Laser Technology
By Lauren Duensing, contributing editor
CoolLine being used during the cutting process
Using CoolLine during the cutting process significantly increases reliability when processing heavy-gauge carbon steel.
Parts, pronto
Fabricator automates business so customers can price parts, order online and have their prototype or small-batch order in hand quickly

he on-demand service economy has grown exponentially over the past 10 years. Today, consumers can quickly and easily order rides, groceries, meals and book vacations through platforms like Uber, Airbnb, Doordash and Instacart. Analysts predict these services will continue to expand in the coming years; the healthcare market jumped on board during the COVID-19 pandemic, and other industries aren’t far behind.

OSH Cut, Orem, Utah, is bringing the on-demand model to metal fabrication, producing parts for a wide variety of customers. Garage-shop fabricators tinkering with projects can call on the company to cut, bend and ship pieces, and large companies can use its services for prototypes or overflow work. OSH can cut metals in thicknesses up to 1 in. on its high-power fiber lasers, and it stocks over 300 grades and alloys of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and nickel.

“OSH Cut is an on-demand metal fabrication service,” says Caleb Chamberlain, CEO. “We’ve automated quoting and ordering so that customers can obtain instant prices and order online.”

Jacom and Caleb Chamberlain
Jacom, left, and Caleb Chamberlain, co-founders of OSH Cut.
The company’s standard lead time is five business days for prototype and short-run jobs, but Chamberlain says it’s possible to achieve “production lead-times as short as same-day,” depending on the job’s size, material availability and the shop’s capacity. Customers upload their part into an online app, set units, materials, finishing options and quantities, and then OSH’s system analyzes the part for manufacturability, quotes the price, and renders the flat pattern and 3D model for verification and approval.

The vast majority of customers are engineering firms, manufacturers and other fabricators, Chamberlain says.

Consistent cuts
OSH’s fiber lasers are capable of producing blanks within +/- 0.005 in. accuracy and provide minimal to nonexistent taper and burr, even on thick plate or aluminum.

“When we started OSH Cut a little under four years ago, we began shopping for lasers, and TRUMPF immediately stood out,” Chamberlain says. “Our impression at the time was that TRUMPF’s machines are state of the art, and that experience has been validated since then. We originally started with a 3 kW TRUMPF TruLaser 1030 fiber laser. Last year, we sold that original machine and replaced it with a 10 kW TruLaser 3030.”

The TruLaser 3030 is easy and painless to use. We were able to hit the ground running.
Caleb Chamberlain, OSH Cut
The TruLaser 3030 fiber comes equipped with a TruDisk solid-state laser that enables the processing of nonferrous metals. BrightLine fiber, a sophisticated combination of special optics and technical innovations, facilitates high cut quality, which contributes to easy part removal from the sheet. The machine is designed to be simple and transparent for the operator, who works from an ergonomic, swiveling console.

For thick cutting, where heat buildup can be an issue and cause uncontrolled melting, especially in mild steel, the laser helps keep the material cool with CoolLine, a feature that sprays water mist in a circle around the laser beam on the workpiece. Pierce splash-out also is mitigated by spraying the material with a small amount of oil during the pierce.

Chamberlain says that one of the key features of the TRUMPF laser is its reliability. He notes that compared to the other lasers in the shop, the “TruLaser 3030 is easier to run, easier to maintain and less likely to have issues during a cut.” He says the laser has the capability to use high-pressure shop air cutting on aluminum through a fourth assist hookup. “The fourth assist option gives us the ability to cut aluminum at significantly higher quality.

TruLaser 3030
The TruLaser 3030 can cut ferrous and nonferrous, thick and thin sheet.
“The human-machine interface (HMI) on the TRUMPF also is far superior to the interface on our other equipment,” he continues. “Our operators universally prefer the TRUMPF machines.”

According to TRUMPF, the operation of the machine is intuitive, even for operators who don’t have much experience with laser cutting, because manual input is minimized and the machine carries out a lot of the setup automatically.

“TRUMPF offers training and fantastic customer support,” Chamberlain says. “For our recent purchase of the TruLaser 3030, however, we didn’t send any of our people to be trained. We purchased the equipment in the middle of the COVID pandemic, and normal training schedules were interrupted. That didn’t end up being a problem, however. The TruLaser 3030 is so easy and painless to use that we were able to hit the ground running—even without special training.”

OSH Cut,
Orem, Utah, 801/850-7584,
Farmington, Connecticut, 860/255-6000,