The Future of Laser Metal Cutter
The future of laser metal cutting technology is an exciting and rapidly evolving field that promises to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. As new innovations in laser technology emerge, metal laser cutters will continue to become faster, more accurate, and more versatile. Some of the developments that we can expect to see in the future include more powerful laser sources, improved automation and control systems, and the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
What Is Metal Laser Cutter?
A metal laser cutter is an automatic CNC cutting machine to cut custom shapes and contours out of metal sheets & plates, profiles, straps, tubes & pipes, which is the best metal cutting solution for hobbyists and industrial manufacturers.
A laser metal cutter a type of computer numerical controlled automated metal cutting system used for 2D/3D cut ideas & projects capable of stainless steel, galvanized steel, carbon steel, mild steel, cold rolled steel, hot rolled steel, copper, brass, alloy, iron, silver, gold, titanium, aluminum, and bronze.
A laser metal cutting machine is a type of precision cutting tool kit with CNC controller for automatic sheet metals & tubes fabrication, consisting of machine bed frame, power supply, generator, reflector path, cutting head, water chiller, control panel, and software.
How Does A Laser Metal Cutting Machine Work?
The energy of the laser is concentrated into a high-density beam in the form of light. The beam is transmitted to the work surface, generating enough heat to melt the material, and the high-pressure gas coaxial with the beam directly removes the fused metal to achieve the purpose of metal cutting. This shows that laser metal cutting is essentially different from CNC machining.
A laser metal cutting machine is a smart cutting system that uses the fiber or CO2 laser beam emitted from the generator to focus on the beam irradiation condition of high power density through the external circuit system. The heat is absorbed by the metal part material and the part temperature rises sharply. After reaching the boiling point, the material begins to vaporize and form holes, as the relative position of the beam and the part moves, will eventually form a slit in the material. The technological parameters (cutting speed, power supply, gas pressure) 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.
During laser-cut metal, auxiliary gas suitable for the material to be cut is also added. When cutting steel, oxygen must be used as an auxiliary gas to produce an exothermic chemical reaction with the molten metal to oxidize the material, while helping to blow away the slag in the slit. For metal parts with high processing accuracy, nitrogen can be used as an auxiliary gas in the industry.
What Are Metal Laser Cutting Machines Used For?
A laser metal cutting machine is an automated cutting tool used for industrial manufacturing of school education, small businesses, home business, small shop and home shop for sheet metal fabrication, aviation, spaceflight, electronics, electrical appliances, kitchenware, auto parts, office supplies, furniture kitchen dining, subway parts, automobile, machinery, precision components, ships, metallurgical equipment, elevator, household appliances, metal signs, logos, tags, profiles, letters, words, arts, crafts, gifts, tool fabrication, foils, adornment, advertising and other metalworking industries.
Most organic and inorganic materials can be cut by laser. In the metal fabrication industry, which occupies a heavy weight in industrial manufacturing, many metals, regardless of their hardness, can be cut without deformation. Of course, for high-reflectivity materials such as gold, silver, copper and aluminum alloys, they are also good heat transfer conductors, so laser cutting is difficult or even impossible to cut (some difficult materials can be cut using pulsed laser beams, due to the extremely high peak power of the pulse wave, the absorption coefficient of the material to the beam will increase sharply instantly).
They can cut stainless steel, carbon steel, tool steel, galvanized steel, spring steel, alloy, iron, aluminum, copper, brass, silver, gold, titanium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, chromium, lead and other metals in hobby use, home business, small shop, commercial use, and industrial manufacturing.
For the manufacturing industry dominated by stainless steel sheets, the laser metal cutter is an effective cutting tool. When the heat input is strictly controlled, the width of the heat affected zone of the trimming edge can be limited, thereby ensuring good stainless steel The corrosion-resistant type. Laser cut of stainless steel uses the energy released when the beam is irradiated to the surface of the steel plate to melt and evaporate the stainless steel. For the manufacturing industry that uses stainless steel sheets as the main component, laser cut of stainless steel is a fast and effective cutting method. The important process parameters that affect the cutting quality of stainless steel are cutting speed, power supply, air pressure and so on.
The thickness of the laser cut of carbon steel plate can reach 70mm, the slit of carbon steel cut by oxidation flux cutting mechanism can be controlled within a satisfactory width range, and the slit of thin plate can be narrowed to about 0.1mm.
Copper & Alloys
Pure copper (purple copper) is too high reflectivity, laser cut of brass (copper alloy) should use higher power, auxiliary gas using air or oxygen, can cut thinner plates. Pure copper and brass has high reflectivity and very good thermal conductivity. Pure copper and brass can only be cut when a "reflective absorption" device is installed on the system, otherwise the reflection will destroy the optical components.
