While the majority of laser cutters and engravers fabricated for consumer use are CO2 lasers, there are certain applications that require a little bit more power. CO2 lasers are great for working with softer materials such as wood, plastic, and certain types of treated metals, but artists and craftsmen who want to work with untreated metals need to look into a fiber laser marker instead.
What Materials Can it Cut?
Since fiber lasers output light at a different wavelength than CO2 lasers, they can be used to etch and mark reflective materials, such as metals. Fiber lasers are capable of processing stainless steel, bare or anodized aluminum, brass, copper, mild and silicon steel, nickel-chromium alloys, and most other metals. They can also be used to process ABS plastic, nylon, and Diallyl Phthalate, while CO2 lasers are not capable of being absorbed by these materials.
What Are Some Common Uses?
By far the most common uses for fiber lasers are metal etching, engraving, and marking. When they are used for laser marking, fiber lasers can produce discoloration on metal. In comparison, laser engraving leaves a visible cavity behind where the material is vaporized and laser etching leaves a raised contrasting mark.
What Are the Advantages Over CO2 Lasers?
CO2 lasers are really only useful for working with stainless steel, while fiber lasers are able to process a much wider variety of reflective materials. They are also more efficient, requiring less electricity to provide similar results, and function at two to three times the cutting speed of CO2 lasers when cutting thin metals. Ultimately, the choice between fiber lasers and CO2 lasers is predominantly reliant on what materials the artist will be working with, so any artist or craftsmen who wants to work with diverse metals and metal alloys should choose a fiber laser.
Learn More Online
Most home hobbyists and small business owners interested in purchasing fiber lasers are looking for a higher level of efficiency and precision, which is exactly what they’ll find when they purchase a high-quality fiber laser cutter or engraver. Want to learn more about fiber lasers and their diverse applications? Check out bosslaser.com for additional information about laser cutters and engravers to get started.