Laser Cutting Machine
What is a laser cutting machine?
As a type of laser CNC machine, the laser cutting machine uses a high-power-density laser beam to irradiate the material. And the material is quickly heated to the vaporization temperature and evaporates to form holes. As the beam moves on the material, the hole continuously forms a slit with a very narrow width, thereby completing the cutting of the material.
Compared with the traditional metal cutting machines or acrylic cutting machine, the laser machine belongs to non-contact processing. The mechanical part of the laser head has no contact with the workpiece. And it will not scratch the surface of the workpiece during work. The wood laser cutter or metal laser cutter uses an invisible laser beam to replace the traditional mechanical knife. Therefore, it has the characteristics of high precision, fast cutting, smooth cut, and low processing cost.
Laser cutting machine types
According to laser types, CNC laser cutting machines include the CO2 laser cutting machine, YAG laser cutting machine, and fiber laser cutting machine.
Based on different structures, the laser wood cutting machine or metal laser cutting machine includes several types. For example, the gantry laser cutting equipment, cantilever laser cutting equipment, robotic CNC laser cutting equipment, etc.
In terms of laser power, the CNC laser cutting machine can have high power, medium power, and low power models. A high-power laser cutting machine is mainly for cutting purposes, like the wood or sheet metal laser cutter, etc. A low-power laser CNC machine is mainly for cutting non-metals and engraving metals. Like the best laser engraver for wood, laser CNC engraver, and metal engraving laser machine.
According to the nature of the cutting material, the CNC laser cutting machine can have many types. For instance, steel laser cutter, laser CNC engraver, and metal engraving laser machine. And also laser wood cutting machine, acrylic cutting machine, laser paper cutter, laser fabric cutter, leather laser cutter, and CO2 laser engraver for wood.
In light of the worktable size, it falls into home laser cutter machine, desktop laser cutter, hobby laser cutter, and large cutting and engraving laser machine.
On account of the material shape, the CNC laser cutting machine can have the sheet metal laser cutter, and tube cutting engraving laser machine.
2 popular laser machine cutters recommendation
According to laser generators, the most common CNC laser cutting machine includes the fiber laser cutting machine, and CO2 laser cutting machine. The following is an introduction to the characteristics of the two laser cutters and their respective market positioning.
Fiber laser cutting machine
The fiber laser cutting machine transmits the laser beam through the optical fiber. It has the characteristics of high flexibility, fewer failure points, convenient maintenance, and fast processing speed. In addition, the photoelectric conversion rate of the fiber laser cutter is as high as 25%. So the advantages of fiber laser are quite obvious in terms of electricity consumption and supporting cooling systems.
The wavelength of the fiber laser cutter is 1.064um, which is easily absorbed by metals. So it is also known as metal cutting machines, or metal laser cutting machines. As an emerging laser technology, a fiber laser cutting machine is far less popular than a CO2 one.
|Working table size
||1300*2500mm, 3000*1500mm, 4000*1500mm, 4000*2000mm, 6000*2000mm (customized)
|Repeatability positioning accuracy
||Metal (stainless steel, carbon steel, galvanized steel, alloys)
Main advantages: high photoelectric conversion rate, low power consumption, small slits, good spot quality, less maintenance.
Main market positioning: the fiber laser cutter is mainly used for fine cutting in the field of metal material processing. It is suitable for users and manufacturers who have higher requirements on processing precision, processing efficiency, and processing quality.
CO2 laser cutting machine
CO2 laser cutting machine can cut wood, acrylic, organic glass, and other non-metallic materials with high quality. The wavelength of the CO2 laser is 10.6um, which is ten times of the fiber laser. It is relatively easy to be absorbed by non-metals. But the photoelectric conversion rate of the CO2 laser cutter is only about 10%. The CO2 laser equipment has a nozzle for blowing oxygen, compressed air, or inert gas N2 at the head. It aims to increase the cutting speed and the smoothness of the cut. To improve the stability and life of the power supply, the discharge stability of the high-power laser must be solved for the CO2 gas laser. According to international safety standards, the laser hazard level has 4 levels. And the CO2 laser CNC engraver and cutter is the least hazardous level.
|Working table size
||900*600mm,1300*900mm, 1400*1200mm, 1300*2500mm or as requested
|Repeatability positioning accuracy
||Acrylic, glass, leather, MDF, paper, plastic, sponge, plexiglax, plywood, rubber, stone, wood, crystal, etc
Since the CO2 laser outputs a continuous laser, it has the smoothest and best-cutting section effect when cutting. The wood laser cutter can cut and engrave a wide range of materials. For example, aluminum panels within 4mm, acrylic panels, wood panels, and PVC panels.
