All you need to know before buying a MOPA laser, the truth about MOPA technology

There are many questions about the MOPA laser engraving, how many color can engrave? can engrave deep? whats the difference between a MOPA laser and other laser technologies? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the MOPA laser technology? In this blog we give an answer to these questions.

Speed engraving

At the moment to chose a MOPA laser, the customers are expecting to engrave colors over metals with the same speed as a Fiber laser engraver machine. But this is not possible, this two technologies are different, when engrave with color effects, the machine needs to mark at high frequencies with minimal hatch effect. This makes the engraving resolution high, but at the same time, makes the speed engraving very slow in comparison with other laser engraving technologies. For these reasons, you must reconsider buy this kind of technology if you are planning to engrave hundreds or thousands of pieces in one day. This technology is designed to mark a few pieces a day; it is not designed to mark many pieces per minute. 

Fast rust engraving

The rust in the engraving can also appear with other laser technologies, like the fiber laser technology or (Q-switch), but it is not common.

When you engrave some deepness over some metal materials, sometimes, these materials react with a bit of rust. On the other hand, when engraving a color with the MOPA laser over stainless steel, steel or titanium, this technology generates a mark, which is much more superficial than an engraving. 

But even being a superficial marking, the color is because of a chemical reaction over the metal, which means that the laser altered the surface of the stainless steel changing their properties of tolerance of corrosion. 

It is straightforward to see rust on color engraving with a few months pass by, and even with the sweat of your fingertips, the engraving can get very bad and rusty. 

Higher price

It takes time to produce the power laser supply that can work with very high and low frequencies, and it requires much more sensible components with more technology than a standard fiber laser or (Q-switch) power laser source. This is the main reason the price of these machines is higher.

The rest of the main components like energy supply, control card, mother board, sensors, galvanometer head, etc., are the same components as a standard Q switch laser.

These two machines may look alike, but their primary power laser sources are made with different components, therefore they have different prices. 

What is the right way to use this technology?

Even with the disadvantages that this technology may have, it is clear to say that the plastic engraving is rapid, smooth, and bright in comparison with a fiber laser engraving (q-switch), which makes it one of the favorite technologies for those that require to engrave plastic.

But, Is not the UV laser the best technology for engraving plastic? Yes, the UV laser tech is the best technology for engraving all the plastics family, but there are many kinds of popular plastic use in the market that doesn't need a UV laser and can be marked with a MOPA laser. And remember that one of the main differences between a MOPA laser and a UV laser technology is the price, the UV laser is one of the most costly laser technologies in the market. 

But, what about the color engraving? There are still many applications for this color engraving, and every client is free to choose this technology for engraving color over stainless steel. 

The purpose of this blog is to advice about the advantages and disadvantages of this technology, before our clients purchase a MOPA laser. 

Best fiber laser engraving settings for all materials.

Engraving plastics

Fiber laser engraving settings for plastics
Fiber laser engraving settings for plastics

Engraving Non-metals

Fiber laser engraving settings for non metal materials
Fiber laser engraving settings for non metal materials

Engraving all metals

Fiber laser for engraving any metal material
Fiber laser for engraving any metal material

What is the difference between?

Whats the difference between raycus, IPG and JPT-X?

Fiber laser engraving vs fiber cutting, the differences.

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Bas Hesselink (Saturday, 19 December 2020 14:48)


    Can a MOPA laser also engrave metal as good as a fiber laser. ( I mean quality, not speed) Can you provide me with a quote for your range of MOPA lasers?