5x10 fiber laser selection help
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  1. #1
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    Default 5x10 fiber laser selection help

    Hey all,
    I'm currently on the hunt for a fiber laser cutter that can process sheets at 5'x10' and can cut 1/8" thick material with ease. Many of the machines that I've been looking at (Mitsubishi NX-F, Bystronic Bysprint, etc) have an installation footprint at about 20'x40' and I was wondering if there are any well made machines that fit in a smaller profile. We can certainly fit one of those machines in our shop, but it would take up a good 1/3rd of our entire floor space.

    I recently saw that Baileigh makes a 5'x10' laser without any covering or pallet changer, and since this is more for R&D than production, that style seems a bit more attractive than the other models. However, it brings up a slew of safety concerns.



    So my questions for the wonderful crowd here are:
    Are there any members here who have experience with that Bailegh fiber laser?

    Are there any other lasers that have a 5'x10' bed that have an installation footprint closer to 20'x20' or smaller?

    For unenclosed machines, what kind of screens are recommended for eye protection, and what kind of dust collection system would be necessary?

    Best,
    Dave

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    I do not speak from laser specific experience , but as far as I know Bailegh is not a manufacturer, their stuff is rebadged Chinese product.

    I would have to think hard if someone offered a me their laser for free...

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    Good to know, with regards to the style of laser they offer, is that too something to stay away from?
    Best,
    Dave

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    from what little research I have done on fiber lasers. The wavelength is such that it reflects off of things somewhat and yet will burn eyes(not might burn like co2, but will burn), which is why all the good machines have full light tight enclosures. I have wondered for along time how the open gantry style machines get away with it, maybe they use a cheaper laser that is a slightly different wavelength or something. I would want one with full enclosure.

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    Does it have to be fiber ? Amada has the pulsar which is co2 and looks to be roughly from 10’x10’ up to 20’x 10’ depending on sheet size.

    As far as fiber goes Unless you go with a Chinese machine maker I believe Most of your bigger names guys like you mentioned are going to have dual shuttle tables making the machine longer. Since the machines are cutting faster these days have dual tables really makes it nice for loading and unloading while machine runs.

    Co2 will cut 1/8” all day no problem. With exception of brass and copper.

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    Hold on! Upon review, your original post makes no sense at all.

    You are doing R+D...you are looking for a fiber laser.. or a Bailegh?!!

    Do they actually sell a true fiber laser?

    A true fiber pumped laser uses a fiber optic resonating cavity to achieve the syncronized waveform of a laser, and operates at a shorter wavelength, in the blue-green portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, VS a “conventional” laser, which for cutting metal usually means it operates in the infrared.
    That makes them able to cut materials such as copper and aluminum that reflect infrared wavelengths. These wavelengths also reduce the potential heat buildup in the beam handling parts of the machine, do not require as much maintenance of the resonating cavity vs an IR laser, ( ie, need for high purity gas, cleanliness of mirrors), and perhaps the biggest advantage is the much higher efficiency. They are ridiculously fast too, on thinner materials.( just from memory, correct me if I’m wrong on any of that)

    This CAN justify their extra cost, what like 100k more for a true fiber?

    Have you considered hi def plasma?

    Unless you have money to burn, or are prototyping high volume parts that will be cut on a fiber unit and need to have exact machine time data, or will be cutting intricate lace like stuff in copper, I don’t see the justification for fiber.

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    A couple of folks beat me to it, but I would suggest you really don't need a fiber laser. It's just going to wind up being more machine you don't have a use for (there's a reason you're having a hard time finding one without a magazine) and more money for utility you won't use.

    The suggestion for the Amada is what I would suggest as well, and they're one of the better/best names out there. If you have an option, try to find a solution that has service support relatively close-by. It makes a big difference in ownership experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davesharps View Post
    Hey all,
    I'm currently on the hunt for a fiber laser cutter that can process sheets at 5'x10' and can cut 1/8" thick material with ease. Many of the machines that I've been looking at (Mitsubishi NX-F, Bystronic Bysprint, etc) have an installation footprint at about 20'x40' and I was wondering if there are any well made machines that fit in a smaller profile. We can certainly fit one of those machines in our shop, but it would take up a good 1/3rd of our entire floor space.

