Laser Cutting vs. Punching

Technological advances now allow computers to control sheet metal cutting and punching processes. The fastest way to create sheet metal parts with holes is through computer numerically controlled (CNC) laser cutting or CNC punch pressing.

Laser Cutting:

    • Makes a hole by directing a high-power laser at a workpiece to either melt, burn, vaporize, or jet-blow the material away
    • Better for thin-gauge parts
    • Better for parts with curves or long straight lines
    • Possible to laser etch surface details
    • Leaves a high quality surface finish

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Punching:

    • Makes a hole by forcing a punch tool through the workpiece and into a die via shearing
    • Better and cheaper for producing parts in medium to high volume quantities
    • Better for parts with louvers or dimples
    • More cost effective for parts with lots of holes
    • Can easily stamp part numbers or punch a cluster of holes at one time

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