What is Fly Cutting for a Laser Cutting Machine?

In communicating with customers, we often hear the word "fly cut". What is fly cutting? What is the difference between fly cutting and ordinary laser cutting? When can fly cutting be used? This article will answer your questions.
Fly cutting is a laser cutting method that can exponentially increase cutting speed while reducing cutting time, machine wear, material waste, and power consumption. This technique is most effective when large quantities of identical holes, shapes, and incisions are required.
In terms of positioning cutting, dynamic tracking of targets during the cutting process is feasible, making it suitable for cutting complex shapes and large materials. While fly cutting requires path planning based on cutting contours, and adjustments to cutting speed and power parameters to achieve high-quality cutting.
DXTECH laser fly cut stainless steel sheet
It is based on path optimization technology, directing the laser head to move within a grid of horizontal and vertical lines, simultaneously opening and closing at their respective edges to cut multiple holes in one pass. This also reduces laser activation time. When changing direction, the laser head uses tangential radii instead of sharp turns to reduce cutting time and wear.

Advantages of laser fly cutting

Shorter delivery times
Fly cutting exponentially improves cutting performance. In fact, fly cutting itself does not increase cutting speed, as it depends on factors such as material type, thickness, auxiliary gas, and others. However, software analysis finding the shortest possible cutting path increases the actual speed of the process.
Increased efficiency
Fly cutting reduces delivery times and improves overall efficiency. Additionally, by limiting movement in vertical, horizontal, and diagonal directions, power consumption can be reduced.
Greater material utilization
Another major benefit of laser fly cutting is reduced waste material, thus minimizing material wastage. Less waste also means fewer cutting edges. All of this is attributed to the optimized motion of the laser head.
Longer machine lifespan
Because the precise positioning motion of the laser head is simpler, wear on mechanical components is reduced, lowering maintenance and operational costs. Given that a laser machine is a significant investment, saving on maintenance costs will bring greater benefits to your business.

Operational steps of laser fly cutting

  Determining the Initial Position: The laser cutting machine needs to know the starting position to perform flying cutting. Initially, the workpiece is placed on the workbench, and positioned using a photoelectric sensor. After determining the starting position, the cutting head is moved to a position a certain distance from the workpiece surface to avoid collision.
Setting Edge Protection: For large materials or irregular workpieces, edge protection needs to be set to prevent deformation or damage during cutting. The specific method involves adding several additional cutting points along the outer edge of the workpiece contour, allowing the cutting head to quickly enter and exit the cutting area.
Path Setting: After determining the initial position and edge protection, path planning is required. Using professional CAD software or CAM systems, the cutting contour is outlined, and cutting paths are generated. Path setting includes adjusting parameters such as speed and power, depending on the different characteristics of the material.
Starting Cutting: After loading the program, the laser cutting machine can automatically start cutting. During the cutting process, it is necessary to constantly monitor the distance between the cutting head and the workpiece to avoid collisions. Additionally, real-time adjustments of parameters such as time, speed, and power are needed to achieve the best cutting results.

Limitations of laser fly cutting

Laser fly cutting is a special feature of modern fiber laser cutting machines, but like all good things, this method also has some limitations. Understanding them will help you make better business decisions.
Material thickness and type
The entire concept of flying cutting revolves around the idea of achieving maximum cutting in one direction. However, this reduces the piercing time required for clean cutting by the laser.
Materials such as stainless steel and aluminum, which reflect laser energy, can resist laser absorption, making flying cutting difficult. Similarly, materials thicker than 1.5 millimeters are also not suitable for flying cutting.
If the configuration is incorrect, flying cutting will result in poor cutting edge quality. To address this issue, always use flying cutting on thinner materials (usually 1 millimeter or less). Additionally, reduce cutting speed to allow the laser more time to penetrate.
Only suitable for simple shapes
DXTECH laser fly cut stainless steel samples
Fly cutting is most suitable for simple shapes with sharp edges. This typically includes rectangular holes found in grids. Dividing complex shapes into horizontal and vertical cutting lines is difficult, making it impractical.
Laser fly cutting of complex shapes can also result in heat accumulation at certain edges and affect material integrity. For complex shapes, it is best to use other cutting modes for better results.
Collision risk
Sometimes, improper cutting speed, poor path optimization, and low-pressure flow of auxiliary gas can cause collisions between metal blocks and the laser head. This can have serious consequences. Flyg cutting carries a significant risk of such collisions. To prevent damage, CAM programs must be able to perform intelligent path optimization.

DXTECH laser fly cutting demo

DXTECH is committed to providing customers with the best laser cutting machine solutions. If your processing materials meet the requirements of flying cutting, we can provide you with a flying cutting solution that is more suitable for your needs. Our prices are competitive in the market, and we provide excellent after-sales service to our valued customers. Additionally, DXTECH laser cutting machines are durable and perform flawlessly.

 If you are interested in flying cutting or want to know if your materials can be cut using flying cutting, please leave your requirements. We will contact you within 24 hours.

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