Laser marking technology is an emerging technology that has revolutionized the marking industry. It can perform a wide range of marking tasks very efficiently and precisely.
If you are shopping for your first fiber laser marking machine, this is very exciting. Fiber laser marking machines have become popular with industries in recent years for their high marking speeds and perfect marking results.
To help you make an informed decision, here's a step-by-step guide to help you buy your first fiber laser marking machine.
What is laser marking?
Simply put, fiber laser marking is a technique that uses a laser to leave a mark on the surface of a material. Traditional marking tools are hammers, knives, or chisels, requiring experience, low productivity, and marking accuracy.
Fiber laser marking provides permanent, high-quality marking marks in a very short time. High-quality marking can be easily achieved by choosing a suitable type of marking machine for different materials.
How fiber laser marking machine works
The fiber laser marking machine has a complete laser system like any other laser machine. It mainly uses a fiber laser source for engraving and marking on a variety of materials. The following is a general overview of how a fiber laser marking machine works:
Fiber laser source
The fiber laser maker mainly comprises a fiber laser source. A fiber laser source is mainly a process where an electric current passes through a rare-earth doped fiber and is excited to produce laser photons, eventually producing a concentrated beam of laser light.
Beam delivery system
The laser beam generated by the fiber laser source is delivered to the marking head through a series of optical elements. The beam delivery system ensures the laser beam is precisely positioned and focused on the target material.
The marking head contains the focusing mirror, the light outlet, and the scanning system of the vibrating mirror. After the laser beam has been concentrated into a small spot, the marking head controls the movement of the laser beam in the X and Y axis directions to create the mark and engraving.
Laser & material interaction
The focused laser beam interacts with the material's surface upon contact, generating intense heat. The heat causes the material to vaporize, melt or change color, depending on the type of material. The resulting color contrast creates the desired markings and engraving patterns.
A computer system and a control panel controls the fiber laser marking machine. The operator can enter the required marking parameters on the control panel, such as marking speed, laser power, marking depth, and pattern. The control system coordinates the laser head and controls the movement of the light beam.
Fiber laser marking machine generates heat during the marking process, so a cooling system is concentrated into the machine to maintain optimum laser performance. The biggest role of the cooling system is to keep the laser source at a constant temperature during operation and to prevent overheating. This usually involves water or air cooling methods; handled fiber laser markers are generally chosen for air cooling.
When the fiber laser source interacts with the material, smoke, dust, particles, etc., may be generated. The exhaust system helps to clean up the fumes generated in time to ensure a clean and safe working environment.
Fiber laser markers are renowned for their high precision, versatility, and speed. They are commonly used to mark and engrave a wide range of materials, including stainless steel, copper, aluminum, iron and various other metal materials.
Types of laser marking
Laser marking encompasses many types, such as engraving, coloring, and annealing. The choice of laser marking method depends on the material to be marked, its quality and the application requirements. Here are some common types of laser marking.
Laser engraving is the use of a beam of laser light to remove material from the surface of a material to create a recessed permanent mark. This marking method uses for engraving 2D codes, scales, and other applications that require deep marking.
The most intuitive difference between laser engraving and marking is that laser engraving creates engraved marks with depth.
Laser engraving involves removing material from the surface to form a deep mark. The laser beam is applied to the material's surface, causing it to heat up rapidly and the surface material to reach its melting point and then vaporize.
Similar to laser engraving, laser etching removes material from the surface but creates a shallower mark. It is commonly used to create high contrast and precise marks on metals, glass, ceramics and coated materials.
Laser annealing uses laser heating to change a material's surface color or oxidation. This process does not remove the material. It is mainly used to mark metals, particularly stainless steel and titanium. The operating principle of laser annealing involves applying a small amount of heat by a laser beam to the surface of an object. This causes a thermochemical reaction.
The most common color for marking by annealing is black, and its main advantages include fast processing speed, low material distortion, and high processing accuracy. It has applications in many fields, such as aerospace, automotive, and electronic equipment manufacturing.
