After years of development of fiber laser cutting machines for various industries to improve the production efficiency of processing production, the application in various industries is becoming more widespread.
Fiber laser cutting machines use laser technology for processing and production, which is non-contact processing. Compared with traditional methods, they do not cause deformation and damage to the material, and the processing is fine and fast. Therefore, more and more companies are choosing to buy fiber laser cutting machines.
For many companies, purchasing a fiber laser cutting machine is important. As there are more and more brands of fiber laser cutting machines, the prices of fiber laser cutting machines in the market are also different. Therefore, most buyers have been hesitant in choosing fiber laser cutting machines. If you do not choose the right equipment according to your actual needs, you waste the initial capital investment and the golden period of business development.
Of course, for businesses with inadequate resources, purchasing fiber laser cutting equipment incorrectly might result in significant losses or even bankruptcy.
In any event, when buying a fiber laser cutting machine, you must do your study and get the proper equipment that will help your business for at least ten years. You are aware of the significance of ten years in a company’s growth.
As many companies are buying fiber laser cutting machines for the first time, they do not know much about the machine, so this post starts with some basic knowledge so that you can have a preliminary understanding of the machine first, and then learn how to choose a fiber laser cutting machine in depth.
About Laser Cutting
Laser cutting principle
Laser cutting uses a focused high power density laser beam to irradiate the workpiece, causing the irradiated material to rapidly melt, vaporize, ablate or reach the ignition point, and blow away the molten material with the help of a high speed airflow coaxial to the beam, thus cutting the workpiece.
Laser cutting is one of the thermal cutting methods.
The following diagram depicts the laser cutting principle.
Classification of laser cutting
Laser cutting can be divided into laser vapor cutting, laser melting cutting, laser oxygen cutting, and laser scribing and fracture control.
1）Laser vapor cutting
Using a high energy density laser beam to heat the workpiece, the temperature rises rapidly. It quickly reaches the boiling point of the material, and the material begins to vaporize, forming steam. These vapors are ejected at high speed. As the steam is ejected, a notch is formed in the material.
The heat of vaporization of the material is generally very high, so laser vapor cutting requires a lot of power and power density.
Laser vapor cutting is mainly used to cut fragile metallic and non-metallic materials (such as paper, cloth, wood, plastic, rubber, etc.).
2) Laser melting cutting
In the laser fusion cutting process, the metal material is heated and melted by the laser. Then non-oxidizing gases (Ar, He, N, etc.) are injected through the nozzle coaxial to the beam, relying on the strong pressure of the gas to expel the liquid metal and form a groove.
Laser melting cutting does not require complete vaporization of the metal and requires only 1/10 of the energy of vaporized cutting.
Laser melting is mainly used to cut materials that are not easily oxidized or reactive metals, such as stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, and its alloys.
3）Laser oxygen cutting
The principle of laser oxygen cutting is similar to that of oxyacetylene cutting. It uses the laser as a preheating heat source and an active gas such as oxygen as the cutting gas.
On the one hand, the injected gas acts with the cutting metal to produce an oxidation reaction and release a large amount of oxidation heat; on the other hand, the molten oxide and melt are blown out of the reaction zone to form a gap the metal.
Due to the large amount of heat generated by the oxidation reaction during the cutting process, laser oxygen cutting requires just half as much energy as melting cutting. Cutting speeds are substantially faster than laser vapor cutting and melting cutting.
Laser oxygen cutting is mainly used for oxidation-prone metal materials, such as carbon steel, titanium steel, and heat-treated steel.
4) Laser scribing and fracture control
Laser scribing scans the surface of brittle material with a high energy density laser. The material is heated to evaporate into small grooves and then apply a certain pressure; the brittle material will be cracked along the small grooves.
Q-switched lasers and CO₂ lasers are commonly employed for laser scribing.
Controlled fracture uses the steep temperature distribution generated by laser scribing to create local thermal stress in the brittle material, which causes the material to crack along the small grooves.
Features of laser cutting
Laser cutting is distinguished from other thermal cutting processes by its rapid speed and quality.
It can be summarized as follows.
(1) Good cutting quality
Laser cutting may achieve good cutting quality due to the narrow laser spot, high energy density, and quick cutting speed.
