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How to Choose the Right Laser Engraving Machine for Your Business Needs: Fiber or UV?

UV Laser Marking Machine 2 1

The adoption of laser engraving machines in the industrial sector has seen a tremendous rise in recent years. Production houses are rapidly installing laser engraver to facilitate bulk production of customized items. The print-on-demand sector has seen the most benefit from this latest technology.

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How to Choose the Right Laser Engraving Machine for Your Business Needs: Fiber or UV? 46

However, with many kinds of lasers, it’s hard to determine which best suits the needs of an SME or a large-scale industry. Fiber laser engravers and UV laser engraver have long been in talks as preferred modes of engraving various materials. Within this, finding the right manufacturer of the machine is also integral.

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How to Choose the Right Laser Engraving Machine for Your Business Needs: Fiber or UV? 47

To understand the difference in how Fiber laser engraving machines differentiate from UV laser engraver, we have created a detailed article below.

Understanding Laser Engraving

Laser Engraving Technology

The method of laser engraving, in which a focused beam of light is used to remove material from a surface in a precise and controlled manner, is a flexible one. In addition to being non-contact, accurate, and long-lasting, the method also allows for the generation of a broad range of products and visual effects.

Fiber Vs. UV Laser Engraving: Key Differences

Two distinct techniques utilized to mark or engrave a variety of materials are fiber and UV laser engraving. The processes and qualities of the various approaches allow them to excel in certain contexts. Differences between fiber and UV laser engraving are as follows:

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1. Wavelength

Most fiber lasers emit light in the 1064 nm range of the near-infrared spectrum. This wavelength is ideal for engraving on metals and certain polymers because of its strong absorption.

Lasers in the ultraviolet range (about 355 nm) operate at shorter wavelengths. In contrast to fiber lasers, this wavelength has a unique set of interactions with various materials.

2. Material Compatibility

This product works great with metals, alloys, plastics, ceramics, complex materials, and polished metals. It is not appropriate for transparent plastics, glass, or organic materials like wood, which do not easily absorb this wavelength.

UV lasers are compatible with more materials than other lasers, including glass, certain polymers, ceramics, semiconductors, and delicate materials.

Materials that do not absorb infrared light may be marked and engraved easily.

3. Precision

Fiber lasers are rapid and precise so they can engrave complex patterns quickly. They can mark metal surfaces with great quality and precision.ComMarker B4 cuts with a precision of 0.01mm.

UV lasers provide pinpoint accuracy and enable the creation of minute features on a wide range of substrates. However, they could have somewhat slower processing rates compared to fiber lasers.

4. Heat Production:

Some materials may be damaged by the heat generated by fiber lasers during the engraving process. However, their influence is often smaller compared to other kinds of lasers.

The engraving process with a UV laser produces less heat than with other laser types, which is beneficial for engraving heat-sensitive materials.

5. Expense and Upkeep:

Although fiber lasers may be more costly initially, their reduced maintenance costs and greater efficiency make them a better investment in the long term.

Due to the complexities of dealing with shorter wavelengths and the requirement for more sensitive optics and components, UV lasers may have greater maintenance expenses. They may have a higher entry price than fiber lasers.

Fiber Laser Engraving Machines

ComMarker B4 – 20W/30W/50W/60W/100W fiber laser engraver&laser marking engraver machine

(11 customer reviews)
$2,221 $1,999 Save:$222

B4 fiber laser engraver 0.01mm Precision 15000mm/s Engraving speed 20W Laser power ComMarker B4 fiber laser engraver 0.01mm Precision 15000mm/s

20W
30W
50W
60W
100W
0 rotary
D69*1 Rotary
D69+D80 Rotary
D80 Rotary
110V
220V
Category:

Working Principle

A laser is used in laser engraving equipment to evaporate or melt a substance that is being engraved. The finished product is a permanent engraving that can never be removed.

Laser Beam Generation

Generating a laser beam is the first step in the laser engraving process. An invisible 1064nm light beam from the laser source is the most frequent kind of laser used for engraving. 

Focusing the Beam

After the laser beam is focussed by a set of lenses and mirrors, it is applied to the surface of the material being engraved. The energy of the beam is focused onto a pinpoint area, increasing the temperature at that location dramatically.

