Fiber laser engraver
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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Fiber Laser Engraver

If you’re like me, you didn’t know much about Fiber laser engravers when you first started laser engraving. For me, CO2 was always the way to go in the early days since Fiber lasers were primarily used for industrial applications.

In the past several years, that has changed with the introduction of mid-market and lower-market fiber laser engravers that hobbyists or small businesses can afford.

If you’re thinking about getting a Fiber laser or want to learn more about them, I created this guide to help you navigate the world of fiber laser engravers and make an informed decision based on your specific needs and budget.

We’ll cover topics including the science behind fiber lasers, their benefits, a comparison with other laser technologies, factors to consider when choosing the right engraver, and the top models on the market.

We also get into specific fiber lasers at the end of the article. If you want to learn more about the best metal laser engravers, see our guide here. Similarly, we have a guide on the best portable laser engravers, many of which are fiber lasers.

Key Takeaways

  • Fiber laser engravers provide high precision, speed, and versatility in material selection. They require less maintenance than other laser types and generally will last longer due to fewer moving parts.

  • Consider factors such as engraving area, rotary attachment, laser power, and software compatibility when selecting a fiber laser engraver.

  • Fiber lasers are best suited for metal and plastic engraving. In contrast, Diode, IR, and CO2 lasers are capable of engraving and cutting a wider variety of materials.

Understanding Fiber Laser Technology

Fiber laser engraver

Fiber laser technology is a cornerstone of the laser engraving industry, providing accurate, high-speed, high-power engravings and cutting on various materials, especially metals and plastics. These powerful machines are used for a wide range of applications, such as marking, cleaning, texturing, cutting, color engraving, and even welding.

Their versatility and ability to work on hard and brittle materials make them a popular choice for businesses seeking a reliable and efficient solution for their engraving needs.

So, what makes fiber lasers stand out from the crowd? It all boils down to their unique construction and working mechanisms. We will explore the science behind fiber lasers and the essential components that constitute a fiber laser engraver in the subsequent sections.

The Science Behind Fiber Lasers

Fiber wavelength

A fiber laser is a type of laser marking machine that generates a 1,090nm wavelength laser beam through photon buildup in doped fiber optic cables, using pump sources with laser diodes as the fiber laser source. One of the main advantages of fiber lasers is their low maintenance and operational costs, making them a popular choice for various applications, including laser marking and laser welding.

Safety is always a priority when working with lasers, and fiber lasers are no exception. It is recommended to use a full-face Honeywell respirator with dedicated cartridge filters and ensure adequate ventilation to prevent inhaling harsh chemical coatings. This added layer of protection keeps you safe while working with these powerful machines.

Fiber laser engravers are known for their high accuracy, thanks to their specialized components and cutting-edge technology. A galvo scanning head, composed of two mirrors on motorized mounts, redirects the fiber laser beam through the laser lens in programmed motions to construct laser marking artwork. F-theta lenses are used in galvo fiber laser engravers to manipulate the laser beam and generate precise engravings, making them an excellent choice for producing intricate designs and logos.

Key Components of a Fiber Laser Engraver

Fiber laser engraver components

At the heart of a fiber laser engraver are three critical components:

  1. The pump module: It emits light from laser diodes and pumps photons into the gain medium, creating an energy buildup.

  2. The resonator module: It serves as the area where photons are reflected back and forth between two Bragg gratings, forming the laser beam.

  3. The beam delivery system: It delivers the laser beam to the material being engraved.

These components work together to create precise and high-quality laser engravings.

The beam delivery system, composed of mirrors, lenses, and a beam expander, is responsible for directing the laser beam to a precise location on the part and focusing it onto a single spot. The beam expander increases the size of the beam, also known as the spot size, ensuring that the engraving process is accurate and efficient.

Comprehending these integral components of a fiber laser engraver becomes vital while choosing the appropriate machine for your needs. Knowing how these components work together will help you make an informed decision and choose and maintain the best fiber laser engraver for your specific requirements.

Benefits of Using Fiber Laser Engravers

Fiber laser engravers offer numerous advantages over other laser technologies. They are renowned for their high precision and speed, versatility in material selection, and energy efficiency with low maintenance requirements.

