Category Archive: Laser Cutting

Maximizing Precision in Laser Cutting: Tips and Best Practices

Precision laser cutting is a popular manufacturing process for its ability to produce high-quality, detailed cuts with remarkable accuracy. This technology has revolutionized how industries approach metal fabrication, enabling them to produce highly complex components with repeatable precision and efficiency. However, precision laser cutting services must follow specific guidelines and best practices to make the most of the process. Here’s how we maximize precision and quality in any laser cutting project.

Machine Maintenance

Maintaining the laser cutting machine is paramount to optimal performance and precision. Regular cleaning of the machine’s exterior is important, as dust and debris can obscure the laser beam’s path and result in inconsistent cuts. We use a soft cloth and compressed air for routine cleaning, with special attention to vents, mirrors, and lenses.

The cutting head, which houses the focusing lens and other critical components, demands careful cleaning according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This might involve specific solvents or wipes designed to remove contaminants without damaging the sensitive parts. Cleaning these components maintains the laser’s accuracy and extends the machine’s lifespan.

Mirrors and lenses also require meticulous handling with appropriate cleaning solutions while avoiding direct manual contact. Only manufacturer-approved tools and techniques like lint-free cloths and optical-grade solvents should be used, to prevent scratches or other damages.

Regular inspections of the cutting head can identify potential wear and tear, allowing for timely replacements. Damaged nozzles or focusing lenses can compromise cutting precision. We also ensure proper gas flow (99.99% purity) and pressure, as they significantly influence the cut’s quality.

Material Selection

Choosing the right material is a critical step in precision laser cutting. Here are the material factors to consider for optimal laser cutting services:

  • Material purity: High-purity materials with minimal impurities tend to have cleaner cuts, as contaminants can interfere with the laser beam.
  • Material thickness: Choose substrate thicknesses within the laser beam’s effective cutting range. Cutting materials thicker than this range can result in lower precision and even tool damage while cutting thinner materials can lead to overcutting.
  • Material reflectiveness and conductivity: Reflectivity and thermal conductivity also play a significant role. Reflective materials like copper or aluminum may need special handling to maintain cutting precision. Adjustments in cutting parameters are necessary for copper and other materials with high thermal conductivity to dissipate heat efficiently.

Design Optimization

Component design also plays an important role in the precision of five-axis laser cutting. These are the main points to consider:

  • Sharp angles: Avoiding sharp corners and tight angles can prevent burning or melting. We opt for smoother transitions wherever possible to minimize material stress and stay within the natural limitations of laser-cutting equipment.
  • Minimize changes in tool path: We choose designs that keep changes to the cutting head’s rotation and tilt to a minimum. Doing so reduces inaccuracies and travel time associated with repeated repositioning.
  • Compensate for kerf: Accounting for the width of the cut, or laser kerf, is essential for accurate part production and assembly. Our design software automatically compensates for kerf.
  • Tab and slot optimization: Good tab and slot connections allow for a perfect fit without having to use too much force. Joints that are too tight can warp the components over time, while loose joints can compromise the accuracy of the assembly. Our design software produces precise interlocking features in the final parts.

Precision Laser Cutting Services From Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping

Precision laser cutting is a cornerstone of modern manufacturing, offering the accuracy and efficiency required for high-quality metal fabrication. By adhering to best practices in machine maintenance, material selection, and design optimization, Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping ensures that each project meets or surpasses expectations.

Request a quote or contact us for more information about our metal fabrication capabilities.

6 Industries That Use Laser Cutting

Due to its precision, efficiency, and versatility, laser cutting is a widely used fabrication technique. 5-axis laser cutting, in particular, is capable of creating highly complex designs, with no finishing required. Since it is compatible with many types of metal and can adhere to tight tolerance requirements, it’s a popular choice throughout many industries. 

At Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping, our laser cutting services meet the needs of highly diverse applications. Below, you can learn about the top six industries that rely on this subtractive manufacturing technique to craft precise, intricate, and cost-effective components. 


The furniture industry relies on laser cutting to create durable yet attractive products. Many furniture items are crafted from metal, particularly those designed for outdoor use. Mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum are just a few common materials used in furniture making, and they are all suitable for laser cutting processes.

When fabricating metal furniture, high-precision lasers not only cut the product’s legs and surfaces but also add intricate designs for visual appeal. Virtually any decorative pattern or image created in a CAD file can be accurately recreated in metal. Some of the most common laser-cut metal furniture items include:

  • Bistro tables
  • Picnic tables
  • Patio end tables
  • Benches
  • Bar stools
  • Chairs

In addition to these items, many metal outdoor patio items are laser cut, such as decorative fire pits, gardening planter boxes, fencing, and privacy screens. 


