RE: RP of Thin Sheet Metal Parts

From: Spielman, Roger L (
Date: Thu Mar 19 1998 - 19:05:27 EET

        Hi Britt..

We have done extensive work using a YAG laser (Ratheon SS 500 Nd) to cut
multiple sheets of thin stainless for use in high temp furnace
applications. We set up the laser using a simple Anilam xy controller
on a mill base for movement. The process worked extremely well. The
stainless sheet we used was .010 inch thick, and we experimented with
type 304, 316, 321 and 347. All materials were (very) shiny. We used
argon gas to keep things clean, and ended up with a very nice clean
edge. We were cutting up to five layers at a time.

Hope this helps

Good Luck

Roger Spielman

> In the electrical connector business we frequently need to make rapid
> prototypes of small thin metal parts (typically 0.005 to 0.015 inch or
> 0.13 to 0.38 mm. thick) to tolerances in the range of +/-.005 inch
> (0.1
> mm) or better.
> I am exploring the following methods to cut the profile shapes in flat
> material:
> 1) Laser cutting: (suitable for thin metals?, clean edges?, shiny
> surfaces a problem?)
> 2) CNC punching or nibbling: (small precision parts, need for lots of
> special punches? speed?)
> 3) Abrasive water jet: (capable of narrow slots?)
> 4) Plasma jet: (clean smooth edges?, capable of narrow slots?)
> Any other ideas or comments on the above would be appreciated!
> Thank you,
> Britt Ferrill
> AMP, Inc.
> (336) 727-5387
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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