The laser cutting kerf is small and narrow, the cutting seam is parallel and perpendicular to the surface on both sides, and the cut items’ dimensional precision may approach 0.05mm.
The cutting surface is smooth and attractive, with just tens of microns of surface roughness. Even without processing, laser cutting can be utilized as the final step, and the pieces can be used right away.
After laser cutting, the width of the heat-affected zone is very small, and the material properties near the cutting seam are almost unaffected. In addition, the deformation of the workpiece is small, the cutting accuracy is high, the geometry of the cut seam is suitable, and the cross-sectional shape of the cut seam presents a regular rectangle.
Table 1 shows a comparison of laser cutting, oxyacetylene cutting, and plasma cutting technologies. The cut material is a mild steel plate with a thickness of 6.2 mm.
Table 1 Comparison and calibration of laser cutting, oxyacetylene cutting, and plasma cutting methods
|Width of Heat Affected Zone / mm
|Wedge and inclined Fast
|Medium and high
(2) High cutting efficiency
Due to the transmission characteristics of the laser, laser cutting machines are generally equipped with multiple CNC tables, and CNC can realize the whole cutting process. Only the CNC program needs to be changed to cut differently shaped parts during the operation. Not only two-dimensional cutting but also three-dimensional cutting can be realized.
(3) Fast cutting speed
With a 1200W laser cutting 2mm thick mild steel plate, the cutting speed can reach 600cm/min; cutting 5mm thick polypropylene resin plate, the cutting speed can reach 1200cm/min.
When laser cutting, the material does not need to be clamped and fixed, saving the tooling and fixtures and the auxiliary time for loading and unloading.
(4) Non-contact cutting
There is no contact between the torch and the workpiece during the laser cutting process and no tool wear. To process differently shaped parts, no change in “tooling” is required; only the output parameters of the laser need to be changed. Minimal noise, low vibration, and no pollution are advantages of laser cutting.
(5) Multiple cutting materials
Compared with oxyacetylene cutting and plasma cutting, laser cutting can be performed on a wide variety of materials, including metals, non-metals, metal-based and non-metal-based composites, leather, wood, and fibers.
Due to different materials’ thermophysical properties and laser absorption rates.
Due to laser power and equipment size limits, laser cutting can only cut medium and small thickness plates and tubes. The cutting speed decreases dramatically as the thickness of the workpiece grows. This problem has been significantly improved with the introduction of fiber lasers of over 10kw into the market, such as cutting 50mm or even thicker carbon steel.
Laser cutting equipment is expensive, and the initial investment is significant.
About Laser Cutting Machine
The working principle of a laser cutting machine is to focus the laser beam from the laser into a high power density laser beam through the optical path system. The laser beam is irradiated on the surface of the workpiece to make the workpiece reach its melting or boiling point. At the same time, a high pressure gas coaxial to the beam blows away the molten or vaporized metal. As the relative position between the beam and the workpiece moves, a gap eventually forms in the material, resulting in a cut.
Metals that can be cut with a laser
Because the cut edges will be somewhat oxidized when oxygen is utilized as the processing gas, cutting the material with oxygen will yield superior results.
For plates up to 4 mm thick, high pressure cutting can be performed using nitrogen as the processing gas. In this case, the cut edges will not be oxidized.
For plates thicker than 10mm, good results can be obtained by using laser-specific plates and oiling the workpiece’s surface during the process.
Oxygen can be used when oxidation on the cut end is acceptable; if oxidation-free and burr-free edges are obtained with nitrogen, no further treatment is required.
Applying an oil film to the surface of the plate gives better piercing results without degrading the machining quality.
Despite its high reflectivity and thermal conductivity, aluminum can be cut with thicknesses less than 6 mm, depending on the alloy type and laser capabilities.
The cutting surface is harsh and firm when cutting with oxygen. The cutting surface is smooth when nitrogen is employed.
Pure aluminum is difficult to cut because of its high purity. Aluminum can be cut only if a “reflection absorption” device is installed on the system. Otherwise, the reflection will destroy the optical elements.
Titanium plates are cut with argon and nitrogen as process gases. Other parameters can be found in Ni-Cr steel.
Copper and Brass
Both materials have high reflectivity and excellent thermal conductivity.
