Tips On Choosing a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine for Your Business

Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
There are three distinct types of laser cutters in the market right now. These are CO2, fiber, and, finally, crystal laser cutters. Each of these has its blessings. But for cutting aluminum and reflective materials, the best choice is a fiber laser cutting machine!

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A well-refined fiber laser cutting machine can cut up to five times quicker than a typical CO2 laser cutter while reducing a fraction of the operating costs.

Fiber laser cutters have been enhancing their efficiency down the same road over the past few years. This is why it is widely used today in the manufacturing industry.

In addition, fiber laser cutters are known to cause no damage or material deformation, yet another benefit it offers to the manufacturing industry.

But all these benefits also come with a higher upfront cost… There are a lot of different brands of fiber laser cutters in the market. These can make it difficult for buyers to choose the best fiber laser cutter for their business.

So, if this defines you, let’s explore it all about fiber laser cutters and picking the best machine for your trade!

What is fiber laser cutting?

One of the significant differences between fiber laser cutters and other types (CO2 & crystal) is that they use optical fiber as the laser medium. Furthermore, CO2 and crystal laser cutters utilize gas and crystals, respectively. This is why it is called a fiber laser cutter; it uses optical fibers.

fiber laser cutter

It utilizes a solid-state laser in an optical fiber medium to melt and cut different materials. The concentrated light (laser) acts as an active gain medium when it passes through the optical fiber, enhancing the laser power!

Generally, fiber laser cutters tend to be more expensive. But they compensate for that cost with many benefits, including speed and the ability to cut reflective materials. This is why it is commonly used in infrastructure and manufacturing, requiring quick speed and cutting at scale.

How does a fiber laser cutter work?

Fiber laser cutting machines forge a high-powered, concentrated laser beam through a tech called stimulated emission. This beam is then sent to the fiber optic cable to get amplified. After that, the laser beam is directed toward the material that must be cut.

Since the laser beam is highly powered and amplified, it is absorbed into the material. And in the end, this light (laser) is altered into actual heat that cuts melts a certain part of a surface and cuts it.

A fiber laser cutting machine also uses auxiliary gas, which is blown at the material surface at high speed. This removes any slag or other waste material produced during the cutting. This results in highly precise and accurate cuts since the surface remains clean and flat.

These machines also have computer control technology to add the cutting diagram (picture). In addition, these cutters also come with dual platforms (in some models), which make it easy to load and unload the material. As a result, it makes the cutting process quicker and more efficient without compromising accuracy.

Although a fiber laser cutter can utilize different types of auxiliary gases, the most widely used is nitrogen. By using nitrogen, these machines can produce highly precise cuts and engravings.

And last but not least, fiber laser cutters do not require as much maintenance as other laser cutters. This means that there will be few repairs or tune-ups required, which lowers the running cost of these machines.

Tips for choosing a fiber laser cutting machine

Choosing the right one cannot be easy with so many brands and different laser-cutting machines. That’s why we are going to list some of the best tips you can choose to limit the available options and only choose the best fiber laser cutter for your business:

Buying Price

The foremost factor to consider is the buying price of the fiber laser cutting machine. Since you will be buying it for business, you need to ensure that you can earn back the buying price of the fiber laser cutter along with a profit.

As mentioned earlier, fiber laser cutters are more expensive than other laser cutters, but are useful in cutting aluminum, titanium, copper, and other materials. So, opting for a fiber laser cutter is wiser if you plan to cut these materials. But if you only want to work with wood, paper, or plastic, you may not need to invest much money into a fiber laser cutter!

Similarly, if you are on a tight budget, you might not be able to buy a high-powered fiber laser machine. And it might be lacking some of the newer features as well. A more flexible budget can also get you a high-powered machine with the best features.

Furthermore, the brand you choose will also affect the determination of the price of fiber laser cutters. Generally, brands from countries like the USA and similar countries are highly-priced, but that doesn’t mean you get the best features too! Also, laser-cutting brands from China are more affordable and can offer many features!

So that’s another factor that you will need to decide… Generally, buying a laser fiber cutter from China will be affordable and thus will help you to get profitable in your cutting business much more quickly!