    I recently saw that Baileigh makes a 5'x10' laser without any covering or pallet changer, and since this is more for R&D than production, that style seems a bit more attractive than the other models. However, it brings up a slew of safety concerns.



    So my questions for the wonderful crowd here are:
    Are there any members here who have experience with that Bailegh fiber laser?

    Are there any other lasers that have a 5'x10' bed that have an installation footprint closer to 20'x20' or smaller?

    For unenclosed machines, what kind of screens are recommended for eye protection, and what kind of dust collection system would be necessary?

    Best,
    Dave
    Well I'm not a fan of the open machines. But if you are looking for a fiber laser I'd suggest at least taking a glance at Rose graphix.. They have a 1000w 5x10 unit for $95K rather than $167K so you could probably work out your safety arrangements and ventilation with the $70K savings. Rose Graphix machines appear to be Senfeng laser and Leiming laser, but they only import or show a few models.. I have one of their little enclosed 4X4 500w units which has been great for my needs, I will say getting metal in and out is a bit of a pain, and there are several odd quirks about the machine.. But I have an enclosed laser machine for under $50K

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    Forget the machine a second, your short on space, how are you planning to store multiple different sheets of metal, some used some new and have space for the machine + space to work + space for what ever else you need. Nearly all laser cutters want oxgen for steel and nitrogen, minimum you want a multi cylinder pallet of nitrogen and at least a couple of bottles of oxygen even for intermittent use. You need secure storage for thoes if outside, in the case of the oxygen there’s distance to flammables requirements to meet safe storage guide lines. Most lasers also have some pnumatics hence need a air supply, if your cutting aluminum with air you need a good dryer too, if your using air for beamline purge on low power CO2 you need seriously dry air to not cost you a fortune in mirrors over time.

    You also have the floor space taken up by the lasers chiller and the dust extractor. Most commercial lasers at a minimum have a change over bed system. So you can load - unload while the next sheet is cutting. Power wise even for a 1Kw fibre laser your looking at a 32 amp three phase supply + more for chiller + more for extractor. A typical 1Kw beam output even fibre laser will be consuming a good 30+ Kw by the time its running, lasers are horribly inefficient compared to nearly anything short of water jets! Dont know the numbers for a low power CO2, but a 4kw amada will want 125 amps at 415V for laser and movement, 80 amps of 415V for the chiller and anouther 32 amp 415V supply for the extractor. Rough guess the chiller and laser current needs would drop only by about 1/3rd for a 1Kw co2, but im guessing.

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    Stay away from Co2 laser as they are dinosaurs compared to the fiber ... especially from a long term maintenance and parts standpoint. They will bury you.

    take a look at the Accurl brand.

    Home

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    Can you elaborate on what type of R&D? I ask because in a lot of R&D settings I would argue strongly for a waterjet instead. They aren't as fast for sheet steel but they are so much more versatile. In most scientific research applications you want to be able to make small features in thick aluminum and it's just so helpful to be able to cut wood, glass, carbon fibre sheet, leather, quartz, thick copper, tantalum and tungsten etc from time to time. Also across multiple academic research shops we've have seen that 2x4 or 4x4 machines are a fine size and getting your material pre cut by the vendor makes all the handling easy. The exception locally is the big particle accelerator we have which does use a 5x10 waterjet. My (biomedical research and clinical shop) outsources anything large for laser cutting, which happens a few times a year. Around this forum everyone seems to agree lasers work most economically as full production machines where efficiently in sheet handling is half the game. For my kind of R&D, waterjet is just so good.

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    Bodor is a Chinese manufacturer and their machines are designed in Switzerland. I have a 5x10 with 1000 watts. It is an open bed machine and from what I have read the wavelength is entirely absorbed in the metal. I still don't like watching it but sometimes don the laser goggles provided when tweeking parameters. When mine arrived the sheet metal and most all exterior easily damaged parts were in their own crate. I could see all of the linear guides, trucks, and all and they were world class parts, and big rails too. Weldment was also massive, 6000 pound machine. I can cut 20 oz mirror finish copper like butter with clean edges. 1/8 aluminum with oxygen and a 1/8 diameter hole will leave a slug still in the hole when finished. Remove part and a light tap makes those little cylinders drop out.
    Check out Laguna Lasers in Ca. They sell and support Bodor under their own name. You WILL want support.

