What's the difference between fiber laser and MOPA laser engraving machines?

It is a frequent question from our customers, they wonder what is the main difference, it is only the color engraving over some materials? Why MOPA laser it's more expensive? Which materials can these technologies engrave? This and other questions will finally get an answer in this blog about MOPA and Fiber Lasers.

Different inside technology

Even if these two machines have a very similar or same outlook, inside, they work differently. The fiber laser machines use a technology called Q-switched that allows the power supplier to generate the path light only between 1 to 500 kHz.

On the other hand, the Master Oscillator Power Amplifier knowing as MOPA generate the power source with a different method, and this allows the machine has a pulse frequency with more amplitude than the fiber, from 1 to 2700 kHz. These enable the MOPA laser to have different engraving results over some plastics and metal materials in comparations of the engraving results of the Q-switched or fiber laser technology.

Which materials can this machines engrave?

MOPA Laser

This machine can engrave over:

  • Gold
  • Aluminium (with dark color effect also)
  • Stainless Steel (with multiple colors)
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Titanium
  • Brass
  • Tungsten 
  • Carbide
  • Nickel
  • Carbon steel
  • Crome
  • Copper
  • Iron and other metals
  • ABS plastic (low rate of melting burn)
  • PC plastic (low rate of melting burn)
  • PLA plastic
  • Silicon plastic
  • PBT plastic and others

Fiber Laser or Q-switched

This machine can engrave over:

  • Gold
  • Aluminium
  • Stainless Steel (Only white and dark colors)
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Titanium
  • Brass
  • Tungsten 
  • Carbide
  • Nickel
  • Carbon steel
  • Crome
  • Copper
  • Iron and other metals
  • ABS plastic (high rate of melting burn)
  • PC plastic (high rate of melting burn)
  • PLA plastic
  • Silicon plastic
  • PBT plastic and others

This machine can engrave different plastics but in some of them you will feel the engraving by the touch of our fingers.


MOPA Laser still on develop

Even do this technology is not new but still is far away from the high speed of engraving that Fiber laser can reach. The color engraving with the actual MOPA laser isnt fast and this is something you should expect if you are looking for engrave thousand of metal pieces a day with colourful logos. The true is that the color engraving is not fast and can be slow depending of the marking are you chose and how many colors you are looking to engrave. 

On the other hand the fiber laser or Q switched machines have a better rate of engraving speed over some plastics and over some metal materials.

Video Shoot at normal speed.

In conclusion both machines can do similar works, however, if you are looking for a better finishing on plastic materials and for having the possibility of engraving different colors on stainless steel, titanium or black color on aluminum you can think about the solution that MOPA laser can offer. On the other hand, if you are only looking for engrave metals at high speed and you don't need to engrave colors on metals, then you can choose a fiber laser. these machines may look the same but they are different not only on work effect and technology, they are also very different on price, MOPA laser technology also tends to be expensive than normal Fiber Q-switched lasers. For more information get in contact with us.


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Fiber vs UV laser, whats the difference?

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Fiber laser engraving vs fiber cutting, the differences.


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