CNC Cutting vs Fiber Laser Cutting, which is better one? - Glorystar Laser

CNC Cutting vs Fiber Laser Cutting, which is better one?

CNC cutting vs fiber laser cutting

Hey, guys. Recently, I’ve noticed some confusion in people’s minds about whether CNC could perform as well as fiber laser cutting. This has inspired today’s topic. In this article, I will provide some useful points for you, and in the end, I will also offer my suggestions on how to choose the better option based on specific needs. Let’s begin!

What is CNC and how does it work?

CNC means Computer Numerical Control – it’s like having a computer boss for machines. This tech makes machines super smart and accurate in making stuff. Operators keep an eye on things and fix anything if needed. They also check if the made stuff is just right. A most typical feature of CNC cutting is that it cuts through direct physical contact. This tech is widely used in manufacturing and industrial processes to automate and control various machining operations. 

CNC cutting works by translating a digital design into machine-readable code. The CNC machine, guided by this code, precisely moves a cutting tool or laser to shape and cut materials, such as metal or wood. The process allows for complex designs and consistent, repeatable results in manufacturing.

What is fiber laser cutting and how does it work?

Fiber laser cutting specifically involves the use of a high-powered laser beam to cut through materials. Fiber laser cutting is mainly used for cutting metals. If precision and speed are essential, fiber laser cutting is well-suited for your projects. The primary tool in fiber laser cutting is the laser beam, focused and controlled by sophisticated optics.

Unlike the CNC cutting, fiber laser cutting uses a high-powered laser beam generated by fiber optics to cut things. The laser beam is focused on the material’s surface, melting or vaporizing it. The intense heat and pressure then expel the molten or vaporized material, creating a precise cut. The process is highly efficient for metals and offers speed, accuracy, and the ability to cut intricate shapes.

What’s the difference between CNC cutting and fiber laser cutting?

Due to different machine components, both CNC cutting and fiber laser cutting have different manifestations. Here I list some aspects for you, Let’s look together.

Precision and Speed:

For CNC cutting, its precision depends on the specific tool and process, and speed may vary. However, fiber laser cutting not only has high precision but also its speed is very fast, especially in cutting metals.

Cost:

CNC cutting costs can vary based on the type of CNC machine and tooling. While the initial investment of fiber laser cutting could be higher due to the complexity of laser systems. It could bring you more economic benefits and higher productive efficiency in the long term.

Operational Difficulty:

For CNC cutting, its operational complexity cannot be evaluated because it is based on the specific tool and process used. Fiber laser cutting, generally more automated, is required less manual intervention once parameters are set.

Cutting Mechanism:

CNC cutting uses mechanical tools for cutting while fiber laser cutting utilizes a high-powered laser beam to melt or vaporize material.

 

Heat-Affected Zone (HAZ):

Fiber laser cutting tends to result in a smaller HAZ compared to some CNC cutting methods. When working with materials, if minimizing thermal distortion is important for your project, fiber laser cutting takes advantage over CNC cutting in terms of this aspect. CNC cutting actually may have a lager HAZ due to its way of cutting materials. It depends on the specific process and tooling and could impact the material differently to some extents.

Materials Cut:

CNC cutting is used for versatile materials, mainly suitable for cutting wood, plastic, and metal. And fiber laser cutting specialized for precision cutting of metals.

Maintenance Requirements:

When comparing maintenance requirements, CNC cutting demands attention based on the particular machine and tooling in use, whereas in fiber laser cutting, there are specific maintenance tasks such as optics cleaning and ensuring proper alignment for the laser systems.

Environmental Impact:

CNC cutting may produce more waste material, depending on the cutting process. While fiber laser cutting is generally more environmentally friendly as it produces less waste material and has higher efficiency.

 

How to choose, CNC or fiber laser cutting?

Based on what I talk about above, I make a summary for you that while CNC cutting is a versatile technology applicable to various tools and materials, fiber laser cutting is specialized for high-precision cutting of metals using a laser beam. And fiber laser cutting is more efficient, accurate, environmentally friendly and so on. The choice between them depends on your specific requirements of the material, precision, and application.

Here are some considerations and suggestions for you to think about:

What kind of productive efficiency you need?

CNC cutting’s speed vary based on the different processes, and some processes might be slower than laser cutting for specific applications. If speed and efficiency are critical for you, especially when cutting metal sheets quickly and accurately, fiber laser cutting is often a nicer option.

What materials you need to cut?

If your project deals with a variety of materials such as wood, plastics, and metals other than sheet metals, CNC might be a more versatile choice. Opt for fiber laser cutting when your primary aim is to cut metal sheets or tubes with precision.

What kind of product quality you want?

CNC cutting can cut materials with high precision, but the details may differ depending on the specific tool and process. If you exceptionally want high precision and fine details, choose fiber laser cutting, especially when you need to deal with intricate patterns in metal sheets.

How thick your material is?

CNC cutting is suitable for a range of material thicknesses and it depends on the specific machining process. While fiber laser cutting is ideal for thin to medium-thickness metal sheets. Consider the material thickness when you making a choice.

How difficult you can accept to run the machine?

CNC cutting involves various levels of complexity based on its process, and in some processes it even requires more manual adjustments. Instead, fiber laser cutting is generally more automated and requires less manual intervention once parameters are set, contributing to operational efficiency. 

What is your budget like?

CNC cutting’s cost vary depending on the different types of CNC machine and other tooling required for your project. While for fiber laser cutting machine, the initial investment could be higher. We should have a vision for future development when we run our business. So it is necessary for you to think about the long-term efficiency and precision benefits. In the long term, fiber laser cutting will bring you more economic benefits and faster productive efficiency.

What maintenance frequency can you undertake?

CNC cutting’s maintenance requirements depend on the specific machine and tooling used. And fiber laser cutting should take its special components into consideration, including cleaning optics and check alignment regularly. By the way, our company’s product of fiber laser cutting has equipped with automatic maintenance system, allowing you not to spend more time on manual maintenance.

In summary, carefully assess the specific needs of your project, including the materials involved, precision requirements, speed, and efficiency considerations. If your project needs primarily metal cutting and demands high precision, fiber laser cutting may be the preferred choice.

Alright, that’s it for today’s info. Both fiber laser cutting and CNC cutting are popular, but Glorystar’s fiber laser cutting machine stands out for its super precision and speed. When picking a partner for your cutting work, please contact us and check our expertise and the fiber laser machines we offer. If you need great fiber laser cutter, Glorystar is a nicer choice. OK, today’s sharing is over. Have a good time!

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