Would you like to engrave your iPhone cover? Are you a hobbyist that likes engraving leather, wooden cases, plant labels and pens? Then you may be in need of a laser cutter and this is the reason you have reached this post today. Don’t worry, we will not bore you out, instead we have researched extensively for you and have composed a colossal post for you.
Although typically used for industrial use, yet a lot of hobbyists, small business owners and schools are relatively suing laser machines for kindling their creativity. This has created a huge demand for these tools in the market. This device primarily cuts, melts, vaporizes, drills, welds and engraves on surfaces by the use of gas. These days it is controlled by a computer, something that is called computer numerical control or CNC. This CNC is used to direct the laser beam or may be the material to be worked on, with proper care. In simple words, this makes designs of your choice on the material you want to engrave or cut.
Types of laser machines
There are two types of laser machines, one is the CO2 which is the most commonly used one and then there is Nd:YAG that is used in the metal industry for cutting steel and alloys. The CO2 is the first of the gas lasers that have been used to cut or engrave. They are known for their precision and 20% more efficiency, which is why they are more in demand.
Benefits of laser machines & how to apply it on Manufacture & Craft
Mechanical cutting could cause warping of the material owing to the wide heat zone. On the other hand, laser cutters focus only on a small spot and make your work easy. There are more benefits of working with laser machines and they are carefully discussed in this section. So, pay attention to it.
• Laser cutters do not make contact with the material, hence there are less chances of warping the material
• So, there are lower risks of contaminating the surface you are working on
• Laser machines have precision of cutting that others don’t
• It is a quiet process as it does not produce a lot of sound causing noise pollution
• It does not pollute the environment
• It can be used to perform multiple tasks which makes it proficient and helps workers as well to up their game
• These cutters work fast that saves times too
• Nowadays, you get affordable laser cutters that a DIYer is capable of buying
List of the best laser cutting engraving machines to purchase & worldwide shipping We have curated a list of the best laser machines for you. Feel free to go through it.
Promotion ! 50W CO2 LASER ENGRAV&CUT MACHINE WITH Reddot Positioning Function
What makes this different from the rest is that it has been certified by CE and FDA both. This is a high quality mini laser machine that comes with 12 months warranty and should be more than enough to seal a deal. It assists you with your cutting and engraving in an opportune way.
• This can help you a lot with various kinds of arts and crafts
• Just connect it to a computer with the help of a USB cable, upload your design and see it come to life with this machine
• It supports JPEG, JPG, DXF, AI, HPGL and more
• Can provide you with 50W of laser power
• It has a maximum speed of 800mm/s
• Can directly work with CorelDraw and CAD
• Has up and down movement (motorized)
• You get 24/7 support and free lifetime tech support
• This needs cleaning on a weekly basis, all laser machines do, but you need to be particular with this one
100W Laser Engraver Engraving & Cutting Machine 600mm*900mm, Promotion!
A full on laser engraver that works like a pro that indicates there is no need to worry about anything once you have this at hand. You get free software which is in English and no other language! It produces 100W of laser power and that signifies it can do a lot for you.
• That said, it can engrave on leather, acrylic, wood, bamboo and fabric to name some
• It comes with FDA and CE approval
• Has 12 months warranty
• The work area is of 600 x 900mm
• It has a maximum speed of 1000mm/s
• It easy to install and start work with
• Consumes minimal power 110 to 240 Volts
• Works by connecting USB to your laptop or computer
• Supports all major image formats like DXF, DST, PLT and more
• It may be slightly tedious to work with larger materials
• Need to be very careful while working with that speed
60W Mini Laser Engraver Laser Engraving Cutting Cutter Machine USB 500 x 300mm
With a maximum speed of 800mm/s, this laser machine is a rockstar of all. Moreover, the 60W laser power output makes it a cool product that needs no introduction to its patrons. Like any other mini laser machine, it works by USB connectivity and can support almost all image files starting from JPEG, JPG, HPGL, GIF, BMP and more.
