Laser engraver and laser cutting machine are equipment that use laser to process materials. While typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, it is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. As a beginner, when you intend to invest in your first laser engraving machine, good advice will get you an affordable laser engraving machine. As a professional laser machines manufacturer and seller, EMIT will give your the best tips and guide for buying a laser engraver and laser cutter.
Choose a laser engraver/cutter for your purpose
The laser engraver has a built-in laser beam generator called an oscillation tube, and the power of the oscillation tube is expressed in wattage. It is important to note that even machines with the same wattage will differ greatly in performance and life if the manufacturer of the laser processing machine is different.
An important point in selecting a laser cutter and laser engraver is to imagine what kind of material, quality, and quantity you want to process.
- Materials: Which of the following materials do you want to laser-process? Acrylic, MDF, wood, paper, cloth, etc.
- Quality: Is what you want to make a hobby? Is it a product to sell? Depending on what you want to make and your purpose.
- Quantity: Once you have decided what kind of material (material) you want to process and at what quality, the rest is “How many pieces do you want to make a day?”
What materials do you want to process?
Acrylic, MDF, wood, paper, cloth, etc. Which material do you want to process first? For example, how many millimeters of MDF do you want to process? The thickness that can be cut depends on the wattage of laser engraver.
“I want to cut 5mm!” You needs a laser cutter equipped with an oscillator tube of at least 25 watts.
Wattage for each material (Reference)
What quality do you want?
Is what you want to make a hobby? Is it a product to sell? The “quality you want” depends on what you want to make and your purpose.
For example, when processing 5 mm of MDF, processing with a laser engraver equipped with a 25W oscillation tube is good. and processing with a laser engraver equipped with an 80W oscillation tube will result in a ‘burnt condition’ when cutting.
The second point in selecting a laser machine is: “Quality required for laser processing”. If processing for commercial purposes, choose with emphasis on performance.
Comparison of processing quality by wattage
|Time required for cutting||Long||Short|
|Time required for engraving||Long||Short|
|Engraving quality||The higher the better|
|Quality of cut (smoothness of cross section)||Does not change|
|Cut quality (dimensional accuracy)||The higher the better|
How many pieces do you want to process?
Once you have decided what kind of material you want to process and at what quality, the remaining question is “How many pieces do you want to make a day?”
The larger the “processing area” of the laser cutter, the more processing is possible at once. In addition, laser cutters equipped with a higher “wattage” can shorten the processing time.
For example, if you want to provide a personalized engraving service to customers who have purchased a ballpoint pen, a small laser engraving machine with a low wattage would be fine. However, when processing more than 100 pieces a day, it is much faster to finish the processing by arranging many lasers at once and processing with a high-wattage laser processing machine.
The cost of laser engraver/cutter
Various costs incurred when using a laser cutter. Unexpected costs occur after buying! The more you use a laser engraving machine, the more deficit will come. Here are some tips you should check before purchasing to prevent such a situation.
The cost of lase machine’s accessories
Necessary peripheral devices other than the laser machines include compressors, deodorizers (dust collectors), and exhaust devices.
The price of peripheral equipment fluctuates greatly depending on the processing material and installation environment, and this affects initial costs.
For example, when processing MDF that generates a lot of smoke in an office, a high-performance deodorizer is required.
Tips about choosing laser engraver
-Prevents ignition by blowing air to the laser irradiation position
-Prevents smoke from adhering to lenses and mirrors
|-A type that does not change the blowing pressure even after long laser processing
-If the blowing pressure changes on the way, the condition of burning will change or it will lead to ignition.
-Exhaust smoke and gas generated during processing to the outside of the machine
|-The recommended air volume changes depending on the size of the processing area of the laser processing machine used and the processing content.
-Insufficient airflow increases the risk of lens and mirror contamination, fire, and failure of various precision components.
|Worktable for cutting and engraving|
(Honeycomb table, aluminum grid)
|-There are several types of shapes, and the fineness and strengthdepending on the intended use.
- It is recommended to check the replacement frequency and price in advance because it is a consumable item
Laser Engraver & Consumable Cost
Oscillation tube is the main device of the laser machine, if you want to replace it, it will charge costs. Therefore, you need to know in advance that the cost of replacing the laser oscillator tube.
Other typical consumables are lenses, mirrors, drive system rollers and belts. Check the frequency of replacement of each laser engraver part and the price at the time of replacement in advance.
Since the laser cutter is a machine that generates heat, a person must be nearby when using it for safety. So, of course, labor costs are incurred.
For example, the cost will varies greatly depending on whether it can be handled by a part-time worker or can be used only by experienced employees.
Before purchasing, also check what steps are required before laser processing.
Tips for choosing support
It is important for manufacturers to provide instruction and maintenance services so that they can start stable business, and it is important for buyers to find a good supplier.
For example, in the case of a laser cutter for business use, is it optimal to process (the material of) the company’s products with a laser? Is an important point when considering the introduction of a laser cutter.
In order to confirm the performance of the laser engraver, it is important to understand in advance what kind of quality and how to process the material.
Whether or not a company will actively respond to requests is a major point in identifying laser engraving machine manufacturers.
Support after buying laser cutter
Do you have a customer support phone that can be contacted if something goes wrong with the laser cutter you are using? Depending on the manufacturer, there is a paid phone service, so you need to check in advance.
Depending on the manufacturer, there are some manufacturers that need to fix themselves by sending back and sending parts, so checking in advance.
Laser engraver maintenance contract
It is like insurance for laser engraver, basically paying annually, maintaining and managing the equipment by specialized staff, and even if an expensive laser breaks down, it can be repaired within the maintenance range Service. Since there are various cases depending on the plan of repair contents and amount, it is an item to check in advance whether or not the manufacturer has a maintenance contract, whether parts replacement compensation and periodic inspection are included before purchase.
A company that offers maintenance contract services is also a proof that they put customers first.
In order to always use the laser engraver and laser cutter in the best condition, we recommend that you subscribe to the laser maintenance service.
You know how to buy the best laser engraving machine, NOW start your creativity.
If you have any questions, please fell free to contact us.