These features make fiber laser engravers an excellent choice for businesses looking to upgrade their engraving capabilities and improve productivity. We will further explore the specific advantages of using fiber laser engravers and their potential to enhance your fiber laser engraving process.

High Precision and Speed

Galvenometer

When it comes to engraving, precision and speed are of utmost importance. Fiber laser engravers excel in both of these aspects, providing micro-level accuracy for detailed engravings and impressive engraving speeds of up to 7,000mm/s. This superior performance sets fiber laser engravers apart from other laser technologies, making them the go-to choice for businesses that require high-quality, fast engravings.

The xTool F1, for example, boasts a remarkable accuracy of 0.00199mm and engraving speeds comparable to those of powerful fiber lasers, reaching up to 4,000mm/s. This level of precision and speed ensures that your engraving projects are completed efficiently without compromising on quality.

Versatility in Material Selection

Fiber performance

One of the most significant advantages of fiber laser engravers is their ability to handle a wide range of materials. Fiber lasers can engrave various materials with ease, including Metals, Plastics, Wood, and Stone.

This versatility makes them an ideal choice for businesses that need to work with different materials and require a flexible solution for their engraving needs.

Whether you’re customizing jewelry, creating awards and trophies, or producing nameplates, fiber laser engravers can handle it all. Some benefits of using fiber laser engravers include:

  • Broad material compatibility

  • High precision and accuracy

  • Fast engraving speed

  • Low maintenance requirements

With these advantages, you can tackle any engraving project with confidence, knowing that your fiber laser engraver is up to the task.

Energy Efficiency and Low Maintenance

Fiber laser engravers offer impressive performance and versatility, and they are cost-effective in terms of energy consumption and maintenance, too. They use up to 50% less electricity compared to CO2 lasers due to their more streamlined and efficient design.

In addition to their energy efficiency, fiber laser engravers have minimal maintenance requirements, including less frequent laser calibration, due to having fewer moving parts. Overall, this results in an increased dependability compared with other laser types.

These factors make fiber laser engravers a reliable and cost-effective option, especially for businesses.

Comparing Fiber Laser Engravers to Other Laser Technologies

Although fiber laser engravers provide numerous benefits, it’s necessary to comprehend their comparison with other laser technologies like CO₂, Infrared, and Diode laser engravers. By examining the differences in performance, material compatibility, and cost, you can make an informed decision about which laser technology is the best fit for your business needs.

In the upcoming sections, we will examine in detail how fiber laser engravers compare with CO₂ and infrared laser engravers, emphasizing their primary differences.

Fiber Laser vs CO2 Laser Engravers

Fiber VS CO2 laser engraver

When comparing fiber laser and CO2 laser engravers, there are several factors to consider. Fiber laser engravers provide faster and more precise engraving compared to CO2 laser engravers. However, fiber lasers have a more limited range of compatible materials, as they are not suitable for engraving glass due to their low absorption of light on the visible spectrum.

CO2 laser engravers offer several advantages over other types of engravers:

  • Increased tolerance for part positioning variations

  • Greater accessibility due to the availability of educational resources

  • More effective on thicker materials

These advantages make CO2 laser engravers a suitable choice for certain engraving applications. One area where Fiber lasers are far superior is in metal engraving and cutting, particularly for industrial applications. Larger industrial fiber lasers can cut through very thick metal, whereas CO2 lasers can not.

Fiber Laser vs. Infrared Laser Engravers

Fiber VS Infrared laser engraver

Fiber laser engravers and infrared laser engravers also have their distinct differences. Fiber laser engravers offer higher power and precision compared to infrared laser engravers, making them ideal for engraving metals, plastics, and stones. However, fiber laser engravers tend to be more expensive and larger in size than their infrared counterparts.

Infrared laser engravers, while offering slightly lower power and precision, are well-suited for small business or personal use. They are generally more affordable and compact, making them an attractive option for those with limited space or budget. A laser engraving machine of this type can be a valuable addition to your toolkit.

By weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each laser technology, you can choose the best laser engraver for your specific needs.

Fiber Laser vs. Diode Laser Engravers

Fiber laser engravers and diode laser engravers differ significantly in terms of power, efficiency, and material compatibility. This high power of a Fiber laser translates to superior beam quality, allowing for precise engraving and marking, which is crucial in industrial applications.

