Aerospace components are becoming increasingly costly to fabricate and difficult to machine as we continue to increase the usage of high strength and toughness titanium, steel, and superalloys. Since 1971, the Air Force Materials Laboratory has successfully established laser cutting equipment and processes that have demonstrated significant fabrication cost savings. These equipment and processes are now being used in practical, economical, production operations.
John R. Williamson,
"Summary Of Air Force Programs In Laser Cutting", Proc. SPIE 0086, Industrial Applications of High Power Laser Technology, (30 December 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.954959; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.954959