Laser Applications & Markets for Cutting and Engraving CNC Lasers
Laser Applications in CNC Industry
Ideal for CNC laser applications, the PLH3D-Series Lasers for cutting and engraving are tolerant to vibration and its PCB cover is resistant to metal chips. LaserDock accessory makes the laser head a plug and play device while milling in dust or working with liquid cooling systems. It is easy to integrate the laser head with the machine due to the low supply voltage and small size compared to a CO2 laser. Another advantage is its price which is much lower compared to other solutions available on the market. All the engraving and cutting lasers from PLH3D-Series accept various input control signals including PWM spindle signal, TTL and analog. OEM solutions are also a possibility, allowing an engraver add-on to be offered. For those working only with metals, there is good information that Opt Lasers 6W laser heads can mark stainless steel which is one of the most commonly used materials in construction and machine production.
3D Printing Industry
These days 3D printing technology is one of the most used in prototyping. Every year 3D printers are getting more and more commonly used by RND teams for prototyping and custom order production. Laser allowing to cut and engrave a wide range of materials adds immense possibilities for 3D printers, rendering them even more versatile in the RND sector. Additionally, 450 nm light allows engraving on many colors of a filament. Another advantage is the engraving laser's compatibility with a wide range of signal inputs including TTL, PWM, and analog. Its wide voltage supply range (12 – 24 V) and lightweight (210 g, 7.4 oz.) make it compatible with most 3D printers. Various OEM options and solutions are available.
Rubber and Soft Material Processing Industry
The small size of the PLH3D Series allows implementing the laser head even in high part density machines such as rubber cutters. PLH3D-Series engraving and cutting lasers are equipped with a high-power fan that removes dark smoke, which is especially useful for the machines in question. The long lifetime of the laser source (>10k hours) is ideal for machine applications requiring high reliability and consistent performance. Additional tension given to the material during cutting greatly increases the speed of the cutting process. This solution is used for instance in wheel weight stickers. The dark color of the sticker allows processing the surface faster when cutting or adding serial and part numbers.
High absorption of blue laser light enables fast cutting of materials without affecting the protection layers used for fabric cutting. Enough focus depth allows cutting of thicker fabrics and the ones with irregular surface structure. High power density makes it possible to laser cut fabrics slightly reinforced with carbon and nylon fibers. A lot of thin materials used in the production of tents, kites, and bags can be cut with the speed up to 60 mm/s which gives the economical advantage over CO2 lasers.
Woodworking, Arts & Crafts
450 nm blue light is highly absorbed by various types of wood allowing patterns, images, serial numbers or initials to be quickly marked. It is easy to customize the shade and line width or depth by adjusting the intensity of the light or the focus. The integrated high-power fan quickly removes any smoke and a LaserDock accessory allows simple detachment for use in dusty environments. Low operating voltage makes it easy to connect without using external power supplies and even if needed the solution is very space-efficient. Thanks to the high power of the PLH3D-6W-XF+ it is possible to laser engrave images pixel by pixel where the pixel size may be as small as 1 by 1 mm. This allows achieving enormous speed while engraving big images in grayscale or black and white. The PLH3D-Series Lasers' compact form and lightweightness makes them compatible with nearly any 3D printer or CNC machine. Worth mentioning is also its cost-effectiveness. In general, the laser beam is capable of cutting cardboard, balsa, thinner woods, fabrics or plastic. Also, high-quality 3D surface profiles can be created in wood with these CNC lasers.
Stationery, Greeting/Business Cards
The greeting and business card industry appreciates our solutions to create patterns. Laser applications in this sector includes fast marking or cutting of cardboard, paper, plastic, and special engraving laminates.
6W power of blue light allows reaching 80% of the speed of the 10-12 W CO2 laser tube commonly used in this industry. Painted glass can also be engraved. units Due to a small size and lightweight, our units fit most machines and allow to repair old CO2 machines by equipping it with a modern 450 nm light source like our PLH3D-6W-XF+.
Low Carbon Footprint CO2 Laser Replacement
Semiconductor engraving laser head technology is just about to take place of the old CO2 solutions. In some situations, CO2 is the only choice for now but every month new market areas are taken over by 450 nm lasers. Many customers and machine repair services reported having been using Opt Lasers products in the old CO2 machines. Additionally, the adaptation in there is much simpler, faster and cheaper than buying a new laser tube.
As a result of creating single layer PCBs just in minutes, the acceleration of product development can be easily achieved. What is more, with the proper preparation of two-layer PCBs are also easy to produce. Created in minutes without special UV layer printed circuit boards can be used in many custom-made products or prototypes reaching the accuracy of 0.15 mm (6 mil). Another significant advantage of the CNC laser head solution over the UV exposure method is the need to use only the black spray. The copper layer needs to be painted and then removed from the areas where it is unwanted. Black color and a thin layer of the paint additionally speed up the process of preparing the laminate for etching.
Cutting and Engraving Applications
With PLH3D-6W engraving laser head, you can cut and engrave many types of materials. Laser applications for engraving are much simpler because G-code generation requires only one pass with a properly matched speed. Many materials thicker than 0.5-1.5 mm need several passes for the laser to cut through whole depth. The exception is a foam and some soft materials which can be cut even with 10 mm step in some cases. The laser cutting method depends on the material structure and its density. For example, plexiglass, as well as hard plywood, are harder to cut and depending on the type they may need a few passes to cut through 1 mm of material thickness.
|Material||Cut||Mark / Engrave||Max thickness tested with a cut|
|Cardboard (hard)||3 mm|
|Cardboard (flute, wave)||6 mm|
|Plywood (soft)||6 mm|
|Plywood (hard)||3 mm|
|Rubber (dark)1||1.5 mm|
|Plexiglass (color)3||3 mm|
|Plastic (dark)||1 mm|
|Artificial Leather||2 mm|
|Real Leather||2 mm|
|Glass Reinforced Foil2||0.5 mm|
|Thermal Pad (foam)||3 mm|
|Thermal Pad (textile)||0.3 mm|
|Stretch Foil (dark)||0.005 mm|
|Lead Foil||0.5 mm|
|Kapton Foil||0.2 mm|
|Foam (dark)||25 mm|
|Aluminum, Copper, Brass||--|
- There are many types of rubber. High-temperature resistant rubber is not possible to cut. The CNC laser may leave the mark on the surface in such case.
- It depends on the density of the glass threads and their thickness.
- It depends on the color, dark colors are much easier to cut. Transparent plexiglass is not possible to cut