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laser cut sheet metal

Why Your Sheet Metal Parts Should Be Laser Cut

A CNC (computer numeric control) laser cutter uses a beam of light to cut material. Depending on the equipment it can cut sheet metal, wood, glass, or plastics.

The early machines had a beam that was directed through a lens via mirrors. Today, fiber optics the beam burns or melts the material. Typically, laser cutting can be divided into two types: laser fusion cutting and ablative laser cutting.


Laser fusion cutting uses reaction-inhibiting nitrogen or argon as the cutting gas. This process is suitable for thin sheets and in situations where the parts need to look good without further processing, such as grinding. In contrast, ablative laser cutting removes material layer by layer using a pulsed laser—often it does not go all the way through the material and is typically used for thicker material.


Ablative laser cutting can be used to make partial cuts in a material, whereas laser fusion cutting can only be used to cut all the way through it. Bottom line laser fusion cutting is much faster and ablative cutting takes more time.


The two most common types of laser cutting machines are fiber and CO2.
CO2 lasers typically uses a mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sometimes hydrogen, xenon or helium to activate the laser. In contrast, fiber lasers uses an optical fiber with rare-earth elements, such as erbium, ytterbium, neodymium or dysprosium.

Prior to the invention of the fiber laser, the lower the wattage the lower the cost to operate the laser. That has changed drastically; now fiber optics is three times faster than a conventional laser and can achieve closer tolerance than ever with excellent repeatability.

Because of these key benefits fiber laser technology these machines are found in many more sheet metal facilities. Some machine builders in the industry have indicated that fiber laser machine sales have really outplaced CO2. Yet, there are still many fabricators in the industry that believe there is value of CO2 machines for some parts because fiber laser doesn’t meet all of their customer needs.

Overall, steel laser cutting has revolutionized the sheet metal industry, offering closer tolerance parts and excellent repeatability and why Tampa Sheet Metal saw real value in adding a laser in their shop for their customers needing the highest quality part, along with fast turn around.

Tampa Sheet Metal has Amada FOL 3015 AJ running parts. This 4,000-watt laser can cut steel up to .875 inch thick, stainless up to .700 of an inch thick and aluminum up to .625 of an inch thick. It can also cut copper, brass and titanium.

To learn more about Tampa Sheet Metal Amada Laser visit:

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laser cutting steal engraved parts

Tampa Sheet Metal Specifies in Fiber Laser with Steel Metal Parts

Specifying fiber laser steel metal parts compared to other options reduces cost and meets higher quality standards. For companies outsourcing sheet metal parts for electrical, building, packaging, medical, oil, gas, marine, power generation, packaging, and other applications, should consider specifying steel fiber laser parts.


Why? Fiber laser steel cut parts are produced extremely fast, at precise measurements, allowing for more per parts per sheet. All three of these factors reduces the overall cost per part. In addition, the parts will be of higher quality compared to other options.

Other benefits of laser cut steel parts:

-Thick and/or thin materials can be efficiently processed
-Can produce parts that have curves
-Laser parts do not leave tool marks or scratches
-Setup time and programming are reduced
-No tool development time or tool inventory is needed
-Surfaces and edges are smoother


However, as everyone knows not all fiber lasers are created equal in terms of performance, quality, and reliability. This is why it is essential to investigate your vendor’s equipment before making a commitment for your parts.

Amada FO 4020NT Fiber Laser

To see more about our Amada Laser, and its capabilities, visit our Amada FO 4020NT fiber lasermachine page here –>

Tampa Sheet Metal, in business since 1920, has progressed from the early days of using hand tools into a modern facility of custom sheet metal manufacturing equipment including a laser running at the speed of light, robotic arc welding, and a fully integrated computer system running on Windows.