Laser Cutting Machine Basics
Are you looking forward to DIY laser cutter kit plans or coming up with an idea to buy an affordable laser cutting machine for metal, wood, plywood, cardboard, dieboard, chipboard, fabric, textile, leather, paper, acrylic, polymer, plastic, foam, rubber, ABS, EPM, MDF, PE, PES, PUR, PVB, PVC, PUR, PMMA or PTFE with home use, small business, hobbyists, school education and industrial manufacturing in USA, UK, UAE, Canada, Australia, Russia, South Africa, China, India or other countries from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Oceania? Review the 2021 new laser cutter buyer's guide for CNC machinists, operators and beginners, we'll offer you the best laser cutting machines of 2021 with custom laser cutting service to fit your 2D/3D laser cut ideas and plans.
What Is A Laser Cutting Machine? - Definition
Laser cutting machine is a type of laser equipment with CNC (Computer Numerical Control) system, which adopts CO2 laser or FIBER laser beam to cut metals (steel, copper, brass, aluminum, gold, silver, alloy, iron), acrylic, rubber, wood, plastic, leather, paper, foam, textile, fabric into 2D/3D shapes and profiles. Laser cutting machines are widely used in industrial manufacturing, school education, small business, home business, small shop, home shop, hobbyist, craftsman. A laser cutter is composed of CNC controller, machine frame, laser generator, laser power supply, laser tube, laser head, laser lens, laser mirror, water chiller, stepper motor or servo motor, gas cylinder, air compressor, gas storage tank, air cooling filer, dryer, dust extractor, CNC software and CNC system. A laser cutting machine is also known as laser cutter, laser cutter machine, laser cutting system, laser cutting equipment, laser cutting table, laser cut machine, laser cutting tool, laser profile cutting system, laser profile cutting machine.
How Does A Laser Cutter Work? - Working Principle
Laser beam is a kind of light, and like other natural light, it is produced by the transition of atoms (molecules or ions, etc.). However, it is different from ordinary light in that the laser depends on spontaneous radiation only for a very short period of time. The subsequent process is completely determined by the excitation radiation, so the laser has a very pure color, almost no divergence direction, and extremely high luminous intensity, and high coherence.
Laser cutting is achieved by applying high power density energy generated by laser focusing. Under the control of the computer, the laser is discharged by pulses to output a controlled repetitive high-frequency pulsed laser to form a beam with a certain frequency and a certain pulse width. The pulsed laser beam is transmitted and reflected through the optical path and is focused by the focusing lens group. On the surface of the processed object, minute, high-energy density light spots are formed, and the focal spot is located near the surface to be processed, and the processed material is melted or vaporized at an instant high temperature. Each high-energy laser pulse instantly sputters a small hole on the surface of the object. Under the control of the computer, the laser processing head and the material to be processed perform continuous relative movement and dotting according to the pre-drawn graphics, so that the object will be processed into the desired shape.
The technological parameters (cutting speed, laser power, gas pressure, etc.) and movement trajectory during slitting are controlled by the CNC system, and the slag at the slit is blown off by the auxiliary gas with a certain pressure.
The laser emitted by the laser generator is focused by the optical path system into a laser beam of high power density. The laser beam is irradiated onto the surface of the workpiece to bring the workpiece to a melting point or boiling point, while the high-pressure gas coaxial with the beam blows away the molten or vaporized material. As the laser beam moves relative to the workpiece, the material is slit finally, thereby achieving the purpose of cutting. Different laser powers can different workpieces with different thickness. Generally speaking, higher laser power for thicker workpiece. You should make the appropriate choice according to your requirements.
What Are Laser Cutters Used For? - Applications
Laser cutter is widely used in Medical Technology, Fablabs/Education, Architectural Models, Smartphones and Laptops, Awards/Trophies, Rubber Stamps Industry, Packaging Design, Signs/Displays Industry, Giveaways, Electronics Industry, Automotive Industry, Signage, Mechanical engineering, Ball bearing, Jewelry Industry, Barcodes serial numbers, Watches, Machining Industry, Dataplates Industry.