Aluminum & Alloys
The cut of aluminum plates is easy to do with fiber lasers, which have high performance whether it is cutting aluminum or aluminum alloy.
Nickel & Alloys
They are also known as high-temperature alloys with many types, most of them can be laser oxidized and flux-cutting with good cuts.
Titanium & Alloys
Pure titanium can be well coupled with the heat energy converted by the focused beam. When the auxiliary gas uses oxygen, the chemical reaction is violent and the cutting speed is fast, but it is easy to form an oxide layer at the cutting edge, which may also cause over-burning. Therefore, the use of air as an auxiliary gas can ensure the cutting quality. Laser cut of titanium alloys is commonly used in aircraft manufacturing. Titanium plates are cut with nitrogen and nitrogen as working gases.
How Many Types of Laser Cutters for Metal?
Metal laser cutters are divided into fiber lasers and CO2 lasers for metal according to the laser source. Laser metal cutters are divided into flatbed sheet metal laser cutters, laser tube cutters, and all-in-one hybrid combo laser metal cutting machines for both sheet metals and metal pipes according to the applications.
How To Choose The Best Laser Cutter for Metal?
If you are working for the metal fabrication business, you may need a laser metal cutter, review the three types of automatic metal cutting tools to fit your needs & budget:
1. Sheet metal cutters.
2. Laser tube cutters.
3. Dual-purpose laser cutters for sheet metals and metal tubes.
How Much Does A Metal Laser Cutter Cost?
Once you have an idea to buy a cheap laser cutter for metal from local store, you may wonder how to get a fair price? According to different sources, powers, software, driving system, control system, spare parts, other hardware and software.
The average cost of buying a new metal laser cutter in 2023 is around $26,800.00 based on the data from Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, and STYLECNC.
The least expensive fiber laser metal cutting machine in 2023 starts at a respectable $14,000, while some high-power industrial models can cost as high as $380,000. The average cost of purchasing a budget-friendly CO2 laser metal cutter in 2023 is around $10,180. The starting cost of the most affordable hobby models is priced under $8,000, without considering any additional options. However, in the case of the most expensive commercial models, the final sale price can reach upwards of $20,000.
Most entry-level sheet metal laser cutters are priced anywhere from $8,000.00 with lower-power 300W CO2 laser tube for hobbyist, enthusiast, home use, and small business, while the high-end precision sheet metal cutting machines can be as expensive as 279,000.00 with high-power 12000W IPG fiber laser source for commercial use. In addition, the 30000W extra-high power enterprise-level lasers cost over $500,000, and the 60000W ultra-high power industrial lasers can reach 1 million US dollars for thicker sheet metal fabrication. A professional automatic laser metal tube cutter starts around $50,000 with 1000W, 2000W, 3000W fiber laser power supply for most types of tubing. All-in-one tube and sheet metal laser cutting systems range in price from $42,500 to $116,000 for dual-purpose metal fabrication with CNC controller in industrial manufacturing. The price of a multifunctional laser metal cutting robot ranges from $46,000 to $78,000 for 3D metal cuts with multiple angles, directions and dimensions.
If you want to buy overseas, the fee of tax, customs clearance and shipping costs should be included in the final price.
Technical Parameters - Specifications
|Model||ST-FC3030, ST-FC6040, ST-FC1390, ST-FC1325, ST-FC3015, ST-FC4020, ST-FC6025, ST-FC60M, ST-FC12025, STJ1325M, STJ1390M, STJ1610M, ST-18R|
|Laser Type||Fiber Laser, CO2 Laser|
|Laser Power||300W, 1000W, 1500W, 2000W, 3000W, 4000W, 6000W, 8000W, 10000W, 12000W, 15000W, 20000W, 30000W, 40000W, 60000W|
|Table Sizes||2' x 3', 2' x 4', 4' x 4', 4' x 8', 5' x 10', 6' x 12'|
|Laser Wavelength||10.6 μm, 1064 nm|
|Cooling System||Water Chiller|
|Max Cutting Thickness||200mm|
|Max Cutting Speed||120m/min|
|Applications||Metal Sheets, Tubes and Profiles of Mild Steel, Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Tool Steel, Galvanized Steel, Spring Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Iron, Gold, Silver, Lead, Nickel, Cobalt, Chromium, Titanium, Manganese, Alloy|
|Price Range||$8,000.00 - $380,000.00|
How Thick of Metal Can You Cut with A Laser?
