Undoubtedly, fiber laser cutters have brought about a paradigm shift in the manufacturing industry by offering expedited, more efficient, and highly precise cutting capabilities. Their versatility and ability to cut metals with exact proportions render them an indispensable asset for metal workers and manufacturing firms. From sheet metals to profiles and pipes, these cutting machines have proven to be an essential tool for industries such as automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing, as well as for hobbyists and small businesses.
If you are on a quest to acquire a new cutting system to shape metals for your business or to craft your next sleek design, Hymson Laser is here with comprehensive instructions and guidelines that you may find invaluable before making your purchase.
A fiber laser cutter is an automated laser cutting machine equipped with a CNC controller. It is used to cut out precise metal shapes, contours, lines, and prototypes on sheet metals, pipes, and profiles at high speed. This results in the creation of metal parts, signs, arts, crafts, gifts, puzzles, and decorations. It is designed for all types of metal fabrication, serving as your reliable metal working partner. It comes with various laser power options (ranging from 1000W to 40000W) for cutting through different thicknesses and types of metal including carbon steel, stainless steel, electrical steel, tool steel, galvanized steel, mild steel, aluminum zinc, aluminum alloy, aluminum, titanium alloy, iron, brass, and copper.
How Fiber Laser Cutters Improve Manufacturing Efficiency?
With faster cutting speed, higher precision, and less maintenance, these machines provide superior manufacturing support compared to other traditional cutting tools. This implies that within a short time, you will be able to augment your production capability. As a business owner, this translates into cost savings when you have such a tool in your repertoire.
Fiber laser cutting machine is an automatic smart metal cutting tool kit with a computer numerical controlled system to cut through metal sheets, tubes, and profiles made of various metals. It is professional in cutting out any profile on high-precision auto parts, ship fittings, aircraft accessories, and is ideal for cutting out any shape on kitchen utensils, lighting, jewelry, decorations, signs. It also serves as a good helper for personalized metal fabrication business.
It is used for electronics, automobiles, aviation, aerospace, auto parts, subway parts, electrical appliances, textile machinery, precision accessories, engineering machinery, food machinery, ship building, household appliances, metallurgical equipment, tool machining, elevators, metal arts, metal crafts, metal gifts, metal decorations, advertising, kitchenware, metal external machining, and some other manufacturing industries.
It can cut carbon steel, stainless steel, silicon steel, alloy steel, spring steel, mild steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, tool steel, aluminized zinc plate, copper, brass, pickling sheet, titanium, silver, gold, iron, alloy, and other metal sheets and tubes.
How To Laser Cut Metal with CNC Controller?
A laser cutter uses a generator with the CNC control system to dope the pump material into the optical fiber, and the laser of a specific wavelength emitted by the semiconductor laser is coupled to make the optical fiber generate beam. Then, the machine converges the beam into a small diameter spot to form a beam of high energy density and extremely bright light, which acts on the metal to be cut, which causes the temperature of the metal at the irradiation point to be sharp it rises and reaches the vaporization temperature instantaneously, causing evaporation and forming holes. And the machine uses this as the starting point, according to the shape requirements of the part to be cut, the beam and the part are moved relative to each other according to a certain trajectory to form a slit. At the same time, the auxiliary gas blowing device is used to remove the slag.
How Thick of Metal Can You Cut with a Fiber Laser?
This kind of cutting machine has the ability to cut various thicknesses of different types of metals and alloys. Every brand of laser generator features with its own unique pros and cons to cut metals. In the case of the same generator, different powers will result in different maximum metal cutting thicknesses.
- 1000W power supplies can cut carbon steel up to 10mm thick, stainless steel up to 5mm, aluminum and copper up to 3mm.
- 1500W power supplies can cut stainless steel up to 6mm, carbon steel up to 16mm thick, aluminum and copper up to 5mm.
- 2000W power supplies can cut carbon steel up to 16mm thick, maximum 8mm stainless steel and aluminum, and maximum 6mm brass & copper.
- 3000W power supplies can cut carbon steel up to 20mm thick, stainless steel and aluminum up to 10mm, brass & copper up to 8mm.
- 4000W power supplies can cut stainless steel up to 12mm, carbon steel up to 22mm thick, aluminum up to 14mm, copper & brass up to 10mm.
- 6000W power supplies can cut carbon steel up to 25mm thick, stainless steel and aluminum up to 16mm, copper & brass up to 10mm.
- 8000W power supplies can cut stainless steel and aluminum up to25mm, carbon steel up to 30mm thick, brass & copper up to 12mm.
- 12,000W power supplies can cut carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum up to 50mm thick, copper & brass up to 20mm thick.