Main market positioning: It is the best laser cutter for small business engaging in the sales of laser-cut products. However, it has a large maintenance cost and high power consumption. So in recent years, the CO2 laser cutter market has been greatly impacted by the fiber laser cutting equipment. But it still has distinctive features in cutting and engraving non-metal materials.
Applicable industries of laser cutting machines
Laser cutting machines have extensive applications in various industries. For instance:
Aerospace, automotive, electronics, semiconductor, mobile phones, computers, sheet metal processing, tube cutting, printing, packaging, garment, advertising, crafts, artworks, gifts, furniture, decoration, medical equipment
Features of laser cutting machine compared with traditional cutting methods
In the field of cutting, traditional cutting methods mainly include the blanking press or turret punch. The blanking press has a special cutting tool for each shape. While the turret punch has many small tools to punch out parts by cutting a limited number of hole sizes and some linear blades for the outer edge. However, the CNC laser cutter engraver uses the laser beam to melt the materials in a non-contact manner. Therefore, laser equipment has many advantages compared with other cutting processes.
1.Low energy consumption.
A general blanking press or turret punching machine consumes a total of 50kW of power. It is equivalent to a 4kw laser system that usually uses a total of 10kW.
The blanking press has a large blade that can move up and down quickly to cut. It does not necessarily have a safety function to prevent the hand from getting stuck. Due to the high level of automation, laser wood or metal cutting machines can complete sheet or tube cutting automatically. It greatly decreases the human intervention during the cutting process, and effectively protects the operator's safety. Besides, the laser equipment with a protective cover can protect not only the operator’s safety but also the environment.
3.Save raw materials.
The so-called saving of raw materials is actually a more efficient use of materials. Since the cutting tool needs to cut the materials on both sides, at least a 12.7mm frame is left. For the laser cutting and engraving machine, if the parts have a common profile, they can be cut with a single cut without waste.
The blanking die can only be cut by exceeding the maximum tensile strength of the material. While the CNC laser equipment near me can cut any strength material at a high speed and high precision.
Blanking presses or turret punches have very expensive parts. And maintenance and replacement of such parts require a lot of costs. However, the sheet metal laser cutter or engraving laser machine requires less maintenance.
The traditional production line is equipped with a fixed design tool for each part. If the nature of the part changes, the design change is limited to the available tools. Otherwise, you must buy new tools and replace the available slots on the turret. The CNC laser equipment near me adopts programming technology, and the processing is very flexible and convenient. You can use the metal engraving laser machine or CO2 laser to engrave and cut various kinds of products without changing any mechanical parts.
7.Fast processing speed and high production efficiency.
The blanking press takes 30 minutes to switch between cutting different parts because of changing dies. The laser CNC machine can change the program in a short time. This saves time and allows to run smaller production to reduce costs.
Why choose the laser cutting machine?
(1)Good cutting quality
Due to the small laser spot, high energy density, and fast cutting speed, laser cutting can obtain better cutting quality. Especially for small and exquisite cut products, the wood laser cutter is always the first choice. It is the best laser cutter for small business.
(2)High cutting efficiency
Because of the transmission characteristics of the laser, the entire cutting process can be fully controlled. During operation, you only need to change the numerical control program to apply the cutting of parts of different shapes. The CNC laser cutter engraver can realize consistent two-dimensional cutting or three-dimensional cutting and engraving automatically in a long term. Without manual operations, the laser engraving cutting machine increases cutting efficiency greatly.
High precision is one of the greatest benefits that the best laser cutter and the best laser engraver bring. Laser cutting allows for highly accurate cuts that leave a clean cut and a smooth finish. This has helped products, components, and devices to become much smaller, and greatly reduces material wastage.
There is no contact between the laser head and the workpiece during laser cutting. And the heat-affected area is small. This minimizes the damage to the material surface. It also avoids the costly repair and maintenance schedules for moving parts that contact the materials. To process parts of different shapes, we just need to change the part design and the laser output parameters. The laser cutting process has the features of low noise, low vibration, and no pollution.
(5)Work with many materials
The laser cutting machine can cut various materials down in size or help to create complex and intricate shapes. For metals and alloys, we have metal laser cutting equipment, steel laser cutter, tube cutting laser machines, etc. As for non-metals and composite materials, we have the wood laser cutter, laser fabric cutter, leather laser cutter, laser paper cutter, and laser engraving machine for wood.