A laser metal cutter is easy to cut various thicknesses of different types of metals and alloys. Every type of laser source features with its own unique pros and cons to cut metals and alloys. In the case of the same source, different power supplies will result in different maximum metal cutting thicknesses. In terms of the same power, different brands of generators have different performances in metal cutting thickness, precision, and speed.
• The cheapest 300W CO2 lasers can cut stainless steel up to 3mm thick and carbon steel up to 4mm thick at speeds of up to 6 meters per minute.
• The entry-level 1KW (1000 watts) low-power fiber lasers are appropriate to cutting carbon steel up to 10mm thick, stainless steel up to 5mm, aluminum and copper up to 3mm, with a maximum speed of over 30m/min.
• The 1.5KW (1500 watts) fiber lasers are usually used to cut stainless steel up to 6mm, carbon steel up to 16mm thick, aluminum and copper up to 5mm thick, at maximum speeds in excess of 35 meters per minute.
• The 2KW (2000 watts) fiber laser powers have the ability to cut carbon steel up to 16mm thick, maximum 8mm stainless steel and aluminum, and maximum 6mm brass and copper at speeds of up to 40+ meters per minute.
• The most popular 3KW (3000 watts) fiber lasers have great applicability for cutting carbon steel up to 20mm thick, stainless steel and aluminum up to 10mm, brass and copper up to 8mm at maximum speeds of over 45 m/min.
• The professional 4KW (4000 watts) mid-power lasers have the power to cut stainless steel up to 12mm, carbon steel up to 22mm thick, aluminum up to 14mm, copper and brass up to 10mm at speeds of up to 50+ meters per minute.
• The commercial 6kW (6000 watts) medium-power fiber lasers can release enough heat energy to cut carbon steel up to 25mm thick, stainless steel and aluminum up to 16mm, copper and brass up to 10mm at max speeds in excess of 60 m/min.
• The industrial 8KW (8000 watts) high-power fiber lasers are capable of cutting stainless steel and aluminum up to 25mm, carbon steel up to 30mm thick, brass and copper up to 12mm at speeds of up to 70+ meters per minute.
• The 12KW (12000 watts) hi-power lasers are ideal for cutting carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum up to 50mm thick, copper and brass up to 20mm thick at maximum speeds of more than 80 m/min.
• The 15KW (15000 watts) power supplies are applicable for carbon steel and stainless steel up to 60mm thick, maximum 50mm aluminum, and maximum 30mm copper and brass at max speeds in excess of 90 meters per minute.
• The 20KW (20000 watts) high power lasers can easily cut carbon steel up to 70mm thick, maximum 80mm stainless steel, maximum 80mm aluminum, maximum 70mm brass and copper at maximum speeds in excess of 100 m/min.
• The 30KW (30000 watts) extremely high power lasers come with the precision metal cutting capabilities of stainless steel thickness ranges up to 100+ millimeters, and maximum 80mm thick carbon steel, aluminum, brass and copper at max speeds of over 110 meters per minute.
• The 40KW (40000 watts) extra-high power fiber lasers are typically used to cut carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper up to 120+ millimeters thick at speeds of up to 120+ meters per minute.
• The 60KW (60000 watts) ultra-high power fiber lasers are powerful enough for precise cutting stainless steels and carbon steels from 16mm to 200mm at speeds from 0.05m/min to 15m/min.
What Are The Advantages of Laser Metal Cutting Machine?
You can get benefits of excellent beam quality, high efficiency, high speed, easy operations, low cost, low maintenance, stable running, super flexible optical effects for laser metal cutters, which are easy to flexible industrial manufacturing requirements.
• High precision and best stability: The use of heavy duty bed frame, high precision ball screw transmission mechanism, optimized CNC system control, which can meet the processing of precision parts, and the dynamic performance is stable, and it can work for a long time.
• The cutting section is of high quality: The mechanical follow-up cutting head system is adopted, the cutting head follows the height of the plate, and the position of the cutting point is always maintained, so that the cutting seam is smooth.
• High performance: For thin sheet metal cutting, it can replace CO2 laser machine, CNC punching machine and shearing machine, the cost of the whole laser metal cutting machine is equivalent to 1/4 of CO2 laser machine and 1/2 of CNC punching machine.
• Low cost of use and high cutting speed. No consumables, environmental protection, long service life.
• Easy to use: Whether you are a beginner or a professional, whether you are a young adult or an old man, you can easily operate it.
How To Buy An Affordable Laser Cutter for Metal Online?
How to buy an affordable laser metal cutter with local pickup or global shipping? This is an annoyance you have to face after browsing and researching. You can do the majority of your shopping online by following the 8 buying steps below. Let's walk you through each step of the buying process.