- 15,000W power supplies can cut carbon steel and stainless steel up to 60mm thick, maximum 50mm aluminum, and maximum 30mm copper & brass.
- 20,000W power supplies can cut carbon steel up to 70mm thick, maximum 80mm stainless steel, maximum 80mm aluminum, maximum 70mm brass & copper.
The total expenditure for a fiber laser cutter is a composite of several elements:
- CNC spare parts: This includes the machine bed frame, generator, cutting head, water chiller, gas cylinder, air storage tank, power supply, air compressor, cooling dryer, filter, exhaust fan and dust remover, and slag extractor.
- Cutting system and software
- Shipping costs
- Tax rates
- Customs clearance
- Service and technical support
The average market price for fiber laser cutters, as indicated by data from Amazon, Google, and Hymson Laser, is approximately $39,800.
An economical entry-level cutter, suitable for beginners and hobbyists, ranges from $14,200 to $32,800. These machines typically have lower power levels of 1000W and 1500W. For commercial use, top-rated automatic cutting systems start from $29,800, offering medium power levels of 2000W, 3000W, 4000W, and 6000W for precision cutting. High-speed industrial cutting machines designed for thick metal fabrication in professional use are priced from $88,000 to $500,000+, boasting higher power levels of 8000W, 10000W, 12000W, 15000W, 20000W, 30000W, 40000W. A budget-friendly fiber & CO2 combo laser cutting machine, capable of cutting metal, wood, MDF, plywood, acrylic, plastic, fabric, and leather, starts from $19,800.
Low-cost sheet metal cutters start from $15,000, while high-power versions can cost up to $300,000+. Tube cutters range from $45,500 to $117,500, and all-in-one sheet metal and tube cutting machines are priced from $42,500 to $236,800. An automatic industrial 3D cutting robot, ideal for multi-dimensional & multi-angle metal cuts, will cost from $49,000 to $83,500.
Brand: Hymson Laser
Laser Type: Fiber
Laser Source: Raycus/IPG
Laser Power: 1000W – 40000W
Laser Wavelength: 1064 nm
Cooling System: Water Chiller
Max Cutting Thickness: 200mm
Max Cutting Speed: 60m/min
Price Range: $14,200.00 – $260,000.00
Applications: Sheet Metals and Metal Tubes
- High electro-optical conversion efficiency: Over 30% efficiency negates the need for a chiller in low-power laser machines. Air cooling significantly reduces power consumption during operation, saving on labor costs and maximizing manufacturing efficiency.
- Low operation and maintenance costs: The machine only requires electrical energy during operation and does not need additional gas.
- Semiconductor modular and redundant design: The absence of an optical lens in the resonant cavity eliminates start-up time and provides advantages such as no adjustment, maintenance, and high stability. This reduces the cost of accessories and maintenance time.
- High-quality beam: The wavelength of 1.064 microns produces a high-quality, high-power density beam, which is highly conducive to the absorption of metal materials.
- Optical fiber transmission: The entire machine’s optical transmission is through optical fiber, eliminating the need for a complex light guide system such as reflecting mirrors. This results in a simple, stable optical path that is maintenance-free.
- Protective lens in the cutting head: This significantly reduces the consumption of expensive consumableslike focusing lenses.
- Simplified mechanical system design: The design allows for easy integration with multidimensional platforms or industrial robots.
- Optical shutter addition: This feature allows for multi-machine operation, splitting through the optical fiber into multiple channels for simultaneous work. This makes function expansion and upgrading easy and straightforward.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Fiber laser cutting technology outputs a high-energy density beam that, when focused on the surface of a part, instantly melts and vaporizes the area. The spot is moved via a CNC controller to achieve automatic cutting. This technology has significant advantages over traditional gas and solid lasers, making it a key candidate in high-precision cutting, lidar systems, space technology, medicine, and other applications.
These machines can perform flatbed cutting and bevel cutting, producing neat and smooth edges. They are ideal for precision cutting of sheet metals. Additionally, a robotic arm can perform 3D cutting, eliminating the need for a 5-axis laser cutter. Compared with CO2 laser cutters, these machines save space and gas consumption and have a high photoelectric conversion rate. They are energy-saving, environmentally friendly, and are among the world’s leading technological CNC machine tools.
- High accuracy: Positioning accuracy is 0.05mm, and repeated positioning accuracy is 0.03mm.
- Narrow slit: The beam is focused into a small spot, creating a narrow slit with a width of generally 0.10-0.20mm.
- Smooth cutting edge: There are no burrs on the cutting edge, and the roughness of the cutting surface is generally controlled within Ra6.5.
- High speed: The cutting speed can reach 10m/min, and the maximum positioning speed can reach 30m/min, which is much faster than other metal cutting tools.
