Buying a laser cutter is not an impulsive act. Knowing how much you will have to pay is crucial to any purchase. Not only does this determine the scope of your purchase, but it also determines if you are getting your money's worth out of your machine.
This article aims to talk about the cost of a laser cutting machine and the factors that affect it.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Laser Cutting Machine
Understand that the cost of a laser cutting machine is like a jigsaw puzzle where several pieces come together to form the total price. These factors or factors may cause the cost to go up or go down, depending on your needs for the machine.
Below is a list of key factors that affect the price of a laser cutting machine:
1. Laser type
The machine's laser type plays a big role in the price. For example, fiber lasers are more expensive due to their complex working mechanism that requires high-end parts. Carbon dioxide lasers are usually cheaper because their parts are easy to categorize and can be used in a wide range of other equipment. While there is another type that is much cheaper than both, the diode laser; it is smaller in size and has fewer parts. Therefore, the cost is the lowest.
2. Laser Power
Laser power is another important factor that raises the price. More powerful lasers can cut thicker materials faster, but they cost more. The reason for this is simple : the machine needs more advanced parts to handle the more intense laser beam. So it's a direct relationship - the more power you need, the more you'll have to pay.
3. Cutting Capabilities
Laser cutting machines can do two main things: cut and engrave. Some machines excel at one or the other. If you need a hybrid machine that does both, you'll obviously need to spend a little more money.
4. Working area
The size of the work area does affect the cost of the machine. Larger beds can easily handle larger projects. However, remember that more raw materials are needed to produce these larger machines, which raises their price. Therefore, as the bed size increases, you can also expect the machine's price to increase.
5. Cutting speed
Since the cutting process is controlled by motors, in order to get higher speeds, you will need to add more powerful motors, which makes them more expensive.
6. Additional features
The more features you add, the more expensive the machine will be.
How much does a laser cutter cost?
The price of a laser cutting machine depends on four factors: the type of laser, the features available on the machine, the size of the machine, and the characteristics of the workpiece material.
The three main types of lasers commonly used for cutting are CO2 lasers, diode lasers, and fiber lasers.
CO2 lasers are the most common choice because they are versatile enough to cut and engrave and can be used successfully with various materials.
|CO2 laser cutter||$2,500-6,000|
|Diode laser cutter||$200-800|
|Fiber laser cutter||$2,000-20,000|
Types of Laser Cutting Machines
Before revealing costs, you need to understand the three basic types of laser machines available on the market: CO2 lasers, fiber lasers, and diode lasers.
Each operates according to a unique principle and is suited to specific applications. As a result, these types vary in price. Let's take a closer look at each of them:
CO2 Laser Cutting Machines
CO2 lasers have been around for a while but are still widely used because of their versatility. They produce a laser by energizing a gas mixture, usually carbon dioxide.
CO2 lasers are the machine of choice for cutting, engraving, and marking non-metallic materials such as wood, acrylic, and glass, but they can also handle some metals.
Given their versatility and wide range of applications, these machines fall into the moderate price category. The price of these machines depends greatly on the power and materials they can cut. Smaller versions start as low as $1,000, while larger industrial systems begin at over $50,000.
Fiber Laser Cutting Machines
Fiber lasers are the latest development in laser cutting technology, and they are becoming increasingly popular for a good reason. The process allows for extremely precise cuts, especially in metals such as steel and aluminum.
Previously fiber laser cutters were large, expensive, and unsuitable for home use. Later on, through continuous improvements came out the desktop laser cutter, which also supports color engraving. If you want to start a metal laser business, this machine is your first choice.
Diode laser cutter
Diode lasers are the workhorse of the bunch, simple and compact. They produce laser light through a diode.
These machines are great for engraving and cutting thin materials, perfect for hobbyists and small businesses.
The best part is that they are the most affordable of the three. Diode laser machines typically cost $500 to $1,000, which makes them a great entry point into the laser cutting world.
While understanding the types of laser cutting machines gives us an initial idea of pricing, a deeper understanding comes when considering the materials these machines handle.
Different materials have different hardnesses and thicknesses and require different power levels and types of machines. So, let's dive into the cost dynamics based on different materials:
Metal laser cutting machine
Mainly the field of fiber laser, fiber laser wavelength of 1064nm, is very easily absorbed by metal.
Non-metal laser cutting machine
Cutting materials such as acrylic, wood, leather, plastic, paper, etc., is usually handled by CO2 lasers. They provide smooth surfaces and can effectively cut and engrave these materials. If the focus is more on engraving, you can opt for a diode laser cutter.
Best value for money laser cutter
Sometimes we come across a product that stands out and proves good value for money. In the field of laser cutters, that crown belongs to the Gweike cloud pro.
Gweike Cloud Pro：Intelligent Desktop Laser Cutter
This Gweike cloud pro is a powerful performer that balances cost, performance, and functionality perfectly. In terms of pricing, this rugged CO2 laser cutter retails for just $3,149.
The best part is its compatibility with a wide range of materials. The Gweike cloud pro can cut paper, wood, acrylic, leather, cardboard, felt, and rubber. I am making it a highly flexible tool for hobbyists and small businesses.
In terms of power, the Gweike cloud pro is equipped with a 55 W CO2 laser. It can handle most medium-range cutting and engraving tasks, including cutting 20 mm acrylic sheets in a single pass.
All in all, the Gweike cloud pro is a real value-for-money machine. It checks the boxes for versatility, power, quality, and price, making it a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to venture into laser cutting or engraving.
Choosing a laser cutter is a difficult choice. There are many variables you need to consider, such as the type of machine, cost, and features. Whether you are looking for a professional cutter or an entry-level machine, there is always a machine that will be right for you.