Since the 1960s, laser cutting has been a part of industrial operations, but it is still as vital today as it was then. In a unique non-contact method, a laser cutting machine generates heating and compression that precisely restructures and bends a variety of objects as the cutting tip passes over the exterior. Based on the power of the laser, the primary constituent element it employs to create the laser beam, and the surface it is working against, the laser technology performs a variety of activities including slicing, piercing, and etching. The most common process for creating sheet metal components is laser cutting.
A CNC (computer numerical control) laser cutter is a type of machinery that employs a concentrated, powerful laser beam to imprint, slice or carve a material to create certain forms. It is extremely accurate thanks to its distinctive construction and use, particularly when cutting delicate designs and tiny holes. Each CNC laser cutting machine provides a uniform wavelength and can be used for a variety of tasks.
In this article, we’ll discuss the various laser cutting machine types and their intricate technology.
Types of CNC Laser Cutting Machines
According to the main laser medium’s conditions such as liquid, gas, and solid, and their composition, CNC laser cutters are often divided into different groups like nitrogen and CO2.
We’ve listed the most popular types of lasers of modern times below.
CNC CO2 Laser Cutter
A CO2 laser creates light beams by passing electricity into a pipe packed with a gas mixture. The ends of the tubes have mirrors in them. The light can pass through one of the screens because it is partially reflecting, while the other is entirely reflected. Typically, the gaseous combination contains helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, and co2. High infrared CO2 lasers emit light that is undetectable to the human eye.
The strongest CO2 lasers can produce many Kilowatts of energy for industrial machinery, although they are the only exception to the rule. A common CO2 laser for cutting has a strong range of between 25 and 100 Wattage and a frequency of 10.6 micrometers.
The majority of the time, this kind of laser is used to deal with polymethylmethacrylate, similar acrylic polymers, timber, or cardboard (and its substitutes). Additionally, it helps while working with materials like animal skin, textiles, wallpapers, and others. The preparation of foods like cheeses, nuts, and different vegetation has also been done by CO2 lasers.
Despite their ability to work with some metals, CO2 lasers are typically ideal for non-metallic elements. In particular, it can slice thin layers of non-ferrous metals like aluminum. By increasing the oxygen concentration, one can increase the CO2 laser’s intensity, but doing so can be dangerous in untrained hands or using a system that isn’t designed for such improvements.
CNC Fiber Laser Cutter
The latest development in laser technology is the fiber laser cutter, which further concentrates the laser beam across a fiber-optic cable using a stack of diodes to form the focus. Fiber laser cutters make it possible to trim objects with a depth of less than 5 mm more quickly and efficiently than CO2 laser cutters.
They are often the most costly of the many laser-cutting systems and produce a very narrow focal diameter.
A fiber laser typically has a long operational life of a minimum of 25,000 laser hours and requires no servicing. Fiber laser cutters can therefore create powerful and steady rays and offer a far longer lifespan compared to the other different sorts of lasers. They share the equivalent average output as CO2 lasers but can achieve levels that are 100 times greater. Fiber lasers can operate in a constant projectile, quasi-continuous beam, or pulsed modes, providing them with a variety of functionality. The MOPA is a fiber laser technology subtype with variable pulse lengths. Which gives the MOPA laser the title of the most adaptable laser, with a wide range of potential uses.
CNC Crystal Laser Cutter
The strength (or pulse frequency) of crystal laser cutters is typically stronger than that of CO2 laser cutters, allowing you to apply these to cut into denser materials. These cutters can work with a variety of materials, such as alloys, fiberglass, hardwood, and polymers.
The light rays used by CNC crystal cutters are formed by crystallites such as neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) and neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate (Nd:YVO).
These tools enable cutting with incredibly high powers. The disadvantage of these devices is that they may be pricey, both initially and throughout their 8,000–15,000 hour lifespans.
When compared to the other medium, Nd:YVO has better pump absorbance and gain, a wider spectrum, a wider range of pumping wavelengths, a reduced upper-state lifespan, a greater index of refraction, and less thermal conductivity. But when it’s about a prolonged operation, Nd:YVO and Nd:YAG both operate at a generally comparable level. Furthermore, Nd:YVO possesses a lower laser duration and cannot support as high of pulse intensities as Nd:YAG.