- High quality: Non-contact cutting ensures minimal thermal influence, virtually no thermal deformation, and avoids the slump formed when the material is punched and sheared.
- Non-destructive cutting: The cutting head does not come into contact with the surface of the substrate, ensuring that the parts are not scratched.
- Good flexibility: It can cut any graphics, including metal pipes and other shaped metals.
- Die less cutting: It does not require mold consumption, saves time and operating costs, reduces manufacturing costs, and is suitable for commercial use in large-scale industrial production.
- Material saving: With CNC programming, parts of different shapes can be cut to maximize the utilization rate of materials.
- Easy to use: Graphics are designed using CAD software, models and output files are created using CAM software, and the CNC controller drives the machine to achieve automatic metal cutting.
- Safety and environmental protection: Produces less waste, low noise, clean, safe, and pollution-free, greatly improving the working environment.
Comparison with CO2 Laser Cutting Machine
- Higher beam quality: The focus spot is smaller, the cutting line is finer, the working efficiency is higher, and the cutting quality is better.
- Higher cutting speed: 2 times the same power CO2 laser cutter.
- Higher stability: Stable performance and the service life of key components can reach 100,000 hours.
- Higher electro-optical conversion efficiency: The photoelectric conversion efficiency of fiber laser cutter is about 30%, which is 3 times higher than that of CO2 laser, energy saving and environmental protection.
- Lower cost of use: The power consumption of the whole machine is only 20-30% of the similar CO2 laser.
- Lower maintenance cost: No working gas, no need for reflective lenses, saving a significant amount in maintenance costs.
- Convenient operation and maintenance: Optical fiber transmission eliminates the need to adjust the optical path.
However, compared with CO2 laser cutters, the cutting range of fiber lasers is relatively narrow. Due to the wavelength, it can only cut metal materials, and it is not easily absorbed by non-metals, which limits its cutting range.
Comparison with YAG Laser Cutting Machine
- Higher cutting speed: The speed is 4-5 times that of YAG, suitable for mass processing and production.
- Lower cost of use: The cost of use is less than that of YAG solid laser cutting.
- Photoelectric conversion efficiency: The photoelectric conversion efficiency is about 10 times that of YAG.
While the price is relatively high compared to YAG lasers, it is much lower than that of CO2 lasers. However, its cost-effectiveness is indeed the highest of the three.
Long-term exposure to the cutting machine can cause serious damage to the retina. All operators must wear goggles and avoid operating and observing with exposed eyes. It’s also crucial to avoid any part of the body being in the machine’s cutting path to prevent accidental injury.
The dust produced during cutting can impact human health. Long-term work in a dusty environment can cause significant damage to the lungs and trachea, leading to lung and respiratory diseases without proper protection.
Oxygen is often used in the cutting process, and sparks produced during cutting can easily cause fires. Therefore, the working area should be free of flammable and explosive materials, and appropriate protective facilities should be provided.
Depending on the material, the material itself or the coating on the material can produce components harmful to the human body at high temperatures.
Safety depends on the manufacturer’s safety guidance and whether the protective equipment purchased by the enterprise meets protective standards. Different types of machines have different degrees of damage to the human body, especially the eyes and skin. The exact grade depends on the operator’s manual. Each device comes with protective goggles. During the cutting process, do not look at the laser for a long time, and do not look too close without a protective cover to avoid cutting slag splashing on your body. Almost all equipment is equipped with a dust removal system, which is basically not affected by smoke and dust. The metamorphic laser gas contains a small amount of carbon monoxide, and the carbon monoxide content is very small and will not cause harm to the human body.
Care & Maintenance
When using these machines for projects, it’s essential to learn the use and maintenance skills to maximize the equipment’s efficiency and effectiveness.
- Conveyor belt: Regularly check the conveyor belt to ensure tension. Mistakes during operation can result in personal injury or even death.
- Track straightness: Check the straightness of the track and the verticality of the machine every six months. If abnormalities are found, perform timely maintenance and debugging. Without this, the cutting effect may not be optimal, increasing the error and affecting the cutting quality.
- Dust and dirt: Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt in the machine once a week. All electrical cabinets should be closed and dustproof.
- Guide rails: Clean the guide rails frequently to remove dust and other debris. Ensure the equipment racks are cleaned frequently and lubricating oil is added to ensure lubrication without debris. The guide rail should be cleaned and lubricated frequently, and the motor should also be cleaned and lubricated frequently. The machine can move better during cutting, cut more accurately, and the quality of the cut product will improve.
- Damage: If any damage is found in the process of using the machine, it must be replaced in time. This not only protects the machine itself but also ensures that the machine always maintains an ideal cutting effect.
