Essentials of Fiber Laser Cutting Machines: The Ultimate Guide

No matter the industry, buying a fiber laser cutting machine is a decision you should not take lightly. To make an informed purchase, you’ll need to know the essentials of fiber-cutting laser machines. In this article, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of fiber laser cutters—granting you knowledge on laser power, cutting speed, focal length, assist gas, and more! 

OMTech Laser Head

How Do I Choose the Power of a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine?

Selecting the power of your fiber laser cutter for metal involves careful consideration of the material thickness you generally process. Understand that this plays a crucial role in determining the desired power capacity of your equipment.

A laser-cutting machine for metal with less power might need help to process thicker materials. To accurately estimate the power required, use the following as a broad guideline based on the thickness of the material:

  • For steel that is 1/4 inch thick or less, you'll need a minimum of 1.5 kW.
  • For steel that is 3/8 inch thick or less, you'll need at least 2 kW.
  • For steel that is 1/2 inch thick or less, you'll need a minimum of 3 kW.
  • For steel up to 1 inch in thickness, consider a laser cutter with 6 kW.

OMTech Steel

At the end of the day, it is essential to select a power suitably calibrated to your specific needs to ensure optimum functionality and enhanced productivity. Depending on the type and thickness of the metal you are cutting, you should ensure your fiber laser metal-cutting machine accommodates the intended material. 

What Focal Length Should I Use for Fiber Cutters?

The focal length lens for fiber laser cutters ranges from 1.5 inches to 5 inches, each length possessing beneficial characteristics. For example, a 1.5-inch focal lens is ideal for thin lines and detailed jobs, while a 5-inch focal lens performs large cuts for big items. 

    • 1.5-inch lens: Concise focal length that produces a spot size of 0.003 inches. Not ideal for cutting thick lines. 
  • 2-inch lens: Great general-purpose lens for thin lines and detailed work. Spot size of 0.004 inches.
  • 2.5-inch lens: Halfway between finesse and functionality. Can cut material up to ½ inch thick. Spot size of 0.005 inches. 
  • 5-inch lens: Designed for cutting into deep, bulky areas. Spot size of 0.01 inches. 
  • What Is the Assist Gas for Laser Cutting?

    OMTech Air Assist

    For laser cutting, the most common assist gasses are oxygen, nitrogen, argon, air, or mixed gas. The purpose of the air-assist gasses is to blow away the heated material during the cutting process. When using air-assist gas for your fiber laser cutter, using pure gas is essential for maintaining the cutting head. Consider the following gasses for fiber laser cutting: 

  • Oxygen: Less up-front cost. Oxygen is the only gas suitable for cutting thick carbon steel. Cannot be used to laser cut aluminum or laser cut stainless steel
  • Nitrogen: Achieves best-quality and faster cuts than oxygen. The downside is higher consumption rates. 
  • How Fast Can a Laser Cutter Cut? 

    Most OMTech fiber cutters can cut up to 1333mm/s, with up to 1G acceleration. The FC-105SA Fiber Laser Cutting Machine, with its increased power, has an even greater max speed of 2167 mm/s. Therefore, the cutting speed of the fiber cutter depends on the power of the machine. 

    OMTech FC

    OMTech fiber cutters have laser powers ranging from 1.5 kW to 6 kW. More powerful equipment allows for faster cutting speeds. Therefore, those looking for a highly industrial laser cutter for laser-cut metal sheets will benefit from a larger, stronger machine like the FC-510 Fiber Laser Cutter

    If you’re interested in using a fiber cutter for small jobs and leisure activities, using a lower-powered machine will do the job just as well while saving you money. On the other hand, if you're utilizing a fiber laser cutter for personal projects, a lower-power model should suffice. 

    Opting for a lower-powered fiber laser cutter machine might save costs in the long run, but a higher-powered machine will offer beneficial time efficiencies for more intensive usage. Despite which situation you find yourself in, OMTech offers solutions for all of your fiber laser cutting needs! 

    Cut to the Chase with OMTech! 

    If the prospect of investing in a fiber cutter still seems intimidating, we’re here to help! Contact us today for more information on our top-rated fiber laser cutting machines for metal and we’ll help match you with the right fiber cutter. Remember, the quality of your laser machine is of the utmost importance—it’s worth the time, effort, and money to get a fiber cutter that helps you succeed. 

    Look to OMTech for the best fiber laser-cutting machines for sale! Check out our selection of high-quality fiber cutters and start your laser journey off on the right foot.