What Materials Can Be Cut With Laser Cutters?
Fiber laser cutting systems are mainly used for cutting metal materials (sheet metals, metal tube, metal profile, 3D curved metals and irregular metals) of carbon steel, stainless steel, tool steel, spring steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, gold, silver, alloy, titanium, iron, brass, manganese, chromium, nickel, cobalt, lead, etc. CO2 laser cutting systems are mainly used for cutting thin metal and non-metal materials of wood, MDF, plywood, chipboard, acrylic, plastic, PMMA, leather, fabric, cardboard, paper, rubber, depron foam, EPM, gator foam, polyester (PES), polyethylene (PE), polyurethane (PUR), neoprene, textile, bamboo, ivory, carbon fibers, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinyl butyrale (PVB), polytetrafluoroethylenes (PTFE /Teflon), beryllium oxide, and any materials containing halogens (chlorine, fluorine, iodine, astatine and bromine), phenolic or epoxy resins.
How Much Does A Laser Cutter Cost?
The laser cutter cost is composed of the following items: 1. spare parts. 2. laser cutting system and laser cutting software. 3. shipping costs. 4. tax rates. 5. customs clearance. 6. service and technical support. A fiber laser cutting machine cost is from $8,800.00 to 260,000.00. A CO2 laser cutting machine cost is from $2,600.00 to 68,800.00.
|Laser Types||Fiber Laser, CO2 Laser|
|Laser Powers||80W, 100W, 130W, 150W, 180W, 300W, 500W, 750W, 1000W, 1500W, 2000W, 3000W, 4000W, 6000W, 8000W, 10000W, 12000W|
|Table Sizes||2' x 3', 2' x 4', 4' x 4', 4' x 8', 5' x 10'|
|Cutting Materials||Metals (Stainless Steel, Tool Steel, Carbon Steel, Spring Steel, Galvanized Steel, Aluminum, Brass, Copper, Alloy, Iron, Silver, Gold, Chromium, Titanium, Cobalt, Manganese, Lead, Nickel), Wood, Plywood, Chipboard, Cardborad, Acrylic, Fabric, Jeans, Plastic, Leather, Paper, ABS, EPM, MDF, PE, PES, PUR, PVB, PVC, PUR, PMMA, PTFE.|
|Applications||Industrial Manufacturing, School Education, Small Businesses, Home Business, Small Shop, Home Shop, Hobbyists.|
|Price Range||$2,600.00 - $300,000.00|
What Are The Advantages And Benefits Of Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting will replace the traditional mechanical cutters with invisible laser beams. It has advantages of high speed, high quality, it is not limited to cutting pattern restrictions, saves materials by automatic typesetting, smooth cuts, and low machining cost. It will gradually improve or replace traditional cutting process equipment. The mechanical part of the laser head has no contact with the workpiece, and it will not scratch the surface of the workpiece during operation. The cutting speed is fast, the slit is smooth and flat, generally no subsequent cutting is required. The heat affected zone is small, the sheet deformation is small. The slit has no mechanical stress, no shear burr. It is high precision, good repeatability, does not damage the surface of the material. It adopts CNC programming, which can process any plan, and cut the whole large format workpiece without molding.
How Many Types Of Laser Cutters?
Laser cutting machines are divided into laser metal cutting machines (metal laser cutters), laser wood cutting machines (wood laser cutters), laser fabric cutting machines (laser fabric cutters), laser leather cutting machines (laser leather cutters), laser paper cutting machines (laser paper cutters), laser acrylic cutting machines (laser acrylic cutters), laser plastic cutting machines (laser plastic cutters), laser foam cutting machines (laser foam cutters) according to laser cut materials. Laser cutting equipments are divided into fiber laser machines and CO2 laser machines according to laser source. Laser cutting systems are divided into handheld laser system, mini/small laser system, portable laser system, tabletop/desktop laser system, large format laser cutting equipment, 2x3 laser cutting table, 2x4 laser cutting table, 4x4 laser cutting table, 4x8 laser cutting table, 5x10 laser cutting table according to table sizes. Laser cutter machines are divided into laser tube cutters, home laser cutters, hobby laser cutters, laser profile cutting machines, industrial laser cutting machines according to applications.
