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Laser Cutting Guidelines

Tolerances, kerf, taper and other guidelines for that are important to know when designing parts for our sheet metal laser cutting service.

CNC fiber laser cutting is a state-of-the-art technology that utilizes a computer numerical control (CNC) system and a high-powered fiber laser to precisely cut metal materials. By focusing the laser beam onto a specific point on the metal, the material is melted, vaporized, or blown away by an assist gas, leaving behind a clean and accurate cut. This process is well-suited for a wide variety of metals, such as stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and brass. CNC fiber laser cutting offers numerous advantages, including high precision, fast cutting speeds, and minimal material waste, making it an ideal choice for your next project.


In the context of laser cutting, the term "kerf" refers to the width of material removed or vaporized during the process. Essentially, the kerf is the gap created as the laser beam cuts through the material.


You do NOT need to compensate for kerf in your laser cutting files.



Fabworks guarantees a cutting tolerance of +/-.005" across your whole part.

Thats hole sizes, outer dimensions, hole to hole, everything! Most parts are manufactured to much tighter tolerances, around +/-.002".


Laser cutting taper is a natural occurrence during the laser cutting process, which results in cut edges that are angled or tapered instead of perfectly perpendicular to the material's surface. It is important for customers to be aware of this phenomenon, as it can affect the final appearance and dimensions of the cut pieces.


Most materials typically see .001" taper for every .1" in material thickness.

Surface Finish

When you receive laser cut parts from us, you can expect a smooth, clean surface finish with minimal burrs and heat-affected zones (HAZ). Our advanced laser cutting technology ensures that your parts are precisely cut to your specifications, resulting in minimal kerf width and consistent edges. Optionally, we apply post-processing techniques, such as deburring and cleaning, to further enhance the surface quality of your parts.