Step 1. Request A Consult.
You can consult with our sales manager online, and we will recommend the most suitable CO2 or fiber laser metal cutting machine to you after being informed by your requirements.
Step 2. Get Free Quotation.
We will offer you with our detail quotation based on your consulted laser machine. You will get the best machine specifications and the affordable price within your budget.
Step 3. Sign A Contract.
Both sides carefully evaluate and discuss all the details (technical parameters, specifications and business terms) of the order to exclude any misunderstanding. If you have no doubt, we will send you the PI (Proforma Invoice), and then we will sign a contract with you.
Step 4. Build Your Machine.
We will arrange the CNC laser metal cutter machine making as soon as receiving your signed sales contract and deposit. The latest news about building will be updated and informed to the buyer during the manufacturing.
Step 5. Inspection.
The whole production procedure will be under regular inspection and strict quality control. The complete machine will be inspected to make sure they can work very well before out of factory.
Step 6. Shipping.
Shipping will start as the terms in the contract after your confirmation. You can ask for transport information at any time.
Step 7. Custom Clearance.
We will supply and deliver all the necessary shipping documents to the buyer and ensure a smooth customs clearance.
Step 8. Support & Service.
We will offer professional technical support and free customer service by Phone, Email, Skype, WhatsApp, Online Live Chat, Remote Service. We also offer door-to-door service in some areas for all types of laser metal cutters.
When using a laser metal cutting machine, it is necessary to pay attention to some small details and precautions. Only by mastering the use skills can the machine cutting efficiency be higher.
When decelerating to cut the corners of thin sheets, the laser can overheat and melt the corners. A small radius is generated at the corner to maintain the high-speed cutting and avoid the phenomenon of overheating and melting of the steel plate when cutting the corner, so as to achieve good cutting quality, reduce cutting time and improve manufacturing force.
Usually, when cutting thick plates and hot plates, the distance between parts should be large. Because the heat of the thick plates and hot plates is greatly affected, it is easy to burn edges when cutting sharp corners and small graphics, which will affect the cutting quality.
In the process of cutting thicker plates, in order to make the slits well connected and prevent burns at the beginning and end points, a transition line is often drawn at the beginning and end of the cutting, which are called lead and tail lines respectively. The lead and tail lines are important to the workpiece itself. It is useless, so it should be placed outside the category of workpieces, and at the same time, be careful not to set the leads at sharp corners and other places that are not easy to dissipate heat. The connection between the lead wire and the slit adopts a circular arc transition as much as possible to make the mechanical movement stable and avoid burns caused by corner stop.
Two or more parts are co-edged into a combination, and a large number of regular graphics are co-edged as much as possible. Co-edging cutting can greatly shorten the cutting time and save raw materials.
In order to increase production efficiency, some metal laser cutters operate 24 hours a day, and use unmanned automatic loading and unloading devices to hit the overturned parts after cutting, causing damage to the cutting head and interruption of manufacturing, causing great losses. When you need to sort, pay attention to the following three points:
• Choose a suitable cutting path, avoid the cut parts, and reduce collisions.
• Plan the cutting route reasonably to reduce the cutting time.
• Automatically or manually combine multiple small parts with micro-connections. After cutting, the removed parts can easily disconnect the micro-connections.
Safety Rules & Precautions
While enjoying the high-efficiency and beauty of laser metal cutting, how to do a good job of safety protection during use, so that the machine can perform better and reduce the radiation to the human body?
Check Before Operation
Whether the main controller casing, power supply casing, switching power supply casing, motor driver casing, data line casing, machine tool guide rail, motor casing, exhaust fan casing, and the main grounding point are well connected. Poor grounding will shorten the life span. High voltage discharge will damage the control circuit and even threaten life safety.
Be Careful When Handling
Light Path: When cutting and debugging the light path, please be careful not to let any part of the body touch the light path to avoid injury.
Energy: The magnitude of the laser current determines the magnitude of the energy, but when the current is greater than the allowable value, the energy will drop, and if the current exceeds the allowable value for a long time, it will greatly affect the service life.
Ambient Temperature: When the ambient temperature is higher than the maximum allowable value, the equipment will not get sufficient heat dissipation, which will reduce the operating stability of the equipment. When the ambient temperature is lower than the minimum allowable value, it may cause the water to freeze.
Cooling water temperature: When the cooling water temperature is greater than the maximum allowable value, the laser energy efficiency will drop rapidly. When the cooling water temperature is lower than the minimum allowable value, it will cause the water to freeze.
