Fiber Laser Cutter: Beginner's Guide
Laser cutting is the earliest and most commonly used technology in laser processing, accounting for more than 70 percent of the entire field. It is widely used in machinery, automotive, aerospace, textile, food, and medical industries.
These state-of-the-art machines utilize high-power density laser beams to cut a wide range of materials precisely and quickly.
Fiber laser cutting rapidly replaces traditional metal cutting equipment with its high-speed cutting and low processing cost.
In addition, the mechanical parts of the laser cutting machine never come into contact with the workpiece, avoiding scratches during operation.
What is a fiber laser cutter?
Fiber laser cutter is an alternative to traditional cutters. It cuts fast and accurately. The biggest advantage is that the cutting route is not limited.
A fiber laser cutter fires a laser beam from a laser generator. The beam is then focussed into a high-power density laser beam through an optical circuit system.
The laser beam heats the surface of the workpiece to the melting or boiling point while a high-pressure gas blow away the melted or vaporized metal. By moving the beam and adjusting the position of the workpiece, the material is finally cut to achieve the desired cut.
Fiber laser cutter working principle
The principle of laser cutting is similar to that of laser welding. Laser cutting is characterized by temperatures over 11,000 degrees Celsius, which causes the material to vaporize. Laser cutting is entirely a gasification process for some materials, such as ceramics and carbon.
Laser cuts are narrow, dimensionally accurate, have a smooth surface, and provide better-cut quality than other thermal cutting methods.
Fiber laser cutter development trend
The fiber laser cutter has certain advantages in cutting efficiency, photoelectric energy conversion efficiency, optical path structure, maintenance cost, cutting accuracy, and other aspects.
The future development trend of laser cutters is predicted as follows:
- High power
The higher the power, the higher the processing capacity and efficiency of the machine while also reducing processing costs. Many manufacturers have developed tens of thousands of watts of cutting power. More powerful cutting machines are believed to become mainstream in the next few years.
- High precision
High-quality engraving/cutting results can increase the product's competitiveness, so the cutting accuracy of the future laser cutting machine will continue to improve.
- More intelligent
Now, robot cutting, automatic feeding, automatic focusing, and other functions show that the future of the fiber laser cutter will be more intelligent. And the function is diversified.
Fiber laser cutter structure
The main parts of a fiber laser cutter include a machine tool, chiller, control system, guide rail, motor, and so on.
Machine host part:
The machine host part of the laser cutting machine is the most critical part of the laser cutting process. It is responsible for achieving cutting accuracy and function. The main machine part consists of six parts: bed, laser, gantry part, Z-axis device, table auxiliary part (shield, air, waterway), and operation panel.
Electrical control section:
The electrical control system of the laser cutting machine is vital to ensure various graphic trajectories. The electrical control system is mainly composed of the numerical control system and the low-voltage electrical system.
The drive motor is an AC servo motor used to drive the laser cutting machine's X-axis gantry and Y-axis slide plate. It is characterized by good acceleration performance and fast response speed.
The main components of the laser cutting machine are crucial to the whole machine. The cutting accuracy and function of the machine are realized by the main machine components, which include bed (Y-axis), beam (X-axis), Z-axis, table, air circuit, and water circuit.
Fiber laser cutter frame
The bed is made of high-strength cast iron with fully welded construction. It undergoes a stress relief process, including annealing, roughing, semi-finishing, and finishing. This ensures complete stress reduction and reduces machine distortion, thus ensuring long-term accuracy.
The beam assembly is welded from high-strength square tubes and machined after artificial aging to enhance the overall stiffness and strength.
The crossbeam is mounted on the support rails of the bed, which have linear and plane guide rails.
They are adopting high-quality ball screws and linear guide rails to ensure transmission precision. The rack, pinion, and linear guide are equipped with a closed dustproof device. Dust cover is lightweight and reliable operation. These precision products effectively guarantee the drive precision.
The cutting head is equipped with a focus adjusting nut, which can adjust the position of the focal point according to the material and thickness of the cutting material to obtain a good cutting section.
Note: Nozzles are process-wearing parts. Users can keep spare nozzles of different diameters for easy replacement.
Types of fiber laser cutting machines
If divided according to the laser generator, the laser cutting machine can be divided into:
- Solid-state laser cutting machine
- Semiconductor laser cutting machine
- Liquid laser cutting machine
- Gas laser cutting machine
Installation and Commissioning of Fibre Laser Cutting Machine
Installation and commissioning of laser cutting machine is very important for every factory, so please read the following details carefully before operation.
Precautions for opening the box:
Please follow the instructions on the outside of the box to open the wooden box so as not to damage the laser cutting machine inside.
Please do not use sharp objects to remove the protective film to avoid scratching the surface of the equipment and damaging the electrical devices.
After opening the package, please ensure this is the laser cutter you purchased.