• Can cut and engrave fiberglass, plexiglass, acrylic, marble, leather, bamboo, coated metals and anodized aluminum only
• Is considered good for industries that deal with advertisement, toys, shoes and gifts
• Works fine with Coreldraw, Adobe Illustrator and CAD
• Very convenient to install the software
• You can get the software in ENglosh, French and many more languages fo your choice
• The control panel is very user friendly
• The table moves up and down for ease of use
• Metals are strict no-no and this upsets lot of its users
• Little on the expensive side
USB 60W CO2 LASER ENGRAVING CUTTING MACHINE WITH RED-DOT POSITIONING FUNCTION
Now, this is a laser machine that can do a variety of tasks at the same time. For example, you can cut and engrave on one single job, of course with minor setting adjustments. You must make sure that it remains connected to the USB of a computer and then you can see the wonders it is capable of doing.
• The machine is equipped with doors that can accommodate larger materials
• This implies that it can handle crafts and arts of various sizes
• You get free tech support for life
• This USB connectivity helps in faster data transfer
• Most importantly, this is CE certified
• Can deliver laser power of 60 Watts
• Supports all major image forms like JPG, HPGL, JPEG, AI, BMP, DXF, GIF and DST
• Has Red dot positioning that shows the position of laser dot
• You can work offline also with this machine
• Supports CorelDraw and CAD directly
• Need to follow instructional videos or read about the installation could be a putting off factor for many
• You should buy it from an authorized agent if you want to be saved from harassment
500MW Mini Laser Cutting Engraving Machine
For the average DIY person, this machine is like a haven as this not only provides them with the finesse but also the convenience. That is correct; expediency is the fundamental of a mini laser cutter. It is ideal for the amateur to hone their skills by using grayscale printing that can give wings to their creativity.
• This blue laser engraver has low light positioning facility
• You can adjust the laser power as well as its burning time
• It has freedom positioning that proves to be of great help
• You can engrave wood, card, rubber, bamboo, plastic and paper to name a few
• Can cut leather (thin), paper and foam
• Is extremely reasonably priced
• Very easy to use
• Software is in English
• Can engrave 10 times faster
• Highly stable, sturdy and works with precision
• Cannot be used for engraving metals, acrylic, ceramic, stone and transparent materials
• It can cut limited materials that are primarily sleek
300mW DIY USB Mini Laser Engraver
This laser engraver is another user friendly machine that every newbie dreams of. Yes, starting out with this laser cutter is the best thing to opt for because of its feasibility. This means it is quite a machine that can serve its purpose and bring out the best in you at the same time.
• First of it is a well-built laser machine that stands on 108 screws
• Can be used to carve knives as it comes with professional level of bitmap print
• You can edit images with it
• Easy to install as you need only 2 USB interfaces to complete the process and avoid downloading extra drivers
• Expect light auto positioning that can be used to engrave toothpicks
• Engraved pictures are clear, do not have a residue and are perfect
• Carving time may last longer as your requirement
• Lone time use is possible
• The problem lies in not engraving metals and glass
• Can work on materials with a maximum width of 12 cms
2000mW 2W Desktop Laser Engraver
Another DIY machine that can be used for contour carving and can work with gray sculpture to your utter surprise! The software is not only easy to install but you get free upgrades for life. It has low light positioning system that makes it fun as you can get the feel of a professional.
