Maximizing the Return on Investment of Your Laser Cutter
How will you use your Laser Cutter and Engraver?
Before you even begin, sit down and figure out what you want to do with the laser cutter and engraver.
It is very likely that you already have an idea of what you would like to make with your laser, but I have a few things for you to consider before you move on.
Now take a step back and think about what exactly you’d like to do with your laser, but look beyond your initial project ideas and think of what your needs may evolve into.
For example, let's say you are going to be engraving on small plaques and objects, so you decide that the 8x12 workspace of CR3020 40W laser cutter and engraver or a PS20 laser may work just fine for you. However, in the future, you might grow into larger projects such as doing special engravings on furniture or signs. Those might not fit inside one of the units mentioned so you might be better off starting with something like CR9060 laser cutter and engraver.
What materials will you be using in your Laser?
Knowing the types of materials you are going to work with is very important for making your decision.
CO2 lasers work great with engraving and cutting organics (like wood, paper, and leather), as well as plastics. This is the most common laser type, since these materials are easy to come by, and things like paint and glue work great with them.
Laser power options begin at 40 watts (W), and range up to 100W. The power that you need will be mostly determined by how thick of material you need to cut, and how quickly you need to cut it. So if you need to work with thicker sheets of wood (such as anything more than a quarter-inch thick), you may want to get at least a 90W tube. But if you are going to be working with thinner materials and you don’t need to do higher volumes, then a 40W or 45W tube would work great.
CO2 lasers don’t work with metal, though, and if that’s what you’d like to work with, then a Fiber Laser would be better for you.
Fiber lasers are going to be the best option as a laser cutter for metal. These are more specialized machines, so you’ll be a little more restricted with what you can do. These lasers do not engrave or cut what the CO2 lasers can cut, just like the CO2 lasers will not cut or engrave on metal. If you want to engrave metals, then the 20W or 50W galvo fiber would work great. The power you need will be determined by the depth you want your engraving.
With the swift increase in usage of laser cutting and engraving by creative outlets, top laser cutters are engineered to perform better and provide more value than ever before.