$3000.00 - $11600.00
2021 best CO2 laser cutter is suitable for small business with engraving and cutting of paper, acrylic, wood, rubber, plastic, glass, leather, etc. Now the best laser cutter for small business on sale at an affordable price.
$3500.00 - $4500.00
STJ1390 100W CO2 laser wood cutting machine is an affordable laser wood cutter for beginners to engrave & cut wood (hardwood, softwood, solid wood, plywood, MDF) for arts, crafts, gifts, logos, letters, signs. Now the 2021 best wood laser cutter for sale at cost price, free laser cutting wood service and support within your budget.
$2600.00 - $3600.00
CO2 hobby laser cutter machine is an entry level laser cutting machine for hobbyists, small business, small shop, home business and home shop. Now the best hobby laser cutter for sale at an affordable price.
$3000.00 - $5500.00
2021 best acrylic laser cutting machine is available for cutting clear and colored acrylic sheets (plastic glass, lucite, plexiglass) into letters, numbers, signs, logos, patterns, arts and crafts. Now the best acrylic laser cutter for sale at affordable price.
$9500.00 - $1000.00
Industrial fabric laser cutting machine with large format, auto feeding and rolling system, which is used for cutting fabric, textile, cloth, leather and garment in industrial production, now the best industrial fabric laser cutter for sale at an affordable price.
$2400.00 - $2600.00
STJ6040 desktop laser engraver (desktop laser cutter) with CO2 laser tube is a hobby laser with tabletop and benchtop design for small business or home business, which is used to etch, engrave and cut signs, logos, letters, numbers, patterns on wood, plywood, MDF, cardboard, leather, fabric, plastic, acrylic, rubber, glass, paper. Now the most compact desktop laser cutter engraving machine for sale at a low price.
$3800.00 - $6500.00
Dual head entry level CO2 laser cutter has double table, blade table and honey comb table, which is mainly used for home shop and home business, now the best CO2 laser cutter for sale at an affordable price.
$4800.00 - $6000.00
CNC laser cutter with CCD camera visual recognition system, which can automatically recognize the contour pattern of fabric, leather, textile, garment for accurate cutting.
$6500.00 - $12500.00
Laser garment cutting machine with CCD camera and conveyor system (automatic feeding system, conveyor belt), which is designed for garment, apparel, clothing, fabric and textile. Now the best garment laser cutting machine for sale at cost price.
$8400.00 - $20000.00
Affordable laser cutter with four laser cutting heads is used to cut cardboard, plywood, MDF, plastic and paper with high speed and high efficiency. Now the cheap laser cutter for sale at affordable price.
$5400.00 - $7000.00
STJ1325 large format leather laser cutting machine can engrave and cut full grain leather, top grain leather, corrected grain leather, embossed grain leather, split suede leather, nubuck sueded grain leather, reconstituted, bonded or fibre leather for upholstery, garment, shoe or saddlery. Now the best leather laser cutter for sale at an affordable price.
$6800.00 - $11800.00
2021 best laser foam cutting machine is used to cut EVA foam, polyethylene foam, polystyrene foam (EPS), styrofoam, rubber, filter mats to make foam molds, foam letters, foam inserts, foam packaging, gun case, pelican cases, boat flooring, car floor decking from teak. Now the best foam laser cutter for sale at cost price.