Laser cutting’s unparalleled precision is vital for creating the intricate parts that HVAC systems require. Both residential and large commercial HVAC systems must be customized to the spaces where they will be installed. To fit perfectly, each component must be accurately crafted. Laser cutting is ideally suited to these demands. In fact, since the process is so accurate, there are significantly fewer waste materials associated with production, reducing cost.

While traditional cutting techniques are time-consuming, laser cutting is fast and efficient yet does not sacrifice quality. The process is also easily scalable to meet fluctuating levels of demand without delays. Decorative air vent grilles, air ducts, ventilation ducts, stainless steel hoods, kitchen smoke exhaust systems, and fan installation components are just a few common laser-cut HVAC items. 

Injection Moulding 

Injection moulding machines rely on a variety of metal fittings to perform plastic injection moulding processes. While these components can be created using laser cutting techniques, CO2 or ultraviolet lasers are also used during the injection moulding process itself. After a component leaves the mould, a laser equipped with machine vision can cleanly trim off gates and excess flashing that occur as a result of the injection moulding process. The extreme accuracy of the laser cutter ensures there is no damage to the moulded component itself.  

Commercial Lighting

Laser cutting is a common choice for creating both functional and artistic commercial lighting components. The types of metal frequently used in this industry, such as brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel, are all suitable for the laser cutting process. Unlike other fabrication methods, laser-cut components feature precise edges with no mould processing characteristics. Since there is no need to perform further finishing techniques, production is fast and efficient. 

Laser cutting not only produces the functional aspects of commercial lighting fixtures but decorative components as well. Using this process, artistic metal lamp shades can be created in styles ranging from simple to highly intricate. 


Automotive parts must adhere to demanding precision, accuracy, and tolerance requirements. Many of these parts are small and intricate or feature complex designs that can be challenging to recreate using traditional stamping and die-cutting methods. This industry, in particular, requires minimal deviation among parts while still achieving high production rates to keep up with the rapid pace of manufacturing. Laser cutting is ideally suited to these requirements.

This highly adaptable process is used to create many types of automotive components while ensuring they adhere to rigorous industry safety standards. Some of the most common laser-cut automotive parts include sheet metal body panels, exhaust and brake systems components, and engine parts.


The electrical industry uses a large number of small and delicate components that must be manufactured precisely. Laser cutting is a popular fabrication method since its accuracy guarantees that precise measurements will be adhered to. This fabrication method is also a popular choice since the delicate parts it creates feature clean, smooth edges that do not require further finishing.  Components like heat sinks, connectors, enclosures, and circuit boards are all created using this method. 

In addition to cutting metal parts out of sheets of metal, laser beams are also used to etch important information onto parts. Many small electronic components are identified and tracked by these laser engravings. Laser welding, which is a similar process, is also a widely used technique in the electrical industry. It neatly joins two pieces of metal without the need to apply heat or use filler materials. 

5-Axis Laser Cutting Services From Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping

With its exceptional precision and accuracy, laser cutting is a vital tool throughout many industries. In applications that require large quantities of identical parts, laser cutting excels, creating finished components at a fast pace with no sacrifice in quality. When parts that are intricate or feature complex geometries are required, 5-axis laser cutting is the ideal solution. 

Traditional laser cutting equipment works along x-, y-, and z-axes and requires the part to be continually repositioned. This creates room for errors and diminishes repeatability. However, with 5-axis laser cutting, equipment operators can simply tilt the table to work on three-dimensional parts. A wide range of thick and thin metal materials can be cut effortlessly, creating three-dimensional components with curved surfaces, tight angles, and highly intricate designs. 

At Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping, our laser cutting services meet the needs of many industries, creating diverse components with minimal lead times. As a fourth-generation family-owned company, we’ve been committed to quality for over 60 years. Whether you need laser cutting, metal spinning, or metal stamping, we have the expertise needed to make your project a success. To learn more about our capabilities, contact our team or request a quote today. 

The Difference Between 5-axis and 3-axis Laser Cutting

When selecting a laser-cutting solution for your part or component, it’s important to consider whether a 3-axis or 5-axis machine is necessary. While 3-axis laser cutting machines are capable of producing traditional parts, 5-axis machines can create more intricate components in a shorter amount of time and with greater precision. At Metal Craft, we take pride in delivering the optimal solution for your specific part or project.

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The Difference Between 5-axis and 3-axis Laser Cutting

What Is a 3-axis Machine?