On the other hand, diode laser engravers generate a less intense laser beam, making them suitable for softer materials like wood, plastic, or leather, and are more geared towards lighter applications. This is why you see so many diode laser engravers geared towards hobbyists.

In terms of maintenance and longevity, fiber laser engravers come out on top with their well-enclosed components, providing a longer operational life and requiring less upkeep. Although the initial investment for fiber laser engravers is higher, the long-term maintenance costs are lower, potentially offsetting the upfront expense over time. Conversely, diode laser engravers are more affordable initially but may require more maintenance, which could lead to higher costs over time.

The choice between fiber and diode laser engravers fundamentally boils down to the specific needs of the task at hand, the budget, and the materials to be worked on. For high-precision, industrial applications, fiber laser engravers are the preferable choice, while diode laser engravers are more suited for hobbyists or small businesses with less demanding engraving tasks.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fiber Laser Engraver

With a better understanding of fiber laser engravers and their comparison to other laser technologies, it’s time to consider the specific factors that will help you choose the right fiber laser engraver for your business. These factors include:

  • Engraving area

  • Rotary attachment

  • Laser power

  • Marking speed

  • Software compatibility

Assessing these factors will help ascertain that the fiber laser engraver you select will fulfill your engraving requirements and offer the best return on your investment.

Engraving Area and Rotary Attachment

laser cutter work area

One crucial factor to consider when choosing a fiber laser engraver is the engraving area and availability of rotary attachments for cylindrical objects. The engraving area determines the size of the material that can be engraved, while the rotary attachment allows you to engrave curved surfaces, such as glasses and bottles.

When evaluating different fiber laser engravers, consider your specific engraving requirements and whether the machine’s engraving area and rotary attachment options will meet your needs. Choosing a fiber laser engraver with the appropriate engraving area and rotary attachment capabilities will ensure that you can tackle a wide range of engraving projects with ease.

Laser Power and Marking Speed

Laser power and marking speed are also essential factors to consider when selecting a fiber laser engraver. The type of material to be engraved, the size of the material, and the desired engraving speed all play a role in determining the best laser power and marking speed for your needs.

For example, if you plan to engrave metals or require deep engravings, a higher-wattage fiber laser engraver would be more suitable. On the other hand, if you primarily work with jewelry or small metal items, a lower-wattage engraver may suffice.

By evaluating the laser power and marking speed of different fiber laser engravers, you can determine the best fit for your engraving needs.

Software Compatibility and Ease of Use

LightBurn

Finally, it’s important to take into account software compatibility and user-friendliness when selecting a fiber laser engraver. The type of software used, the user interface, and the ability to integrate with other software should all be taken into account.

Ensure that the fiber laser engraver you choose is compatible with the software you plan to use and offers a user-friendly interface that will enable you to get the most out of your engraving projects. By selecting a fiber laser engraver with compatible software and an intuitive interface, you can enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your engraving process.

Top Fiber Laser Engraver Models on the Market

Having understood what to seek in a fiber laser engraver, let’s now examine some of the leading models available in the market. These popular fiber laser engraver models include:

  • OMTech 30W

  • Triumph 30W

  • Heatsign 20W Handheld Portable

  • Gweike Cloud G2 20W

  • LaserPecker 4

Each model offers unique features and benefits, catering to different engraving needs and preferences.

In the upcoming sections, we will give a brief overview of each model, underlining their main features, advantages, and disadvantages. Having the necessary information will help you decide on the ideal fiber laser engraving model for your business. Taking your time to research and assess different models will give you the freedom to make an informed decision.

OMTech 30W Fiber Laser Engraver

OMTech 30W Fiber Laser Engraver

The OMTech 30W Fiber Laser Engraver offers high engraving speed, adjustable pulse frequency, and a chuck rotary for cylindrical objects, making it an excellent choice for various engraving projects. With a working area of 110 x 110mm, this engraver is suitable for small to medium-sized projects and provides high precision and accuracy for detailed engravings.

The OMTech 30W is a versatile and powerful option for businesses looking to upgrade their engraving capabilities.

Triumph 30W Fiber Engraver

Triumph 30W Laser Engraver

The Triumph 30W Engraver is a pretty big and expensive machine, especially for Fiber lasers, but I wanted to include this one because, with its 30W laser, it can be used for rust removal. General rust removal lasers cost much more than this machine, so it could be an interesting option for someone going into that business.

