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Laser cutting as an alternative to CNC milling: functioning and advantages

CNC Fräse Metall gravieren

CNC milling is a widespread technology that you can use computer-aided numeric control workpieces. The use of a CNC milling machine is associated with a few follow-up costs and very maintenance intensive. One Worthwhile alternative is the laser cutting. The production variant with laser cutters allows you highest precision with low maintenance costs.

What is CNC milling? Technology at a glance

Abbreviation CNC for Computerized Numerical Control. The milling machine is controlled here via a computer-controlled numerical procedure. This can be used to process different workpieces of various materials. The basic principle is a machining process. Thanks to the use of the CNC machine tools, the chip procedure is automated. Modern control technology enables a high degree of precision.

The CNC mill is today Primary in metalworking production spread. Further applications extend to the processing of wood and plastic. CNC milling allows the cost-effective production of different workpieces. Thus, thanks to the precision, the process also allows some complexity in production. Modern CNC milling machines can realize enormous cutting speeds of up to about 10,000 revolutions in the minute. Especially with large series production, this enables an economic form of production.

CNC mill

However, the technology of CNC milling is associated with the fundamental disadvantage of causing high maintenance. Maintenance intensity is primarily due to the fact that milling inevitably regularly new tool must be procured. The processing of materials by milling leads to wear of the CNC milling machine. In contrast, no significant maintenance costs arise in laser technology. Thus you have full cost control, which makes the investment in laser technology quickly paid.

How does the CNC milling machine work? Method and process

As a machining process, CNC milling allows the production of certain workpieces of a previously defined geometric structure or shape. The use is a CNC mill, which from the raw piece continuously supplies materialuntil the desired shape is reached. In this case, the milling machine rotates at high speed around its own axis. Meanwhile, it comes to chip removal, whereby the workpiece or tool is moved accordingly, so that the desired contour is reached.

The CNC mill is based on the computerized NUMERICAL Control technology. The required shape or contour of the workpiece will be in the Feed through CAD program Constructed. Afterwards, the transfer to a CNC software. This step is to consider a whole series of criteria and parameters. These include factors such as speed, cutting depth or feed. Typically, current CNC milling machines are equipped with up to six axes for machining. Three axes act as the main axis, while the other three axes are to be understood as auxiliary axes.

CNC milling machine and its variants

At the CNC milling machine, it is important to distinguish between the milling variants of synchronous milling and counter-run milling. The counter-run milling is characterized in that the router rotates against the feed direction of the workpiece. This creates a chip in the cutting process, which thickened. This has the consequence that the required force exposure to the first entrance of the milling edge until the outlet continues to rise. This creates a strong pressure. This is also noticeable in the wear of the cutting edge. The countercassing milling is used for this reason especially in the processing of workpieces with particularly hard edge zones.

The synchronization milling is characterized in that the cutting edge is a rotating movement in Presentation direction of the workpiece performs. In this procedure, the effort is the largest when entering the milling edge and decreases until exit. The process of synchronization milling is used in particular in connection with the production of very smooth surfaces. If high demands on the surface quality exist, the synchronization milling is therefore the first choice.

Another one Different criterion at the CNC mill is the tool geometry. In this context, numerous different manufacturing processes can be identified and distinguish. These include the CNC plan milling, the CNC rolling milling and CNC profile milling. Other variants include CNC screw milling, CNC molding milling and CNC dipping milling. Together, this CNC chip production is the possibility of automated and predominantly reproducible production of complex geometric forms from different materials.

CNC milling machine and materials

When editing with the CNC milling machine, several materials and materials are in question. The only prerequisite is that these are machinable materials. Classic materials In metalworking, steel and aluminum alloys are. But plastics and wood are also possible. the most common and most important materials and materials that can be edited with a CNC milling machine include


  • Steel and steel alloysCNC mill
  • Cast steel
  • aluminum
  • Aluminum cast
  • gold
  • silver
  • Brass
  • bronze
  • titanium
  • Plastic
  • Woodwork

Machines for the CNC mill

CNC milling uses certain machines. CNC machining centers are capable of complete Production and machining process to control. This happens automated and self-employed and comes without staff. The process comprises the steps from the first clamping of a workpiece over the milling process itself to post-processing. Also resulting tool change, the continuous provision of the cooling lubricants and a quality control can take over the CNC machining center. CNC machining centers are usually characterized by a modular design today. This will allow you to customize the individual requirements of the respective customers.

Current CNC machines work in addition to the three major axes basically with additional three auxiliary axes. This allows the production of elaborate geometries and also meets high demands on the form and dimensional accuracies.

