The global market for laser cutting machines is expected to grow to a staggering $6.72 billion by 2024. Among the factors that will augment this growth are the use of fiber, CO2, and YAG lasers in various cutting applications.
For many years, laser cutters were the preserve of large companies with enough financial resources to afford them. With the continuous growth of technologies, many new models were developed that were easily accessible to small businesses. Today, you can get the best laser cutter for small business without breaking the bank.
Just like a 3D printer, a laser cutter is computer controlled. Once provided with a CAD design, the laser cutter does the required job quickly and effectively.
As we’ve already pointed out, laser cutters come in a wide variety of options. Determining the right one for your business can be a challenging task for first-time buyers.
In this comprehensive guide, we discuss eight factors you should consider when choosing a 3D laser cutter for your company. Read on to learn more.
Your Specific Needs
The most important factor when choosing any piece of equipment is what you need to accomplish with it. What sort of material do you wish to engrave? Some of the common materials laser cutters can engrave on include wood, plastic, acrylic, paper, metal, and so on.
Many laser cutters cannot engrave on all types of materials. If you’re going to be engraving on wood, you should look for a laser wood cutter.
Keep in mind that laser cutters have different applications too. These laser applications may be in sectors such as electronics, electronics, automotive, aerospace, and so on. Ensure that the laser cutter you pick can perfectly perform in your specific niche.
Size of the Machine’s Bed
Different laser cutters have different bed sizes. The machine’s bed size determines the size of material that you can fit into it for engraving.
A bigger bed allows you to engrave or cut larger pieces as well as smaller ones. Such a bed can allow you to cut multiple pieces at once instead of one at a time. That’s why it’s recommended to opt for laser cutting machines with bigger beds than those with small ones.
Also, it’s best to opt for laser cutters with beds that go up and down rather than those with fixed beds. An adjustable bed allows you to cut or engrave materials of different sizes.
The Machine’s Power
The power of a laser cutting machine is measured in Watts. The more watts a machine has, the more powerful it is. For many laser cutting machines, you can upgrade the power.
The power of a laser cutter is essential when it comes to cutting. A more powerful laser can cut faster and better than a weak one.
The Cutter’s Accuracy
The engraving accuracy of a laser engraving machine is determined by various factors, including the following.
The transmission method of the engraving machine. There are two transmission methods of an engraving machine, the rack gear method, and the screw drive method. Generally, the screw drive method has higher precision than the rack gear method.
The technician’s proficiency. A proficient engraving technician will generally use a technique that makes the machine cut more accurately.
The spindle power of the machine. Engraving machines with greater spindle power are more accurate.
Type of engraving machine. Square laser engraving machines are generally more accurate than compass engraving machines.
The Required Maintenance
Another vital factor to consider before you buy a laser cutter is maintenance. Like all equipment, laser cutters require regular maintenance to work efficiently for as long as possible. However, it’s important to know how frequently the machine needs servicing and whether its maintenance is easy or complicated.
A machine that requires servicing several times a year can result in lots of downtimes. If you have to hire a technician every other time to do the job, you’ll incur additional costs. Look for a machine whose repair and maintenance are easy and affordable.
Eventually, all equipment break down, no matter how well you maintain them. You want to make sure that you can easily access replacement parts for your laser cutter when the need arises. Find out the cost of these replacement parts too.
If you have to pay a fortune for replacement parts and wait for months before they’re delivered, then it’s best to look for a different laser cutting machine.
There are plenty of cheap laser cutters on the market, but they’re complicated to operate, maintain, and repair. Generally, you want to avoid these machines if you don’t want to encounter frustrations down the road.
Choose equipment from manufacturers who provide reliable customer support after you’ve bought from them. Inquire whether they have 24-hour customer support, or how easy it is to get your questions asked. Check out whether the company has a good website, and if they offer tutorials on how to use or fix your machine.
Price of the Cutter
The final essential factor you should consider while buying a laser cutter is its price. Generally, laser cutters that can effectively cut through different materials tend to be more expensive than those that can only cut through one or two materials.
Cheaper laser cutters may have less energy efficiency and durability than their pricier counterparts. A laser cutter’s engraving area and laser power are also other factors that affect its price. Take all these factors into consideration while deciding on how much you’re willing to spend on a laser cutting machine.
Regardless of why you need a laser cutting machine, there’s always an ideal option in the market for you. By looking at the factors we’ve shared in this guide, you can find the best laser cutter for small business and enjoy your investment for years to come.
You might have the best laser cutter, but that’s not all you need to run a successful small business. Our blog will provide you with financial tips to help you accomplish your goals. Browse through a few more today