?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

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?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby cozmicray » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:03 pm

Anywhere out there showing what laser power/type is required to cut/engrave certain materials?
What power to cut 1/8" wood?
What power to cut 1/8" metal
Power to engrave brass?
etc

What is capability does 2.x have?

Tnx
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Re: ?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby TLHarrell » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:02 pm

40w CO2 laser will cut 1/8" wood easily.

1/8" metal (I'll assume steel here) would need a much more powerful (and different wavelength) laser than can be mounted in the 2x, or a plasma cutter. (Bart is working on a plasma cutter/CNC design.)

Engraving brass would also need a much higher power/different wavelength laser. You may also look into using an etching process where you coat the brass in an etch resist, burn off the resist with the lower power laser, then chemically or electrolitically etch the metal.
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Re: ?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby btboone » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:49 pm

A ballpark wattage for a CO2 laser to get through 1/8" steel is around 1000 watts. This would require air assist as well. Alloys with copper in them are very hard to laser cut because they reflect infrared well and disperse the heat so efficiently.
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Re: ?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby macona » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:13 am

It is actually closer to the 500-600 watt range for 1/8" steel. I am starting a new job at the beginning of the month and one of the machines I will be working on is their Bystronic 4400 watt laser cutter. It can cut through 1" steel. Also in the documentation for some of the coherent laser heads they sell a 650 watt head rated for at least 1/8" steel. Oxygen assist will help greatly, I have seen 150 watt machines cutting 2mm with 02. It has been something I have wanted to try myself.

When I was at Laika we had a 150W Universal and tried cutting some brass shims with it and 150w would not touch brass.
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Re: ?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby cozmicray » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:46 pm

How about cutting aluminum plate
What wavelength and power required for this?
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Re: ?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby cvoinescu » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:48 pm

You can mark specially coated aluminium plate with a 40 W carbon dioxide laser, but you can't even cut kitchen foil with it.

Aluminium is harder to cut than steel, judging by my fabricator's thickness limits: steel 20 mm, stainless steel 12 mm, aluminium 10 mm. Their lasers are 4.4 kW 10.6 um.
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Re: ?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby TLHarrell » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:29 pm

I opened up a soda can back when I first got my laser, back in the time when I'd put anything in there just to experiment. I ran a 3/4" diameter circle, 100% power, several times. The heat of the laser hitting it caused the metal to form a slight crease, resulting in a rounded dimple... but other than that it won't cut aluminum. It does open up some possibility of interesting techniques though, using the uneven heating to form patterns.
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Re: ?Laser power vs cutting/engraving power?

Postby macona » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:05 am

I dont think I have seen any aluminum past 1/4" go into the laser at work. The cut gets pretty rough even at that thickness. Not the best wavelength for metal.

I picked up an old YAG laser welder that I am in the middle of installing a new cnc control on, it is rated for 400w average power. In cut mode it is supposed to do up to 5mm metal. This is at 1064nm, about 1/10th the wavelength of CO2 and is absorbed better by metals.
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