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How much does a laser machine cost?

How much does a laser machine cost?

Whether you are a manufacturer or owner of a craft workshop, regardless of the production method you are currently using (CNC Routers, Die Cutters, Ultrasonic Cutting Machine, etc), you probably have considered investing in a laser processing machine before. As technology develops, equipment ages and the requirements from customers change, you will have to replace production tools eventually.

When the time comes, you may end up asking: [how much does a laser cutter cost?]

To understand the cost of a laser machine, you need to consider more than the initial price tag. You should also consider the overall cost of owning a laser machine throughout its lifetime, to better evaluate whether it’s worth investing in a piece of laser equipment.

In this article, MimoWork Laser will take a look at the factors that affect the cost of owning a laser machine, as well as a general price range, laser machine classification. To make the well-considered purchase when the time comes, let's throughout the below and pick up some tips you need in advance.

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What factors impact the cost of an industrial laser machine?

▶ TYPE OF LASER MACHINE

CO2 Laser Cutter

CO2 laser cutters are typically the most widely used CNC (computer numerical control) laser machine for non-metal material cutting. With the benefits of high power and stability, a CO2 laser cutter can be used for varieties of applications requiring high precision, mass production, and even just for one customized piece of the workpiece. The vast majority of the CO2 laser cutter is designed with an XY-axis gantry, which is a mechanical system driven usually by a belt or rack that allows for the precise 2D movement of the cutting head within a rectangular area. There are also CO2 laser cutters that can move up and down on the Z-axis to achieve 3D cutting results. But the cost of such equipment is many times that of a regular CO2 cutter.

Overall, basic CO2 laser cutters range in price from below $2,000 to over $200,000. The price difference is quite large when it comes to the different configurations of CO2 laser cutters. We will also elaborate on the configuration details later on so that you can better understand the laser equipment.

CO2 Laser Engraver

CO2 laser engravers are normally used for engraving the non-metal solid material at a certain thickness to achieve the sense of three-dimension. Engraver machines are generally the most cost-effective equipment with the price around 2,000 ~ 5,000 USD, for two reasons: the power of laser tube and the engraving working table size.

Among all the laser applications, using the laser to carve fine details is a delicate job. The smaller diameter of the light beam is, the more exquisite the result is. A small power laser tube can deliver a much finer laser beam. So we often see the engraving machine comes with a 30-50 Watt laser tube configuration. The laser tube is an important part of the whole laser equipment, with such a small power laser tube, the engraving machine should be economical. Besides, most of the time people use a CO2 laser engraver to engrave small size pieces. Such a small-size working table also defines the prices.

Galvo Laser Marking Machine

Comparing with the regular CO2 laser cutter, the starting price of the galvo laser marking machine is much higher, and people often wonder why the galvo laser marking machine costs so much. Then we shall consider the speed difference between laser plotters (CO2 laser cutters and engravers) and galvo lasers. Directing the laser beam onto the material using fast-moving dynamic mirrors, galvo laser can shoot the laser beam over the workpiece at extremely high speeds with high precision and repeatability. For large-size portrait marking, it would only take galvo lasers a couple of minutes to finish that would otherwise take laser plotters hours to complete. So even at a high price, investing in a galvo laser is worth considering.

Purchasing a small size fiber laser marking machine only costs a couple of thousands of dollars, but for a large size infinite CO2 galvo laser marking machine (with marking width over a meter), sometimes the price is as high as 500,000 USD. Above all, you need to determine the equipment design, marking format, power selection according to your needs. What suits you is the best for you.

▶ SELECTION OF LASER SOURCE

Many use laser sources to distinguish the division of laser equipment, mainly because each method of stimulated emission generates different wavelengths, which affect the absorption rate to the laser of each material. You can check the below table chart to find which types of laser machine suits you better.

CO2 Laser

9.3 – 10.6 µm

Majority of non-metal materials

Fiber Laser

780 nm - 2200 nm

Mainly for metal materials

UV Laser

180 – 400nm

Glass and crystal products, hardware, ceramics, PC, electronic device, PCB boards and control panels, plastics, etc

Green Laser

532 nm

Glass and crystal products, hardware, ceramics, PC, electronic device, PCB boards and control panels, plastics, etc

CO2 Laser Tube

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For gas-state laser CO2 laser, there are two options to choose from: DC (direct current) Glass Laser Tube and RF (Radio Frequency) Metal Laser Tube. Glass laser tubes are roughly 10% of the price of RF laser tubes. Both lasers maintain very high-quality cuts. For cutting the majority of non-metal materials, the difference of cutting in quality is hardly noticeable to most users. But if you want to engrave patterns on the material, the RF metal laser tube is a better choice for the reason that it can generate a smaller laser spot size. The smaller the spot size, the finer the engraving detail. Although the RF metal laser tube is more expensive, one should consider that RF lasers can last 4-5 times longer than glass lasers. MimoWork offers both kinds of laser tubes and it’s our responsibility to pick the suitable machine for your needs.

Fiber Laser Source

Fiber lasers are solid-state lasers and are usually preferred for metal processing applications. Fiber laser marking machine is common in the market, easy to use, and does not require much maintenance, with an estimated lifespan of 30,000 hours. With proper use, 8-hour per day, you can use the machine for more than a decade. The price range for an industrial fiber laser marking machine (20w, 30w, 50w) is between 3,000 – 8,000 USD.

There is a derivative product from fiber laser called MOPA laser engraving machine. MOPA refers to Master Oscillator Power Amplifier. In simple terms, MOPA can generate pulse frequency with more amplitude than the fiber from 1 to 4000 kHz, enabling the MOPA laser to engrave different colors over metals. Although fiber laser and MOPA laser may look alike, MOPA laser is much more expensive as the primary power laser sources are made with different components and take much longer time to produce the laser supply that can work with very high and low frequencies at the same time, requiring much more sensible components with more technology. For more information about the MOPA laser engraving machine, chat with one of our representatives today.

UV (ultraviolet) / Green Laser Source

Last but not the least, we have to talk about UV Laser and Green Laser for engraving and marking on plastics, glasses, ceramics, and other heat-sensitive and fragile materials.

▶ OTHER FACTORS

Many other factors affect the prices of laser machines. The machine size stands in the breach. Generally, the larger the machine's working platform, the higher the price of the machine. In addition to the difference in material cost, sometimes when you work with a large format laser machine, you also need to choose a higher power laser tube to achieve a good processing effect. It’s a similar concept of you need different power engines to start your family vehicle and transporter truck.

The degree of automation of your laser machine also defines the prices. Laser equipment with a transmission system and Visual Identification System can save labor, improve precision, and increase efficiency. Whether you want to cut roll materials automatically or fly mark parts on the assembly line, MimoWork can customize the mechanical equipment to provide you with laser automatic processing solutions.


Post time: Sep-01-2021

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