A 3-axis machine is set up by an operator using computer instructions. The machine works on 3 axes — X, Y, and Z — using a cutting tool. This means it can cut in left, right, up, down, front, and back motions to manufacture parts. 3-axis machines are ideal for conventional part shapes and simple geometries but may require an operator’s intervention to reposition workpieces for more complex shapes because it is limited to 3 axes.

Benefits of 3-axis Laser Cutting

The primary benefit of 3-axis laser cutting is that it can create simple, rapid prototypes without the expense of a 5-axis machine. It increases the degree of freedom compared to traditional cutting methods and allows for a broad range of shapes and surface finishes.

What Is a 5-axis Machine?

A 5-axis machine works on the X, Y, and Z axes like a 3-axis machine, with the addition of A and B axes. This allows the tool to rotate front or back around the X-axis and left or right around the Y-axis. The 5-axis machine eliminates the need for an operator to reposition the workpiece and comes in two varieties, 5-axis, and 3+2-axis machines. It can achieve more complex geometries, planar compound angles, curves, and organic shapes that typically require molding with a high-quality finish.

Benefits of 5-axis Laser Cutting

5-axis laser cutting provides various advantages over 3-axis laser cutting. It offers the following benefits:

  • Improved flexibility to design and manufacture various parts and highly complex 3D components
  • High efficiency for high-volume leads, quicker machining speeds, and continuous operation
  • Produce larger part sizes and require fewer tooling changes and intervention
  • Parts require less setup time and secondary processes or finishing

Choosing 5-axis Over 3-axis CNC Laser Cutting

A 5-axis machine offers all the functionality of a 3-axis machine and can produce more complex 3D components. It is the preferred method of producing industrial parts with high precision for the aerospace, oil and gas, and medical industries. A 5-axis machine is ideal for producing deep and complex parts, reducing the time and operator interference required to manufacture them. Its operation can be completely automated and provides high-accuracy finished components.

Why Work With Metal Craft?

Metal Craft offers engineering services to design and produce solutions for our client’s needs. We offer 5-axis laser cutting, metal spinning, and metal stamping. The eight reasons to choose Metal Craft include:

  • CNC automation
  • Customer-first approach
  • Experience
  • Flexibility
  • Hassle-free shipping
  • Quality
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Design advisory

Contact Our Experts for Premium Laser Cutting Solutions

While 3-axis machines can create conventional shapes and geometries, 5-axis laser cutting is ideal for complex shapes and geometries. Metal Craft has been delivering quality metal services since 1969. With over 50 years of experience, we can provide you complete engineering and laser-cutting solutions. Contact us or request a quote for more details about our capabilities.

Waterjet vs. Laser Cutting: Materials, Uses, Benefits

You’ve probably heard of waterjet cutting and laser cutting, but how do you choose the right option for your fabrication project? This blog will cover the main distinctions between laser cutting vs. waterjet cutting, including their respective benefits and applications.

Laser or Water Jet Cutting – Which One Is Best for Your Application?

When deciding between waterjet vs. laser cutting, it’s important to know what each process involves and the applications that benefit from them.

Laser cutting

All You Need to Know About Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a precise fabrication technique that’s more energy-efficient than waterjet cutting. It has the ability to make cuts in multiple metal sheets at once, with a 0.002” tolerance. Although laser cutting equipment still requires manual programming, repairs, and inspections, the process itself is fully automated. Laser cutting requires a curved lens, nozzle, and compressed gas to produce a spherical, focused laser beam controlled by the program.

Five-axis laser cutting in particular allows for one-pass, highly repeatable 3D cutting of even the most complex geometries and features.

Main Benefits of Laser Cutting

There are multiple advantages of using laser cutting, including:

  • Repeatable and precise 3D cutting
  • Ability to cut workpieces into irregular or complex shapes with smooth edges
  • Compatibility with metal and non-metal materials
  • Produce cuts at high speed and efficiency, no need to retool
  • Can cut narrow widths
  • Minimal waste

Types of Materials Cut

Fabricators can use laser cutting to cut most types of metal and non-metal materials, like plastics, glass, wood, paper, and cardboard. This process also works with thin materials that might not work as well with other less precise cutting methods.

Main Applications

Laser cutting works with many applications, such as:

  • Metalworking
  • Medical devices
  • Automotive parts
  • Aerospace components
  • Injection Moulding
  • Packaging products
  • Metalworking

waterjet cutting

A Primer on Water Jet Cutting

Another cutting method you might use is waterjet cutting. A waterjet cutter uses a solid stream of pressurized water to cut different types of materials. The water used in this method could include additional abrasive materials such as aluminum oxide or garnet.