Factors affecting laser cutting machine price
Generally speaking, the price of a metal laser cutter is far more expensive than a CO2 one. The factors affecting the price quotation of laser cutters are mainly as follows:
We all know that brand is an added value of any product. The same goes for the laser cutting machine. The brand effect is reflected in the machine quality, kits/parts, performance, and after-sales service. Generally speaking, the cutting and engraving laser machine of big brands will have higher prices than those of small factories.
With the same other configurations, the price of large-sized laser cutting machines is higher than that of small-sized ones. The price of the customized best laser engraver for wood is higher than that of the regular-sized ones.
For example, the home laser cutter machine usually has a working size of less than 600*600mm. You may only pay several hundreds of dollars to buy such a laser cutter engraver. However, some metal laser tube cutting machines are in large sizes to process large-sized metal sheets. For instance, 3000*1500mm and 2000*4000mm. Such a laser CNC machine could cost you over $20,000.
In addition, if you want a custom-size CO2 laser engraver, you may have to pay a bit more than that in a similar regular size.
3.Laser generator brand and power
As we all know, the laser is the core optical component of the laser cutting machine. As different laser generators, the laser beam quality is also distinctive. At present, imported lasers are superior to domestic lasers in terms of stability and beam quality. The price of imported brand lasers is also higher than that of domestic lasers.
For the same brand laser generator, the greater the laser power, the higher the laser cutting machine price. The CO2 laser engraver for wood or laser engraving machine for wood usually adopts small power, like 130W and 150W. While the metal engraving and metal sheet or tube cutting machine adopts large laser power, like over 500W. So the price of the metal engraving laser machine is far more expensive than a CO2 laser engraver for wood.
4.Other key laser CNC machine components
Other key components mainly include guide rails, rack and pinion, motor, water chiller, etc. Their brand and quality are also the reasons for the price difference. Imported or famous brand parts and components will cost you much.
In conclusion, there are many factors affecting the price of laser machines. This includes brand awareness, core configuration, optional functions, processing requirements, manufacturers' service, etc.
How to choose a laser cutting machine?
#1. Make clear your processing demands.
The first thing is to make clear your processing requirements, like processing material type and size, accuracy tolerance, etc. This helps you determine which type of CNC laser equipment you need. For engraving and cutting metals, you may look for a metal engraving laser machine or a fiber laser cutting equipment. In the case of engraving and cutting non-metals, the hobby laser cutter or home laser machine could be your best choice.
#2 Choose the right laser machine manufacturer.
This step matters a lot concerning the laser CNC machine quality you choose. Good manufacturers provide good quality CNC laser equipment with a complete quality assurance system and after-sales service system.
You can go to the market to get to know about the machine's performance and some parameters. You can also choose a manufacturer with a good reputation for on-site inspections. And you need to conduct more detailed discussions on the price of the CNC laser machine, installation instruction, skill training, payment methods, and after-sales service.
#3. Choose the laser machine configuration.
You can communicate the configurations and specifications you like with the laser cutting machine manufacturer. All the configurations shall be based on your specific processing requirements. These laser cutting machine kits include lasers, laser heads, servo motors, guide rails, water coolers, etc. In case that you are not sure about the detailed specifications, you can talk to the manufacturer. It will recommend this for you.
#4. Sign a contract.
After determining all the details of the laser engraving cutting machine, sign a contract with the CNC laser manufacturer. This contract shall specify all the agreements made between you and the manufacturer. For example, the laser wood cutting machine model, configurations, price, shipping method, payment method, delivery date, advance, etc.
DIY laser cutter or buy a desktop laser cutter?
DIY laser cutter and engraver have gained more popularity these days. But DIY laser cutting machines usually only apply to the home laser or desktop laser cutter near me. Features of the DIY laser cutter and engraver include simple structure, practical usage, and low cost. However, DIY laser machines require you to have certain CNC basic knowledge and hands-on ability. Besides, it takes you much time to buy all the laser machine parts.
Buying a complete hobby laser cutter near me applies to any occasion. You can buy a wood laser cutter, an acrylic laser cutter, or a laser engraver for wood. Compared with DIY laser cutting machine, buying a complete hobby laser cutter may cost much money of you. However, it has distinctive features, such as rigid structure, long service life, high precision, excellent processing quality, fast speed, etc. For the companies that live on the sales of or frequently require laser-cut or laser-engraved products, buying a laser engraving cutting machine is the best choice.