New York City and especially Manhattan if full of subway grate covers that we can see almost everywhere. Those grids used for air ventilation and as structural support so people can walk on them. NYC subway grates are stronger than typical drain grills and they are build form interlocking panels welded together. LaserCutZ state of the art metal fiber laser cutters are capable of cutting thick metal plates that can be assembled into structural or engineering grates. Unlike old school plasma cutting, fiber laser can cut stainless steel and aluminum which means new generation grates can be lighter or resist corrosion without any special coatings.
LaserCutZ provides custom metal laser cutting services along with welding and fabrication services. This means that if stock grates and grills do not fit your design then we can custom cut metal panels for you.
Typical grates are panels jointed with a rod (welded) those are easier to assemble but rod cross section bares all the weight. If needed LaserCutZ can cut interlocking panels which will increase structural load of the panel. If needed we can calculate file based on dimensions given and slice the panel for you how ever it is recommended to do simulations for your files to ensure that panel design will properly hold needed weight. For example small simple panel will easily hold few peole standing on it, however loaded cargo truck may bend panel, so proper simulations are highly recommend.
Other factor to take in consideration when ordering custom made grate panels is where will they be used. Different metal have different properties. Stainless steel drain and lid panels will easily handle harsh outdoor environment especially 416L grade but metal weights more and cost more, while aluminum such as 6001 weight twice less but is not well suited for salty environments such as sea, ocian water and snow melting chemicals. And of course carbon steel will rust unless coated so proper considerations are needed for custom laser cut grates
If you need to prepare production ready interlocking grate panel for metal laser cutting this can be done fairly fast and simple. For architects Rhino can export panel ans topology automatically and nothing needed at all. If you do engineering in SolidWorks or similar software then all you need to do is to make solid block say 24x36x1.5″
Once block is created in solidwors, export it as STL or OBJ and then load it to Fusion 360 Slicer. Selecting interlocking panels and proper angle orientation will automatically brake solid block into panels as shown image here. Those panels will be insteted in each other and assemble grate block. Once panle is assembled it will get welded with laser, tig or mig welder which ever is more appropriate for material needed.
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