FAQs: THE BASICS

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HOW DO I GET A LASER CUTTING PRICE?

HOW DO I ORDER A LASER CUTTING OR LASER PROFILING JOB?

We need a written order for all jobs. Please state our Quotation number on your order. It is acceptable to reply to our quotation with an "Ok to proceed" instruction on email or fax, as long as our quotation number is on your reply.

CAN I PAY BY CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD?

Yes. We accept all major Credit and Debit cards (except American Express).

CAN YOU PROGRAM FROM A CAD FILE?

Yes. This is our preferred method. We accept DXF or DWG files.

CAN YOU PROGRAM FROM A DRAWING?

Yes. We will need a fully dimensioned drawing.

CAN YOU PROGRAM FROM A SAMPLE OR SKETCH?

Yes. However, there may be an additional programming charge.

CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY FREE CAD PACKAGES?

Yes. This software is very handy and from the makers of SolidWorks. They are not associated to Essex Laser in any way: http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/overview/

WHAT IS LASER CUTTING?

This is the process of using a CNC Laser (Computer Numerically Controlled) to cut sheet material.


FAQs: LASER CUTTING SPECIFICATION

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WHY CHOOSE LASER CUTTING?

Laser Cutting is:

  • Fast and efficient way to manufacture parts.
  • Faster and cheaper than Milling, Wire Eroding or Waterjet Cutting.
  • More accurate than CNC Plasma, Gas or Flame Cutting.
  • Can cut smooth curves and any shaped aperture in parts.

WHAT MATERIALS AND THICKNESSES CAN YOU LASER CUT?

All sorts of materials can be Laser Cut using different types of lasers. The Lasers at Essex Laser Job Shop Limited can cut:

Mild Steel - Up to 20mm thick
Stainless Steel - Up to 15mm thick
Aluminium - Up to 12mm thick
Brass - Up to 5mm thick
Titanium - Up to 3mm thick
Bronze - Up to 3mm thick
Copper - Up to 3mm thick

WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT GRADES AND FINISHES MEAN ON MY QUOTE?

Mild Steel

Common Grades:

CR4 = Cold Rolled Mild Steel (available in 0.5 to 3mm thick)
S275 P&O = Hot Rolled Mild Steel (available in 4 to 15mm thick)
Raex = Hot Rolled Mild Steel (available in 15 to 20mm thick)

Finishes:

All Mild Steel comes “As Is” of “mill finish” straight from the steel mill.

Stainless Steel

Common Grades:

BS304 = British Standard 304 grade Stainless steel:
  • Most common grade of Stainless
  • Cheaper of the two standard grades we offer
  • NOT suitable for marine or food products
  • Also known as 1.4301 or 1.4307 (New EU standard)
BS316 = British Standard 316 grade Stainless Steel:
  • More expensive of the two standard grades we offer
  • Suitable for marine or food products
  • Also known as 1.4401 or 1.4404 (New EU standard)

Finishes:

2B = Cold Rolled
  • As it comes from the steel mill
  • This is bright smooth finish
  • Available in 0.7 to 3mm thick
HR = Hot Rolled
  • As it comes from the steel mill
  • This is a dull matt finish
  • Available in 4 to 15mm thick
BA = Bright Annealed
  • This is a bright shiny finish
  • Cheaper than mirror polished
  • Not as good as mirror polished
DP1 = Dull Polished 1 Side
  • Otherwise known as “Grained”, “Brushed” or “Satin” finish
  • Has a dull matt finish
  • Unless specified it will be supplied at 180 Grit
DP2 = Dull Polished 2 Sides
MP1 = Mirror Polished 1 Side
  • Otherwise known as “Highly Polished”
  • Bright shiny finish
  • Higher quality polishing than Bright Annealed
MP2 = Mirror Polished 2 Sides

Aluminium

Common Grades:

1050 = Soft, pure, cheapest, best grade for folding
5251 = Hard, laser cuts well, not suitable for folding
5083 = Hard, laser cuts well, can be used for forming
6082 = Hard, laser cuts well, expensive, not suitable for folding, can be machined after

Please be aware aluminium always has a light burr when it is laser cut due to it being
a soft material.

WHAT ARE THE LASER CUTTING TOLERANCES / ACCURACY?

Our general tolerance is +/- 0.2mm depending on the material thickness

WHAT THICKNESS IS THE LASER BEAM?

0.3mm is a good approximation, it depends on material type thickness

WHAT'S THE SMALLEST HOLE OR APERTURE YOU CAN LASER CUT?

A good rule of thumb is, material thickness = smallest diameter i.e. in 6mm Mild Steel the smallest hole we could Laser Cut would be 6mm diameter.

WHAT IS THE LARGEST PART YOU CAN LASER CUT?

4000 x 2000mm is the largest part we can Laser Cut

DO YOU HAVE A MINIMUM ORDER VALUE FOR LASER CUTTING?

Yes. Our minimum order value is £100 + VAT

DO YOU HAVE A MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITY FOR LASER CUTTING?

No. We can Laser Cut 1off to thousands off.
However, we do have a minimum order value of £100 + VAT.

DO YOU SUPPLY THE MATERIAL?

Yes. We can supply Mild Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminium.
If you want to use something more exotic, you can Free Issue it to us.

DO YOU LASER CUT FREE ISSUE MATERIAL?

Yes. We can Laser Cut your Free Issue material.
PLEASE NOTE: This is cut at customers risk.
We would normally advise you to send in 10% more material than required to allow for setup and losses.

HOW MUCH SPACE DO YOU LEAVE BETWEEN PARTS?

Allow 10mm between all parts on material up to 10mm thick.
For 10mm thick materials and above, allow material thickness between parts
e.g. for 15mm thick, allow 15mm between parts. We use an advanced nesting package to reduce waste material and to save you time & money.


FAQs: WATERJET CUTTING

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WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM SIZE YOU CAN CUT ON THE WATERJET?

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM THICKNESS YOU CAN CUT ON THE WATERJET?

Any material up to 150mm thick

WHAT TYPE OF MATERIAL CAN YOU CUT ON THE WATERJET?

  • We can cut virtually any material. We specialize in cutting metal but we can cut almost anything as long as it is not made from laminated layers.
  • Common materials are: Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Mild Steel, Copper, Brass, Plastics and Wood (excluding wood with knots)

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF WATER JET CUTTING?

  • Where is no Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) as no heat is used. Important especially for aerospace industry
  • You can cut virtually any material
  • Very high accuracy and cut quality for thick materials compared to other processes
  • Much quicker and cheaper than CNC machining the whole part.

If you have not found the answer to your question then please feel free to email us here.