Ambient Humidity: Excessive humidity will cause high-voltage discharge, endangering personal safety, and will also cause damage to the power supply.
Power Supply: The fluctuation of the power supply voltage will cause the equipment to work unstable. If the voltage is too high, it will cause permanent damage to the power supply system of the equipment. In order to avoid the electrical appliances and circuits of the machine from being burned out due to excessive voltage, please install a power regulator of more than 2000W.
It's Prohibited To Use In The Following Cases
Do not turn on the machine during severe weather such as thunder and lightning.
Untrained operators are not allowed to operate the machine alone.
Harm To Human Body And Protective Measures
Respiratory Tract Protection
The high temperature generated by the laser cooperates with the gas to complete various processing. At the same time, it also produces a large amount of dust, especially when processing some special metal materials. The generated dust contains some chemical components, which will cause harm to the human body if inhaled.
Therefore, when operating a metal laser cutter, attention should be paid to the protection of the respiratory tract. Install the supporting dust removal device, try to operate in an environment with unobstructed air, and wear a mask as much as possible. Do not touch the cut parts immediately to avoid scalding by residual heat.
A laser metal cutter will cause damage to the retina or cornea of the eye when it is working. When arranging the cutting site, the following measures can be taken to reduce the reflection or radiation of ultraviolet rays:
• Darken the wall finish at the job site to reduce radiation.
• Install protective screens or curtains to reduce UV radiation.
• Wear protective dark-tinted eyes or goggles, or a welding cap to protect the eyes from the glare of the flame, ultraviolet and infrared rays from the plasma arc.
• Others in the working area should not look directly at the arc or flame during cutting.
Laser cutting has certain damage to skin tissue, which can be repaired by itself. It should be noted that long-term exposure to laser beam may cause skin burns or leave scars. Therefore, when working with a laser metal cutter, the protection of the skin must also be given great attention.
For safety reasons, it is recommended that the operator wear long-sleeved clothes to prevent skin burns caused by direct laser radiation and prevent scalding caused by molten slag splashing on the skin. Do not touch the cut parts immediately, and wear gloves to avoid burns due to residual heat.
Care & Maintenance
In order to achieve a better operating state of the metal laser cutter, regular maintenance is also essential, and the following points should be paid attention to in maintenance:
• Daily cleaning is required to keep it clean and tidy.
• After the machine stops working, check whether the X, Y, and Z axes of the machine tool can return to the origin. If not, check whether the position of the origin switch is offset.
• The daily slag discharge drag chain needs to be cleaned.
• Clean up the sticky matter on the filter screen of the air outlet in time to ensure the smooth flow of the ventilation duct.
• The cutting nozzle needs to be cleaned every 1 hour of operation, and replaced every 2-3 months.
• Clean the focusing lens, keep the lens surface free of residue, and replace it every 2-3 months.
• Check the temperature of the cooling water, the temperature of the water inlet of the generator should be kept between 19°C and 22°C.
• Clean up the dust on the cooling fins of the water cooler and freeze dryer. To ensure the heat dissipation efficiency, the dust should be removed.
• Frequently inspect the working status of the voltage regulator to monitor whether the input and output voltages are normal.
• Monitor and check whether the switch of the mechanical shutter is normal.
• Auxiliary gas is output high-pressure gas, pay attention to the surrounding environment and personal safety when using the gas.
• Switching sequence:
Open air, water-cooled unit, cold dryer, air compressor, main engine, and generator should be baked for 10 minutes if conditions permit.
First press the high pressure, then the low pressure, and turn off the generator after the turbine stops rotating without sound. Followed by the water-cooled unit, air compressor, gas, cold dryer, machine power off can be left behind, and finally turn off the voltage stabilizer cabinet.
A laser metal cutter can come with a price from a few thousand to as much as ten thousand dollars. Therefore, it is never going to be an affordable option to pick up. To save your budget, you may think about picking up an affordable option, but do it only when you have enough knowledge about which one will be a good option and which one will not. In that case, choosing from a trusted manufacturer that will ensure good after-purchase support will be a better option to buy from. In case you face any difficulties after making the purchase, you will have the option to ask for help or support.
At the same time, check for all the technical issues that will allow the machine to work functionally well. In that case, the software should be compatible with the devices to which you will connect the machine.
Last but not the least, always choose a user-friendly interface so that you do not have to face any issues with the machine.
STYLECNC Will Be A Good Option
Yes, we are talking about our own brand and it is because we trust in ourselves. With tremendous and excellent customer support and after-purchase response, we work at making our customers happy to all extent. Choose your next cutter from STYLECNC and we can bet you will thank yourself later.