How to Laser-Cut Metal Signs: A Guide to Laser-Cutting Metal

Embarking on a laser-cutting journey is like cultivating a garden—it requires patience, precision, and practice before you can reap the benefits. Just like you should prepare ahead before planting, garnering the knowledge before you laser-cut metal is essential for achieving the best results. 

Before you start, ensure you have all the necessary supplies and equipment. Make sure your workspace is orderly and clear of dust and debris, which can interfere with your fiber-laser metal cutting machine. Once you have all your tools on hand and everything is in working condition, you’re ready to start  

examining laser engraved metal sign

Prepare the Laser Cutting Design

For your custom metal sign, it’s important to start with a simple, legible design. While fancy scripts might seem more flashy, having a straightforward pattern for your first couple of projects will make it easier for your fiber metal cutting machine to cut through the material. 

Fiber cutters like the FC-510 can cut metals like carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and more. Keep in mind that the higher the wattage of the fiber cutter, the deeper it can cut. For example, a 4kW fiber cutter can cut up to approximately 2/8” thick brass. 

Perform Pre-Cutting Checkup

Before you start cutting, ensure your fiber cutter is set up and working properly. This includes setting up the gas tanks for cutting, checking the water cooler system for optimal circulation, and other diagnostic checks. 

Once you have concluded that your system is functioning properly, perform some test cuts on the same material you’ll be utilizing for your project. By using the same material with the same thickness, you’ll be able to witness the accuracy and precision of the fiber cutter and adjust settings accordingly to achieve your desired results. 

Load the Material into the Fiber-Laser Cutter

First, check the software to make sure your design is correctly displayed on your computer. You’ll want to confirm that the design on the software matches how you want the final product to look before starting the laser-cutting metal process. 

setting up fiber cutter software for fiber metal cutting

Once the design display is verified, don proper safety equipment like safety goggles and turn on the metal laser cutting machine. Activate the software’s nesting function to determine the area of your cut and optimize precision and efficiency. Then, place the metal sheet onto the machine’s working bed. 

Align the Workpiece 

Use the laser guiding system to adjust the position of the workpiece until it’s precisely aligned to where you want the pattern to be. The fiber-laser cutting software will automatically adjust the settings according to the properties of your selected material. This helpful feature helps you guide the metal-cutting laser to your intended target. Remember that the design will not transfer properly if you do not align the workpiece. 

Configure the Laser Settings 

If you have previous test results from prior metal laser-cutting projects, use these as a reference to fine-tune your settings. Adjust the speed and power of the laser to ensure your cuts are up to your standards. OMTech fiber cutters utilize Cypcut, a laser software designed for the seamless control of your laser cutting machine.  

If you want to achieve deep, precise cuts, lessen the laser speed and increase the laser power. Also, if your cuts appear jagged and rough, adjust the width of your laser beam for smoother results. Remember to keep a record of these settings for future projects, so that you can easily refer back to them when needed. 

Start Laser Cutting

Make sure to keep all body parts clear of the laser path before starting your laser-cutting machine for metal. Always avoid looking directly at the laser for extended periods, even when wearing safety goggles. 

fiber laser cutter cutting metal

Monitor the Laser-Cutting Machine

Watch your fiber-cutter machine closely for signs of abundant sparks or ignition. When laser metal-cutting, some sparking is guaranteed, but keep a fire extinguisher accessible at all times as a safety precaution. We recommend having a laser dust collection or fume extractor machine to decrease workplace hazards. 

Once the cutting process is complete, examine the cuts to determine if another pass of the laser is necessary. If your cuts are not as deep or defined as you would prefer, you can perform another pass to achieve your desired results. Once the cutting process is complete, power down the machine in the reverse order that you turned it on. 

Post-Processing Your Custom Laser-Cut Metal Signs

Upon completing your laser-cut metal sign, use a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol to clean the metal. Be careful, as the freshly-cut sign may still be hot. Make sure to use gloves when handling laser-cut metal panels

finished laser cut metal panel

The laser-cut sheet metal might also come out with sharp edges or rough surfaces, so use fine sandpaper to remove any roughness. If you are planning on painting your laser-cut sign, confirm that the surface is rough enough for paint adherence but smooth enough for the final texture. 

Create Custom Metal Signs with OMTech Metal Fiber Cutters! 

Whether you’re using your laser-cutting machine for metal signs or to create other custom, metal products, harness the power of fiber-laser metal cutting with OMTech! Our wide variety of metal-cutting laser machines allows you to laser-cut metal signs with ultimate precision and accuracy. Models like the FC-105 and FC-44 offer industrial results at affordable prices. Turn your business into a flourishing production with OMTech fiber laser cutters for metal!