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Laser cutting-Tolerances and surface finish

- Dec 21, 2018 -

Laser cutters have positioning accuracy of 10 micrometers and repeatability of 5 micrometers.

Standard roughness Rz increases with the sheet thickness, but decreases with laser power and cutting speed. When cutting low carbon steel with laser power of 800 W, standard roughness Rz is 10 μm for sheet thickness of 1 mm, 20 μm for 3 mm, and 25 μm for 6 mm.


Where: S=steel sheet thickness in mm; P=laser power in kW (some new laser cutters have laser power of 4 kW); C= cutting speed in meters per minute.

This process is capable of holding quite close tolerances, often to within 0.001 inch (0.025 mm). Part geometry and the mechanical soundness of the machine have much to do with tolerance capabilities. The typical surface finish resulting from laser beam cutting may range from 125 to 250 micro-inches (0.003 mm to 0.006 mm).

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