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Laser Engraving & Cutting Machine Buying(Ultimate Guide)

Jun 16, 2021 Upload by OTLASER

Purchasing a laser engraving or cutting machine is not easy to make a  decision for beginner,hobbyist and businesses.Investing in a wrong laser equipment may affect your business.


Like 3D printers, a laser engraving or cutting machine is also controlled by computer and make the work effectively once provided requirement.


However, many things you should know before purchasing a laser engraving or cutting machine. With a variety of choices available for these machines, How to choose a laser engraver or cutter that fits your requirements.


In this purchasing laser engraver buyer guide, we will list some factors that you should think about before purchasing it.


Things you should know before buy laser engraver

 

  • Engraving material

 

laser cutting & engraving ideas

 


What job should be done with it after purchasing a laser engraver or cutter. Firstly,Determine what material and area you will engrave or cut? There are so many metal and non-metal materials can be engraved or cut in the market, such as:glass,acrylic,leather,wood, paper, metal, and plastic etc.
Not all materials can be engraved or cut by laser machine, Therefore, selecting the one that fits your usage. Apart from making sure the engraving material an area, Determine whether you will DIY it at home for individual, or business? If just want to DIY it at home for beginner,maybe you can choose a affordable machine but not cutting down quality too much.


However,it is clear to choosing a professional machine for business requirements.

 

  • Precision and accuracy


High precision laser engraver is loved by people, so laser engraving is greatly different from traditional engraving equipment and manual engraving in precision filed. So you should consider the precision of this parameter before buying laser engraver,In general, the higher engraving precision,the better effect.

 

  • Type of laser


Mentioned above, the type of laser engraver or cutter not only affects the price,but also affects engraving material and thickness.


Main types of laser cutter is as follows:


Fiber Laser:


The source of fiber laser is amplified and magnified seed laser through special optical fibers. The benefits of fiber laser cutting machine cover cutting of conductive and reflective metal, thrice the times of efficiency as compared to CO2 laser cutting machine and non-require movable parts. Fiber lasers can be used for metals and organic materials.


Although fiber laser cutting machine is very similar to crystal laser but It is more efficient and low maintenance.


Materials: Metal and Organic material.


CO2 Laser:


CO2 laser engraving/cutting machine comes with a CO2 laser tube which is charged up by electric discharge then produces the laser beam. The wavelength of CO2 laser is 10.6mm. CO2 laser cutting machine is the more common selected because of its efficiency and cheaper price.
Materials: Glass, plastics, leather, wood and acrylic.


Pros:

 

  • Decreasing cost of laser machine since Low price of laser tube.
  • Above 150W high power CO2 Laser can cut thick and thin materials.


Cons:

 

  • Glass laser tube requires a water cooling device.
  • Easily damage during the repair and maintenance and transportation of machine.
  • Condensation is exposed inside the glass laser tube may cause its  failure.
  • Glass laser tube not fit applications which require high-quality engraving and marking.
  • Glass laser tube has unstable power output parameters.


Crystal Laser:


Crystal laser cutting machine generate beams from YAG. The wavelengths of these cutting machine is smaller as compared to CO2 laser cutting machine,so they can cut through some thicker materials. Smaller wavelength also is beneficial to focus and higher intensity as well. One disadvantage of these cutting machine is that their parts wear out since the high power.


Materials: Plastics, Metals and Ceramics.


Fiber Laser vs Co2 Laser

 

  • Fiber Laser and CO2 laser cutting machines are the most common types, they have their own advantages and disadvantages:
  • Fiber laser can cut conductive and reflective materials but CO2 laser can not.However,there are some certain aspects CO2 laser cutting are better than fiber laser,such as: some thicker metals where require good edge quality,CO2 laser cutters can do better.
  • Fiber laser possess higher cutting speed and low operating cost,which now enables to cut as deep as 1.5 inches of metal,but higher price than CO2 laser.
  • CO2 laser cutting machine applied earlier compared to fiber laser,might more technical master the maintenance and repair. For fiber lasers,might less.
  • When it comes to material handling, you should know the speed of machine. Fiber laser machine works really fast so handling the material might be complex. You need to figure out the total working hours in a day and the speed of the machine for a given task.

 

  • Bed size of laser cutter


The bed size of laser cutting machine will determine how large area fit cut or engrave. A larger bed size will allow you to engrave or cut larger items and even if your may perform small piece.All in all, a larger bed size will allow to cut or engrave multiple items at once or bigger item might you need to do in the future.


Another thing is some laser engraving machine can’ not move up and down,in other words,which is fixed bed.However, some one what posses move up and down. A bed that move up and down will enable to engrave different thick items even if doesn’t change engrave depth.

 

  • Laser power


The power of the laser is measured in Watts. The more watts the more powerful the laser is. The power of the laser is important parameter for laser engraver or cutter,which will affect your purchasing cost and the engraving depth of some material.
There are some conditions that affect the depth of engraving:

 

  • Laser power
  • Engraving speed
  • Engraving material
  • Mirrors and focus lenses

In general, under the same conditions, the more laser power, the slower engraving speed,it will allow you to cut or engrave more depth.

 

  • Cooling system of laser machine


Air cooling and water cooling are commonly used in laser equipment,If CO2 laser machine come with water cooling,the steady work of laser machine is largely based on it. Any issue with the cooling system may lead to the laser tube failure.


The cooling system of laser machine should be equipped with a water flow sensor as the additional protection. In case if the sensor detects the lack of flow or poor water circulation, the laser engraving and cutting machine will power off the laser tube automatically to protect it from damage and reduce your loss.


However,if more budget,we recommend you purchase laser engraving machine with air cooling.It is more convenient in operations and reduce failure.

 

  • Replacement Parts


Another factor you should think over is whether the replacement parts are easy to get in case the laser engraver fail. No matter how good quality of items it may break down in sometime.


There is not a lot of loss if you can be easy to get the replacements parts  and fix it in time. So it is an important thing you should know before buying it.

 

  • Maintenance


Another thing you should know how long should be maintenance for the machine and if you can do it by yourself or other professionals.


whether the equipment is easy or hard to maintain or fix, If it is hard to maintain, you might seek a professional technical to do it, resulting in a lot of extra cost.There, look for a machine that is easy to maintain and repair.

 

  • Cost


How much you will spend it that determine the machine you will purchase.In general,higher price is high quality,but not always like this,You can choose relatively better within your budget,the cost of laser engraver/cutter should be considered .


If you hope the equipment that can engrave many materials, the more cost compared to others.Maybe there is a cheaper choice, but it might consume more power energy.


There are a variety of laser engravers or cutter option in the market,  range from $500 to $30,000. A lot of factors that affect the final price such as: laser source,laser power, engraving material and engraving area etc.


Summary


Above are some common purchasing guide how to choose a laser engraver or cutter. It may be help for people who are looking for laser engraving and cutting machine.Selecting the right one suits your requirements is more important. If you will perform non-metals in limit budget, try going for CO2 laser engravers and cutter . However, if you will engrave or cut precise items on metals or reflective surfaces like steel,aluminium, might fiber laser machine is more suitable for you.So,How to correct start your business by small and medium power laser engraver and cutter system is an important step, We now can provide a variety of China laser engraving machines and solutions that might meet your need.Contact us today,free expert consultation.