How to Choose the Best Laser Cutter for Your Carbon Fiber Projects?

Carbon Fiber Cutting by CNC Madness
Unlock the key considerations and expert advice to help you choose the best laser cutter tailored to your carbon fiber projects with precision.

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As you delve into this exciting world of carbon fiber processing, one tool stands out as a game-changer, the “Laser Cutter.” Having the ability to cut and engrave with unparalleled accuracy, a laser cutter is a must-have for any serious carbon fiber enthusiast or professional manufacturer.

However, with hundreds of laser cutters to choose from, the process can get hectic. In this guide, we feature a list of laser-cutting machines and explore key factors that will help you choose the best laser cutter for your carbon fiber projects.

What is a Carbon Fiber Laser Cutter?

Laser-cutting machines utilize a powerful laser beam focused at a tiny point (laser spot) to input large amounts of heat into the workpiece in a fraction of a second. The heat selectively melts the carbon fiber materials, producing a clean and accurate cut edge.

Laser Cutting Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber’s strength depends on the orientation of the carbon strands (fibers). These strands can be pulled and stretched to extreme limits, but they will fail spectacularly under pressure.

Hence carbon fiber sheets, despite their impressive strength, can be easily cut using several tools. However, modern laser cutting machines have proven themselves the superior method to cut carbon fibers.

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6 Huge Benefits of Carbon Fiber Laser Cutters

Laser cutters offer several key benefits over other manufacturing tools. Especially with the improvements in fiber lasers, it has become one of the most versatile tools.

1 – No Dust Particles

Hands down, one of the biggest benefits of using a fiber laser cutting machine to cut carbon fiber sheets is the lack of dust particles. Carbon fibre dust is very harmful and requires exceptional care on the part of the workers.

Small carbon dust particles will irritate your skin, and inhaling it will cause severe damage to your lungs. Laser cutters selectively melt the carbon fiber sheet and seal the edges.

2 – Easy to Cut Thicker Materials

You can massively increase the strength of carbon fiber by increasing the number of carbon fiber layers in a single sheet.

The added strength comes at the direct cost of thickness, and cutting thicker materials can be a major challenge for traditional tools with a spinning cutting head.

Lasers can easily cut thicker sheets by slowing down their cutting speed. A slow-moving laser cutter head will deposit more energy into the sheet and penetrate even deeper.

3 – No Harmful Fumes

Considering that lasers melt the carbon fiber sheets, you might assume that it would produce harmful fumes. However, that is not the case, and laser cutters are quite safe.

A standard laser cutting machine has a laser spot diameter of 0.005 inches (~120 μm). With such a small contact point, the laser cutter isn’t depositing enough energy into the sheet to generate harmful fumes.

Studies have shown that high-wattage fiber lasers can cut through carbon fiber in nano-seconds.

Cutting thicker materials could lead to fume generation, but luckily, all laser cutters come with some airflow/ventilation device.

4 – Quick and Fast Cuts

Fiber laser cutting machines are particularly amazing at making quick and fast cuts. Carbon fiber sheets are softer than most metal plates. Thus, it enables laser cutters to move at higher speeds, over 100mm/s, resulting in considerably faster cuts.

Traditional cutting tools are restricted to either quick cuts or precise cuts.

5 – Accurate and Precise Cuts

Laser cutting machines are CNC controlled and will always be more accurate than any manual cutting tools. Tolerance for laser cutters ranges between 0.0005 to 0.007 inches (15 μm to 170 μm).

You rest assured knowing that your sheets will be cut to the exact dimensions.

Additionally, the CNC controls allow fiber laser cutting machines to repeatedly perform the same cuts with the same exceptional accuracy.

Laser-cutting carbon fiber sheets is strongly recommended for large-volume commercial productions, where consistency is paramount.

6 – Efficient Cutting Process

Laser cutting is both a time and energy-efficient process. It uses less energy than traditional DC motor-based cutters and requires less preparation time.

Traditionally cutting demands that the carbon fiber sheet be clamped down. Since the force from the cutting head will displace the workpiece at even the lowest speeds.

Laser-cutting machines don’t have this restriction. Less time spent clamping and locking down the workpiece will lead to a much more efficient cutting process.

