A laser cut tube is much like a regular tube, except it is treated with a laser before it reaches the customer. The laser is able to cut shapes such as circles and squares into the tube itself, making it suitable for various applications. While a laser cut tube can be shaped like any regular tube, the tube normally has a complex design that justifies the use of a laser. Along with being able to cut various shapes into the tube, the laser can work with many different tube shapes. This process works on many metals, though it normally is not used on copper and other metals that are highly resistant to lasers.
One of the most defining aspects of a laser cut tube, aside from the tube being cut with a laser, is that most of the tubes have shapes cut into them. Unlike a normal tube, which mostly is good for carrying steam or liquid in one direction, this makes the tube suitable for various purposes, including carrying substances in many directions and being able to sort small objects. The tube also can be cut into conjoining parts, which can be placed together or taken apart at any time.
It is possible to use a laser to make a regular tube without any shapes cut into it, but this is uncommon. This is because there are cheaper processes for cutting a straight tube. Unless a laser cut tube is made to have shapes or a complex design, laser cutting is uncommon. Unlike normal machining processes, which may have to cut the metal in several steps, the laser cutter just needs one step.
The laser cut tube itself also can be various shapes, such as a square or oval. This is possible because the laser cutter is separated into two main parts. One part holds the tube, while the laser cutter freely moves around the holder to cut into the tube. As long as the proper instructions are given to the cutter, using different tube shapes should not be a problem.
Many metals, such as steel and aluminum, can be processed with a laser cutter. While these metals are common, there are some laser-resistant metals that are rarely turned into a laser cut tube. Perhaps the most notable is copper, which rarely is cut with a laser, because it resists both heat and light, making laser cutting rather inefficient for anything aside from detailed design work.