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    Thanks, this thread is helpful. I sense for folks accustomed to the multi KW CO2 lasers and everything that makes them so expensive, and so productive, the idea of a $50K laser table that can do comparable work, just slower, may be hard to take seriously. I've been looking at these for some time, with the objective of getting a machine that complements our entry-level waterjet, making it possible to do sheet metal work our customers really want us to do but that a waterjet just can't do at a competitive cost.


    We already have the pallet shelving with 40 different raw sheet stacks, the material handling, the secondary ops equipment (press brake, TIG, finishing et. al.), all the associated overhead. We lose a lot of work because waterjet is great for the quick turn prototypes and making 100 of a sheet metal part, but the qty 1000 order invariably goes elsewhere, and not to another waterjet shop. We're more of a problem solving and relationship based business -- if we can make parts by laser, they don't need to be cheaper than a dedicated laser shop, it just needs to meet the overall customer needs.


    A traditional high performance laser table makes no sense, we'd need to keep it busy for it to pencil out, and would be in a different business I know far less about and don't wish to be in.

    So I've been trying to make sense of the options and tradeoffs for the bare bones metal cutting lasers.

    The low power e.g. 500 or 1KW laser sources seem to greatly simplify the concept of a laser table. I make a general assumption this class of machine is built with generic motion control - no galvanometers, no additional axes with complex software, just screws and servos and a generic gcode controller. The machine builder is a system integrator - few or no proprietary elements, they're pretty much competing on utility and cost. Omit the shuttle and put a simple box around the entire table and mechanism. The low power level means less cooling requirement, in some cases air cooled, and simpler dust collection and filtering. Cutting sheet metal under 1/8", the vendors fuss with the pulse duty cycle and in some cases get by using shop air. Scaling down simplifies everything far out of proportion to what is sacrificed. Is this a reasonable assessment? What am I missing?

    Everyone offers options - on one hand its dumb to buy a machine that only cuts to 1/8" or 3/16" steel since there's so much work that will have to stay with the waterjet, and dumb to buy anything with under a 5x10' envelope, but the higher power levels and larger work envelope appear to add disproportionately to the cost, and the gas consumption for thicker metals for this class of laser appears excessive. Do the low power lasers use gas less efficiently?

    I keep coming back to the rational business case the best machine to buy is the $50K example and live with the limitations. There's too much business risk with the higher cost of the more capable machines. But at some gut level buying the bare bones model just seems nuts.


    Anecdotally there appear to be dozens of Chinese manufacturers selling this class of machine, a handful of U.S. distributors who apparently sell them with good support and a predictable markup, and a whole bunch of offerings with prices so high for the same apparent capability, wonder what I'm missing.

    The tradeoff of the up front cost vs. the support situation is a risk / value judgement that seems to need a lot of thought. Lot of data points in the offerings I've seen to date but none feel right.

    I looked close at the 3DFabLight, maybe still looking.

    A business I have an arms-length relationship with ordered a generic machine direct from China, not something I'm likely to do, but it'll be interesting to see how it works out.

    I get all the fabrication related magazines I'm aware of, which oddly do not yet appear to even acknowledge the existence of this class of laser table, but maybe that's just because nobody's buying ads. Surprised there's so little basic educational & comparative info on the web. Or is there? thanks.