Material Thickness

Next, determine the material thickness you want to work with… If you start a new business, you will not know what you will work with. In such a case, choosing a machine that can handle thicker material within your allocated budget is best.

Laser Cutting Thickness

And if you already know the minimum and maximum thickness of the material, then it becomes easy to choose the right machine. Generally, a high-powered fiber laser machine can cut through thick materials, and a low-powered fiber laser cutter can only cut thin aluminum, copper, and steel sheets.

We have listed the output power along with the material thickness that can be cut with it:

  • 1500 W (1.5 KW) – Ideal for cutting 0.25 inches thick steel, 0.090 aluminum, and 16 gauge stainless steel.
  • 2000 W (2.0 KW) – Can easily handle 0.375 inches of steel, aluminum, and 11 gauge stainless steel.
  • 3000 W (3.0 KW) – You can cut 0.50 inches of mild steel, 0.25 inches of stainless steel, and 0.187 inches of aluminum at this power.
  • 4000 W (4.0 KW) – There is only a little difference in capacity, but it offers higher speeds than a 3 KW machine.
  • 6000 W (6.0 KW) – Cuts through 1 inch of mild steel, 0.5 inches of aluminum, and 0.625 inches of stainless steel.

As you can see, the fiber laser cutter’s ability to handle thicker material increases with power. However, higher power consumption can also add to the operating costs and are more expensive than lower-powered machines.

Part Sizes

Think about the biggest part size that you want to cut or engrave… This will decide whether you need a fiber laser cutter to handle bigger sheets or a normal one. For example, many manufacturers offer laser cutters with a sheet size range of 5 feet x 5 feet.

But you can easily find smaller machines if you do not want to start big… And as the machine’s ability to handle significant sheets increases, so does the space occupied by the machine.

So if you have limited warehouse space, you must use a smaller machine. Similarly, if you want mass manufacturing and have no problem with space, you can go with a bigger machine.

Different Models

Currently, the market is flooded with different models of fiber laser cutters, and each model is usually made to work with different shapes.

Some of the popular models of fiber laser cutters are given below:

  • Flatbed
  • High Power
  • Middle Sheet
  • Light Deploy Tube
  • Dual-Use Sheet

For example, flatbed fiber laser cutters are used for manufacturing electrical equipment, automobile parts, car decoration, display equipment, kitchen equipment, advertising signs, lighting hardware, etc. Similarly, the light deploys tube model is best for working with pipes and similar materials.

The dual-use fiber laser cutter can handle two sheets at the same time and thus can help you save time & get more done quickly. And the high-power fiber laser cutter comes with high-power laser output that can easily handle thick sheets of aluminum, copper, and stainless steel.

The Reputation of The Manufacturer

Once you have decided on material thickness, part sizes, budget, and model type, the next step is to look for laser cutter manufacturers. Once again, you will be flooded with tons of manufacturers from all over the world!

In our experience, it is usually best to create a list of manufacturers of fiber laser cutters first… Once you have made a list, look at their respective reviews on their website or third-party sources. This will allow you to get an idea about the quality and performance of their laser-cutting machines.

In addition, you can also ask around your friends and people you know to get some recommendations… This is also a great way to know about trusted manufacturers of fiber laser cutters.

And since we are talking about picking reputable manufacturers of fiber laser cutters, one such name is Baison Laser. They are one of China’s leading manufacturers of fiber laser cutters and offer great build quality at affordable rates.

After-sales Service Support

Another tip for choosing the right fiber laser cutter is to look at the after-sales service offered by the manufacturer. Fiber laser cutters can fall prey to damaged parts or require maintenance.

Generally, fiber laser cutters are known not to require too much maintenance, but choosing a good manufacturer is still a good idea. What would you do if a particular part from your machine stops working & you can’t even get a part replacement?

This explains why it’s crucial to focus on the post-sales service of laser cutter manufacturers. To find a good manufacturer, ask them questions about their after-sales service and whether they offer a warranty!

A good manufacturer will offer superb support and a timely solution to your maintenance or repair needs. And since you will be buying a fiber laser cutter for your business, every second counts & the last thing you would want is to wait for days to hear back from the manufacturer.