• Very low priced for the quality
• You get engraving preview
• You can even use it for entity carving
• Highly durable owing to its aluminum and acrylic built
• It has 2 motor design but is compact in size
• Can engrave horns, wood, bamboo, paper, plastic, phone plastic shell, cortex (some of them like the ones used in purses) and sponges
• Install data as the manufacturer’s link and do it thoroughly
• Can be placed on top for engraving as the height is unlimited
• Assemblage required as it shipped in parts which could be an area of concern for some
• It cannot carve on metals, soft material, jewelry, stone, reflective material and ceramics
DIY Mini Laser Engraving Machine Desktop Wood PVC Logo Marking Printer 500MW Kit
Talking about mini laser machines brings us to another notable product that of the DIY Mini Laser Engraving Machine. This is no less than a professional cutter, although designed for DIY purpose. This is a beat for an engraver and the following discussion will shed some light on this:
• Has a strong body made from stainless steel and acrylic
• Works with only 12 volts of DC power
• Can generate 500 mW of electrical energy
• This is an adjustable laser cutter
• It has a burning time that makes it efficient enough
• It has freedom positioning facility
• You get low lighting function in addition to all this
• Can work on rubber, wood, plastic, bank card and bamboo
• Can cut into thin materials like foam, paper and delicate leather
• Cannot engrave metals, stone, shell, ceramic, transparent and reflective materials
• Software needs to be installed and this could put off a few people in case they do not following instructions
6. Mini DIY Laser Cutting Engraving Machine 40*50CM 500MW Image Printer Picture
We speak about this from our experience and the first thing that we need to disclose is that it is extremely light in weight. It is easy to use as well and actually works great for a mini laser engraver. It has a brawny make owing to it aluminum and acrylic body riveted with stainless steel screws. It comes with a few accessories that can come handy in reality.
• It offers 500 mW of laser power
• Works with 100 to 240 Volts of electrical supply
• Can engrave wood, bamboo, plastic, paper and leather
• It makes use of advanced software
• Comes with a light cooling fan
• It supports Windows 2000, XP, 7, 8 and even 10
• Can be assembled real quick
• What troubles us is the work area of 50x40cm which could be made better, especially for larger projects
• It lacks proper instructions for assemblage
• Could do with better software
7. 15W USB Laser Wood Cutting CNC Engraving Machine Printer Metal Steel Iron Stone
A laser cutter is anything but a helpful tool for those who know how to use it. This one is no exception to this and you must make sure that you buy the right machine from an authentic seller. This is one of the most popular DIY laser cutter that you can come across because of:
• It is like a plug and play device that once connected to a computer USB can start engraving at once
• It has one of the best customer support that you can think of
• Has clear demo videos that guide you with installation
• Needs minimum assembly that makes it easy for you
• It can carve on stone, metal, cut wood, foam and a lot more
• It can mark on metals like stainless steel, brass, gold, silver, iron and anodized aluminum
• It cannot engrave on metals but can mark them
• It cannot be used to work on glass or anything similar
40W CO2 USB Laser Engraving Cutting Machine
Connect this one to your computer or laptop and see what it can do. It can read JPG, EMF, PLT and WMF files with ease. This means all you need is to engrave and cut with your expertise. It can work with double planks, bamboo, horns, boulders, leather crystals, film, canvas, organic plastic and acrylic too. It can be used in garments sampling, toys, paper product, computerize embroidery, printing and packing.
• This CO2 laser machine can provide you with laser power of 40 W
• It looks attractive in blue and white color
• It has a built in cooling fan that extends the power to 150%
• It can go to a maximum speed of 600 mm/s
• The tube can serve you for 1000 to 1500 hours on average
• It has a water sensor that can monitor water in real time
• It comes with a CD software that suggest it is easy to install
• Need to assemble a little and this could be a big concern for some
• Work area is a constraint with 300mm x 200mm x 50mm
** For other similar laser engraving cutting machines, you can find at my friend’s website at MachinesGallery.com
Historic background of Laser Machine
It was way back in 1965 that the first laser machine was used for drilling holes in diamond dies. Then the British took over and they produced oxygen jet cutting laser machine in 1967. This was employed to cut titanium for aerospace all through the 70’s. Quite interestingly, the CO2 machines were used in the textile industry only as they were thought to be less effective for cutting metals.
Laser cutting machines are widely used in many industries today. The laser engraving machine will surely make you ‘impressed’. Have you ever wondered how a laser was born?
