The ultimate guide to laser cutters 

by | 27 Feb '23

Laser cutters have revolutionised the way many industries manufacture and fabricate products. Launched in the 1970s, CNC laser cutter machines were predominantly used in industry. Over time, thanks to their versatility and ease of use, they have also recently become the production tool of choice in schools, and even with hobbyists. With their precise and efficient cutting capabilities, laser cutter machines have become an essential tool for a wide range of applications. 

At Boxford, we offer a range of laser cutters, including CO2 laser cutters, fibre laser cutters and fibre laser marking machines, to meet the needs of businesses, education establishments and individuals alike. With the advent of advanced technology, these machines have become more versatile and efficient over time, creating more complex creations depending on the model and skill of the user. In this blog post, we will be discussing the main two types of laser cutters – CO2 laser cutters and fibre laser cutters. 

CO2 laser cutters 

The CO2 laser is now the common kind of machine used by hobbyists, teachers, and in small workrooms. This machine uses a CO2 filled tube and fully reflective mirrors to create a laser beam powerful enough to cut through a wide range of materials, such as acrylic, wood, and paper. The machine’s software allows the programming of precise shapes and patterns, producing the parts or engravings necessary to suit your needs.  

CO2 laser cutters are suitable for cutting non-metallic materials and are widely used in various industries, including advertising, printing, and packaging. At Boxford, we offer a wide range of CO2 laser cutters, including compact, entry-level models ideal for small workshops and hobbyists, and larger models that are perfect for mid-size workshops and businesses. 

With their precise and efficient cutting capabilities, laser cutters have become an essential tool for a wide range of applications. For businesses and industrial users, CO2 laser cutters can greatly improve production times and increase the precision of cuts. They are also highly versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications, including signage, packaging prototypes, and product mock-ups.  

CO2 laser cutters are also popular among hobbyists who enjoy woodworking, paper crafting, and other similar activities. Online craft shops that sell personalised engravable goods are likely to own a CO2 laser cutter to complete their orders. CO2 laser cutter machines are also perfect for the education sector, to teach students how complex machinery like this can be used to aid in art, design and manufacturing. Schools and colleges use CNC laser cutting machines for various projects, from art and design, and woodwork, to technology lessons to help pupils cut out shapes and models from CAD (computer aided design) drawings. Some colleges also use a CNC cutter in engineering classes. 

Fibre laser cutters 

Fibre laser cutters are designed for cutting metallic materials, including stainless steel, aluminium, and brass, and are thus often used for larger manufacturing jobs. They use stimulated radiation and fibre-optic technology to produce a laser beam that is used to cut various materials. These machines are commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries, where precise and efficient cutting of metal parts is essential. 

For businesses and industrial users, fibre laser cutters can greatly improve production times and increase the precision of cuts. They are also highly efficient, with the ability to cut thick metals with great accuracy. Additionally, fibre laser cutters are low maintenance and can save businesses money in the long term, rather than outsourcing metal cutting work. Processing cutting work with a fibre laser is also a much quicker, cleaner and accurate process than cutting metals with alternative tools such as plasma cutters. 

As laser cutters are computer controlled, they are very safe for operators to use, as the cutting tool will not start unless the machine door is closed. All of our CNC laser cutter machines have CE marked interlocking guard switches, so that the machines cannot be operated with the doors open. The laser cutter will automatically stop when the guard is opened. 

You need to know… 

When using CO2 and fibre laser cutters, it is essential to avoid cutting materials that contain chlorine, such as PVC, as it can produce toxic fumes that are harmful to both the machine and its users. You may also need specialist training or support if it’s your first time using a laser cutter machine of any kind, which Boxford can provide. The user must have good comprehension of the CNC program that comes with the machine in order to input their marking, engraving or cutting pattern desired – though plenty of designs are shared within hobbyist communities online for those looking to start out with some borrowed designs! 

CNC laser cutting machines can cut a wide variety of materials, making them flexible and versatile when it comes to their uses. Their superior dimensional accuracy makes them an ideal manufacturing tool for achieving complex or intricate designs to a high standard – plus they are incredibly safe to use because no moving parts are exposed.  

CO2 laser cutters and fibre laser cutters are two important tools that are used in many industries for cutting various materials.  

At Boxford, we offer a range of models that are suitable for different applications and industries. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a large-scale production operation, we have a laser cutter that is right for you. If you have any questions about the uses for laser cutters, or which model might be best for your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.