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CO2 vs. Fiber Optic Laser Engraving


You must have gazed upon a breathtaking, glamorous award that you wished was yours at least once in your life. We all have! But only a few think about what exactly makes it so neat.

To design by engraving the metals to alter their texture has always succeeded in attracting humans toward them.

When it comes to looks, engraving has always been leagues ahead of all other means as it enhances the look and texture of a material tenfold.

Sometimes, engraving becomes a mandatory factor when we observe the cuts and joints or bolts or nuts and many other machinery objects to minimize fraction factors and provide a handsome look to the machine.

What is Laser Engraving And Cutting?

Laser Engraving And Cutting

Laser engraving and cutting provide specific shapes and sizes to metallic sheets, wooden logs, other thick materials, etc., using laser technology.

The invention of laser cutting and engraving techniques provides ease in cutting, splitting, designing, and drawing tasks, which could be done on metals, woods, and other thicker materials.

Laser engraving and cutting use the sharp beam of a coherent wave of white light to drop down or melt the metal or any other thick material from the focused point of the beam. We can minimize or maximize the frequency (depending on our desired work).

To cut the metal or any other dense material, we keep the frequency very high/high (depending on the allotted slot time for operation and the size of cut marks). For engraving, we use a relatively low frequency of coherent light.

Evolution of Laser Use

Earlier, laser techniques were used by engineers to cut and design the complex engineering parts of machines that are unable to cut by using manual machines.

Later on, by the passage of time as the evolution of technology spread around the globe, laser technology is used by graphic designers, illustrators, and artists to convert their virtual artistry into 3-dimensional aspects, which could be a source of a step towards the provision of easy to work techniques for beginners.

CO2 Laser

The CO2 laser machine has a thin glass tube filled with CO2 and nitrogen gas. On passing a high voltage through the tube, high frequency coherent white light is produced, which is used to cut the thin metallic sheets and to engrave the dense wooden as well as metallic pieces.

By switching on the machine, it starts moving back and forth to cut or engrave the sample according to the data input of the machine system.

Pros of CO2 Laser:

  • The CO2 laser can cut as well as engrave the materials
  • They can cut hard material that includes steel and aluminum, etc.
  • They are generally used in high-scale industries.
  • They can cut/engrave materials of more than 40 different classifications, including wood, plastic, metal, foam, rubber, fabric, etc.
  • It can be used in marking engraving on ceramics, glass, stone, etc.
  • You can build it on your own.

Cons of CO2 Laser

  • It can not cut heat-resistant, tough materials like ceramic, glass, stone, etc.
  • Divergence in the pointing direction of CO2 gas can disturb metal cutting that can range from 1 to 10 milliradians.
  • It is non-cost effective machinery to use in industries.
  • It requires a sink to cool it down because of the presence of gasses.
  • It is non-environment friendly.

Fiber Optics Laser

The working principle of fiber optics laser is snell’s law that says the angle with which light bends when traveling to a denser medium from a light material directly depends on the velocity of light.

Fiber Optics Laser

The cutting and engraving of material are done by the transmission frequency of light that emits from the core.

The fiber optics laser is a single core laser that can accept only one ray of light so that fiber optics are used with that which works on the principle of Bragg’s law. It can store multiple lights coming from outside and refract all of them according to their wavelength, minimizing the wastage of light-emitting material.

Pros of Optic Fiber Laser

●It is highly cost-effective to use in large-scale industries.
●The functioning of fiber optics lasers is accurate.
●It is a non-rechargeable machine.
●It has a relatively low amount of fluctuation as compared to CO2 lasers.
●It is environmentally friendly.

Cons of Optic Fiber Laser

●It shows lacking while cutting off a material thicker than 5mm.
●Compared with the CO2 gas laser, it shows some deviation while cutting hard materials.

CO2 Gas Laser

  • Machine speed and efficiency:
    For cutting purposes of relatively more complicated materials such as aluminum and steel, a CO2 gas laser shows a greater efficiency.
  • Cost of machines and setup assembly difficulty:
    CO2 gas laser machines are comparatively expensive to bring for industrial functioning.
    Co2 gas also requires a heat sink as its working principle is purely based on gas transmission.
  • Environmental impact:
    Co2 gas lasers have a broader negative impact on the environment as they emit contaminants during engraving and cutting processes which is hazardous to health and the atmosphere.

Fiber Laser Optics

  • Machine speed and efficiency:
    For engraving or cutting purposes of relatively thinner metallic or wooden sheets, Fiber optic laser can do its job more effectively.
  • Cost of machines and setup assembly difficulty:
    Fiber laser optic machines are comparatively cheaper to bring for industrial functioning.
    Fiber laser optics do not require any mode of cooling purpose as its working principle is purely based on the transmission of a coherent beam of light.
  • Environmental impact:
    Fiber laser optics do not have a broader negative impact on the environment than Co2 gas lasers. However, the emitted particles are still not good enough for the health and atmosphere of living beings.

The Takeaway

Technology has revolutionized how we are going about things. We’re excelling in every department, from stuff as essential as food to as complex as rockets. Likewise, indeed there are many advantages to both laser engraving forms.

However, some necessary precautions and health factors should be considered while assembling both machines.
So, contact Dell Awards now if you’re looking to get your hands on laser engraved awards of the highest quality!

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