Regular inspection and maintenance are necessary for a fiber laser cutter. If there is deformation or other forms, you should know that the cutting head has been slightly damaged at this time, and you need to replace it. Failure to replace will affect the cutting quality and increase the cost, and some products may need to be reprocessed, reducing production efficiency.
- Power socket: Ensure the power socket is in good contact and the ground wire is well grounded.
- Water chiller voltage: Ensure the voltage of the water chiller is stable. The refrigeration compressor is sensitive to the power supply voltage, and the standard working voltage is 200 ~ 250V (100 ~ 130V for 110V models). If a wider operating voltage range is needed, it can be customized separately.
- Power frequency: Mismatch of power frequency can cause damage to the machine. Use 50Hz or 60Hz models according to the actual situation.
- Circulating water pump: To protect the circulating water pump, running without water is strictly prohibited. Before packing a new machine, the water tank must be emptied. Ensure that the water tank is full of water before starting the machine, otherwise, the water pump can be easily damaged. If the water level of the water tank is lower than the minimum requirement of the water level gauge, the cooling capacity of the chiller will drop, and the water level must be within the required range. The use of circulating pump drainage is strictly prohibited.
- Air inlet and outlet channels: Ensure that the air inlet and outlet channels of the chiller are smooth. The air outlet above the chiller must be at least 1250px away from the obstacle, and the side air inlet must be at least 500px away from the obstacle.
- Air inlet filter: The air filter must be removed and cleaned regularly. Serious blockage of the air filter can cause the chiller to malfunction.
- Condensate effect: When the water temperature is lower than the ambient temperature and the ambient humidity is high, condensation water will be generated on the surface of the circulating water pipe and the device to be cooled. When the above situation occurs, it is recommended to increase the water temperature or insulate the water pipe and the cooled device.
- Professional operation: This type of laser machine is an industrial equipment, please do not allow non-professionals to operate.
Laser cutting is one of the most important application technologies in the manufacturing industry. Technological workers continue to explore the technology and promote the continuous development of laser cutting technology. Companies need to step out of price competition and practice internal skills. They have been widely used in automobile, rolling stock manufacturing, aviation, chemical industry, light industry, electrical appliances and electronics, petroleum, and metallurgy due to their many advantages.
With the increase of power, laser cutting is developing from light industrial thin metal fabrication to heavy industrial thick metal, and due to the improvement of high-power laser beam mode and the application of 32-bit microcomputer, favorable conditions have been created for high speed and high precision.
In order to meet the needs of 3D metal cutting in the automotive and aerospace industries, a variety of 5-axis and 6-axis 3D laser cutters have been developed. Currently, marine steel plate cutting generally uses flame cutting and plasma cutting. Deck and hull materials of special materials cannot be accurately cut. Laser cutter manufacturers may wish to try high-tech operations, vigorously develop computer network engineering, and improve business efficiency through the improvement of office tools.
At the same time, the high-precision 3D robot laser cutter has important strategic significance for improving the level of aerospace technology equipment. As the volume becomes smaller, the power increases, and the auxiliary devices continue to improve for thick plate cutting and large format metal fabrication. The generator, power supply, host, control system, and cooling circulation device are closely combined to form a complete set of compact laser cutter with a small footprint and perfect function.
Strengthen the close connection with upstream and downstream enterprises in the supply chain to form a highly competitive and concentrated CNC laser cutter business circle. For some manufacturers, it is of great significance to enhance their competitiveness and expand market share. Focus on product structure optimization, product quality improvement, core technology mastery and innovation, and the expansion of corporate brand influence.
A higher laser power of the machine will deliver better cutting capability. Therefore, we always recommend to our customers to choose these kinds of machines with higher laser capability. The higher the power of the laser, the better the machine will be able to cut metals. At the same time, the software that would maneuver the machine is also worth checking. A user-friendly software interface will make that look easy for a person who will maneuver the machine. You may also look at the cooling system of the tool kit. It will save the machine from excess heat.
It is always necessary that you always look at the costs that you will have to spend for maintenance. It may look like a better purchase when the total cost of the machine seems lower. But in the long-term scenario, this can force you to spend higher on the maintenance.
Last but not the least; consider from where you are making the purchase. I mean the reputation of the company or manufacturer matters in the long run. That is from where you will get the customer support in case you face any difficulties while using the tool.
About Hymson Laser
What do you think makes a good manufacturer? When you love the quality of their delivered products or the technical support that you get after the purchase, you name the brand as trustworthy. Hymson Laser is renowned for delivering extraordinary technical assistance and support when you need them the most. At the same time, Hymson Laser always ensures that you get the best-rated machine that you need to get wholesome output. Grab your desired machine from the brand, and you certainly will love the decision that you did so.