Why fiber laser cutter is better than CO2 laser cutter?

Posted by William Woods on May 10th, 2018

Laser cutting offers incredibly precise cutting and engraving, but there is debate on which type is better: a fiber laser cutter or a CO2 laser cutter. There are significant benefits and characteristics to consider depending on your intended use and needs. There is also confusion about these two types. Here are some reasons why a fiber laser cutter is the better way to go depending on what you intend to do.

First, understand how a fiber laser cutter works. Banks of diodes create the fiber laser light. Then, the light flows through and is amplified by fiber optic cable. This light is then straightened and focused by a lens onto the material you want to cut. The way this light is created is about 200% more efficient than when using a CO2 laser cutter. This method also does not require pricy optical mirrors, because in a fiber laser cutter, the focus lens is housed in the cutting head.

Initial fiber laser machines debuted as 2 kW machines, then 3 kW and then a 4 kW. Most people find the 3 kW a great value for the performance, depending on their needs. The fiber lasers have no moving parts in the area that generates the light, which is a benefit for longevity and maintenance. In the long-term, this can save you a lot of money, not having to deal with and replace more individual parts. It can also help prevent breakdown, which can halt projects from being completed.

Because of the energy efficiency, fiber laser machines run at a lower cost than CO2 laser cutters. For example, a 3 kW fiber machine uses one-third of the energy as a 4 kW CO2 cutter but can equal the performance. Also, a fiber laser cutter offers faster cutting speeds on thin material. It is roughly three times faster when cutting a straight line on 1mm-thick stainless steel than a 4 kW CO2 cutter.

Reflective materials can be cut without worrying about damaging the machine. This material includes copper, brass and aluminum. Another advantage to a fiber laser is a general service interval of 50% longer than a CO2 cutter, and roughly a 50% lower service cost.

Related read: Useful Tips to Buy a Metal Laser Cutter Machine

When using a fiber machine, one laser can run different processes using an optical switch. This can allow the operator to use marking, engraving, cutting and welding all from the same fiber laser. The cutting process can run through multiple sheets without being manned. This can also help lower costs for large projects.

While CO2 machines can cut thicker material, if you want needed to cut mostly thinner material (about 4mm thick and smaller), then a fiber laser cutter is the best way to go. It’s also the best option if you have large jobs that require speed and efficiency. Ultimately, it will depend on your purpose and overall goals. It’s also the better option if your projects include more simplistic cutting, which also helps maximize speeds.

William Woods

About the Author

William Woods
Joined: February 16th, 2018
Articles Posted: 6

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