Quality of Components

Everyone wants to find a more affordable option, but it doesn’t mean you can compromise on quality. Buying a fiber laser cutter for your business means you plan to use it for several years. This means that buying a laser cutter with low-quality components will cost you a lot of repairs in the long run!

Although there are many moving pieces in a fiber laser cutter, the most important ones include the laser head, laser, bed, motor, and control system. So before choosing a potential machine, always inquire the manufacturer about the quality of the components.

Let’s take a quick look at each component and how you can ensure that you are making the right choice:

  • Laser – This is the power source of the fiber laser cutter. Some of the good fiber lasers available in the market are the IPG laser, SPI laser, and the n-light laser.
  • Laser Head – This is the output device through which the laser gets out of the machine. The famous brands for their laser heads include Raytools, Ospri, and Precitec.
  • Bed – The material to be cut and engraved is placed on the bed. This is a permanent feature of the fiber laser cutter, so if you want to work on bigger projects, get a machine with a bigger bed.
  • Motor – It includes the step motor and the servo motor. These are responsible for the laser cutter’s accuracy, position, and speed.

Generally, brands from the USA or UK usually use high-quality components but are expensive. You can get the same or even better quality by choosing manufacturers from China! Many Chinese brands offer imported and high-quality components in their laser cutters!

Materials that can be cut with a fiber laser cutter

One of the biggest issues faced by the manufacturers was that traditional CO2 laser or crystal laser cutting machines were unsuitable for cutting reflective material. Trying to cut material such as aluminum caused the laser beam to reflect at the laser head. As a result, it would destroy the machine components or even harm the operator!

material

But with the introduction of a fiber laser cutter, all of that changed, making it even possible to cut reflective materials. The fiber laser cutter is the default choice for cutting reflective materials today. Whether you look at small businesses or big manufacturing units, all rely on fiber laser machines!

Most people usually know they can cut aluminum with a fiber laser cutter. However, there are a lot of other materials which can be cut with these machines, such as:

  • Titanium
  • Copper
  • Stainless Steel
  • Brass
  • Carbon Steel
  • Mild Steel
  • Aluminum

Although a fiber laser cutter can also cut other materials such as PVC, wood, and plastic, it is more affordable to cut these materials with a CO2 or a crystal laser cutter since these are more affordable.

Furthermore, you will need a sufficiently powered machine with a fiber laser cutter to cut the metals (mentioned above). At the minimum, a 2KW fiber laser cutter is required to cut through the reflective metal sheets.

You shouldn’t even think about cutting these reflective materials if you have a small fiber laser cutter with a power of 20W – 50W.

And depending on the power of your fiber laser cutting system, you can cut up to 13 mm thick metal sheets. There are also many systems available in the market which can cut up to 30 mm of aluminum and 2 mm of mild steel! So it all depends on your requirements and what type of material thickness you are working with!

So, why do professional fabricators and manufacturing industry pioneers opt for fiber laser cutters? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of using fiber laser cutters for your business:

Advanced Technology

Fiber laser cutters represent the most advanced technology available in the market. When compared with crystal or CO2 lasers, which have been around for decades, it becomes apparent that the technology used in fiber laser cutters is more precise and advanced.

Furthermore, these machines can also be easily used in different types of industries with relative ease. For example, a CO2 laser cutter can not be used for cutting stainless steel or aluminum, which is a drawback and thus can’t be used in multiple industries. On the other hand, there are no such drawbacks with a fiber laser cutter as it can work with both reflective and non-reflective materials!

Adaptability

A fiber laser cutter can be adjusted at different speeds, ranges, and wavelengths. As mentioned earlier, these machines are built using newer technology. They thus offer many more options and fine adjustments than other laser cutters, which are still running on old technology!

Speed

Regarding business, time is money, and a fiber laser cutter can help you save time! So, comparing the speed of a fiber laser cutter with a CO2 laser cutter of the same power tells us that the fiber laser machine is the fastest!

This fast cutting speed can improve efficiency and thus handle much more work simultaneously. It doesn’t matter whether you need to cut or engrave; the speeds offered by fiber laser technology are unmatched in the industry.

