I am little confused about these two methods for a sheet metal process. I thought the laser has more advantages than conventional punch press in sheet metal industry like precision cutting and faster etching .
This evening while searching for a better method , I read an article saying that CNC presses are far better than a typical KW CO2 laser.
One says that" "Punching has always been faster, but within the last 15 years lasers are rapidly catching up," Vining states. "Years ago lasers really couldn't compete with a punch because a punch could generate lots of round holes, slots, vents, louvers and other forms. Lasers were generally used for configurations that the punch couldn't do or for shapes that you wouldn't want to produce the costly punching tools for. Lasers have come a long way with their software and power increases. We utilize both our laser and punch for the best methods. This allows us to make a job the most economical way we can."
Another one prefer the laser for curves and irregular shapes ""If it has more common hole sizes that we have punches for, it's going to go to the punch," Vining says. "If it has more radii and curves and shapes to it than what the punch can accommodate, it has to go to the laser. "
This site says CNC punching is better than laser cutting, water jet, and hard tooled stamping in case of sheet metal. 'EMK 3510 CNC | Sheet Metal Fabrication - Bayview Metals Toronto'*Can handle prototypes to larger production runs *Minimize costs in small to medium production as compared to laser cutting, water jet, and hard tooled stamping
*Easily implement Engineering Changes without large tooling modification costs*Faster than laser cutting *Suitable for a wide variety of materials
Which one do you guys prefer to work? What about the running costof both methods?