525,666 active members*
2,519 visitors online*
Register for free
Login
IndustryArena Forum > Laser Engraving and Cutting Machines > General Laser Engraving / Cutting Machine Discussion > First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    5

    First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    Just wondering about someone can share their experience cutting mild steel with the low cost CO2 lasers aviable in the marked today (price tag less than $10K)
    I will use it more for hobby, small business, where cutting speed is not a big issue, experiment with cutting wood, steel, make small series of products.
    (If make a big business out of it, one would naturally look for more powerful professional laser machines, like fiber lasers, costing several ten's of 10K and up)
    Engraving, cutting wood and plastic and so on, that's no big issue, but steel is another deal.
    See a lot of videos of steel cutting with these machines, but that's mostly tests done by suppliers (Acctek have put out a lot), but do not find much concerning customers using the machines.
    When it comes to steel, I would generally cut like 0.7 - 1.5mm mild steel (gauge 22-16, I belive), but once in a while have the opportunity to cut 3mm mild steel.
    Got an offer from Acctek, and the suggestet a Reci 150w/180 laser tube, that according to their tables will cut the 3mm. As I understand this is a 150w tube, but one can have ad a power of 180W to it.
    I can imagine that when running it at max power, the lifetime willl be quite much reduced. Generally they indicate 10.000 hours lifespan for the Reci tubes, but I naturally take that with a 'little pinch of salt'.
    I'm thinking if I could get as much as 1000 hours out of the co2 tube, with my use 90% cutting 0.7-1.5 mm plates with this 3mm steel rated tube of 180W, it would be good (and all above 1000 hours would be like a bonus)
    Another chinese company, Gweike I got a offer from, indicates max 1.2mm thickness of steel cutting with 150w co2, and indicates 280w as a minimum for 3mm. They have more modern design machines, and are more up in price.
    Just thinking about if 150w/180 laser for 3mm steel is too optimistic, but better go for 260-300w, as Acctek also can deliver. (yeah, I've read about people having shipping and service issues with the company, but mostly there a positive feedback it seams)

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    68

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    150w Reci tubes won't cut 3mm steel... in fact NO 150/80w tube will even come close. These lower end tubes need a feed of pure oxygen at 2 bar to cut metal. Blowing oxygen through the cutting head at pressure increases the cutting temperature whilst forcing molten metal out of the cut line. These machines work using GAS ASSIST.... if there is no gas there is no cutting. A large bottle of oxygen released at 2 bar will be empty in next to no time. Oxygen cutting leaves a hard crust of slag stuck to the underside of the parts cut- nasty to remove.

    300w tubes have more grunt so you can run nitrogen at 2 bar instead of the oxygen. Nitrogen gives a nicer cut with less slagging and scorching. However, you still need to run at around 2 bar pressure which will drain a standard large capacity gas bottle rapidly. Most commercial laser shops that I know of use powerful lasers married to a standalone nitrogen capture/ compression plant- they can make their own pressured nitrogen from the atmosphere.

    Thin metal will pop and warp so it's essential you have a good, accurately setup height contol on the z axis... without one you won't cut much at all.

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    5

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    Thanks. Gas, bottles of oxygen, nitrogen, I see...that brings the running cost way up. I've seen it mentioned at forums, but I believed it was more of a 'turbo', to speed up the cutting, not totally needed. These suppliers I've looked at does not seem to mention the gas. But I see the hoses going into the cutting heads, at their videos. I need high precision parts, so better leave it to the professionals with 100K's worth of equipment, and then I concentrate on design and putting things together) I guess too good to be true to be able to easily laser your own parts in steel at home, at a low cost and without too much stress, maintenance issues and so on. A better option then is a router and brass plates possible, if wanting to CNC cut parts for soldering together at home.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1733

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    Think CNC plasma cutter but the metal plasma dust and handling the sheets of steel is a big issue. Yes I had one.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router Mach4 Kimber 1911 45ACP

  5. #5
    Company Representative
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    387