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    ^^^
    My basic machine came with Cypcut software that can read a .dxf file right on the machine. Only catch is that the machine is metric only. Big deal. I scale up my drawing x 25.4 and load and cut. Changes are easy to make right on the control, scaling, rotation, moving, adding text and etching for serial numbers and so on. Also has automatic height control sim to a good plasma cutter. Yes, it will follow diamond plate when cutting it. My 1000 watt will cut 1/2 steel with oxy but not so good. I did not feel the need $$$to upgrade to 1500 or 2000 watts but sorta wish I did. I may buy a second much smaller machine with a 2000 watt supply, and buy direct. I don't ever see myself loading full sheets of 1/2 steel but a small footprint machine with 2kw would be helpful.
    BTW, these machines are marketed as 5 x 10 but be aware that they are metric and overseas they are 1.5 x 3 meter units. For sure a 60 x 120 sheet will fit and can be fully cut but there will be a major swarf blowing issue. The picket table is more than 5 feet wide but the opening to the pit below is 58.5 inches. What that means is that you will be blowing the swarf down to a rail less than 2 inches below, and right next to the linear rail. Linear does have a bellows, but blowing down right along side of it will blow tons of crap under it.

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    IMHO what ever you do you want to see your parts cut on your material and right from dxf's, think load a half sheet in back of truck and drive over were ever it is for a real life demo. Cut quality is everything with a laser and arguably the one thing that will make or break it for your customers. If you have sheet handeling and storage already in house then that’s a lot lot less of a issue to resolve!

    Don't make the assumption a 1Kw laser needs a 1/4 of the extraction, cutting tables do not work that way, yes power may scale, air cooling makes me nervous, a fiber laser are kinda able just to get away with it at these power levels because they can run hotter than a CO2 laser can and at the typical 30% efficiency range only need to dissipate a few Kw of heat, same can not be said for CO2 that operates more in the single digit - sub 20% at the absolute best research level laser efficiency levels. A CO2 laser is also very temperature dependant device, slight thermal growth in resonator length stops em lasing efficiently its about as simple as that, hence thermal control is every thing on them, not so sure about 1Kw power levels, but certainly on the 4Kw ones i have been around all the mirrors are also water cooled too, something you just don't have to do with a fibre bundle. Don't discount CO2 either, it still has some advantages over fibre in certain materials at certain thickness’s.

    As to the actually gaantery parts, weather its a 1Kw or 5Kw makes little difference other than how fast you need it to move, you want good cutting you need rapid accelerations on the axis more so than any real level of force or structural rigidity.

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    How many hours a day do you plan on running this machine? Our Mitz 8K Fiber was about $800K and we run it 24-7 on an FMS Load-Unload system tied to a Co2 Laser also. In the mix we have another 4K Mitz Fiber on a Load-Unload. These are used for production.

    On the Prototype side, R&D or low volume production we are running 3 Amada Pulsar Series Lasers (all Co2's) which do take up way less space.

    Co2's still have their place in Fabrication and you can be competitive with them when looking at ROI especially on Small Run items.

    I would get with a sales rep from any of the big Laser companies and go out and look at them in the real world application and talk to the operators. We open our doors for demos all the time for Mitsubishi and Amada perspective buyers even if they are local competitors.

    I would steer far away from and Chinese Lasers even if they are rebranded. Also consider local service. Amada and Mitz are big players in our area and if needed we get same day service.

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    Default China's top laser manufacturers

    Quote Originally Posted by davesharps View Post
    Hey all,
    I'm currently on the hunt for a fiber laser cutter that can process sheets at 5'x10' and can cut 1/8" thick material with ease. Many of the machines that I've been looking at (Mitsubishi NX-F, Bystronic Bysprint, etc) have an installation footprint at about 20'x40' and I was wondering if there are any well made machines that fit in a smaller profile. We can certainly fit one of those machines in our shop, but it would take up a good 1/3rd of our entire floor space.

    I recently saw that Baileigh makes a 5'x10' laser without any covering or pallet changer, and since this is more for R&D than production, that style seems a bit more attractive than the other models. However, it brings up a slew of safety concerns.



    So my questions for the wonderful crowd here are:
    Are there any members here who have experience with that Bailegh fiber laser?

    Are there any other lasers that have a 5'x10' bed that have an installation footprint closer to 20'x20' or smaller?

    For unenclosed machines, what kind of screens are recommended for eye protection, and what kind of dust collection system would be necessary?

    Best,
    Dave
    China's top laser manufacturers Fiber Laser Cutting Machine

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReayingLaser View Post
    China's worst laser manufacturers Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
    fixed it for you.

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