Laser ablation involves the removal of the surface layer of a material by vaporization. It commonly uses for high-precision and fine marking on materials such as ceramics, plastics and organics.
Laser foaming is a method of marking plastics in which a laser heats the surface, causing controlled expansion. Laser foaming creates a raised, foam-like mark on the surface of the plastic. The marking marks created by laser foaming will be slightly lighter than the color of the original material, making it more suitable for marking dark-colored plastics.
Laser carbonization is suitable for use on materials containing carbon molecules, including organic materials, wood, leather, or carbon steel. The high-energy laser beam causes the carbon molecules to migrate to the material's surface and bind to the material molecules to create a dark mark.
The laser beam induces a color change on certain materials by altering the surface structure of the material in order to create vibrant and multi-colored marking marks. The main principle of laser coloring is to induce an oxidation reaction on the material's surface by adjusting the laser's speed and power to produce a colorful mark.
Types of laser marking machines
Each fiber laser marking machine is designed to meet specific needs and applications. The following are some common types of fiber laser marking machines:
Fiber laser marking machines
Fiber laser marking machines, also known as infrared marking machines, are the best choice for marking metal materials. They offer the advantages of high precision, fast marking speeds, and excellent durability. If you have the budget and need to mark metal frequently, a fiber laser marking machine is the ideal investment. There are also many different types of fiber laser marking machines available today, with the following common types:
- Desktop laser markers: compact machines designed to mark small business applications. They are lightweight and small enough that you can move them quickly.
- Handled laser marker: The laser marker can flexibly and quickly move the laser head to any position for marking.
CO2 laser marking machine
The CO2 laser marking machine is perfect for marking materials like wood, glass, leather and plastic. It is renowned for its versatility, the high quality of its production and its permanent marking. It marks quickly and its advanced technology increases productivity and practicality.
Nowadays, the desktop laser marker is small and easy to assemble and operate, making it a potent desktop laser machine.
YAG laser marking machine
YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) laser marking machines utilize a solid-state YAG laser to mark materials such as metals, plastics, and ceramics. They are often used for deep engraving, annealing, and surface marking applications.
Galvo laser marking machine
The Galvo laser marking machine uses an oscillating mirror scanner, which is able to move the laser beam more quickly. It has a high marking capacity and its most important feature is that it is suitable for marking on curved surfaces.
Diode laser marking machine
Diode is a more economical option and many people think that a diode laser marker is the same as a fiber marker. This is not true, as the diode laser marker only can mark non-metallic and coated metal materials but not metal directly.
Many beginners buy a diode laser marker to start a small business.
There are many types of laser markers available and the exact choice depends on a variety of factors, such as the material to be marked, the environment, the volume of production and the budget for purchase. These are just a few examples of common laser markers on the market, and you will still need to exercise reasonable discretion according to your needs. If you need the means to distinguish which type of machine suits you, you can consult our online staff, who will answer you professionally.
Factors to consider when buying a fiber laser marking machine
For beginners buying a fiber laser marking machine for the first time, choosing a machine can be very exciting. But with so many marking machines available, you may need more time to make a final choice. Listed below are a few things to consider when choosing a machine:
Determine your marking requirements, such as the type of material you need to mark, the quality of marking required (e.g., depth, accuracy), the size of the marking area, and any specific marking techniques (e.g., engraving, annealing). This will help you to select a machine that meets the needs of your application.
Type of material
This is a quick way to determine the type of laser engraving machine available. If your main marking material is wood, acrylic, leather, etc., then a CO2 laser marking machine is the best choice. If your main marking material is metal, then a fiber laser marking machine is recommended. If you mainly mark non-metallic and occasionally metal materials, then a diode laser marking machine is the best choice.
The workplace size of the marking machine determines the maximum size of the material to be marked and you can choose the right working size for your business. If you want to mark cylinders such as rings, baseball bats, etc., you will also need to consider the maximum size supported by the rotary attachment.