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    150w Reci tubes with o2 can cut max 1.5 mm -2mm mild steel, but the tube life time will be short and it can't work for long time ,usually we suggest max every two hours need to stop for rest
    If for 3mm , 280w Co2 can cut , but the price will be almost same as the 300w fiber with our L series
    And fiber is more eaiser to operate than co2.but it can;t work on wood etc nonmetals



    Quote Originally Posted by Soyland View Post
    Just wondering about someone can share their experience cutting mild steel with the low cost CO2 lasers aviable in the marked today (price tag less than $10K)
    I will use it more for hobby, small business, where cutting speed is not a big issue, experiment with cutting wood, steel, make small series of products.
    (If make a big business out of it, one would naturally look for more powerful professional laser machines, like fiber lasers, costing several ten's of 10K and up)
    Engraving, cutting wood and plastic and so on, that's no big issue, but steel is another deal.
    See a lot of videos of steel cutting with these machines, but that's mostly tests done by suppliers (Acctek have put out a lot), but do not find much concerning customers using the machines.
    When it comes to steel, I would generally cut like 0.7 - 1.5mm mild steel (gauge 22-16, I belive), but once in a while have the opportunity to cut 3mm mild steel.
    Got an offer from Acctek, and the suggestet a Reci 150w/180 laser tube, that according to their tables will cut the 3mm. As I understand this is a 150w tube, but one can have ad a power of 180W to it.
    I can imagine that when running it at max power, the lifetime willl be quite much reduced. Generally they indicate 10.000 hours lifespan for the Reci tubes, but I naturally take that with a 'little pinch of salt'.
    I'm thinking if I could get as much as 1000 hours out of the co2 tube, with my use 90% cutting 0.7-1.5 mm plates with this 3mm steel rated tube of 180W, it would be good (and all above 1000 hours would be like a bonus)
    Another chinese company, Gweike I got a offer from, indicates max 1.2mm thickness of steel cutting with 150w co2, and indicates 280w as a minimum for 3mm. They have more modern design machines, and are more up in price.
    Just thinking about if 150w/180 laser for 3mm steel is too optimistic, but better go for 260-300w, as Acctek also can deliver. (yeah, I've read about people having shipping and service issues with the company, but mostly there a positive feedback it seams)
    Lucy Lee G.WEIKE LASER
    han@wklaser.com

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1733

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    Your NOT going to cut successfully any 3 mm thick mild steel or even 1.5 mm with any type of laser for less than $20,000 USD maybe more realistic is $100,000. No matter what type of sales hype your hearing on here. Those machines may also be using oxygen assist a very dangerous addition.

    Oops sorry Signmaker I see you already posted most of this!!
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router Mach4 Kimber 1911 45ACP

  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    61

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    Interesting ,I have the same thoughts

    So i have been quoted 25K for a fibre laser that will cut 3mm steel etc
    Will this machine need Oxygen Assist as well ??

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1733

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by jubee View Post
    Interesting ,I have the same thoughts

    So i have been quoted 25K for a fibre laser that will cut 3mm steel etc
    Will this machine need Oxygen Assist as well ??
    I do not know, but I would never take a Chinese sales Rep word on any of this. Try to find someone who accuatly owns one
    and see what they say.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router Mach4 Kimber 1911 45ACP

  9. #9

    Re: First hand experience cutting mild steel with low cost CO2 laser out there?

    Need Oxygen Assist for carbon steel cutting; nitrogen for stainless steel cutting

Similar Threads

  1. spindle recommendation for cutting mild steel
    By eloid in forum Spindles / VFD
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-27-2016, 09:28 PM
  2. Laser to cut 1mm Alu, mild steel, and aluminum
    By oxus in forum General Laser Engraving / Cutting Machine Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-23-2012, 12:40 AM
  3. VF-2 Cutting 1/4" Mild Steel plate
    By akedward in forum Haas Mills
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 11-25-2007, 01:05 AM
  4. Cutting 1" Mild Steel
    By 3DSteve in forum General Waterjet
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-14-2007, 10:58 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •