How to buy the right laser for your business

Laser type: Which materials do you want to process?

Materials play a decisive role in what laser is best suited to your business. For example, cutting and engraving organic materials such as wood, paper or leather requires a CO2 laser. Direct marking of blank metals or certain plastics requires a fiber laser to be used. However, with many businesses processing a mix of both materials, a dual source flexx laser engraving machine would be the best solution for your business in this situation.  Check out the material list for different laser types.

Size of the working area

Size of the working area: How large are your workpieces?

The size of your workpieces alongside the number of parts per order defines the size of the laser machine required. With a larger bed size, if your order consists of multiple items, they can be easily processed in a single job, allowing you to save time and increase productivity.

Laser power: Higher power offers greater flexibility

The most important factor that influences the laser power of your laser machine is the most common application that you will be processing. If laser engraving is your primary application, you will achieve good results with laser powers between 25 and 80 watts. For laser cutting or for very high speed applications, we recommend a laser power of more than 80 watts. Depending on the type of material, a different laser power allows you to achieve optimum results, for example, engraving paper usually requires less power than engraving wood. With acrylic, a uniformly homogeneous, not too deep engraving can be created using a low power. When processing engraving materials, for example plastic laminates such as TroLase, higher power allows faster work. The laser power can be easily regulated by the software. However, the maximum power depends on the hardware. The following rule applies: A laser machine with high laser power offers great flexibility as it allows you to process many different 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

When choosing a laser supplier, you should not just look at the quality of the machine, but also the quality of service. This is because for many businesses, the laser machine forms the lifeblood of their company, meaning that only a fully operational machine can guarantee reliability. Trotec's series of laser cutting, engraving and marking machines are used in a wide range of businesses and with 30,000 systems installed worldwide, customers value the support and experience of Trotec staff. With service and sales organisations in more than 90 countries, Trotec are dedicated to supporting customers worldwide. The support received from the supplier, alongside maximum reliability and availability (such as 24/7 spare parts delivery) should, therefore, always be taken into consideration when making your decision of laser supplier.

Which laser is a good choice for starting a business?

There are a wide selection of laser machines available on the market which are manufactured across the globe. This range includes everything from laser plotters which are designed for basic applications such as laser cutting and laser engraving to technically sophisticated production equipment.  The key differentiators between the machines are the price and the performance of each machine. The decisive factors in the decision making process should be the intended use of the machine and the desired application result, both of which are strongly influenced by the technical conditions of the laser machine, rather than the initial cost. For more information on purchasing your first laser, check out our comparison guide: differences between entry level and other lasers.

What are the key things to look for when purchasing a laser machine?

The right laser for your business depends on a number of factors, including what your intended use for the laser is. Some of the key aspects to consider include:
  • Which materials you want to process
  • The size of your workpieces
  • The intended use for the machine and the laser power you need
  • The reliability of the laser, is it to be integral to your production?

Because individual requirements require individual advice.
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