The laser was first introduced in 1960 at the California research lab when flashing high power on a silver coated silver ruby rod. Since then, lasers are used extensively: laboratories to cut materials in quantum physics, hospitals, supermarkets, used in payment, telephone networks …
In 1965, the Western Electric Engineering Research Center was the first to manufacture laser engraving machines and was used to cut holes in the diamond. In 1967, the British took the lead in cutting metal by laser with oxygen as support gas. In 1970, the technology was put into production to cut titanium for use in aerospace applications. At the same time, CO2 lasers are used to cut non-metals such as fabric, leather, wood, etc. At that time, CO2 lasers were not powerful enough to melt the metal.
The laser beam is emitted by stimulating a laser emitting material by discharge or can be illuminated in a closed chamber. When the laser emitting material is excited, the beam is reflected internally by a partially reflective mirror, until it reaches enough energy to escape a monochromatic light beam. Mirrors or optical fibers are often used to direct light in conjunction with a focusing lens that focuses light on the work area.
How Do these Laser Machines Apply?
Yes, this is the right time to discuss how exactly a laser machine works. We have already shared a word about laser cutting devices, this time around; we will be talking about how these machines work in details. By this time you already know that laser cutters are used for cutting, drilling, marking and a lot more. The best part about laser machines is that they pertain to perform diverse tasks in different industries. In general, a laser beam is used to make a mark, burn, melt, drill or cut into materials. This is done with precision while moving along a vector file derived from a CAD or Computer Aided Design and controlled by CNC.
How to design with CAD?
Vector files are usually prepared in CAD, AutoCad, InkScape or Adobe Illustrator. Of course, different machines have their specific ways of working, techniques remain the same. While using colors, remember to use the color key as provided in the file to make it easier. In case, you find it difficult to prepare this file, then you can even outsource the work to someone adept with it. That certainly saves your time and effort while working on a demanding project.
Misconceptions of laser cutting busted
A laser machine has been misunderstood by many and there prevail a lot of delusions that need rectifying. Today, we will break all the myths that surround this technology in this part of the discussion. We would request you to read this conversation minutely to avoid falling prey any other baseless allegations against laser devices.
• Lacks safety – To be honest, safety lies in your hands and this applies even to the axe that you use to chop firewood. You take safety measures that make it safe and the same pertains to laser machines as well. They need to be installed properly, they are ground up and most importantly, you need to practice caution while working with them.
• Less volume – A laser machine increases your productivity by manifold and that means you can generate good volumes. Most people believe that it is good for one off job may be for producing a prototype, but this is not true. Big organizations employ the use of these machines because they have good yield without any doubts. They are ideal for full scale production and are very beneficial for those looking for larger production.
• Not easy to use – Again, we say that even the axe is not an easy machine to use in that case! It depends on learning and a laser machine has a lower learning curve. These gadgets are very easy to maneuver and are pretty user friendly. Once you start with it, you will know there is no stopping as you can get as creative with as you want to be.
• Consume a lot of power – This may be true to some extent but you get to choose from a wide range of machine these days. If you want to for home projects, then you can get a laser cutter of 30 watts! How does that sound? Surprised?
Application of the laser machines
One tip that we would share before starting with this segment would be to disclose you must focus on the quality of the material that you are about to etch. Let us have a look at how does a laser machine apply to get a fair understanding.
• Vector cutting – This is the most commonly used procedure that makes sure you cut with meticulousness through a vector line using a CAD.
• Engraving (raster) – This works like an inkjet printer making the sealed vector move from side to side. This turns on and off laser pretty fast moving the line upwards.
• Engraving (vector) – This is also known as ‘Kiss cuts’ as they add detail to your work. This adjoins the vector line onto a surface making an outline around it.
• Making with laser cutting – Small business houses can use these machines for doing simple work, but big business houses may need recurring cutting, modeling and speeding up the work on a larger scale. Now, it could be for wedding invitations or architectural models, the pace has to be faster and amplified.
