In this blog, we will explain seven things you should know before buying a fiber optic laser engraver or UV laser engraving machine — working area, focal length, pulse resolution, quality of the power source, automation functions, engraving speed and after-sales service are some of the facts that you should have on mind before you purchase this type of technology.
1) Working Area
Before buying a laser engraving machine, it is essential to know which it is the working engraving area its the one we need to decide which its the power source we can use. The fiber optic laser head works like a magnifying glass, and the closer the object is, the more diffuse its the focus point of the light.
Also, on the contrary, if the Magnifying glass is far away, the light is scattered, and it also fails to engrave clearly and powerfully.
This means that some machines as the all in one can't have a working area mayor than 10x10cm because the head need to have a focus space between lens and the working table.
This means that you should check very well which machine model you will pick up, because some models have a very narrow focal distance, and working engraving area, this don't allow you to engrave big products and stop you to work with different applications. If you want to pick the right working area for your applications please contact us.
2) Focal length
When choosing a fiber optic laser, you must have on mind the focal length. The focal length is due to two variables, and the first is the power of the (power source), and the second is the working area of the lens. These must be combined correctly to get a deep and precise engraving.
Example: A 50W power source usually brings a 30x30 cm lens; this machine can engrave an optimal working area of 20cmx20cm deep and clear. However, this machine can also use a 50x50 lens, what happens when you use a 50CM lens with a 50W power source? The answer is that the work area has a much weaker and much less deep engraving giving the machine power loss and dissipating the laser light.
In the same way, you should have on mind the power and the lens when choosing an engraving machine, and if you are looking for a low power laser with a large engraving area, for sure you'll have a very weak and shallow engraving.
3) Pulse resolution
The resolution of the machine can be defined in two factors, one the frequency, and the other is the maximum resolution. The higher the frequency spectrum, the greater the engraving capacity and therefore, the resolution and accuracy is going to be much better, the quality of the engraving becomes sharper and better in small details.
Example: Most conventional Chinese machines have a spectrum between 20 to 120 Khz. while a machine with the higher resolution has a spectrum of between 1Khz to 500KHZ.
When buying a laser engraver, you should pay close attention to these details, as this tells you a lot about the quality of the machine.
There are many different power fiber sources, but all of them have different advantages and dis advantages, and one of the bullet points that make the difference its the pulse resolution, for this reason, we recommend you check another blog:
4) Power Source
The fiber optic source is an essential detail when buying a fiber optic engraving laser machine, this largely to the power of engraving. On these depends the Khz, and the light wave, these two define the capacity of depth and resolution with which you can engrave a surface.
The most popular fiber optic sources for those who dedicated to jewelry are IPG and JPT-X these two top brands in the market. Furthermore, we have Chinese brands, which are also of enough quality for work over different materials. The best brand in China is Raycus with ample advantage to their contemporary Chinese rivals, MAX, Sino-galvo, and others, being the best brand in China.
The warranty of the power source and the after-sale service of this one also have a significant impact on the machine quality, sadly many power source companies as MAX and Raycus don't offer an outstanding warranty and after-sales services which make this power source one of the cheapest power sources on the market, and easy option for a short budget but a bad business in a long run, especially if you are looking for high quality resolution.
5) other functions
When buying an optical fiber engraving machine, you must have on mind how many functions you can add after purchase your machine. It means that you must buy a machine with software and hardware extension in the long run.
Example: Most conventional Chinese machines do not have automatic engraving options on assembly lines limiting engraving only to small plates. Which it makes very difficult to upgrade your machines with different hardwares in the future, in case that your production require increase the speed.
Some examples of motion hardwares for engraving.
6) engraving speed
The engraving speed is relative to the power of the optical fiber power source, the more power, the more engraving speed, this means that a 10W optical fiber with 4000 mm per second engraving can only achieve that speed using a maximum engraving power and with an awful engraving result.
therefore, if you use a 30W laser, it can engrave with a depth of 0.3mm at speeds higher than 4000 Millimeters per second with a decent engraving result.
It means that the higher the power, the higher the engraving speed if, you are looking to engrave with high speeds in a production line it is better to think about buying a fiber optic laser at least 30W onwards.
7) warranty and after sales service
After-sales service and warranty can define the success of your business. It also tells a lot about the quality of the machine. The standard technology can have 1 or 2 years warranty while most of the FDA and CE standards machines can work with 3 years warranty.
Remember that the most common problems in fiber optic machines are power source cuts and burning heads. Although these machines do not need any maintenance, it is very common to see many people looking for spare parts or changing the power sources after a year of work.
That happens because the sources of fiber optic power source overheat and go to short circuit.
That is why you must choose a machine with a good guarantee that can cover the source of optical fiber because this is the soul of the machine.
The other common problem is lens corrosion or lens fungus, and this problem is common with the low-cost lenses that can be found in the Chinese market.
Ideally, ask for a reasonable guarantee on the lenses and the power source.