Brass with a thickness of less than 1 mm can be cut with nitrogen; copper with less than 2 mm can be cut, and oxygen must be used as the process gas.
Copper and brass can only be cut with a “reflection absorption” device installed on the system. Otherwise, the reflection will destroy the optical elements.
What Is A Fiber Laser Cutting Machine?
A fiber laser cutting machine is a laser cutting machine that uses a fiber laser generator as the light source.
Fiber lasers are a new form of fiber laser that has recently been created worldwide. It outputs a high energy density laser beam. It gathers on the surface of the workpiece so that the area irradiated by the ultra-fine focused spot on the workpiece is instantly melted and vaporized. Automatic cutting can be realized by moving the spot irradiation position through the CNC mechanical system.
Compared with huge gas lasers and solid-state lasers, it has obvious advantages. It has gradually developed into an important candidate for high-precision laser processing, LIDAR systems, space technology, laser medicine, and other fields.
A fiber laser cutting machine can be used for flat and bevel cutting with neat and smooth edges. It is suitable for high-precision cutting processing such as metal plates. Meanwhile, the mechanical arm can make three-dimensional cutting, replacing the original imported five-axis laser.
Compared with an ordinary CO₂ laser cutting machine, it is more space-saving and gas consumption, high photoelectric conversion rate, is a new product of energy-saving and environmental protection, and is one of the world’s leading technology products.
Application of fiber laser cutting machine
Most laser cutting machines are controlled by CNC programs or made into cutting robots.
As a precision processing method, laser cutting can cut almost all materials, including two-dimensional or three-dimensional cutting of thin metal sheets.
Laser cutting and forming technology has also been widely used in non-metallic materials.
Sheet metal processing, aircraft, aerospace, electronics, electrical appliances, subway accessories, and vehicles are just a few of the sectors that employ fiber laser cutting machines, food machinery, textile machinery, engineering machinery, precision parts, ships, metallurgical equipment, elevators, household appliances, crafts and gifts, tool processing, decoration, advertising, metal outside processing, kitchenware processing, etc.
All kinds of cutting and punching methods have drawbacks and various industrial production applications.
The development and application of laser cutting machines is undoubtedly a major improvement and innovative breakthrough in modern industrial production.
The Working Principle of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
Fiber laser cutting machine is high-tech equipment integrating advanced fiber laser technology, CNC technology, and precision mechanical technology.
It produces a high energy density laser beam using an advanced fiber laser. The beam is concentrated on the workpiece’s surface through the cutting head, generating a tiny spot (the minimum diameter can be less than 01mm) that lights the workpiece with an ultra-fine focus. The region is quickly melted and evaporated, resulting in complete evaporation.
The CNC mechanical system moves the irradiation position of the laser spot so that the hole is continuously formed with narrow gaps for automatic cutting.
Types of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
Depending on the power, fiber laser cutting machines can be divided into.
- Low power fiber laser cutting machine
- Medium power fiber laser cutting machine
- High power fiber laser cutting machine
If divided according to the cutting material, the market’s standard fiber laser cutting machines are.
- Aluminum alloy laser cutting machine
- Stainless steel laser cutting machine
- Carbon steel laser cutting machine
The material needs to be considered comprehensively when choosing, and the equipment required for each different material will be different.
If the fiber laser cutting machine, according to the use of classification, can be divided into.
- Plate fiber laser cutting machine
- Medium-thick plate fiber laser cutting machine
- Medium-thin plate fiber laser cutting machine
This one is more obvious. It mainly refers to the reclassification according to different processing materials. It may also be classed based on the equipment’s structure, separated into two categories.
- Single fiber laser cutting machine
- Exchange table fiber laser cutting machine
Advantages of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
Fiber laser cutting machine advantages over CO₂ laser cutting equipment
1) Excellent beam quality
A smaller focus point, finer cutting line, higher working efficiency, and better processing quality.
2) Very high cutting speed
Twice as fast as a CO₂ laser cutting machine at the same power.
Adopting the world’s top imported fiber laser, the performance is stable, and the service life of key components can reach 100000 hours.
4) High electro-optical conversion efficiency
The photoelectric conversion efficiency of fiber laser cutting machines is about 30%, three times CO₂ laser cutting machines, energy saving, and environmental protection.