Material Interaction

The extreme heat from the laser beam causes the substance to evaporate on contact for those having a low melting point. A tiny crater is left behind as a lasting reminder of this vaporization process.

Finishing the Engraving

Once the laser beam has scanned the whole surface of the material, the engraving process is complete. The engraved text or image cannot be removed from the substrate in any way.

Ideal Applications

Industry Manufacturing

Lasers have unlimited industrial applications. SMEs and large companies use lasers for many tasks. Lasers are popular for marking and processing swiftly. Mid-powered lasers weld polymers and sheet metals. This suits a 50W ComMarker B4 industrial laser engraver.

Fiber lasers can weld product parts and connectors. Industrial equipment may be embossed simply.  Print series and batch numbers. This includes cutters, tools, etc.

Gradual melting and quick solidification allow industries to produce 3D materials. This method builds tools fast using picture software. High-performance engines, automobile parts, and accessories need lasers for accuracy.

The Electronics Industry

Circuit makers often laser mark the circuit board’s serial code. It may be used to mark electronic components with logos and other graphics. Smartphone screens may be repaired. Medical device manufacturers may customize electrical components via laser engraving.

Print-On-Demand

The art and media sectors use laser engravers the most. Contemporary artists employ lasers to produce art inspired by trends. Laser engravers make customized prints and things for entertainment.

The Print-On-demand sector is growing, and fiber lasers can swiftly make personalized things. ComMarker B4 draws intricate patterns, initials, and more.

Pros and Cons of UV Laser Engraving

UV Laser Marking Machine

$8,777 $7,899 Save:$878

ComMarker UV Laser Marking Machine 📜Specification parameters: Air Cooling, Power: 3W/5W Size:350x650x720mm(13.78×25.59×28.35inch), Lens: 110mmx110mm(6.89×6.89inch), Weight: 50.71 lbs(23KG) 🤖ComMarker UV laser

3W
5W
110V
220V

Pros

  • UV lasers are perfect for elaborate patterns and high-resolution engravings due to their fine designs.
  • UV lasers can engrave ceramics, glass and textile material. Their versatility comes from their ability to mark materials that other lasers cannot.
  • UV lasers leave high-contrast, permanent markings, keeping engravings clear throughout the life of the material.
  • UV lasers have a tiny heat-affected zone, reducing discoloration and warping.
  • UV laser engraving is eco-friendly since it is non-contact and produces no waste.

Cons

  • Material UV absorption affects UV laser engraving’s efficacy. UV light may not absorb well in certain materials, resulting in blurred engravings.
  • UV laser engraving machines are more expensive than other laser types, making them unsuitable for beginners or low-volume applications.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Laser Engraving Machine

Consider these things before buying laser engraving equipment.

Budget and Needs

Customers must first see the laser engraver’s financial benefits to buy it. Laser engravers must be inexpensive and user-friendly to be lucrative. Start-up price and price-to-quality ratio. Second, consider the company’s overall ROI relative to production.

The whole operational cost, including energy usage and maintenance, must be considered. This laser would be a smart long-term investment if it could manufacture goods worth double its original cost. This is where ComMarker B4 excels.

Power-dependent Laser Type

  • Start by checking the engravers’ skills. The same principle powers all laser engravers. They differ largely in output and laser machine lens functioning. Three types of laser engravers are available. Lasers may be pulsed, continuous, or ultrafast.
  • A pulsed laser is better since it generates light in discrete bursts at a fixed rate (until turned off). It fires 25-second laser pulses regularly. These boost performance with conduction cooling. They generate peak power.
  • This comprises fiber-optic laser engravers. Fiber-optic lasers are more powerful owing to their shorter focal length and wavelength (1,060 nm). Com Marker B4 improves engraving by implementing customer ideas.
  • Its output power exceeds all commercial fiber laser engravers. Faster and more accurate engravings are possible with its pulse laser. Engraving metals, leather, and reflective materials work well.

Ultramodern Software

Software is crucial when choosing a laser engraver. There should be many beneficial features in the engraver’s control and analysis software. LightBurn, supplied with many laser engravers, is amazing software.

These applications should handle 3D engraving. It must make correct deductions as it navigates the material’s multiple topographical layers and reads engravings of various thicknesses.  

