There is little else that can beat the precision of laser cutting. These are best done on materials like carbon steel as well as stainless steel. It can get quite difficult with metals such as aluminum and copper because they reflect light and also conduct and absorb heat. The lasers required for them are much more powerful.
Laser cut steel made on laser machines are used to make intricate contours that are used on exterior facades. Generally the laser beam used is around 0.2 mm or for better understanding 0.008 inches diameter at the point where it is cut and works on a power ranging between 1000 to 2000 watts. This process can work in complement with CNC/Turret processes. While the CNC/Turret process is used for work on internal based features of the likes of holes, laser cutting is generally used only for work on the outside.
When you need laser cut steel you will need to directly input electronic data that comes in a CAD drawing that will create flat forms of complex types.
Once the parts have been formed on the CNC/Turret process, a 3-axis control will profile the parts before subjecting them to the laser cutting process
Materials are very important when it comes to using the right kind of lasers. What is important to know is that the laser work by melting the metal that comes in the path of the beam. Heat treatable materials like steel harden once the edges are cut. This is needed especially if the edges form an important part of the final designing. But if you need to work on threading, then this kind of hardening is not going to work for you.
The entry hole diameter is larger than the exit hole, thus creating a tapered hole effect. For slot corners you should look at minimum radii of 0.030 inches. The process is not like blanking, piercing or forming. Therefore all the rules that pertain to regular design are not applicable here. The lowest the hole size goes depends on the stock thickness and this can go down to as low as around 20% of the stock thickness. This is in complete contrast to regular piercing operations that come with a required hole size of around 1.2 times the thickness of the stock.
The burrs formed too are quite small in comparison to those formed in blanking and shearing. These can be completely eliminated in the case of 3D lasers. Using such lasers will also prevent secondary deburring operations.