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Laser cutting sterling sheet

Has anyone experimented with laser cutting sterling silver sheet and
if so what type of laser did you use and what type of results did you
achieve. according to some there are laser types that perform well on
copper, zinc, aluminum & brass some advertising i have read claim
pulsed ND: YAG lasers can process non ferrous sheet up to 1.5 mm
along with high power fiber lasers that can process sheet up to 4mm
with some speed and efficiency. - goo

Goo, yes, pulsed Nd:YAG lasers are the way to go, cutting silver
sheet. Here is one US outfit that offers such services on silver:

If you need to do lots of that, the machinery is available

Mark Bingham
Fourth Axis

yes, pulsed Nd:YAG lasers are the way to go, cutting silver sheet.
Here is one US outfit that offers such services on silver 

So do they pay you for the kerf loss. That laser will vaporize a
fair bit of metal. On silver it might not be too costly but gold or
platinum will add up to a bit of money.

James Binnion

Focus on the total job cost. Depending on metal thickness, the kerf
may be as narrow as 0.1mm, allowing the saving in labor to swamp the
kerf metal value.


I spoke to them you have to ship the material from your own supplier
and the drop get returned to you. As for what gets vaporized they
can take cuts as thin as 0.005" which over lots of cutting line
length i am sure would be significant but then again if you are doing
a run of several thousand and they have to be precise plus meet a
deadline you have to lose something. I would say its like cutting an
expensive piece of rough you lose but then you gain… perhaps one
could invent a vapor recovery system for the laser ? - goo

I have had titanium and steel sheet cut with a laser and am somewhat
familiar with the process. Did they give you a cost per inch of cut?
The kerf width varies with the thickness of the sheet, the thicker
the sheet the wider the kerf. Most of the metal will either end up in
the water tank below the laser table or deposited on the surfaces in
and around the machine. My understanding is there is a gas nozzle on
the cutting head that blows the molten metal and vapor out of the cut
line where the laser has melted it otherwise the metal vapor would
block and diffuse the laser beam impeding its ability to cut.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

I may have missed this in the thread but what is the cost of laser
cutting silver? How is it rated? By the square inch or by so many
inches per minute?