How to Select a Laser Cutting Machine

Laser technology has been used to create phenomenal products due to its high precision. Laser machines are very fast which will reduce the lead time of a project. Laser machines are used for laser cutting where an invisible laser beam is used to cut or engrave the base material provided. These machines can work on a variety of materials such as metal, glass, wood, paper, stone, ceramic etc.

There are many applications and types of laser cutting machines that you can find out more on the spectrum laser blog. These machines can cut through any metal with accuracy. The diameter of a laser beam can vary from 0.1mm to 0.3mm. The power of the machine will be determined by the base material used for cutting. A machine with 1kW or 2kW power is able to cut iron or steel. But when it comes to cutting reflective metals such as copper, a higher power is required. The main parts of a laser are the cutting head and the laser resonator. The laser resonator has a glass tube that contains a gas. It could be carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen or helium gas. The mirrors within the laser cutting machine will reflect the laser beam produced by the resonator and direct it into the cutting head.The cutting head is where the laser beam gets focused onto the substrate.

There are many factors that decide the quality of the cutting such as the speed of the laser and cutting head as well as the intensity of the laser beam. There are different applications of laser cutting machines. One such application is laser marking where the base material be it metal, wood or other is not fully penetrated. The laser will create markings on the material due to the high heat of the laser beam. In laser engraving, a small part of the base material is removed forming a cavity. This allows you to engrave patterns, words or letters onto a substrate. The material gets melted by the laser and immediate vaporised to ensure the precision of the engraving.

Carbon dioxide laser cutting machines are quite common and they are more efficient as well. You can find a cheaper machine when you go for this type. If you are working with glass, leather, wood, plastic or acrylic, the CO2 laser cutter is a good option. Because CO2 lasers have been around for a longer time, there are enough personnel for their maintenance. Then there are crystal laser cutters which have a smaller wavelength to the laser when compared to the CO2 cutters. This allows them to cut through thicker materials such as thick plastic, ceramic and metal. But these machines are subjected to a higher degree of wear. Fibre lasers have a higher versatility when it comes to applications as they can work on organic material and metal. Their maintenance is low and they are highly efficient when compared to other laser cutting machines in the market. They can be used to cut reflective materials and conductive materials as well.

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