How to buy the right laser machine?

What should I look for when buying a laser cutter/engraver? What is the "right" laser machine? 

This will mostly be determined by what you intend to use the laser machine for.
There are a few important factors to consider before you invest in a laser machine:

  • What types of materials do you intend to process?
  • How large will your workpieces be?
  • What thicknesses of material do you wish to cut, and how fast do you want to engrave?
  • How important is machine reliability for you?
applications speedy flexx

Laser type: What types of materials do you intend to process?

The different types of materials you intend to engrave or cut will define the type of laser you will need. For processing organic materials such as wood, glass, paper or leather you will need a CO2 laser. But if you want to mark metals or plastics you will need a fiber laser. However, if you want to do both, then a flexx laser would be the best solution as it contains both CO2 and fiber laser sources in the one machine.
Check out the material list for different laser types.

Size of the working area

Size of the working area: How large will your workpieces be?

The overall size of the workpieces you wish to engrave or cut determines how big the laser machine needs to be. Also, the quantity of workpieces you wish to process all at the same time needs to be considered, because by processing multiple items in a single run, this will save you time and increase your productivity.


Laser power: Higher power offers greater flexibility

The most critical question to ask when trying to decide how much power your laser should have, is what will be the most common application you are likely to process with your laser? If you intend to use the laser mainly for engraving, then you can achieve good results with just 30 to 80 watts of power. But for regular cutting of materials and high speed engraving applications, we would recommend laser powers higher than 80 watts. Materials respond in different ways when heat is applied, so having just the right amount of laser power is important to obtain the best results. For example, engraving paper will generally require less power than engraving woods. When engraving acrylic, low power is all that is needed in order to create a uniformly homogeneous, not too deep engraving. But when engraving plastic laminate materials (such as TroLase), higher power enables you to prcoess work far more quickly.
Laser power can easily be controlled from within the software, however, the maximum amount of power available depends on the hardware. The following rule applies: A laser machine with higher power offers greater flexibility because it permits the processing of a wider variety of materials.

Example: Engraving anodised aluminium - comparison of 30 and 80 watts
Laser power: 30 watts 80 watts
Progress: 48% finished 100% finished
Time per unit: 55 seconds 55 seconds

 

 

Reliability and quality of service is key

The ultimate success of your business will always depend largely on the reliability of the laser system you choose, as only a fully functional machine can deliver consistent reliability and repeatability for your clients. Trotec lasers are used all around the world with more than 30,000 installed systems as evidence of their reliability and proof of customer confidence. With Trotec sales and service organisations in more than 90 countries, Trotec has a professional contact in your location. Ensuring you purchase a machine with maximum reliability, coupled with excellent service and locally stocked spare parts should always be considered as something of utmost importance when making your decison about which laser to purchase.

Which laser is the best choice for starting a business?

If you were to try and compare all of the laser systems manufactured in Asia as well as the western world, it would be a very long list to consider. There would be wide differences in both price and quality as well as service. The range would stretch all the way from basic laser plotters capable of simple applications like cutting and engraving, right up to highly technical and sophisticated production machines that have a serious focus on the productivity of the user. However the most important thing to keep in mind when purchasing a laser, is the intended use and the desired application result. This will always be strongly influenced by differences in technical conditions. On this page you can read the most important differences between chinese and western lasers.

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