Main Benefits of Waterjet Cutting

Waterjet cutting offers numerous benefits that make it a popular option in many applications, such as:

  • Longer material life
  • Safe operation
  • Reduced risk of thermal damage and warping
  • No overheating
  • Accuracy
  • Low waste production

Types of Materials Cut

Originally, fabricators used water jet cutting to cut paper and other delicate, thin materials. However, with recent innovations in water jet cutting technology, it’s possible to cut a wide range of materials of varying thicknesses, including metals, marble, stone, and ceramic.

Main Applications

Today, waterjet cutting is a popular choice in the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries. Specific components include:

  • Metal gaskets
  • Vehicle bodies
  • Flanges
  • Skid plates
  • Turbine blades
  • Engines
  • Cabin panels

Which Cutting Method to Choose?

Both of these processes offer specific advantages that may make them ideal for certain applications. Waterjet cutting is less potentially damaging to the workpiece, while laser cutting offers optimal precision, repeatability, and efficiency, especially for 3D cutting operations.

Generally, laser cutting is often the better process to use in most cases. It offers a higher level of precision with a minimum cutting slit size of 0.006”, compared to the 0.02” minimum slit size of waterjet cutting. Compared to laser cutting’s tolerance of 0.002”, waterjet cutting’s tolerance is 0.008”. Furthermore, laser cutting involves minimal risk, cleanup, and waste production, which is why it suits many applications.

Premium Laser Cutting Services from Metal Craft

At Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping, laser cutting services are available for your application. Our new five-axis laser cutter can cut a variety of substrates with high precision and efficiency. When you work with us, you’ll benefit from our vast capabilities, which include:

  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • CNC automation
  • Design assistance
  • Customer-first approach
  • Hassle-free shipping
  • Quality assurance
  • Flexibility
  • Nearly 60 years of experience

Contact Our Experts Today!

Contact Metal Craft to discuss your unique needs or request a quote today.

5-Axis Laser Cutting vs. Metal Stamping

There are several methods for creating custom sheet metal forms, with metal stamping and laser cutting being two of the most prevalent. When determining which method is best for your project, it’s important to understand the differences between each technique. 5-axis laser cutting and metal stamping processes each offer their own unique advantages and properties to consider when making your selection.

What Is the Difference Between Laser Cutting and Metal Stamping?

Laser cutting is a technique that employs a high-powered laser to burn, melt, vaporize, or otherwise cut various materials for both industrial and aesthetic purposes. Using computer numerical control (CNC), the laser beam is directed at the material to make cuts based on preprogrammed instructions, leaving behind high-quality finished edges.

Metal stamping is a low-cost, high-speed manufacturing method capable of producing many identical metal components. It is a cold-forming method that uses dies and stamping presses to shape sheet metal into various forms.

Laser Cutting and Metal Stamping Advantages

Advantages of 5-axis laser cutting include:

  • Flexibility. With laser cutting, the same configuration may be used to cut a variety of forms from the same material thickness.
  • Precision. With an accuracy of +/-0.1 mm, it is possible to achieve high precision without any after-treatment.
  • Repeatability. With tolerance capabilities up to +/- 0.05 mm, laser cutting assures that pieces are almost identical.
  • Speed. Laser cutting is much faster than standard mechanical cutting methods. This is especially true for more intricate cuts.
  • Quality. Laser cutters leave just a little burr when used properly, which oftentimes doesn’t need to be removed.
  • Versatility. Laser cutting is appropriate for a wide range of materials.

Metal stamping benefits include:

  • Excellent accuracy. Metal stamping offers a very accurate way to form tough materials into intricate shapes.
  • Amazing quality. Although multiple components are cut together, the stamping procedure produces high-quality results.
  • Great properties. Stamped parts are extremely robust, rigid, and light in weight.
  • Waste reduction. Metal stamping results in less wasted resources compared to other forming processes.
  • Automation. Metal stamping allows for great automation and can incorporate subordinate operations such as tapping, welding, and more.

Applications of Laser Cutting and Metal StampingCNC laser metal cutting

The many benefits of 5-axis laser cutting make it an ideal option for applications such as:

  • Automotive parts
  • Metal and utility cabinets
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Electronics
  • Medical

Metal stamping is commonly used for the following purposes:

  • Power tools
  • Panel fastening systems
  • Industrial switches and connectors
  • Mounting brackets and chassis
  • Fastening solutions
  • Trash compactors and disposal systems

Partner With Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

Laser cutting and metal stamping are both beneficial processes that result in high-quality parts and components. At Metal Craft, we strive to provide the best solutions to meet your unique demands. Our knowledge, experience, and state-of-the-art equipment allow us to deliver excellent metal stamping and 5-axis laser cutting services for our customers in various industries. For help determining which process is best for your needs, contact us today.