In the world of laser engravers, diode, CO2, and fiber lasers are all popular choices. However, understanding the differences among them is crucial when it comes to making the right selection. Discover the key factors to consider in order to choose the perfect laser engraver for your needs.
Diode laser engravers are capable of engraving materials such as plywood, solid wood, acrylic, paper, leather, steel, glass, ceramics, and more. CO2 laser machines, on the other hand, are superior for cutting a wider range of materials. They can cut and engrave materials like wood, plywood, acrylic, foam, cardboard, leather, plastics, glass, fabric, rubber, paper, Corian, and MDF. Fiber laser engraver machines excel at cutting and engraving metals, including aluminum, brass, copper, tungsten, chrome, painted metal, fiberglass, carbon fiber, nickel, as well as non-metals like plastics, wood, rubber, silver, gold, stainless steel, and synthetic leather.
Diode lasers have lower optical power (typically 5-15W) compared to other types of lasers, requiring more passes to cut or engrave materials. CO2 lasers are more powerful (ranging from 40W to 300W) and can cut a wider range of materials due to their higher heat energy. Fiber lasers are extremely powerful, capable of cutting metals, with some models reaching up to 1000W.
The speed of a laser is directly proportional to the optical power. The higher the power, the higher the speed. Thus, we can say that fiber lasers have the highest speed as their power is 100 times more than CO2 lasers. Then, there come CO2 lasers. They are slower than fiber lasers but faster than diode lasers. Diode lasers come in the last, but it does not mean they take a lot of time. They are the slowest in comparison, but they can cut and engrave at a fast pace. They can cut an 8mm thick plywood at the speed of 1-3mm per second, which is quite fast.
When buying laser machines, lifespan is a critical factor to consider. Fiber lasers have the longest lifespan at approximately 100,000 hours, but they are expensive. Diode lasers come next with a lifespan of 25,000 to 50,000 hours, making them suitable for small businesses. CO2 lasers have the shortest lifespan, lasting 5,000 to 8,000 hours, requiring frequent part replacements or machine replacements. In summary about lifespan: Fiber Lasers > Diode Lasers > CO2 Lasers.
Diode lasers typically range from $700 to $1500, additional attachments like rotary attachments and air assists may be needed. CO2 lasers fall in the middle, costing around $3000 to $4000, but their lifespan is shorter. Fiber lasers, the most expensive option, can cut metals and some non-metals. Prices range from $2000 to $20000, with industrial fiber lasers being even more expensive.
If your primary focus is engraving metals, a fiber laser machine is the optimal choice, it is the great laser engraver for metal. While it is true that CO2 or diode lasers can also engrave metals, the results are significantly inferior.
When choosing to buy fiber laser engraver, how much power to buy is a problem. Buying a 20W laser machine is a great choice. Many people want to buy a higher power machine but have a limited budget, and they are not sure what materials or what can be engraved with 20W laser. The effect, the following aspects of these content about the performance of the 20w laser engraver.
High Speed up to 8000mm/s
The speed of the 20w laser marking machine is 8000mm/s. It can carve out a simple pattern in a few seconds. If you need to buy a laser engraving machine for customization business, such as engraving cups, jewelry, gun customization, and knives for customers, stationery and other customization, then the 20w machine can meet your needs very well.
A 20W fiber laser marking machine is usually capable of engraving metal to a depth of at least 1mm, although it may take longer time. If you are willing to spend more time for deep engraving and at the same time have a limited budget, then you can choose a 20W fiber laser marking machine. However, if you need to frequently perform deep engraving or if you need to complete deep engraving within a very short time, it is recommended that you choose a 30W or 50W machine. In summary, a 20W fiber laser marking machine can achieve a depth of at least 1mm or more when engraving metal.
Wide Variety of Materials
A 20W fiber laser can be used to engrave on various materials, including but not limited to:
Metals: A 20W fiber laser engraving machine is suitable for engraving on metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. It can imprint patterns, text, logos, and more on metal surfaces.
Plastics: A 20W laser engraver can process a variety of plastic materials, including acrylic, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and more. They can engrave or mark plastic products like phone cases, plastic signs, and plastic parts.
Wood: A 20W laser engraver can engrave on various coated wood surfaces but cannot engrave on solid wood.
Leather: A 20W laser engraver can engrave on leather products such as bags, belts, and shoes. They can achieve high-precision engraving, adding personalized and unique touches to the products.
Paper and cardboard: A 20W lasers can cut and engrave paper and cardboard, making them ideal for creating greeting cards, paper crafts, packaging boxes, and more.
Additionally, a 20W laser engraver can also be used to engrave on materials like ceramics, stone, and rubber. However, its performance is best on metal.
Repeat Accuracy ±0.002mm
The repeat accuracy of a 20W laser marking machine is typically within ±0.002mm, which means it can maintain a high level of precision and stability in multiple marking operations. This feature makes fiber laser marking machines highly suitable for applications that require precise marking and consistency, such as precision parts manufacturing and microelectronic components.
Cut or Not?
A 20w fiber laser marking machine is not ideally suited for cutting applications. While it is technically capable of cutting, it would require a significantly longer time to complete the task. Therefore, if you intend to perform more cutting-related work, it is recommended to purchase a higher power machine, such as a 50W laser.
More Engraving Sample Display of a 20W Machine
In general, a 20W fiber laser engraving machine is suitable for applications that require high precision, efficiency, and the ability to work with various materials. It can be used for engraving, marking, and cutting on metals, plastics, rubber, wood, leather, paper, and more. It particularly excels in metal engraving. If you want to engrave items such as cups, jewelry, tools, firearms, office supplies, and other metal materials, a 20W fiber laser engraving machine would be the affordable choice.