5) Very low cost of use
The entire machine consumes just 20-30% of the electricity of comparable CO₂ laser cutting equipment.
6) Very low maintenance cost
There is no need for a laser operating gas, and fiber transmission without a reflector can save a lot of money on maintenance.
7)The product is simple to use and maintain
Fiber optic transmission, no need to adjust the optical path.
8) Super flexible light guide effect
The small size and compact structure make it easy to meet flexible processing requirements.
Of course, compared with the CO₂ laser cutting machine, the cutting range of fiber is relatively narrow. It can only cut metal materials because of the wavelength, and non-metal materials are not easily absorbed, limiting its cutting range.
Fiber laser cutting machines have several advantages over YAG laser cutting machines
1) Cutting speed
Fiber laser cutting machine speed is 4-5 times faster than YAG, suitable for mass processing.
2) Cost of use
The use cost of a fiber laser cutting machine is lower than YAG solid-state laser cutting.
3) Photoelectric conversion efficiency
The photoelectric conversion efficiency of the fiber laser cutting machine is about ten times that of YAG.
The price of the corresponding fiber laser is higher, so the price of the fiber laser cutting machine is much higher than the price of the YAG laser cutting machine but much lower than the price of the CO₂ laser cutting machine. However, its performance/price ratio is the highest among the three.
Comparison with other blanking methods
|Gas fuel Cutting
How to Choose a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine?
How to choose a laser cutting machine?
This question is like what to eat for lunch today. It has always been there, but it is tangled.
To buy the right product, users must first understand their needs. After all, radishes and cabbages have their love. Everyone’s needs are different. What suits you is the best.
Here, I give you a brief list of things you need to know before buying a laser cutting machine.
The cost of purchase
The purchase cost is one of the important indicators of business development investment. After all, the development must need fresh blood and be brainless. This time, some tips and references are needed.
Purchase a laser cutting machine; if your money allows, you may select from various international manufacturers. Take, for example, the top 10 laser cutting machine manufacturers globally.
However, I believe that most companies’ budgets are not enough to support the purchase of large brands. In recent years, laser cutting technology has been in a phase of rapid development, especially metal laser cutting machines. The current state of laser cutting technology is mature and steady.
Choosing a Chinese laser is also a good choice when considering the cost. You can get a better deal on the correct equipment.
Following the cost confirmation, we should evaluate the scale of our business, the thickness of the material to be cut, and the materials to be cut before deciding on the laser cutting machine’s power and table size.
The price of fiber laser cutting machines is heavily influenced by the power available. The more power, the higher the price, and the greater the product’s efficiency.
There is a misconception that some people think that the more power, the better, no matter how thick the plate is cut. This is not the case.
Cutting thick plates requires high power. 12000W, for example, can cut carbon steel and stainless steel up to 50mm thick. If it is a medium-thin plate, choose the corresponding medium power.
Whether you can cut well or not depends not on the power but the optical quality.
Nowadays, more and more manufacturers, big or small, are trying their best to increase their power. They are paying attention to people’s psychology.
Some devices with claims of 15000W and 20000W may only cut with 8000W.
Of course, if you’re cutting thick plates, you’ll need tremendous power. You can’t cut if the electricity is too low.
Fiber laser cutting machines now on the market have a power range of 500w to 20000w, and the table size may be modified to meet the customer’s demands.
Therefore, buyers should choose a cost-effective fiber laser cutting machine after assessing the output requirements according to their personal needs.
For example, if you need to cut 1-8mm carbon steel plate, a 1000W laser cutting machine will suffice; if you need to cut an 8mm thick plate frequently, 1500W will suffice; and frequently cut thin plates, 1000W will suffice.
If you need long-term aluminum processing, the use of a fiber laser cutting machine is also good.
You can refer to the following laser cutting machine cutting parameters table for specific cutting.
Laser cutting machine cutting parameters table
|Metal / Laser Power (W)
|Carbon Steel (mm)
|Stainless Steel (mm)
|Aluminum Alloy (mm)
Compared to other cutting techniques, this one has a lot of advantages (such as CO₂ laser or plasma cutting machine), fiber laser cutting machines’ cutting accuracy and efficiency are much higher, with the obvious advantages of high accuracy (±0.02mm), stability, and efficiency.