Low Power Consumption

Another major advantage of using a fiber laser cutter is its electric consumption is lower than that of a CO2 laser machine.

For example, a 3 KW fiber laser cutter will require around 10 KW of electrical power, and a chiller takes 5 KW. Overall, the total power consumption would be around 15 KW. So if the machine runs on a 6-hour shift for 250 working days, the final cost will be around $1350/year (cost of 1 KW = $0.06/hour).

On the contrary, an equivalent CO2 laser of 4000W and a chiller will take around 250 KW. So if the CO2 machine runs on a 6-hour shift for 250 working days, the final cost will be around $19350/year (1 KW = $0.06/hour).

As you can see, there’s a clear difference in the power consumption of both machines. So by opting for a fiber laser cutter, you can save money on electricity bills too! Furthermore, the subsequent environmental damage will be lowered with a fiber laser cutter compared to a CO2 machine.

Maintenance

A fiber laser cutter is maintenance-free and thus will not require any cleaning, aligning of mirrors, or consumables.

On the contrary, you will have to spend money on maintaining a CO2 laser cutter! On average, a 4 KW CO2 laser cutter consumes up to $35 K of gas in a standard 12-hour shift! The maintenance of a CO2 laser machine costs around $45000/year for a standard shift.

This means that although the buying price of a fiber laser cutter is high, it saves a lot of money since it is maintenance-free.

Beam Path

The beam path of a fiber laser cutter is highly flexible since it utilizes a fiber cable as the medium. On average, the length of the fiber cable can be up to 50m, which offers a lot of flexibility.

Besides, a CO2 laser machine uses mirrors to head the beam directly toward the material surface. This transportation medium can lead to power drop-off and a loss of quality. Furthermore, incorrectly aligned mirrors can render the machine unusable since the laser can’t land on the material surface.

Applications of the fiber laser cutter

Fiber laser cutting machines have been used in many infrastructures and production industries. As such, its potential application areas are also widespread… So let’s take a look at some of the applications of fiber laser cutters:

Automotive

In the automotive industry, fiber laser cutters are essential to make doors, exhaust pipes, brakes, and other car parts.

Automotive Industry

Home Appliance

In-home appliance manufacturing, fiber laser cutters are used to improve the quality and appearance of various products.

Kitchenware

Stainless steel is an important component of many kitchenware products, and fiber laser cutters also play an important role in this industry!

Lighting

Although fiber laser cutters have no direct role in making LED or other light sources, they are used for making pipes used in outdoor lamps.

Fitness

A lot of fitness equipment relies on fiber laser cutters for various parts! Even if you look at the equipment in your local gym, you can easily name the equipment which is likely manufactured by a laser cutter.

Decor & Art

Fiber laser cutters can create beautiful designs and engravings on various metals. As such, these cutters also have a lot of uses in decor and art manufacturing!

Medical

Using stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and titanium is common in medical equipment. And one of the best ways to cut this material with a no-contact approach is through fiber laser cutters. Furthermore, these laser cutters are fast and highly efficient, which makes it possible to produce medical equipment on a large scale.

Conclusion

As you can see, a lot goes into finding the right fiber laser cutter for your business. But if you follow the tips in this article, you will have no trouble finding the right fiber laser cutter! And when you think about all the benefits of choosing a fiber laser cutter over other types, it becomes apparent that it’s the only choice!

Ready to Get a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine for Your Business?

So, it’s time for you to finish pursuing a reputable manufacturer of fiber laser cutters! Head over to the Baison Laser, which offers high-quality fiber laser cutters made from world-class, high-quality components. But despite offering the best quality in the industry, Baison Laser remains committed to offering affordable rates to the customers!

So if you are ready to buy a fiber laser cutting machine for your business, please get in touch with us today! We also offer free sample proofing to help you decide whether our fiber laser cutters fit you! And if you have already found a suitable fiber laser cutter from our site, feel free to request a quote!

Get a Fiber Laser System Quote!

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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.

Have questions? Reach out to us, and we will provide you with a perfect solution.

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