Laser cutting: the better alternative to the CNC milling machine

Of the The biggest disadvantage of the CNC milling machine is in your wear and the associated maintenance intensity. Milling depends on the regular new procurement of tools. At this point, high costs and follow-up costs are created. Maintenance usually has to be done by qualified service technicians so that production losses are avoided. There is a constant risk of machine failure due to defective parts and wear parts. In addition, CNC systems are very complex with regard to technology and construction. Therefore, the consultation expensive, external service provider is required for repair and maintenance.

Lower maintenance and follow-up costs of laser cutting

Almost without maintenance costs, the method of laser cutting occurs. The laser cutter works with a laser diode that is not so worn during material processing. the Laser diode of the MR Beam about 10,000 laser hours unwind without power loss. After that, the performance of the laser takes something and we recommend a new laser head. Compared to the CNC milling machine, this is clearly maintenance.

Laser head

Flexibility and lower set-up times

Another advantage is the greater flexibility of laser cutting over the CNC milling machine. When laser cutting can be Change materials much faster. This also has a positive effect on a reduction in set-up times and set-up costs. The laser cutter also allows the processing of thinner materials. By means of lasers, you can already cut materials from a thickness of 0.5 millimeters. Furthermore, more efficient use of the raw material is possible to a milling machine. The materials can be evocious, whereby the committee can be avoided. By means of laser cutting it is basically possible to produce a larger number of workpieces in less time.

Precision and efficiency

Compared to the CNC mill, the laser cutting further has the advantage of even more precise machining of the edges of the workpieces. Already Smallest cuts and edits Are possible with laser cutter on a simple and fast way. Furthermore, the precise laser usually eliminates the requirements of post-processing. In CNC milling, subsequent processing (for example, a mechanical polish) of the milling edges is often required. Since this occurs during laser cutting automatically, this step can be saved here.

The seconds of precise and high-quality engravings make the laser cut into one Very efficient technology. Even if it is a high number of workpieces to be machined, manufacturing is more efficient than CNC milling.

Low volume and cleanliness

It is a laser cutting with the MR Beam around one Extremely quiet technology because of the Air Filter System. The noise during machining is low. The engines of CNC milling machines can be quite loud depending on the model.

Furthermore, a laser cutter works very clean. Unlike the CNC milling machine, laser cutting is not too chip formation. Thus, the workplace remains hygienic and clean. Your employees will be one Spared activity sparesSince working with laser cutters the material is evaporated quickly and explosively.

Easy integrability into existing processes

Laser cutting is a procedure that can be integrated as easily as quickly in existing work processes. Corresponding files can be used as usual in Generate analyzed graphics program. Then you can easily be forwarded to the laser cutter via a laser command. Again, there is an advantage over the CNC milling machine. In the latter, for the forwarding of the commands, a time consuming programming of the details is often required. the Beamos software Even supports you with intuitive presets and make it easier for you to laser job.

Non-contact machining: No holding device required

Unlike the CNC milling machine, laser cutting no separate fixation is required. Milling is dependent on a holding device, such as a vacuum table. The laser cutting is over A touch and power-free form of machining of the material. Even at low cuts, the material remains without prejudice around the interface. There is no damage or the material is warped when a laser cut is used.

What support does the Mr Beam offer in laser cutting?

MR Beam is a pioneer in the field of desktop laser cutting in Europe. With the MR Beam you will find a device that offers both the highest precision and all common security aspects considered. Thanks to the in-house software Beamos is provided for intuitive operation, whereby beginners can control the device. The operation of the MR Beam is via an application in the web browser. One elaborate software installation is therefore not required. By plug and play, the MR Beam works on different browsers and operating systems, from Windows to Mac to Linux. Thanks to the integrated WLAN, a rapid connection is possible. Since this works without a separate internet, the is suitable Mr Beam II Dreamcut Also excellent for use on the way, such as markets or fairs.

The MR Beam allows the Laser cutting and engraving On contactless way. In this way, a variety of different materials can be edited. These include such different things like plywood, Paper, fabrics, moss rubber or paper.

Engraved lion head

The Mr Beam corresponds to the laser class 1. You can use it without requiring a laser protection representative. thanks to the Mr Beam Air Filter Systems is also possible the application indoors.

As Maturity all-in-one solution if the Mr Beam does not require any accessories and can be put into operation immediately. Optionally, accessories and spare parts are available, for example, replacement laser heads, air filters and transport case.

You need more information about our desktop laser cutter? then contact us But just. Our team will gladly help you anytime, answering all your question.

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