What’s the Range of Laser Cutting Machines?

Laser cutters create patterns and designs by cutting into materials with a laser beam that melts, burns, or vaporizes the material it's being applied to.

In short, a thin laser beam etches and cuts materials. It can be programmed to produce custom designs, patterns, and shapes per the designer's requests.

Since the process is thermal-based, materials such as wood, glass, paper, metal, plastic, and gemstone are great candidates to be cut or engraved with a laser cutter.

There are multiple kinds of laser cutters, and each can accomplish different things. To help you decide which laser cutter is best for your business, keep reading to see the entire range of laser cutters available on the market.

History of Laser Cutters

C. Kumar N. Patel invented the laser cutter in 1963 when he developed the first CO2 laser. This laser now has the most modern applications over any other kind of laser on the market.

Kinds of Laser Cutters

There are two primary kinds of laser cutters on the market —  CO2 lasers and fiber lasers.

CO2 lasers can have a more focused and intense beam, amplifying the cutting power. This might be the best place to go for cutting through, especially touch materials.

CO2 lasers carry potential danger from reflective metals like copper, brass, bronze, and stainless steel. There's a risk of the material reflecting the laser and causing damage to nearby production or the laser reflecting directly back into the machine. Since these reflective materials are pretty common on assembly lines, opting for a fiber laser may be the best option for safety.

Fiber lasers offer a lower risk for this kind of damage as it is designed to reduce the risk of unwanted reflection. These machines are often lower-maintenance and allow production teams to spend more time turning around projects rather than focusing on repairs.

What To Consider When Buying

When you're in the market for a new laser cutter, there are various things for you to consider.

First is whether or not your machine can complete the project you're buying it to complete. If you need to design custom parts out of heavier materials for a machine quickly and effectively, a CO2 machine may be your best option as it will effortlessly work through tricky materials.

If you're looking for a machine that can handle many materials with little risk of reflection damage, then you may want to consider a fiber machine.

Finally, where do you want this machine to be? If you're looking for a desktop machine to have at home to work on smaller projects, you'll want a vastly different machine than someone looking for the perfect piece to complete an assembly line.

We've compiled a list of some machines for you to consider for your next laser cutter purchase.

Best CO2 Budget Pick: OMTech 40 W (DF0812-40BG)

MTech imports this machine into the US, where they complete enhanced quality control checks before selling to a US market. Since OMTech itself operates out of the US, there are more customer service options than if you were to import a K40-Style laser directly from Orion Motor Tech in China.

This is a combination engraver and cutter. It's a great model as an entry into the world of laser cutting, but home-use, it's a great way to experiment with the medium and see if you should invest in a more expensive and luxurious machine.

Since this machine will cost around $500, it's still an investment and more expensive than in previous years. Still, it's a reliable machine that will ensure you can experiment with cutting coated metal, rubber, wood, and leather. It cuts 2-3 mm deep, which gives you flexibility with the projects you take on.

The Can-Do-It All: Glowforge Plus

Glowforge Plus is a CO2 laser-type and provides a precision of up to .025 mm. This is a machine optimized for home and office use but can also handle heavy-duty projects.

Unlike many other machines, this one can handle glass, acrylic, fabric, and cardboard and cut up to 12mm deep. While this machine isn't cheap and priced around the $3,500 mark, it's versatile and reliable.

This machine does need a constant connection to the internet to operate correctly. Despite that, it offers unmatched reliability and accuracy.

Small Business Winner: DXTECH-1309I

The DXTECH-1309I machine is a fantastic choice for small businesses. It's a small fiber laser cutting machine that is small enough to sit on most countertops while offering the ability to produce metal jewelry, metal accessories, ornaments, tools, and so on.

It can also handle flat cutting and engraving, drilling, and flying cutting. Due to it being a fiber machine, it's incredibly safe to use and offers protection for the user from laser radiation.

Finally, the machine has a welded cast iron bed with high stability and tensile strength, giving it a life of over 20 years with no deformities.

Best For Large-Scale Projects: DXTECH-1530F

The DXTECH-1530F machine is fantastic for large projects, not just because of its large size but because it has multiple laser powers to select from ranging from 500W-12000W. It's great for manufacturing electric cabinets, automobiles, elevators, aircraft, or even robots.

Because the user can customize the power, it can handle projects large or small and can even handle working with silicon steel, titanium alloy, or even carbon steel.

With over 100,000 hours of working life in the fiber module, it's able to be the perfect addition to any significant assembly line or large-scale production facility.

The only downside of this model is the cost: It can range between $48,000 and $52,000, but this is only a rough estimate of the actual cost of the unit. While it may not be the best option for home use, this machine is an excellent choice if you're looking for a machine that can do it all for a business.

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