The laser cutting machine revolutionized the manufacturing industry. They can perfectly recreate the designs made on the computer in minutes or even seconds. Laser cutting technology uses lasers to cut materials. This technology is deeply loved by enthusiasts and is also widely used in industrial applications. Let’s take a look at what an industrial laser cutting machine is, the different types of lasers that exist, and the results they can achieve.
What is an industrial laser cutting machine?
A laser cutting machine is a kind of CNC machine tool. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. The name comes from the fact that CNC machines take commands from drawings that have been digitized and converted into computer language describing every angle and curve of the design.
After completing the drawing in the computer rendering program, all the designer has to do is send the design to the machine. This is much like sending an image file to a typical printer.
Most importantly, the laser cutting machine can recreate these designs in a few minutes and can produce as many parts as you need.
How does the industrial laser cutting machine work?
There are several different types of lasers used in CNC machine tools, which will be introduced in the next section. But all laser cutting machines work in a similar way.
It all starts with a laser source, which produces a powerful, consistent light that can be adjusted quickly and accurately.
Then the light is focused and redirected until it reaches a good point. If you have ever used sunlight and a magnifying glass to make a fire, you will be familiar with how it works. When the light is concentrated enough, it becomes very hot and can penetrate the material of your choice.
The laser is usually installed on a gantry system. This allows the laser to move anywhere on the XY axis. This means that even if a lot of curves and angles are involved, it can reproduce the design very accurately.
In other words, not all lasers can produce the same level of detail. Some lasers are not strong enough to cut metal.
Types of industrial laser cutting machines
According to the laser source and processing material, there are generally two types of industrial laser cutting machines. One is a fiber laser cutting machine, and the other is a CO2 laser cutting machine. A fiber laser cutting machine is used to cut metal materials, such as carbon steel, stainless steel, and galvanized steel. The CO2 laser cutting machine mainly cuts and engraves almost all non-metallic materials, such as wood, acrylic, fabric, paper, and leather.
What is a fiber laser cutting machine?
Fiber laser cutting machine is currently a popular type of laser cutting, using a fiber laser source to achieve perfect cutting results. Fiber laser is a solid-state laser, which is developing rapidly in the metal cutting industry.
How does a fiber laser cutting machine work?
The optical fiber receives the light source from the resonant cavity of the laser cutting machine and transmits it to the cutting head controlled by the numerical control system. In the cutting head, the laser is emitted from the end of the fiber optic cable and refocused through a series of focusing lenses to a nearly perfect spot on the surface of the material. With cutting gases such as NO2 and O2 around the laser, the material to be processed vaporizes quickly in the strong heart and is blown away as dust particles.
Fiber laser cutting machine model
In actual laser cutting applications, users often have different specific processing requirements. Some beginners may want to buy an economical industrial laser cutting machine. And some users may require a higher level of automation or may require additional protection devices.
- Economical metal fiber laser cutting machine
This economical fiber laser cutting machine has high-cost performance, low consumption and low cost, simple maintenance, and convenient operation. And this industrial laser cutting machine can cut and process various metal materials, such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and galvanized sheets. It is an industrial-grade laser cutting machine that can perfectly complete basic metal cutting requirements.
- Exchange platform laser metal cutting machine
As the name suggests, this exchange platform laser metal cutting machine has two working tables. The two processing workbenches can realize loading and unloading functions at the same time. They not only save the time of manual loading and unloading but also improve the production efficiency, which is very convenient.
- Protective fiber laser cutting machine
This protective laser metal cutting machine adopts a fully enclosed laser protective cover. It combines security and visibility features. This steel laser cutting machine not only guarantees the safety of operators but also is more environmentally friendly. The professional CNC cutting system ensures the high-speed and stable operation of the machine.
Application of the fiber laser cutting machine
A laser metal cutting machine is suitable for sheet metal processing, electrical appliances, subway accessories, automobile machinery, etc. And in advertising, construction machinery and kitchenware processing, tool processing, home appliance processing, and other industries have many users.
What is a CO2 laser cutting machine?
CO2 laser cutting machine actually refers to the method of producing the laser itself. The resonator purged with CO2 gas at high speed (turbine or blower) uses a variety of methods to split the ions of light particles (usually RF or DC excitation), causing the light particles to collide with each other and split at larger intervals.
How does the CO2 laser cutting machine work?
Once the CO2 resonator produces enough light, it will be transmitted in a different way than the fiber method. The beam is reflected and refocused along a complex path called the “beam path transmission system”, which is purged with a protected “inert gas” to keep the path pure, clean, and free of dust, which will interfere with Transmit the full intensity of the laser. Once the laser is reflected in the cutting head, it is refocused and fired in the same way as a fiber optic machine, using a series of lenses to refocus, and using a high-speed cutting gas shield to purify the processing path.