$22500.00 - $34500.00
Top rated fiber laser cutting machine is designed for metal fabrication, including steel, aluminum, titanium, alloy, brass, copper, iron with different laser powers (1000W, 1500W, 2000W). Now the affordable fiber laser cutter for sale at low price, with the best fiber laser cutting system service and support.
$24000.00 - $51000.00
Stainless steel laser cutting machine with 1000 watts fiber laser is designed for cutting thin metals less than 2mm aluminum, 3mm stainless steel, 4mm stainless steel, 12mm carbon steel and copper, brass, etc, now the stainless steel laser cutter for sale at an affordable price.
$58800.00 - $88800.00
STJ2060F laser tube cutting machine with fiber laser source can cut lines and holes on square/round/rectangular/oval metal tubes, pipes and profiles, now the best fiber laser tube cutting machine for sale at affordable laser tube cutter price.
$34500.00 - $73800.00
ST-FC3015C sheet metal laser cutter is the best sheet metal cutting tool for metal fabrication, which is suitable for thin metal, such as stainless steel, aluminum alloy, galvanized iron, silicon steel,etc to cut the custom and personalized metal signs, metal crafts, metal arts, metal logos, metal tags, metal letters, metal words. Now the best sheet metal laser cutter for sale at cost price.
$63500.00 - $118500.00
IPG fiber laser cutter is used for personalized and custom metal signs, metal arts, metal crafts, metal tags, metal logos, metal words, metal letters of stainless steel, carbon steel, brass, aluminum, alloy, rare metal and other metal materials. The metal laser cutter can be used for cutting both sheet metal and metal tubes.
$31500.00 - $42500.00
Portable fiber laser metal cutting machine ST-FC6040 is an entry level metal laser cutter used to cut steel, titanium, gold, silver, aluminum, brass, copper and other metalworking. The portable fiber laser cutting machine is designed for cutting metal jewelry, metal signs, metal tags, metal arts and metal crafts. Now the portable fiber laser cutter for sale at affordable price.
$32300.00 - $49300.00
ST-FC1390 compact flatbed small metal laser cutter adopts fiber laser generator, fully enclosed design, environmental friendly in all kinds of metal cutting, which is an entry level fiber laser cutter used in small business of metal signs, metal tags, metal logos, metal letters and metal jewelry, now the compact flatbed small fiber laser metal cutting machine for sale at affordable price.
$53500.00 - $115000.00
1000W/2000W/3000W fiber laser cutter is used for cutting metal signs, metal signage, metal letters, metal kitchenware, metal arts, sheet metal fabrication, metal components, metal parts, and other metal fabrication. Now the best metal laser cutter for sale at cost price.
$47000.00 - $88000.00
Industrial fiber laser metal cutting machine ST-FC3015LR can cut sheet metals, metal pipes, metal tubes and sheet metals, metal tube cutting and metal sheet cutting all in one. Now the industrial laser metal cutting machine for sale at cost price.
$58800.00 - $260000.00
High power fiber laser metal cutting machine with exchange pallet has faster cutting speed and high power laser source (1000W, 2000W, 3000W, 4000W, 6000W, 8000W) compared to other cutting solutions, now the high power laser cutting machine for sale at affordable price.
$65000.00 - $80000.00
3D robotic laser cutting machine with fiber laser source is equipped with industrial robot from ABB for flexible 3D dynamic metal cutting of multi-dimensional and multi-angle. The 3D metal laser cutter with robotic arm is widely used in 3D curved metal parts, metal tubes, auto parts, kitchenware, electronic components. Now the best 3D laser cutting machine for sale at affordable price.
$8800.00 - $15500.00
Metal and nonmetal laser cutting machine with 300W CO2 laser tube is a new design laser machine for cutting thin metal and non metal materials, such as stainless steel, alloy, acrylic, leather, plywood, MDF, wood, etc.
$22800.00 - $33300.00
ST-FC1325LC fiber laser metal cutting machine combined with CO2 laser cutting system is more stable than CO2 mixed laser cutter, which is mainly used for cutting metals (steel, aluminum, copper, brass, titanium, alloy, iron) and nonmetals (wood, plywood, MDF, plastic, acrylic, leather, fabric).
