Metal Cutting Challenges: Part Geometry

A common pitfall is to assume that any part can be cut on any machine.  The truth is that some parts are simply not compatible with certain materials or machines. For example, some part geometries are affected more than others by the thermal process. Corners or smaller areas of a part absorb more heat, and consequently the probability of thermal runaways or violent reactions like blowouts increase.  In these instances waterjet cutting is a better option.

Generally speaking, the more complicated the part geometry, the more difficult it is to maintain constant cutting speeds. Often, speed and productivity are compromised when cutting shapes with varying curves and angles. It is generally more efficient to speed up a laser when cutting curves to prevent overheating the part and deteriorating edge quality. Pulsing the laser rather than using a continuous wave to pop or drill holes is one method that is used for avoiding thermal problems.