Everything You Need to Know: Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
Fiber laser cutting is one of the latest developments in laser cutting technology, offering unprecedented speed and accuracy to the metal fabrication industry. But like most terms in the fabrication industry, Fiber laser cutting sounds very complex. So what exactly is it?
A Fiber laser cutting machine uses active optical fibers to create a laser beam and a transport fiber to transmit this to the machine’s cutting head. This super-hot laser is condensed down to a narrow beam and is used to cut through metals of various thicknesses.
Fiber technology is used across a range of infrastructure and manufacturing applications for its enhanced strength and efficiency. There are several types of laser cutting machines in use today, and the fundamental difference between them is the way the laser is generated. Below, we’ll take you through a detailed guide of everything you need to know about fiber laser cutting.
What is Fiber Laser Cutting?
Fiber laser cutting uses a type of solid-state laser to melt and pierce metals, achieving a precise and efficient cut. The laser medium for this technology is optical fiber, as opposed to gas or crystal, giving fiber laser cutting its name.
Knowing that a laser is concentrated light, it makes sense that optical fiber can intensify this beam – hence why fiber is the ‘active gain medium’ used to elevate the laser to a higher power state.
Fiber laser cutters can cut a range of materials and thicknesses depending on the capacity of the equipment. Most fiber laser machines can cut up cut stainless steel up to 10mm thick.
Five Common Uses for Fiber Laser Cutting Machines:
Metal Cutting: Fiber laser machines are used to cut metals, like steel and Aluminium, in industries that make metal parts and structures.
Car Parts: The Automotive industry uses fiber lasers to make precise metal parts for cars, such as frames and brackets.
Aircraft Parts: In aerospace, fiber lasers help create lightweight and precise parts for airplanes and spacecraft.
Electronics: Fiber lasers cut thin metal sheets and circuit boards for electronics, making precise and detailed components.
Art and Jewelry: They’re used in crafting detailed designs in jewelry and art pieces, thanks to their precision.
Types of Fiber Laser Cutting Machines:
Low Power Machines: These are for fine and delicate cutting, like in electronics and Jewelry.
Medium Power Machines: They’re good for a balance of speed and precision and are used in industries like automotive and aerospace.
High Power Machines: These cut thick materials quickly and are found in heavy industries, including construction and metal fabrication.
3D Machines: These can cut in 3D, which is perfect for creating complex 3D parts for cars and airplanes.
Tube Cutting Machines: Made for cutting pipes and tubes, often used in construction and plumbing.
Marking Machines: Instead of cutting, these are for engraving or marking materials. They’re used for labelling products and identifying components.
This sort of laser cutter is commonly used in manufacturing and infrastructure, as fiber laser cutting machines are significantly more expensive than CO2 laser cutters, which are within the budget of schools and hobbyists.
Fiber laser cutting stands out for its use of optical fiber as the active gain medium, distinguishing it from laser cutting methods based on gas or crystal mediums. The optical fiber’s ability to amplify and concentrate the laser beam contributes to the technology’s effectiveness in achieving precise and efficient cuts.
These machines are versatile, capable of cutting a wide range of materials and thicknesses, with most Fiber laser cutters being able to handle stainless steel up to 10mm thick. However, it’s important to note that Fiber laser cutting equipment is generally more expensive than CO2 laser cutters, which are more accessible for educational institutions and hobbyists due to their lower cost.
For ADK Engineering & Solutions, integrating Fiber laser cutting into their operations can lead to enhanced cutting capabilities, improved efficiency, and the ability to work with a broader range of materials. While the initial investment may be higher, the technology’s advantages in terms of speed and accuracy can ultimately contribute to cost savings and more precise fabrication processes.