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Top 5 Carbon Fiber Laser Cutters

The laser cutter market has never been this diverse. With hundreds of models to choose from, the process can become very tedious.

We have listed our top five picks for the best carbon fiber laser cutters available right now.

1. Flux Beamo 30W Laser Cutter

01 Flux Beamo 30W Laser Cutter

The Flux Beamo is an all-rounder laser cutter. It’s compact, powerful, efficient, and with most budgets. For enthusiasts and small business owners, this is the ideal laser-cutting machine.

It supports an impressive 30W CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser in a tiny chassis, capable of cutting through most thin materials with ease. It can easily manage carbon fiber sheets and is only limited by its work area (300×210 mm).

The Beamo can also be equipped with a rotary module that enables cutting and engraving on cylindrical workpieces. Additionally, factories with poor ventilation should get the additional Air Filter accessory to help with unwanted fumes.

Flux also offers higher-tier, more powerful laser cutter solutions with 40/50/60W lasers and larger work beds. For businesses looking for a little extra oomph in their laser cutting machine, Flux has the Beambox and Beambox Pro.

Finally, you can also get their top-of-the-line model, the Flux HEXA, which is twice as powerful, three times as large, and has three times the penetrative power.

2. Glowforge Plus Laser Cutting Machine

02 Glowforge Plus Laser Cutting Machine

The Glowforge Plus is the big brother to the Beamo. It has a bigger work area, higher power output, a faster laser head, and a higher price tag. Like most hobbyist laser cutting machines it comes with a CO2 laser.

CO2 lasers are considerably cheaper hence their prevalent appearance in budget machines.

Glowforge is a premium hobbyist machine. It outperforms almost every other sub-$ $10k machine on the market. Its larger work area is one of its best qualities.

Additional features include laser engraving and marking support along with an easy-to-navigate control system.

The active cooling system on the Glowforge Plus enables quiet operation mode, all while maintaining its consistent performance for long periods.

This machine is best suited to a small shop that wants to elevate its product quality.

3. Baison Laser Multi-Function Laser Cutter Machine

03 Baison Laser Multi-Function Laser Cutter Machine

From hobbyist machines, we move on to heavy-hitting industrial production machines. Baison is a veteran of the laser cutting industry, boasting an impressive 20 years of manufacturing experience.

Baison’s Multi-Function laser cutting machine comes with an impressive fiber laser with a power output range of 1000W to 4000W. It can easily handle thick plates and cylindrical shapes (tubes).

It has a maximum cutting speed of 80 m/min, roughly translating to an impressive 1300mm/sec. If you don’t intend to cut carbon fiber tubes, you can simply drop down to Baison’s standard Sheet Metal Laser Cutting Machine.

The standard machine is faster, more accurate, and more cost-efficient. You end up with a lower 3000W laser power, but that is more than enough for even the thickest carbon fiber plates.

Jumping to industrial machines also means moving to a more premium fiber laser cutting machine. Fiber lasers are more efficient and reliable than CO2 ones and are designed for daily continuous operations.

Alternatives like diode laser cutting machines can match the high efficiency of fiber lasers but lack high power output.

4. OMTech FC-105C Laser Cutter

04 OMTech FC-105C Laser Cutter

OMTech’s FC-105C is an industrial-grade but budget fiber laser-cutting machine. It’s sleek, compact, and has a large work area. This laser machine is set as the next big jump for small businesses.

If you’re a small business owner looking to expand your business to large-volume productions, this is the laser system for you. OMTech has a reputation for selling high-quality laser-cutting equipment, and this machine is no different.

The FC-105C comes with an excellent 1.5 kW laser and a robust gear system that maintains positional accuracy of ±0.05 mm. It has an adaptive power delivery system that enables smooth operations on different voltage supplies.

It does sacrifice movement speed and can be a little restrictive. Despite having some impressive laser equipment, it has half the features of its competitors.

Its power output and cutting speed are literally half that of the Baison machine. You should expect some compromises with entry-level fiber laser cutters, and the FC-105C is no different.

5. ALLWINMAC Tube & Plate Laser Cutting Machine

05 ALLWINMAC Tube & Plate Laser Cutting Machine

Allwinmac is another big player in the laser cutting machine manufacturing space. It produces top-tier fiber laser cutting machines that double as laser engraver solutions.

