Laser cutters and computer-aided machining got together in a shed a while back, and the net result is a neat new technology for cutting profiles in tubing of all dimensions. Among many other uses, high-budget race teams use these machines for cutting their tube frame members. They send the company a CAD rendering of the frame, and shipping containers full of pre-made tubes show up on their doorstep. Stick together, weld, and the job’s a good one.
In more pedestrian applications, CNC laser notchers can take the pain out of making many small parts, and the process is fast enough for production runs. While all this talk of computer-controlled rotation of the workpiece and two-axis motion of a cutting head controlling a carbon dioxide laser may be dull, the process is a blast to watch. Here’s proof (if you’ll pardon the background elevator music).
(Video courtesy of MarksBrothersInc on YouTube)