$8400.00 - $15200.00
STJ1610M entry level mixed metal and nonmetal laser cutting machine adopts CO2 sealed laser tube, which can cut nonmetal and metal materials of 0.5mm to 2mm.
$10000.00 - $20000.00
STJ1390M CO2 laser cutter with 280W Yongli combined beam laser tube, which can cut up to 3mm stainless steel, 4mm carbon steel, 30mm acrylic, 25mm wood, etc. Now the cheap laser cutter for sale at a low price.
$8800.00 - $16000.00
Most compact CNC metal cutter with mixed laser cutting head can up and down according to the metal and nonmetal materials surface, which is one mixed metal and nonmetal laser cutter.
$8800.00 - $9800.00
STJ1325M cheap CO2 laser cutter for metal and wood within your budget adopts sealed CO2 glass laser tube, which is used for cutting thin metals (1.5mm SS and 2.5mm CS) and thick nonmetals (30mm acrylic, 25mm wood, etc.)
$14800.00 - $17100.00
Multi-function 4x8 laser engraving cutting machine is used for CNC machining metal and nonmetal materials, such as stainless steel, galvanized sheet, acrylic, MDF, solid wood, die board, etc. Now the best 4x8 laser engraving cutting machine for sale at affordable price.
$8000.00 - $16500.00
Mixed laser cutting system is designed for cutting thick nonmetal materials and thin metal materials, such as acrylic, MDF, die board, 2mm stainless steel with perfect cutting effect and high cutting speed.
Laser Cutter Stories
Feb 26, 2021When you have an idea to buy an affordable laser engraver or laser cutter to start your business, you should know what is a laser cutting machine or laser engraving machine? what is it used for? how does it work? how much does it cost? how to buy it within your budget?
Feb 25, 2020Before you buy a CO2 laser machine for engraving and cutting, you should know what is a CO2 laser machine? how does a CO2 laser machine work? how much does a CO2 laser machine cost? how to buy an affordable CO2 laser machine within your budget.
Apr 16, 2021Before and After you operate a fiber laser cutter machine everyday, you should do some maintenance works for long lifespan, thus, how to do daily maintenance of fiber laser cutting machine?
Apr 16, 2021How much does a laser cutting machine cost? There are many things to consider, including accessories, parts, laser source, laser power, service and cutting methods. So, what is the final price?
Mar 02, 2020When you have an idea to engrave and cut wood projects at home, you should buy a CO2 laser engraver for wood or a CO2 laser cutter for wood, so you can start your laser engraving and cutting projects.
Mar 08, 2021A guide to understand the differences between fiber laser cutting machine and CO2 laser cutting machine, let you know what are the advantages of fiber laser machine compared with CO2 laser machine, so that you can make the right choice for your cutting plans and ideas.
Nov 11, 2019Compared with plasma cutting machine, laser cutting machine has its own advantages and disadvantages, you should make a choice according to your requirements.
Feb 26, 2021Looking for a laser cutter to start your business or pick up a hobby you've always wanted? Whether you are a beginner or CNC machinist, please follow the 26 steps on how to use a laser cutting machine.
Apr 16, 2021What should you consider before buying, operating, or building a laser cutting machine? First, you should know how does a laser cutter work? In other words, it's the working principle.
Mar 08, 2021When you have an idea to buy a fiber laser cutting machine, you should know what is a fiber laser machine? what is it used for? how does it work? how to buy fiber laser cutters?
