Last updated on December 19th, 2023 at 01:34 pm
Laser cutting is a versatile sheet metal fabrication process that creates precise cuts with minimal material waste—but it can be expensive.
A number of factors contribute to the cost of laser cutting services, from material thickness to the complexity of a part’s features.
In some cases, simple design modifications can reduce the cost of laser cutting services. But your best bet is to work with a full-service metal fabrication shop that offers laser cutting and punch press services and can choose the most cost-effective solution when preparing a quote.
Table of Contents
- 1 Laser Cutting or Punch Press?
- 2 3 Cost-Cutting Tips for Laser Cutting Services
- 3 Choose ASM for Laser Cutting Services, Punch Press Services, and More
- 4 How To Minimize the Cost of Laser Cutting Services FAQ
- 4.0.1 What factors contribute to the cost of laser cutting services?
- 4.0.2 How can design modifications affect the cost of laser cutting services?
- 4.0.3 When should I opt for laser cutting over punch press services, and vice versa?
- 4.0.4 Are there cost-saving strategies for laser cutting services?
- 4.0.5 What unique capabilities does ASM offer for cost-effective laser cutting services?
Laser Cutting or Punch Press?
Often, we review designs intended for laser cutting with features we could fabricate much more cost-effectively using our punch press. This is just one example of how our multiple in-house capabilities enable us to deliver the results our customers want at a lower price point.
A laser cutter uses a high-power laser beam to cut material. A punch press uses tooling and
requires a longer setup process, which can be associated with higher costs. However, for some parts, the operational cost of using a punch press is less expensive than using a laser cutter.
It really depends on the project. If, for instance, we need to order custom tooling to achieve detailed features, our punch press likely isn’t the best solution for a low volume of parts. But if you need hundreds of that same part, the cost of custom tooling could be worth it.
When we review your quote request, we’ll help you determine the optimal solution.
Sometimes, the decision isn’t “either-or” but “both”! Punch forming and laser cutting can work together as a dynamic duo. In fact, we’re currently using both capabilities for a customer’s part: laser cutting services to cut the main geometry and our punch press to add louvers.
3 Cost-Cutting Tips for Laser Cutting Services
When laser cutting is the optimal approach for your part, there are some steps you can take to minimize costs.
Use a thinner material
The thicker the material, the longer it will take us to cut it, and the more you’ll pay for laser cutting services. Consider whether a thinner material might work just as well for your part.
Choose an in-stock material
Is the material you’ve requested readily available, or will it require a special order? When possible, selecting a metal that’s in stock will prevent you from paying minimum order charges.
Simplify complex features
Does your design include complex features? Are they essential to the part’s functionality, or were they added primarily for aesthetic appeal? If you’re on a tight budget, simplifying complex features that aren’t strictly necessary can make a big difference.
Choose ASM for Laser Cutting Services, Punch Press Services, and More
ASM consistently goes above and beyond to help customers get the desired results for the right price, including creating in-house resources to support design optimization.
Our proprietary louver tool, for instance, makes it easy for customers to design manufacturable louvers in SOLIDWORKS. We’re also compiling a standard tooling inventory so customers know which tooling we have in-house and can design their parts accordingly to avoid custom tooling charges.
Request a quote to get started with our team today!
How To Minimize the Cost of Laser Cutting Services FAQ
Several factors impact laser cutting costs, including material thickness and the complexity of a part's features. The intricacy of design elements influences the time and precision required for cutting, affecting the overall cost.
Simple design alterations can sometimes significantly reduce laser cutting expenses. However, collaborating with a comprehensive metal fabrication shop that offers both laser cutting and punch press services ensures the selection of the most cost-effective solution for your projec
The choice between laser cutting and punch press depends on multiple factors. While laser cutting is precise, certain features might be more cost-effective using a punch press. The decision is project-specific; for instance, custom tooling for detailed features might favor laser cutting for higher part volumes.
Absolutely. To minimize laser cutting expenses, consider using thinner materials, opting for readily available in-stock materials to avoid special orders, and simplifying complex features that might not be essential for the part's functionality.
ASM excels in optimizing designs for cost efficiency. With in-house resources like a proprietary louver tool simplifying louver design in SOLIDWORKS and a standardized tooling inventory to guide customers, we ensure reduced custom tooling charges and overall cost-effective solutions for our clients.