• DIY – Yes, there are people that use laser cutters for their personal use only. They can use this device for engraving plant labels, leather wallets, watches, bag or iPhone covers. The choice is endless and so are the opportunities.
• Drilling – Use it for drilling metals or diamonds, as you can make tiny holes in these elements that normal mechanical processes can’t. Here is a breakdown of drilling process:
=> Percussion drilling – This kind of drilling is done on thicker material and works with short as well as low pulses. It makes smaller holes by diameter as compared to any other.
=> Single-pulse drilling – This drilling is useful for drilling materials that have a few micrometers of thickness. You can use this for roughening and gluing for best results.
=> Helical drilling – This technique is used to drill deep and larger holes with quality. In general, the material is displaced upwards and the laser pulses move in a circular motion at the time of drilling. This is used to smoothen out edges and widen the bottoms.
=> Trepanning – This is a combination of cutting and drilling that is used to make large diameters. The displacement of the material is often downwards with several laser pulses working on it. Initially, percussion drilling is used to make holes followed by this process that involves circular motion enlarging the holes.
Learning these methods of laser cutting, drilling and engraving may not take a long time. What matters here is the accuracy of your work that will come with time. Especially, if you are a DIYer, then our advice would be to take things at a time and then focus on expanding. As far as industrial usage is concerned, companies often recruit teams that have professionals dexterous enough to handle these machines. Again, working with a laser machine may seem to be easy, it is the safety and variation that you need to control in order to get the best of results.
How to choose suitable laser machine for your work?
Yes, there are quite a few things that you need to look into before buying a laser machine. Don’t get worked up as we have got you covered and we have composed it in one place if you are seeking for answers.
• Size does matter – The laser bed must be your primary concern as some are fixed and large. You can get a larger bed as it will help you with small tasks like cutting jewelry as well. Then, a bed that goes up and down should be given a thought as they allow you to conduct multiple jobs with ease. A moving bed assists you with engraving and working flatter surfaces, like engraving a log on a shoe practical.
• Power of the machine – This happens to be the most important aspect of all and you must pay heed to this. You could be using a machine that works with 30 watts only if you are a beginner, gradually upgrade it to 50 watts and so on. Point is you must take care of the thickness of the material you will be using. The power consumption depends on that and the cutting can be done faster if you blast more power into it.
• Keep an eye on the temperature – True to the fact, if you want your laser cutter to perform up to its standards, then you must ensure that the temperature of the room it is installed remains ambient. That is to say, laser machines work well in between 100 degrees to below dew point. In fact, reading the manual by the manufacturer will give you a better idea as to what type of temperature your machine can deliver best.
• Support from the manufacturer – This is another imperative that you should look into, before buying any apparatus, let alone a laser cutter. Laser machines may need a lot of adjustments from time to time, for which there must exist a good customer service team to get all the information from. Otherwise, the whole purpose gets defeated and you will have to run helter-skelter for help. So, make sure that the company you are investing in has a good support in place.
• Preventative maintenance – In order for your laser machine to last long, you must utilize into preventative maintenance or PM. This is a must for any laser machine and you must adhere by the rules if you want your machine to serve you long. Here are a few measures that you can take as part of this program:
=> You must allow ample space to your laser machine and its components
A laser machine must have stand high around 4 feet from the ground for the technicians to work with peace and operate easily
=> Always inspect the optics before you start working and this suggests keep them maintained
=> Keep your machine clean and aligned for proper working
=> Change filters and fluid whenever required
=> In continuation to this, remember to replace the Pneumatic filter at regular intervals
=> Health of your laser must be scrutinized from time to time
How to use a laser machine?
Laser machines are widely used for cutting, drilling and engraving various substances. They have an elaborate usage in advertising, clothing, medicine, leather industry and many more. We are about to discuss how can you start working with your laser machine, assuming that you have bought, the machine from online retail stores or any other preferred store that you may like.