Application of the CO2 laser cutting machine
Generally speaking, although the CO2 laser cutting machine can process low-carbon steel, aluminum, titanium, and other alloys, the cutting efficiency is low. However, it is very good at cutting and engraving non-metallic materials.
The materials that CO2 laser engraving machine can cut and engrave include:
- Metal: low carbon steel, aluminum, titanium, alloys, etc.
- Non-metal: wood, acrylic, paper, cloth, plastic, rubber, crystal, leather, stone, etc.
CO2 VS Fiber Laser Technology: Which One Is Right for You?
Advantages of CO2 laser cutting machine
Finish: CO2 lasers usually produce better edge quality on stainless steel plates and aluminum workpieces.
Flexibility: CO2 lasers provide flexibility in a range of laser applications including non-metals.
Disadvantages CO2 laser cutter
Operating cost: In addition to the mirrors, lens bellows, and laser gas required to keep the beam path transmission system pure and clean, CO2 resonators, blowers, coolers, etc. require more power, so power consumption costs are 70% higher.
Maintenance: All the above-mentioned components of the beam path transmission system require maintenance, which not only destroys the manufacturing but also is very expensive.
Speed: In thin materials, CO2 lasers cannot compete with optical fibers.
Advantages of fiber laser cutting machine
Investment cost: As solid-state laser technology becomes more and more popular, the cost of the system is declining.
Maintenance: Without the beam path transmission system and its extensive use of mirrors, bellows, and gas, fiber lasers (especially solid-state resonator types) greatly reduce the amount of maintenance required, so maintenance-related costs are also greatly reduced.
Speed: There is no comparison at all in the thin-material competition between fiber lasers and CO2 lasers. The fiber is two to three times the speed of the measured material.
Operating cost: Due to the lower power requirements of the resonator and lower cooling requirements, the power consumption of the fiber laser is about 1/3 of its CO2 cousin. Coupled with less maintenance, fewer consumables, and faster cutting, the cost per piece of fiber laser is very favorable.
Disadvantages of CNC fiber laser machine
Thick material surface treatment: One of the advantages of CO2 lasers is the surface treatment obtained on thicker materials, especially stainless steel and aluminum.
Overall flexibility: As we mentioned before, CO2 lasers have greater flexibility and can cut a wider range of materials, especially non-metals.
How much does the industrial laser cutting service cost?
Are you planning to complete your laser cutting project? One thing you should consider is cost. This information will help you properly prepare for the project, especially in terms of finances.
Generally, the price of laser cutting is calculated based on the amount of work done. In most cases, it is the cost per inch of material being cut.
However, there are many other factors that determine the cost of laser cutting services. These factors include:
Material type: Some materials can be easily cut by a laser machine, while others are difficult. This naturally means that the cost of laser cutting them will vary.
The cost of laser cutting carbon steel, copper, stainless steel, aluminum, or any other metal will never be the same.
Material thickness: The cost will vary depending on the thickness of the metal. You may pay more for cutting thicker materials than cutting thinner materials.
Quantity of materials: the volume of materials for the laser cutting project? Compared with a small amount of metal, laser cutting a large amount of metal needs to pay more.
Laser distance: This is the distance the laser beam is expected to penetrate the material. Compared to shallow cuts, deeper cuts in the machine are more expensive.
Auxiliary services: Additional services for laser cutting projects include packaging, cleaning, and transportation. These will also affect the final price of the project.
The cost of laser cutting services also tends to vary from company to company. The best way to find out is to contact the laser cutting service company directly. In this way, you will be able to get an exact quotation.
How to choose the right industrial laser machine?
Before investing in a laser machine, you should consider the following aspects:
What materials do you want to process?
The material you want to engrave or cut defines the type of laser you need. If you want to process organic materials such as wood, glass, paper, or leather, you will need a CO 2 laser. To mark on metal or plastic, you will need a fiber laser.
Size of the working area: How large are your workpieces?
The size of the workpiece to be engraved or cut determines the size of the laser machine. In addition, the number of workpieces per order also plays an important role. If your order contains multiple items, you can process them in one process. Therefore, you can save time and increase productivity.
How do you want to use your laser, and how much laser power do you need for this?
When choosing the laser power of a laser machine, the most important criterion is the application you want to use with the laser most often.
Choose the right supplier
An important criterion for the success of your business is the reliability of the laser system because only fully functional equipment can guarantee the reliability of your delivery. FORSUN CNC is a professional manufacturer and supplier of industrial laser machines. We have industrial laser machines with various powers. If you have any questions about laser machines, you can contact us, and we will choose the most suitable machine for you.
This blog delves into industrial laser cutting machines. We hope you find this information useful and will make an informed decision on whether laser cutting is your best choice. If you need any help to decide, please feel free to contact us.