Inspect the laser cutter for any damage during shipping.
Verify that all parts are present and in good condition by checking the list.
Please get in touch with the seller immediately if you find any discrepancies, such as mismatched laser cutting machine models, missing parts, damage during shipping, etc.
Installation Environment Requirements
Please have a professional electrician carry out distribution wiring according to the requirements, and be careful not to damage the machine when installing and fixing it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fiber laser cutter
During the laser cutting process, the focus of the beam in relation to the cut plate's surface greatly affects the cut's quality, and it is critical that the focus be correctly adjusted.
This is usually done by adjusting the focal point on a test cut, located when the kerf has the least slag and the corresponding plate size is the smallest.
If the position of the cutting head relative to the plate changes, it is also necessary to adjust the zero position of the cutting head and sensor. You can make fine adjustments by adjusting the cutting height in the software.
The choice of cutting speed for a laser cutting machine is critical and depends on the material and thickness of the plate being cut. Cutting speed has a great impact on the quality of laser cutting.
Choosing the right cutting speed improves the efficiency of the laser cutting machine and ensures high-quality cutting.
Cutting speed too quick
The fiber laser cutter cutting speed is too fast.
- It may not cut, and sparks may be scattered.
- Cutting feed speed is too fast, resulting in the sheet needing to cut in time.
Cutting speed too slow
- Leads to excessive melting of the cutting plate and roughness of the cut section.
- The width of the cut will increase, resulting in poorer cutting quality.
- Low cutting efficiency affects capacity.
Observe the cutting sparks to determine the proper cutting feed rate: if they spread and tilt from top to bottom, the feed rate is too fast. The feed rate is too slow if the sparks condense and do not spread. With the correct cutting speed, the cut surface will show smoother lines, and the lower part of the sheet will not fuse.
Effect of cutting gas and pressure on cut quality
- The right cutting gas aids combustion and heat dissipation, producing better-cut quality.
- When the cutting gas pressure is insufficient, the residue build-up will affect the cutting process, and the cutting speed will not meet the production requirements.
- When the cutting gas pressure is too high, the cutting surface will be rough, and the groove will be broad, resulting in partial melting of the kerf and poor cutting quality.
Effect of cutting gas pressure on perforation
- If the gas pressure is too low, it will be difficult for the laser to penetrate the cutting plate, resulting in longer drilling times and reduced productivity.
- If the gas pressure is too high, the melting point will melt, creating a more significant melting point and affecting the quality of the cut.
- Higher sheet metal punching pressures are generally used for laser drilling, while lower pressures are used for punching thicker plates.
- When cutting ordinary carbon steel, the thicker the material, the lower the pressure of the cutting gas. When cutting stainless steel, the cutting gas pressure is kept high regardless of the material thickness.
In summary, we must adapt the choice of laser cutting gas and pressure to each application's specific conditions and circumstances.
- Nitrogen supply pressure should not exceed 20kg;
- Oxygen supply pressure should not exceed 10 kg. Otherwise, it will easily cause the gas pipe to burst.
The influence of laser cutting power on cutting quality
The choice of laser power size impacts the cutting quality. It is important to determine the cutting power according to the material and thickness of the plate. Too little or too much laser power will result in poor cut quality.
Therefore, setting the proper laser power and cutting gas and pressure will produce good cut quality without melt stains.
Fibre Laser Cutter Buying Guide
It is important to determine the model, size and quantity of the laser cutting machine to be purchased. Define your company's production range, processing materials, cutting thickness, etc., more convenient for future purchases.
Laser cutting machines use in various industries, such as electronics, packaging, clothing, sheet metal processing, handicrafts, furniture, decoration, medical equipment, etc.
Most suppliers can provide different sizes of fiber laser cutters according to customers' needs.
- Thin cut seams - Laser cut seams are typically 0.10mm - 0.20mm.
- Smooth Cutting Surface - The presence of burrs on the cutting surface of laser cutting can vary. Nitrogen cutting is generally the best, oxygen cutting the next best, and air cutting the worst. Fiber laser cutters have the least burrs and the cutting surface is smooth and fast.
- Laser power - The choice of laser power depends on the thickness of the sheet to be cut. If you are mainly cutting metal sheets of 20mm or more, choosing a 1500w fiber laser cutter is appropriate.
- Maintenance and charges: Any equipment will be damaged to varying degrees during use. It is important to understand the post-maintenance process of the machine as well as the charges before purchasing.
Laser cutting is fast, and the cuts are smooth without additional handling. And there is no need to open the mold to cut a large piece from a whole sheet, so you save time and money.
The fiber laser cutter can handle almost any metal material.
Laser cutting equipment is a high investment and is mainly used for precision cutting of materials up to 50 mm thick.
So if you're looking for high precision and fast cutting, then it's time to switch to a fiber laser cutter!