Laser cutter

General discussion of laser machines

Re: Laser cutter

Postby btboone » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:22 pm

The laser itself was about $85K from IPG Photonics, and the laser head with two parfocal lenses and height sensing was about $19K from Laser Mechanisms. These were added to the machine and the sheet metal enclosure I designed and had cut, so it wasn't cheap, but that was not my intention on this one. It is possible to go about a quarter of the cost. I think a fiber laser unit might start in the $20K range or so and would be much more powerful than the CO2 lasers of comparable cost. That would be a 150 watt continuous or 1500 watt pulsed unit, which would plug into 110v and be air cooled. The laser head is about $7K or so for the basic one. This would easily go through 1/8" stainless with a crazy fine kerf.

Here's a picture of the kerf on a ring I just cut.
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Picture 1989.jpg
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Re: Laser cutter

Postby btboone » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:25 pm

Here's my machine.
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Re: Laser cutter

Postby lasersafe1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:39 am

The fiber laser is already cheaper to manufacture than any of the 100W+ rf CO2 lasers. The companies that manufacture them though are still holding on to the specialty and keeping prices high to make huge profits. It won't be long until a glut in the economy of many countries causes one company to start to seriously undercut another to get some market share (Russia, China, etc).
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Re: Laser cutter

Postby btboone » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:56 pm

I measured the kerf on the zipper ring cut above at around .003". The simplicity and efficiency of the fiber system is incredible. You can even get beam switches to power up to 6 machines from the same laser. These can be scattered around a factory hundreds of feet apart. You can even cut with one while welding with another at the same time! Crazy stuff.
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Re: Laser cutter

Postby loopingz » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:20 am

Super interesting information. I hope price will drop in the future!
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Re: Laser cutter

Postby btboone » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:57 pm

Picture 1990.jpg


Here's a cut through 6 1/2mm titanium.
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Re: Laser cutter

Postby loopingz » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:23 pm

You have impressive results!
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