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Thread: How many watts to cut 1/4 mild steel or aluminum?

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    Question How many watts to cut 1/4 mild steel or aluminum?

    I'm thinking about building a DIY laser cutter. (Already have a 6x10 cnc router in the garage). Ideally, I'd like to cut 1/4" inch plate steel and/or 1/4" aluminum.

    How many watts are we talking to cut such thicknesses? (I did some searching but only found topics on thin metals)

    Is this even possible for a DIY machine?

    Thanks,

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetropolisCNC View Post
    I'm thinking about building a DIY laser cutter. (Already have a 6x10 cnc router in the garage). Ideally, I'd like to cut 1/4" inch plate steel and/or 1/4" aluminum.

    How many watts are we talking to cut such thicknesses? (I did some searching but only found topics on thin metals)

    Is this even possible for a DIY machine?

    Thanks,

    Matt
    That's going to be a tough DIY build. You could probably do 1/4 steel with 300-500 watts and oxygen, but that's multiple tubes combined.

    Have you considered plasma? That one is pretty easy to DIY, and a lot more reasonable in cost.

    Dave



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    I was hoping for a cleaner cut than plasma. I have access to a plasma cutter already as well. I've been doing some more research and found I need to rethink my end goal. A 40-60w laser engraver may be more suited to my final project, but I was really hoping to be able to do some other projects being able to cut steel and aluminum that thick.

    -Matt



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    Hi Matt,

    40W,60W can't do that. Common Co2 lasers in China have difficulty in cutting this.

    Yag laser can do this, but it is far more expensive.



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    I found 1/4 hrpo steel cuts smooth at about about 1500 watts. At about 60 ipm, Using oxygen as an assist gas. I have only cut thin .040 aluminum (using Nitrogen) but for steel once you get through the materail it cuts pretty good. Using a mazak new turbo-x 1.5 kW.

    Last edited by br1; 03-14-2012 at 10:48 AM.


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