is that it has excellent acid and corrosion resistance, while the mechanical properties of Stainless Steel 304 are rather impressive too. It is quite difficult to machine, on the other hand.
Another possible material to use for laser cutting is Aluminum 5754. This metal type has multiple advantages. For example, its strength is quite high. On top of that, it is resistant to corrosion. Another benefit Aluminum 5754 has is that it has good machinability.
Mild Steel 1018
Mild Steel 1018 is another metal type that could be used for laser cutting. A feature of this material is that it is semi-magnetic, while it is also somewhat easy to machine. A big downside of Mild Steel 1018 is that its corrosion resistance is seen as poor.
Copper C110 is another possible material that you could laser cut. This type of metal unfortunately has a high thermal conductivity. However, it obviously has some advantages as well. For example, its ductility is quite high, while Copper C110 has excellent thermal and electrical properties as well.
Aluminum 5052 actually does not have the same characteristics as Aluminum 5754. For example, this metal type is not as strong as the 5754, although its strength is still moderate to high. On top of that, it has amazing finishing qualities which makes it easy to anodize. A disadvantage of Aluminum 5052 is its low hardness.
Stainless Steel 316L
Stainless Steel 316L is somewhat the same material as Stainless Steel 304. It essentially is a low carbon version, that has even better corrosion resistance. This is the case if it is used in welded structures.