Power and speed
The power of the laser marking machine is crucial, as it determines whether the material can be marked more effectively. A typical fiber laser marking machine with a power of 10-20 watts can do the engraving very effectively. And it can also support cutting thin metal sheets of a few millimeters.
Marking speed determines productivity, especially for small businesses with high-volume marking tasks. Consider the right laser power and wavelength for your marking application. Higher laser power allows for faster marking speeds and deeper engraving, while different wavelengths are more suitable for marking specific materials.
The marking accuracy of the marking machine ensures the marking effect. For small businesses, you can choose a machine with high marking accuracy.
Laser beams can be very dangerous, and the machine needs to be equipped with various protection measures to ensure the operator's safety. The most common features include tilting the machine to stop the laser beam, enclosure protection, an emergency stop button, and many other safety features.
Costs include the cost of purchasing the machine and maintenance afterward. co2 and fiber laser marking machines are more expensive and diode laser marking machines are cheaper, costing around $200-$1000. Consider the relationship between the machine's price, capabilities, and expected return on investment. Compare different models and manufacturers to find the best balance between price and performance.
The best fiber laser marking machine
The Gweike G2 is a fiber laser marking machine with a separate fiber laser source and a laser wavelength of 1064nm. Many businesses will falsely advertise a diode laser marker as a fiber laser, so you must ask if it is a fiber laser when buying the machine. When buying a machine, you must ask whether it is a fiber laser marker and whether it has a separate fiber laser source.
The Gweike G2 can easily mark a wide range of metals such as stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, iron, brass and many other materials. The full range of features makes it the perfect choice for many small businesses.
The G2 has a super fast marking speed of up to 15,000 mm/s. The G2 is compact and has a small overall weight of only 12 KG so you can move it around easily. The handheld laser head supports not only multi-angle engraving but also handheld engraving. The machine is particularly easy to focus on, with the shield height being the optimum focus distance, so there is no need to worry about focusing difficulties.
The marking position is previewed in real-time and the machine is straightforward to install and operate. Even if you do not have any experience, you can easily operate the machine.
Application of fiber laser marking machine
Fiber laser marking machines uses in a wide range of industries. Some common applications include:
- Product identification: Fiber laser marking machines can mark serial numbers, part numbers, bar codes, 2D codes, logos, and other basic information on various metal materials such as iron, aluminum and brass.
- Automotive industry: The fiber laser marker can be used in the automotive industry to mark components, including engine parts, chassis, gears, bearings, and electrical connectors. It can provide high-contrast permanent markings that can withstand harsh environments and ensure traceability.
- Electronics: Fibre laser markers can mark electronic components, circuit boards, connectors, and cables. They enable precise marking without causing damage to sensitive electronic components.
- Medical Devices: Fiber laser markers can use to mark surgical instruments, implants, medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging.
- Aerospace: In the aerospace and defense sector, fiber laser markers can mark aircraft components, identification tags, serial numbers, and part numbers. Laser marking provides permanent marks that can withstand extreme conditions and ensure the integrity of critical components.
- Jewelry and luxury goods: Fibre laser markers offer precise and sophisticated marking capabilities for customized jewelry and luxury goods.
- Packaging and labeling: fiber optic laser markers mark packaging materials such as cardboard, paper, plastic, and flexible packaging. This includes marking batch numbers, expiry dates, product information, and logos for brand identification.
- Artistic and personalization: fiber laser markers can also use for artistic and personalization purposes. They can engrave designs, patterns, and artwork on various materials, allowing customized gifts, awards, signage, and decorative items.
The fiber laser marking machine marks a wide range of metallic materials, leaving permanent marking marks with clear contrast. You can set the parameters of the machine to achieve high-quality marking marks.
Here I have shared with you the Gweike G1, a 20w fiber laser marking machine, which will give you great value for money in terms of functionality, marking speed, and quality.