In this article, we'll cover some knowledge before buying a suitable laser engraving machine. Here we go:
LASER is the acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Laser engraving is the process of subtractive manufacturing to engrave material surface using a laser beam. It is a non-contact process, as the high heat and energy of laser melts and vaporizes the area where you are aiming the laser beam at.
Finally, it leaves a permanent mark on the surface, usually used to create an image of the material. With graphic software and parameter, laser engraving can produce amazing effects, such as photo or 3D engraving.
A CO2 laser works by electrically stimulating the molecules of a carbon dioxide gas mixture. When focused through a lens, this invisible intensive beam can vaporize many materials. Depending on the speed and intensity of the beam, CO2 laser can be used to engrave a wide variety of materials.
For customers, it is fairly easy to operate the laser system for engraving and cutting, similar to the way your paper printer prints. You can install most kinds of graphics software in the Windows system, such as CorelDraw, to design the graph you need. Set the page size to the same as the plaque, trophy, or other objects you will be engraving, and print it to the laser. With adjustable speed settings from 0.1% to 100%, power settings from 1% to 100%, and dpi settings of up to 1000, the engraver will print with as much depth and detail as you need.
There are two ways how a laser engraver works; one is raster, and the other is vector. Raster is like a high clarity lattice printing, where the laser head scans left to right, engraving a series of dots one line at a time, then moves back and forth to carve as many lines as needed to make up a full-page picture or characters. Different from raster, vector proceeds on the outline of the characters. We usually use this model for cutting materials, like woods, acrylic, and paper, or marking on the surface of them.
The versatility of laser system means that it works on many materials, including wood, acrylic, plastics, stone, metals, etc. In particular, it is a great tool to add numbers, logos, images, and serial numbers to parts. Laser engraving is today a technology commonly used for producing promotional products like pens, signs, and displays, which makes laser engraving suitable for a variety of industries, such as signage and advertising, personalization and identification, gifts and promotions, post-press, apparel, and electronics industries.
One of the most noticeable applications is customization which is popular nowadays, like a wedding ring with a name on it. It is more effective than traditional engraving for small objects.
In the apparel industry, it is most common to use laser machines to directly engrave customized patterns on materials. It is also applied to heat transfer vinyl, especially thick or stretchable materials. The laser engravers cut quickly and accurately, thus replacing the traditional cutting method.
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Laser engraving machines are widely used in various engraving and cutting jobs because of the smooth cutting surface, fast cutting speed and high precision, especially in industries that have higher standards and requirements for cutting speed and accuracy. However, when buying a laser machine, people are likely to be confused as to which laser engraving machine to choose and what the price of the machine is.
It is difficult to give a simple answer as it depends on your needs or what kind of work you want to accomplish? Before starting all projects, you first need to consider the material you want to process and its production volume, and then you determine the specs you desire for the machine, such as the type of laser, wattage, and working area size. Different types of laser engraving machines have different functions and applications. Generally, the greater the wattage and work surface, the higher the cost.
Another thing to consider when buying a laser engraver is the cost of maintenance. The amount of cleaning required for machine maintenance depends on the materials used. Sometimes mirrors or lenses need to be finely cleaned, and the machine may also need to be realigned. Regular maintenance and cleaning help avoid consuming too much time and interrupting the company's production line. There is also the after-sales service, which may incur labor and parts costs when necessary.
With all of these having been taken into account, you just need to contact us, and we will help you choose the right model that suits your needs.
The price of a laser engraving machine varies widely from one model to the next. There are some low-cost and self-assembled units available at US$100-300, but the limited efficiency and laser power can only handle paper or the surface of wood and plastic. However, there are some high-quality units that cost dozens of times or even more. This massive difference in equipment cost is reflected by the significant difference in machine quality, functionality, and performance.
High-quality laser engravers typically consist of durable components that do not break down easily and powerful lasers that cut through a variety of materials precisely and quickly. High-quality laser engravers use software that is compatible with many programs, making them highly versatile. Finally, it has a comprehensive warranty and service package that protects you from equipment malfunctions and breakdowns (usually lower-cost laser engravers are not provided with warranty and service and eventually given up).