Cost of use
Fiber laser cutting machines have a high stability level and a long service life.
The loss of the machine’s primary components is extremely minimal when the equipment is operated correctly and maintained regularly. The most significant costs are energy, gas, and general consumables; nonetheless, they are minor.
Fiber laser cutting machines, as we all know, are a great tool for the metal processing sector due to their high precision and efficiency.
These technological benefits, however, are centered on the equipment’s accessories. The final cutting result will be different even if the same fiber laser cutting equipment is used with various accessories.
As a result, if consumers wish to purchase a cost-effective fiber laser cutting machine, matching accessories are critical.
A laser cutting machine is made up of six primary parts.
- Laser source
- Laser cutting head
- CNC system
- Laser lens
The price of a laser cutting machine is determined by the arrangement of these fundamental components, particularly the quality and quality of the laser, which sets the laser cutting machine’s basic pricing.
Here I’ll teach you how to choose the core components of a fiber laser cutting machine.
(1) fiber laser source
The performance and quality of work of the laser cutting machine depend largely on the quality of the optical components.
Many people believe that power consumption is an important factor in determining the machine’s efficiency.
But the most important thing is not the power but the optical quality.
It is the laser that determines the optical quality. Fiber laser is the head accessory of fiber laser cutting machine and the core “power source” of fiber laser cutting machine.
The best fiber laser on the market right now is. IPG laser from Germany, the photoelectric conversion rate of about 40%; British SPI laser; U.S. n-light laser; China Like Company, Max laser, etc.
2) Cutting head
The cutting head of the laser cutting machine is a laser output device consisting of a nozzle, focusing lens, and focus tracking system.
The laser cutting machine’s cutting head will follow the predetermined cutting path. Under the conditions of diverse materials, thicknesses, and cutting procedures, the height of the laser cutting head must still be changed and regulated.
The cutting head is judged by whether the optical lens set can output high quality laser and whether it has a precise adjustment system.
Famous brands of cutting heads are Precitec, Raytools, etc.
3) Control system
The Control system is the dominant operating system of fiber laser cutting machines. Its quality influences the fiber laser cutting machine’s operational performance stability.
It mainly controls the machine to achieve the X, Y, and Z-axis movements and controls the laser’s output power.
Operating systems for laser cutting machines are widely used in China with Cypcut and PA. each company optimizes it to fit their machines better. This needs to be done at the time of proofing and testing. It is relatively simple.
4) The bed
The bed size of a laser cutting machine determines how much work you can do with it.
The bed’s size is a fixed characteristic that cannot be modified.
Therefore, before making a decision, you should have a clear idea of the amount of cutting work you plan to do.
For example, if you plan to handle large projects, you should purchase a large laser cutting machine.
A large machine can save a significant portion of loading and unloading time, and the cumulative cost of that time can be considerable.
Fiber laser cutting machine beds mainly include plate welding beds, tube welding beds, and casting beds.
However, mainstream laser cutting machine manufacturers use plate welding beds to save costs.
The bed thickness ranges from 8 to 16mm depending on the laser cutting power. Thicker steel plates are employed for ultra-high power fiber laser cutting options.
Compared with cast beds, plate welding beds can affect the machine’s weight-bearing, stability, and cutting accuracy to some extent.
Therefore, in the case of an adequate budget, try to choose a disposable cast iron bed when buying a fiber laser cutting machine.
The motor is related to the cutting accuracy of the fiber laser cutting machine. Some manufacturers choose imported stepper motors; joint ventures stepper motors produce some. Some small businesses usually choose miscellaneous brand motors.
Servo motor is the engine that controls the operation of mechanical components in the servo system. It is an indirect speed change device for auxiliary motors.
A servo motor’s speed and position precision may be controlled extremely precisely, and the voltage signal can be converted into torque and speed to drive the control object.
A high-quality servo motor can effectively assure the laser cutting machine’s cutting precision, positioning speed, and repetition positioning accuracy.
6) Laser lens
The laser lens is related to the power of the fiber laser cutting machine. It is divided into imported lenses and domestic lenses.