EZCAD 2 is a widely regarded software used in Com Marker B4. You can also see if it is LightBurn-compatible. The engraving process is explained in detail. Users control the engraving process and may speed it up.

Size and Workspace

Small enterprises need space to react swiftly to customer needs. It helps mass production. The ComMarker B4 engraving area is 12 x 18 inches. The item may be engraved 12″ wide by 18″. This size suits most SMEs who wish to utilize a laser engraver to make unique mugs, jewelry, coasters, etc.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Longevity and Reliability of Fiber vs. UV Lasers

Fiber lasers have a well-deserved reputation for durability and reliability. They outlast most other kinds of lasers in terms of practical life. They provide consistent results over time since they are dependable and need just occasional upkeep. Furthermore, they usually offer lifespans, such as ComMarker B4 has a lifespan of around 8 years.

UV lasers may have a good operating lifetime but could need more regular maintenance compared to fiber lasers owing to the complexity of their components and the nature of dealing with shorter wavelengths. They may be dependable in certain areas, but their complex optics and perhaps more fragile components need extra maintenance while handling and servicing.

Training and Operational Expertise

Understanding the machine’s software interface, proper material handling, and safety procedures are all part of the standard fiber laser operational training.

Metal and plastic engraving need operators to be familiar with laser characteristics including power, frequency, and speed.

UV laser machine expertise may focus on overcoming obstacles unique to engraving at shorter wavelengths and the complexities of optics. Understanding the effects of UV light on various materials and how it influences the engraving process.

Making the Decision: Fiber VS UV?

Checklist for Decision-Making

If you’re trying to decide between a fiber and UV laser, consider the following checklist:

  • Increased longevity (from 50,000 to 100,000 hours)
  • Superior in durability
  • less prone to wear and tear from exposure to contaminants and remains for the engraving
  • Improvements in energy conversion efficiency
  • State-of-the-art laser equipment
  • Low maintenance
  • Engraving potential
  • Bulk-production capacity
  • Compatibility with modern software
  • Compatible with different materials for engraving

Questions to Ask Vendors

To buy the best fiber laser engraver or UV laser engraver for your requirements, you need to ask the proper questions before making a purchase. When deciding between a fiber and UV laser engraver, here are some things to ask retailers:

  • What is the largest area that the machine can engrave?
  • What is the maximum engraving depth of the machine?
  • Is there a limit to the thickness of the material that may be engraved on this machine?
  • What is the minimal material thickness the machine can engrave?
  • Which materials do the engraving machine work with?
  • How powerful is the laser source?
  • Can you tell me the laser’s wavelength?
  • How fast can the machine engrave?
  • How precise is the equipment, exactly?

Future Trends in Laser Engraving

Due to its many applications, laser technology appears boundless. Business experts are integrating lasers into several businesses. Medical care, industry, power storage, media, and more. Laser sales and revenue are promising due to the industry’s fast growth. This may increase the requirement for powerful agricultural lasers.

  • Sustainable, energy-efficient laser engraving is being developed.
  • You can use a laser engraver on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This is typically done for visual appeal or customization (such as adding a logo or message).
  • Fashion uses embroidery and laser engraving. This may be done to add brand features or a unique design or pattern.
  • Autonomous vehicles and laser-guided airplanes are now under development. Continuous optical fiber transmission in the open air is still unattainable.
  • One possible future direction for flexible manufacturing is the widespread use of 3D printing.
  • DNA sequencing instruments and high-production facilities use laser technology to update.

Conclusion

With personalized items and mass production being high in demand, manufacturers have reverted to laser engraving to make this process streamlined. Fiber laser engravers take the leading spot for SMEs as their maintenance is low, but UV lasers are more adaptable for different materials. For startup founders, the ideal pick is the fiber laser engraving machine because of its low initial and maintenance costs. We hope this article elaborated on the two aspects properly.

About David Lee

Hello, I'm David Lee, I'm a passionate and creative professional commercial Laser Engraver and marking specialist with a wealth of experience and a wide range of knowledge. Overthe past 10 years, I have focused on Laser Engraver and marking solutions for various commercial projects.l am sensitive to new technologies and design trends ,constantly seeking the best Laser Engraver and marking experience

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