While it may be tempting to buy the most inexpensive laser engraving machine so you can spend the least money on your latest beloved project, perhaps a more expensive machine is a wise investment for you in the long run. Investing more money into a higher-quality unit means longer service life and smaller maintenance costs, both of which will lead to lower overall equipment costs.
Regarding the high-quality laser engravers, you just need to contact us, and we will help you choose the right model that suits your needs.
Small laser engraving machines do not take up much space and therefore have a large market in DIY & hobby users, personalization, and education market. Small laser engraving machines in the market vary in quality and price. The price of laser cutting machine is often determined by the laser brand, laser power, servo motor, laser head and other configurations. Of course, a more affordable system is by default less functional and perhaps less reliable, and the output quality does not always satisfy most people.
One thing to remind you is to consider practical needs rather than price when choosing laser equipment. There are a few factors to determine the suitable laser equipment for you, such as what materials you want to process, what you want the equipment for, and the quality you expect, etc.
By laser source, the laser engraving machines developed by GCC LaserPro come with CO2 lasers or fiber lasers.
Laser engravers can also be distinguished into X-Y table and Galvo laser systems by processing structure; the main difference between the two is how the laser beam moves for engraving and cutting.
There is no actual data on how long a laser engraving machine can last, but it is certain that regular and diligent maintenance of the machine as recommended in the user manual will extend the service life of the machine. This not only keeps your laser engraving machine up and running, but also saves you the cost and time of repairing the machine.
Check this article "The Suggestions for Laser Machine Maintenance", which provides 5 basic maintenance tips below to ensure stable and reliable high quality output and extend the life of your machine.
Fiber laser and CO2 laser both project high energy beam on object, and the difference lies mainly in the wavelength of the laser source. Metals absorb the wavelength of fiber laser pretty well, and that makes fiber lasers suitable for metal processing. The working area of most fiber lasers is relatively limited. For this particularly, GCC LaserPro developed a full table size production engraver, which yields spectacular engraving results thanks to the design of the X-Y table.
In addition to S290LS, the S400 and Spirit GLS Hybrid which accommodate concurrently CO2 and fiber dual laser sources produce excellent output quality and allow for a wide range of materials to be processed. No matter it is a font or graphic design, a mark on a plastic surface, or a barcode on the metal tool, you will be satisfied with all the results that come from them.
Fiber lasers use rare-earth-doped fiber as an active gain medium to produce short pulses with high peak power. Fiber laser engraving with high peak power vaporizes material easily to make a clear and visible engraving on the material. Fiber laser with short pulse makes heat-affected zone smaller to reduce over-burning at the edge area of materials during engraving.
You can use fiber laser engravers on a wide range of metals, including stainless steel, copper, iron, nickel, aluminum, brass, and many more. Some materials, like plastics (ABS, PBT, Silicon, ABS, PS), synthetic leathers and carbon fiber, are also suitable for fiber laser engraving.
Transparent glass does not absorb the wavelength of fiber laser, and that’s why fiber laser does not work on glass. In some special cases, fiber laser is used on certain glasses with a special surface coating, which makes it engravable with fiber laser. However, the actual result still depends on the glass and its surface treatment.
If you need to process wood, CO2 laser is recommended, since it is good at producing lifelike images and fine text processing on wood. Wood does absorb the wavelength of fiber laser, but it does not produce the effect and efficiency as perfect as CO2 laser.
If you want to engrave metals, a fiber laser engraver delivers exceptional performance. A typical fiber laser engraver works at a wavelength of 1.064 micrometers. It produces an extremely small focal diameter (resulting in intensity up to 100 times higher than a CO2 system) and offers a better beam quality due to its light guiding properties, making it the ideal choice for permanent marking of serial numbers, ID codes, barcodes, and graphics on metals. Furthermore, by adjusting the laser beam, the color of the surface of the material can be changed to achieve a special color decoration effect.
Laser engraving machine is widely used for various applications and lots of laser engraving machines are available in the market. So, the question is how to choose the right laser engraving machine. There are some points to be well considered:
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