Allwinmac’s Tube & Plate laser cutting machine is a top-of-the-line machine with a laser resonator ranging from 500W to 6000W. Few manufacturers possess the laser technology to put a 6000W laser in a machine, and even fewer can keep it running nice and cool at high cutting speed.

This machine offers fairly standard operation parameters, 0.03mm accuracy, up to 120m/min operating speed, and a larger work area.

Allwinmac’s laser cutters would fall behind the competition without their massively powerful fiber lasers. These lasers can cut through nearly any type of material.

Nothing can stand up against a powerful 6000W laser, from genuine leather to carbon fiber to granite.

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4 Factors to Consider When Buying a Carbon Fiber Laser Cutter

Choosing a carbon fiber laser cutting machine should not be a huge challenge. After all, you can cut through most carbon fiber sheets with a small rotary tool.

But getting the best bang for your buck can be a little tricky. Some important factors will help you get the best laser cutter for your carbon fiber projects.

1. Power and Performance

Laser power shouldn’t be the biggest deciding factor when buying a laser-cutting machine for carbon fiber sheets. Carbon fiber is strongest when in tension along the carbon strands.

Cutting a carbon fiber sheet takes less effort than most metal sheets. As a general rule of thumb, a 500-1000W laser will be more than enough for most situations.

Cutting speed is actually a more important metric, a slow laser head will result in excess and unwanted melting around the cut edges.

2. Precision and Accuracy

Always look at the spot diameter size of a laser cutter and its positional accuracy. Accuracy and precision are direct indicators of machine quality.

Manufacturers have to take special considerations and put in extra effort to maintain high accuracy in a laser cutter. And if a manufacturer is putting in this much effort, you know you are getting a quality laser cutter.

3. Carbon Fiber Specifications

Consider your carbon fiber specifications before finalizing a laser-cutting machine. Carbon fiber sheets’ strength varies significantly based on the material properties of the reinforcement matrix.

Not all carbon fiber sheets are the same. If you’re unsure about the exact specifications, the smart decision would be to get a higher-tier laser-cutting machine.

4. Ease of Use

Ease of use should be one of the biggest factors when choosing a laser-cutting machine. You don’t want the operators struggling with the control center for 5 minutes before every project.

Get a machine that has simple and intuitive controls. At the very least, business owners should get the manufacturer to offer a training session for their employees.

How Carbon Fiber Laser Cutters Are Used in Manufacturing?

Laser cutters have revolutionized the carbon fiber industry. Before the ease of laser cutters, carbon fiber was mostly limited to specialized industries like aerospace.

Nowadays, you can get precision-cut fiber laser sheets thanks to the convenience of laser-cutting machines,

1. Cutting and Engraving Carbon Fiber

Laser-cutting machines have enabled finer and more refined cuts to carbon fiber sheets. This ease of use has allowed several start-ups to offer unique, one-of-a-kind, laser-cut carbon fiber solutions like carbon fiber phones, PC cases, custom furniture, and more.

2. Creating Unique Designs and Patterns

Carbon fiber isn’t very customizable; even the slightest miss shaping can compromise the strength and integrity of the sheet.

Laser-cutting machines can carefully cut designs and patterns into carbon fiber without risking delamination and warping.

Delamination from laser cutting is rare but not entirely impossible. Researchers are trying to detect delamination in carbon fiber composites through acoustic emissions.

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Carbon fiber is only strong in certain orientations and, thus, is fairly easy to cut and shape with proper planning. You don’t need a powerful laser cutter to process carbon fiber sheets. However, a high-powered laser beam will be more useful for large-volume productions.

Choosing the right laser cutter for your carbon fiber projects is all about examining your needs and selecting an easy-to-use machine with a reasonable set of features.

Baison Offers the Best Laser Machines for Carbon Fiber!

For those of you looking to take your business to new heights, take a look at the diverse and exceptional product catalog of Baison Laser.

We are a premier manufacturer and supplier of fiber laser solutions and offer the state of the art laser cutting machines. Our goal is to provide the best products with the best customer service.

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Sam Chen

Hey there, I’m Sam!

I’m the founder of Baison. We have been helping manufacturing industries increase their productivity and capacity with our advanced fiber laser systems for over 20 years.

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