Nov 14, 2019Many materials can be cut by a laser cutter: from wood to plastic, from steel to ceramic. Let's have a look for the wide range of laser cutting applications:
Customer Reviews and Testimonials
- Randy Devine from United StatesPosted on Apr 08, 2021I got one of these machines for my woodshop. I could have bought a similar wood laser cutter elsewhere for almost $2000 less. So why buy this one? Quality and features. Unlike the cheaper ones, this machine clearly underwent a QC process prior to shipment. It arrived ready to use. The mirrors were adjusted well enough to use the machine right out of the box. The mirror adjustment screws were retained with silicone to prevent movement in shipping. Unlike cheaper versions of these machines, the wiring was solidly connected with wire nuts, crimp terminals, and locking connectors and/or glue. I found no loose wires. Earth grounds were solidly connected and electrically sound, I measured less the 0.1 ohm to earth ground at both the power cord ground pin and the machine ground terminal. All non-crimped electrical connectors including PCB and power supply connectors were sealed with silicone. Cables were well bundled and retained with zip ties. With this machine, I was able to attach a water tank, power it on, and cut. Its amazing for cutting 1/4" and 1/8" wood.
I was happily surprised with the extras that are included. You get the aiming red laser, a strip of LEDs that illuminate the inside of the box, a powerful internal fan motor, temp sensors on the power supply and the tube, and venting of the electrical compartment. I thought I would have to add these myself. The only thing missing is an "open-door" shutoff switch for safety. You can easily add one of these with a microswitch and a two wire cable to the K+ - pins on the power supply.
Finally, a word about safety. CO2 lasers are invisible and thus EXTREMELY dangerous. Since you can't see the beam, it does not trigger a blink reflex. The first you know of a problem is when your retina boils. Really. If you get one of these machines you MUST purchase a set of safety glasses. Wear them whenever the machine is powered on, whether the laser is active or not. Make sure the lenses you buy are marked with the proper wavelength and an "OD" number, representing factor of 10 reduction. For instance, OD2 reduces power by 100, OD3 by 1000, etc. The wavelength of a CO2 laser is about 10600nm. The glasses should have an OD of at least 6 and preferably 7 for that wavelength. The lens will be marked something like "9000-11000 OD7+" directly on it. A decent pair will cost $30-$50. If the lenses are very cheap, avoid them.
Overall I am very happy with this purchase.
- Joshua Olivia from CanadaPosted on Apr 01, 2021I was excited to use this hobby laser cutter for some school projects. I purchased this product after extensive research and watching quality reviews on Youtube and different forums. For the price, it did not seem to be a bad option at all and easily upgradable.
It is a great starting out laser cutter. It will take some learning but after a few projects and using the software it will all make sense and become easier to use. Like many others here, the cutting job went great, the results were crisp and clean and I thought I'd found an amazing product that was perfect for me. For the price this is a super start up laser. I feel it is money well spent.
- Mohammed Blake from United KingdomPosted on Mar 18, 2021My husband uses this metal laser cutter with a little Etsy business and loves it. It cuts through 3mm stainless steel, brass, etc. without problem. Got it set up and cutting in one evening, but that was because husband understands machines and son had used one at school. The machine bed can hold bigger things, but the max laser cut lines are 35"x50". Do your research before buying it, because it's not just "this machine" you need, but matching kit. Highly recommend it, especially if you've never laser cut before, you can get a lot of good experience before upgrading to a more expensive one.
First of all things, if you order this machine, fix the wiring so it the chassis is properly grounded. If the high voltage power supply wire got damaged causing a short, the chassis could become hot with high voltages.
Great value for the money, but not for the faint of heart due to lack of safeties, buy some eye protection.
- Kamogelo from South AfricaPosted on Mar 17, 2021We've been using it for about 2 months for metal jewelry. With it's built-in software, safety features, and great support service, it's truly the best metal laser cutter for the crafter or small business. The unit was shipped very promptly and was well packaged.
- Martindale from United StatesPosted on Feb 28, 2021As the saying goes: "You get what you paid for". The small metal laser cutter packed well without shipping damages.
The laser machine was "functional" after the first start to use it for different metals and thickness you need to be willing to invest quite a bit time and mechanical changes to get this unit as you want it.