One of the most exciting new technologies in manufacturing today is the rapid advance of laser cutting machines. These devices have gone from very expensive and complicated devices, to smaller and more efficient machines that can be used for all sorts of projects. You can even start a laser cutting business and learn how to work from home. With this transition many entrepreneurs want to enter the market for custom cutting and engraving. For those looking, here are a few basics to consider.
What Is Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting, and engraving is a fascinating development in the field of optics and the application of lasers. In the machine a high-powered laser is reflected by a curved lens to a single point, rather like a magnifying glass can be angled to burn grass and brush. The difference is the laser is powerful enough that when channeled it can cut everything up to and including steel. This practical application of principles allows metal, wood, plastics, and even cloth to be cut faster and cheaper with less burs and in the case of engraving allows for much finer detail.
Industrial To Personal
At first, these machines were principally used by industrial companies who could afford the high price tag for the equipment. They benefited from the ability to machine precision parts quickly, faster than such parts could be forged using traditional means. However, in 2008 a new type of laser cutter, the fiber laser, which amplifies its laser using fiber optic cable rather than the COCO2 gas of earlier models. This process is cheaper, requires less maintenance and has opened the door for smaller firms to get into the game.
As always, cost of such an endeavor will depend on what the company is looking to do. Laser cutters are priced on a sliding scale of depending on the power of the laser. The weaker ones will not be sufficiently powerful to cut or engrave metal, and in fact can ruin the surface of materials. Prices for good fiber laser cutters should average out at $25,000 to $65,000. While this seems steep, remember that these are versatile tools designed for different types of business and will likely last ten years or more.
A laser cutting business can end up doing all sort of work for all sorts of people. A cutting machine can cut virtually any pattern into any material. As a result, companies will spread their time between designing items for clients and producing or engraving them with the cutter. People looking to start such companies should have a strong design background, able to take pictures and sketched ideas and make them first a digital reality in design software, then hard reality in metal, wood, and plastic. They should also know the equipment and be able to make repairs on the fly.
Personalization And Diversification
However, what really makes this sort of company financial lucrative comes down to two things, personalization and diversification. People always want that one of a kind thing, that item that’s special to just them. Laser cutting, and engraving give people a chance to create these things for a reasonable price. The other benefit of these cutters is that there are no limitations to what the cutter can do beyond work surface and laser power. A company might today cut a thousand parts for a small industrial concern, and tomorrow cut custom made giveaway for employer branding purposes. That diversity gives the company a wide market to work for.
A lot of knowledge and money upfront is needed to make this sort of business work, but the once equipment is bought and staff are trained, there’s a great deal of money that can be made here as well. These sort of laser cutters have become a useful and practical tool in all sorts of industries and entrepreneurs can take great advantage of that. Despite all this, even a tool like a laser cutter is just a tool, it takes the ingenuity of the entrepreneur to turn it into a thriving business.