Help with choosing the right laser machine
We are often asked which laser machine should I have for a particular application. We have broken down some common scenarios so that it may help you. If it is not clear to you, we are of course there to help you. You can opt for a quick decision aid and a more extensive decision aid.
Quick Choice Help
Select laser machine based on material and type of processing
1. What material do you want to edit?
Every choice starts with the type of material you want to edit:
- Not metal
Both are processed with a different wavelength. In the image to the right, choose the column not metallic or metallic.
2. Type of laser processing?
What kind of laser processing are you mainly interested in? Do you mainly want to go:
- Laser cutting
- Laser engraving / marking
- Laser welding
With standard CO2 lasers you can both laser cut and engrave. The selection overview contains only the most common laser machines. Custom solutions are often available for special applications. Ask for the possibilities.
Extensive selection aid
Here is a more extensive version of the decision aid and the preparations you must make before purchasing.
What kind of material do you want to edit?
Type of material - organic materials
Cutting and / or engraving materials such as acrylate, plastic, wood, leather, cardboard, paper, textiles and so on?
CO2 laser machine
CO2 lasers are perfectly suited for it laser engraving of a large number of materials, such as acrylate / plastic, leather, cardboard and glass. The complete material list can be found here. Laser cutting a large number of materials are also possible, for example acrylate, leather, cardboard, textiles and so on.
CO2 lasers are supplied completely by MetaQuip to start immediately.
- Place for the laser machine
- Measuring width of doors and windows
- Standard 1 phase 230Vac socket
- Air discharge to the outside for the gases and vapors released. Note: if you can not dispose of outside, the use of a industrial air filter a must have!
Hobby or professional commitment?
Choose the work surface
An important parameter is the work surface of the machine. This is the maximum size that you can cut or engrave at once. This goes up in steps:
- 40 x 40cm
- 50 x 30cm
- 60 x 40cm
- 100 x 60cm
- 130 x 90
- 150 x 90.
Other sizes (even bigger) are also possible, but that goes beyond the scope of this decision aid. See also the portal lasers ..
Choose the laser power
You can already engrave with 40W, for cutting you need at least 60W or more. This depends on the thickness of the material you want to cut. On the basis of a simple experiment it can be determined which laser power is required for your application. Cutting thicker materials quickly goes to the 80-100-130W. Please note that for the lifetime of the laser tube, it is better not to charge more than 80% of its power during normal use.
MetaQuip CO2 laser machines are delivered complete including:
- industrial water cooler
- exhaust fan
- air compressor
- control software.
MetaQuip's desktop and production machines come standard with one automatic height setting delivered that ensures that the laser is always perfectly in focus after changing material. Also the placing of thicker material is very simple.
Choose any options
If you are going to cut a lot of small objects or you have thin material such as textiles, it may be useful to use a honeycomb bed that supports the object better than the standard knife bed. See also honeycomb.
If you want to start engraving round objects (glass, for example), then a rotation module worth considering. This can also be placed on the machine later on.
With the CO2 laser machines, no control computer is supplied, of course the laser software. MetaQuip supplies a fully installed computer for a small additional charge.
If you cut a lot of round objects in acrylate, it may happen that the steps of the stepper motors are visible in the cutting result, in most cases this is not or hardly visible, but MetaQuip offers the option to use your CO2 laser machine with servo motors. to equip, this effect is not present.
Photograv engraving software
If you want to start engraving a lot, Photograv is a good investment. It makes it easy to convert a picture to a file that is optimized for perfect engraving.
Work absolutely positioned
In the printing industry it often happens that the printing process and cutouts are accurately aligned. CO2 lasers normally work with relative positioning. MetaQuip machines can be adapted to work absolutely.
Type of material - metals
Laser engraving and / or marking of metals, such as Stainless Steel, iron, aluminum, gold, silver, titanium?
Fiber laser machines
Fiber lasers are perfectly suited to all metal a clearly visible engraving to put. A fiber laser is more expensive to purchase as a CO2 machine, has a very high work resolution and places an engraving in seconds. Ideal for serial production and serial numbers.
Laser cutting of metals is possible with MetaQuip's fiber cutters.
Go straight to the fiber cutters ...
A fiber laser for laser engraving works with a fixed head with mirrors in it. As a result, you are limited in the dimensions that you can engrave at once: as standard this is 100 x 100 mm, and with a special lens it is also possible to engrave surfaces of 200 x 200 mm. Fiber lasers require little maintenance, work quietly and do not require water cooling. MetaQuip comes with an industrial air filter as standard so that you will be exposed to hazardous metal fumes.
Go directly to the fiber laser machine overview page…
Open or closed model?
With an open model, there is no shield between the operator and the laser light. This gives maximum freedom of movement to also place larger objects quickly (serial work), but you have to take laser safety precautions yourself (laser glasses, correct design of the room and so on). MetaQuip can advise you on this. MetaQuip has one open table model and a compact version.
With a closed model, the laser can only be switched on when the (sliding) door is completely closed. Maximum safe without further measures. The closed model is in one desktop execution, one production series with revolving door (sliding door optional) and a big one industrial version with sliding door
called production XL series.
Choose laser power and lens
Normally a 20W version is chosen, unless only very light materials have to be engraved with it, then 10W can also suffice.
If you want to engrave harder material or require a deeper engraving then there is a possibility to choose a higher laser power (30 or 50W).
Lens / work surface
You can choose different lenses, creating a work surface of 10x10cm, 15x 15 cm or 20x20cm. However, the same power is distributed over a larger area. The correct configuration can be easily determined with a simple test on your material.
Choose any options
Engraving round objects, such as rings or metal tubes, is possible with the optional rotation table extension. This allows you to place your round objects easily and they are automatically turned under the laser so that the place where the laser works is always in focus.
Industrial air filters for the removal of welding fumes
Laser machines evaporate material during laser cutting or laser engraving. This releases smoke, smelly or toxic fumes. It is imperative that these vapors are safely disposed of. All machines are supplied with a heavy industrial exhaust fan. Via a hose (100mm diameter) the vapors are sucked into the machine and blown out at the other end of the hose. In many cases it is advisable to use an industrial air filter. Read more about industrial air filters…