Overall, this machine offers:

  • High precision and speed

  • User-friendly interface

  • Versatile material compatibility

  • Impressive speed of 5,000mm/s

  • Perfect for businesses that require fast, high-quality engravings on a range of materials.

To read more about the Triumph 30W Fiber engraver and other laser engravers that are great for engraving onto metal, see our full breakdown here.

Heatsign 20W Handheld Portable Laser Engraver

Heatsign Handheld Portable Laser Engraver

The Heatsign 20W Handheld Portable Laser Engraver is a high-performance, versatile tool designed for industrial use, which made our list of best portable laser engravers.

For fiber lasers, this one is very high-powered at 20W, and the price tag reflects this! It’s designed specifically for more industrial and manufacturing uses.

It’s lightweight and portable, with integrated touchscreen software for ease of use. The machine is capable of marking text, logos, dates, numbers, barcodes, QR codes, and more on various materials, making it ideal for both medium and large metal parts marking.

It also has an optional battery version for when you really need to get out in the field.

Key Features:

  • Materials: all metals like stainless steel, aluminum, copper, iron, titanium, and some plastics like PVC, PE, ABS, and more

  • Work area: 4″ x 4″

  • Laser power: 20W

Gweike Cloud G2 20W Metal & Plastic Fiber Laser Engraver

The Gweike Cloud G2 20W Metal & Plastic Fiber Laser Engraver features cloud-based software, high precision, and a wide range of compatible materials, making it an ideal choice for various engraving applications. With its automatic lifting function, high engraving speed, and exceptional accuracy, this engraver is perfect for marking jewelry, customizing objects, creating barcodes, logos, and more.

The Gweike Cloud G2 20W is a versatile and powerful option for businesses looking to enhance their engraving capabilities.

See our comprehensive review of the Gweike Cloud G2 here.

LaserPecker 4

LaserPecker 4 is a powerful laser engraver that boasts a unique dual-laser configuration, combining a 1064nm infrared laser and a 10W 450nm diode laser to handle various materials effortlessly. These laser machines, specifically this portable dual laser engraver, can engrave and cut materials like wood, paper, plastic, leather, and more.

But what makes it even more amazing is its engraving speed of up to 2000mm/s and high engraving accuracy, reaching 8K resolution and 0.003mm granularity. It’s an excellent choice for businesses seeking a reliable and efficient engraving solution.

See our comprehensive review of the LaserPecker 4 here.

Summary

In conclusion, fiber laser engravers offer numerous advantages over other laser technologies, including high precision and speed, versatility in material selection, and energy efficiency with low maintenance requirements.

By understanding the science behind fiber lasers, comparing them to other laser technologies, and considering factors such as engraving area, laser power, marking speed, and software compatibility, you can make an informed decision about the best fiber laser engraver for your business.

We hope that this guide has provided you with valuable insights into the world of fiber laser engravers and helped you navigate the process of selecting the perfect engraver for your needs. With the right fiber laser engraver by your side, the sky’s the limit for what you can create and achieve in your engraving projects!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can fiber laser engrave metal?

Yes, fiber laser engravers can be used to engrave metal. See our list of the best laser engravers for metal here.

Is fiber laser engraving better than CO2?

Fiber laser engraving offers many advantages over CO2, including more efficient cutting of materials such as copper, brass, and aluminum, higher intensity up to 100 times greater than a CO2 system, and lower operating costs. Additionally, it is an ideal choice for the permanent marking of serial numbers, barcodes, and data matrices on metals.

How much does a fiber laser cost?

Fiber laser engravers can cost anywhere from $1,800 for a LaserPecker 4 to several hundred thousand dollars at the industrial scale. If you’re a hobbyist, the LaserPecker 4 is a great choice. If you’re a small business, the Triumph 30W is a few thousand dollars.

What materials can fiber laser engravers work with?

Fiber laser engravers can effectively work with metals, plastics, and stones to produce precise engravings.

What factors should I consider when choosing a fiber laser engraver?

When selecting a fiber laser engraver, look at its engraving area, rotary attachment, laser power, marking speed, and software compatibility to ensure the best fit for your project.

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