Wood and metals are two of the most commonly used materials in the engraving and cutting industry. They are important materials; thus, the machines to use to work on them should be of high quality. They should be purchased by only trusted suppliers. They should not break down while in operation and when you have many projects to complete.
A high-quality wood and metal laser engraver produces highly precise results. What takes months if done with mere hands is completed very quickly with the new technology. However, the question that needs a definite answer is whether one type of cutter is better than the other.
What exactly do we have in mind?
Here, we offer a short but informative comparison between CO2 and fiber laser cutters.
The pros and cons of fiber technology
The fiber laser technology is newer than the CO2 laser technology. The former has significantly gained its popularity because of its superior efficiency and quality when working on thinner materials such as wood, stainless steel, and spring steel. However, cutting speed is reduced with a fiber laser cutter, especially when accomplishing more intricate tasks. Also, the worker handling the fiber laser cutter should take specific safety measures to keep himself from damaging his eyes.
Overall, fiber cutters are easy to use because there are no moving parts or delicate setups that are in danger of being misaligned. You can use them readily because they are insensitive. Maintenance cost is also lower than that of CO2 cutters because of the tool’s design.
Fiber technology offers better absorption and less reflection of light and energy, making it safer to use for materials of thin dimensions. The popularity that the fiber laser technology has gained is based on its cost-effectiveness. Using a fiber cutter costs about half as much as using a CO2 cutter. If the material to be cut is thin, the engraver will most likely go for this technology because energy savings are significant. Cost savings can reach up to hundreds of dollars. Accuracy with thinner metal sheets is also guaranteed, and the machine works faster in less intricate engraving or cutting tasks.
The advantages and disadvantages of CO2 laser cutters
For accurate results on thicker cuts of wood or metal, the more popular choice is the CO2 laser technology. Aluminum, in particular, responds better to CO2 cutters when cut thick. Another advantage they offer is versatility. This type of cutting technology can manage quite well with non-metals and produce accurate results. Aside from great results with metals, this tool is the choice for cutting thin textiles, paper, and plywood. As for stone and glass, the laser will not cut through, but the focused beam of light can produce markings and engravings on the surface. Moreover, when accomplishing more intricate tasks, the engraver should opt for a CO2 laser cutter.
Lasers are useful, versatile, and accurate. A manufacturer must review current applications and decide on which cutter to invest. Factor in the materials to be used and the quality to be expected as well.