• Choose a design that you may like, download it from the internet or browse through your image files
• Upload this image into your computer that you may be using with this laser device
• Most devices use CorelDRAW, a software used for drawing using these laser cutters
• You may also take assistance from Inkscape, Illustrator and SketchUp in case you are not sure
• Select your medium for etching; it could be anything like wood, plywood acrylic, laser safe plastic or even glass
• Before drawing, make sure that the lens is clean and if required, remove it and then wipe it off with a soft cotton cloth to ensure that it is neat to start working
• Turn the machine on and set the program right, based on your requirement to vector (cutting into pieces) or raster (engraving)
• You must adjust the line and width of your cutter once you are done with the program setting
• Make this adjustment according to the material you have chosen, otherwise the edges may remain jagged
• If possible make a test cut before actually going for the hit
• Just take your time and do it with time as there is no need to hurry at all, haste will only make things worse and you do surely do not want to ruin your project with a rush
What materials can the laser machine work with?
Laser machines can work on a varied range of materials starting from wood, ply, epoxy, stainless steel, acrylic, rubber, aluminum, titanium, mild steel, fabric, paper to polypropylene. The list goes on and all you need to find out is what surface you want your laser cutter to work on. However, you need to know one thing the efficiency of laser machine range in between 5% to 45% especially for industrial use. This is one major downside of laser cutters as the output depends on this efficiency. No doubts, you need to be careful while choosing your laser machine for this.
How to repair your laser cutter machines?
You need to understand one thing that we are discussing a machine and they may have a downtime. In order to avoid loss of productivity you must learn a few quick repairs like:
• If the depth of cutting and engraving is not up to the mark – Then you must start by checking on the power supply for adequate energy supply and then:
=> Switch off the machine and reboot it
=> Make amends to the software from your control panel
=> You can modify the focal point
=> Also try to adjust the setting and reset the user if need be
=> In case the laser tube is aging, then you must consider replacing it
=> This happens when the control system is not properly connected to the whole system, otherwise it would cause malfunctioning
• If laser head is not emitting – You need to check on the power supply as usual and then see if this solves the problem. See if the laser tube is damaged by any means, then you must take this into notice at once and:
=> Adjust the optical path
=> Deflect the mirrors and lenses for more
• If carving and engraving goes overhead the lines – You must check on the communication that may have been dislodged. Make sure that the laser as well as the computer is grounded.
• Reinstall – If you have re-installed or replaced the software, then you must remember to install the drivers once again for smooth functioning of your machine. You should not skip this step or else you will face troubles while working with your machine.
Maintenance & safety guide
If you are in the fabrication business, then you would know unscheduled downtime could be a big problem for your work. So, what should you do? You must either setup a maintenance team or do it yourself in case you are a hobbyist. Here are basic maintenance and safety guidelines following which will make your life easy.
• Clean the lens and the mirror regularly after work with the fluid cleaner that was supplied to you by the manufacturer, do not use anything else
• In fact, you can wipe the machine clean every day after work as this will avoid buildups of any kind that can choke the machine in future
• Empty the dust collector on a weekly basis and clean the inner pad or vector grid
• Replace the HEPE filters once a year to avoid unnecessary clogging and adding to your woes
• Do not leave your machine unattended while working as this may cause heavy damage like fire
• Always keep an eye while it is cutting and do not leave it unaccompanied
• Check on the machine before you start to work on it on a daily basis and see if things like beam, settings, mode and optics life look fine or not
• Never use alcohol or anything inflammable for cleaning your laser machine
As a matter of fact, laser machines are competent to carry on a lot of work in regards to drilling, engraving or even processing diamonds. You must abide by the safety rules that we have discussed in here. Be alert, when working with a laser machine at home if you have kids and pets. Demarcate your work area and take care that they do not infiltrate this, while you work. Remember, prevention is always better than cure and leave no stones unturned while working with laser cutter. You will never regret following these tactics we have conferred here. Hope you have liked our honest endeavor, do let us know about that via the comments section.