Domestic lenses can be further divided into lenses produced from imported materials and lenses produced from domestic materials. There is a big price difference; there is also a big gap in using the effect and service life.
The initial choice of fiber laser cutting machine manufacturers
After determining the demand, you can go to the market or to the peers who have purchased laser cutting machines to see the performance and basic parameters of the machine.
Choose a few sellers with good and reasonable prices for pre-communication sampling, and we can conduct site visits later.
More detailed negotiations on the machine’s price, training, payment methods, after-sales service, etc.
As for the fiber laser cutting machine brand, my advice is not to blindly pursue the brand.
If you have to pick a brand, keep in mind that TongFast is the best globally, and Hans Russell is the best in China.
After-sales service is often easy to be ignored. People only pay attention to the price but ignore the service.
No matter how good the laser cutting machine is, customers will encounter a variety of problems in the process of use.
When customers can not solve the problem themselves, the seller must provide timely solutions.
Laser cutting machine manufacturers need to have a professional and timely after-sales service. Whether it is pre-service training during the operation of the machine or maintenance and commissioning of machinery and equipment, they can provide a one-stop service.
After all, time is money. One more minute of delay is a loss for the user.
Seven misconceptions in the selection of laser equipment
What is the most important thing for the user who buys laser equipment?
Is it money? Or the market.
No, it’s neither. Money and the market are necessary factors, but not important ones. Choosing the right processing equipment for your business and market development is the key to winning the market!
With the development of technology and the market, the power of laser cutting machines is getting bigger and bigger, and there are more and more manufacturers. In addition, the professional quality of sales staff varies, making it easy for customers to enter many misconceptions when choosing a laser cutting machine.
Our Reminder Of The Following Points
Myth 1: When the power and configuration is similar, the preferred low price of that
The same power, the price of different brands vary greatly, seemingly about the same configuration. Still, in practice, there is a big difference (if the price is low, the corresponding input costs are also low, the configuration and raw materials are different, the stability of the equipment is also different. (Although it seems to save money, the actual use of the process may often have problems, resulting in more actual losses, more losses than gains).
Myth 2: For the same thickness of the plate, different power laser cutting machines can cut, so choose the one with less power
For example, cutting 10mm carbon steel, 2000W + power lasers can cut. So choosing a 2000W laser will be fine?
Not! Different power segments cutting 10mm carbon steel efficiency is different, should be based on budget, capacity requirements, product characteristics, and other factors to determine the power.
Myth 3: I want to buy a universal machine.
Many people buy only one laser piece of equipment but hope to integrate all the functions to solve the problem of pipe cutting, plate cutting, and other shaped parts.
As a result, the machine’s primary functions have to be sacrificed to meet the various functional requirements. Finally, although all the functions are available, all the functions are not refined.
A laser cutting machine is a universal device; it is not universal.
Myth 4: the more power, the thicker the cutting thickness
The greater the power, it only shows the ability to cut thicker plates.
However, due to the impact of material properties, cutting efficiency, and cooling technology, whether its cutting quality can meet the requirements of practical applications in production must also be clearly understood.
Laser cutting machines are a type of sheet metal processing equipment. It has unique advantages when applied to the cutting of medium-thick plates. Plates that are too thick belong to the category of mechanical processing and need to be solved by the mechanical processing equipment.
Myth 5: the same brand and power, the faster the cutting speed, the better
Theoretically speaking, the same brand and power of the same laser’s fastest linear cutting speed are the same. If the parameters are greater than the fastest speed on the market, it is fraud.
Myth 6: imported is the best.
Laser cutting machine in China has been developed for decades, the quality of the product in the market after a long period to verify.
At the same time, the corresponding components in the country also have more mature suppliers, in terms of cost performance, performance, and service also have certain advantages.
Several factors influence the selection of laser cutting equipment. The present workpiece’s maximum size and material, the maximum thickness to be cut, the raw material’s format size, and the future direction of development should all be considered.
For example, the maximum size of the workpiece that needs to be processed after the technical transformation of the product, the format size of the material offered by the steel market, which material is the most economical, loading and unloading time, etc.
Through the above introduction on choosing a fiber laser cutting machine, I believe you already know how to choose the right machine for you. If you still have some questions, please contact us through the link below, or leave us a message in the comments section.