Guide For Choosing The Right Laser Cutter

 

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers is what materials can Beambox cut and engrave. So let’s talk about this laser cutting technology, and from a machining perspective, different types of laser and what they’re commonly used. for. 

The major part of the laser cutter is the laser beam, the beam determines wavelength and power, therefore determines the material that it can cut or engrave. There are three main types of lasers used in laser cutting, solid-state laser, fiber laser, and CO2 laser.

 

 

 

1. Solid-State Laser

Solid-state lasers, one of the most ancient techniques, use a crystalline or glass rod which is “doped” with ions that provide the required energy states. The most common two are diode laser and Nd:YAG laser. 

 A laser diode is a semiconductor device similar to a light-emitting diode in which the laser beam is created at the diode’s junction. You usually see this technique in CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc reading/recording and laser pointers. Usually, the power of diode laser is lower than 10W, for instance, the laser engraving module of FLUX Delta+ uses a 200mW diode laser. The low power, slow engraving speed, and the dark color of the results, making diode laser ideal for small quantities of non-metal engraving. 

 

Nd:YAG laser uses neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet as an active laser medium with a wavelength of 523 / 1064 nm. This wavelength can be easily absorbed by metal, so it is suitable for metal engraving, but not for non-metal engraving. A higher spec of this laser can operate in pulse mode to adjust the color of its results on metal. The laser power is usually smaller compared to other types of laser, but it is more powerful and faster than diode laser, so it is ideal for metal engraving.  Most laser marking machines we see use an Nd:YAG laser, very suitable for large-quantities and small-area metal marking in factories. 

2. Fiber Laser

Fiber lasers are a type of solid-state laser that is rapidly growing within the metal cutting industry. Fiber lasers are pumped by semiconductor laser diodes, it supports high output power because of the fiber’s high surface area to volume ratio, which allows efficient cooling. The fiber laser is suitable for metal engraving and cutting, but not for non-metal (except for engineering plastics based on resins). Though this type of laser is more pricey, the high optical quality and speed make it an ideal choice for commercial metal marking and cutting.

3. CO2 Laser

 

 

The carbon dioxide laser was one of the earliest gas lasers to be developed, in this type of laser, the electricity runs through a gas-filled tube, to produce light.

40W – 150W CO2 Laser:

The wavelength of this laser is 10640 nm, can be absorbed by most organic materials, so it is very suitable for cutting and engraving on non-metals, including wood, leather, paper, acrylic, rubber and more. Glass, rocks, anodized aluminum can be engraved on. When a 50W machine operating at full power, the temperature of the focus point is close to 300° C, materials with a higher melting point cannot be cut, but if covered with a special coating, even metals like stainless steel, titanium can be marked.

1000W+ High Power CO2 Laser

CO2 laser also comes in 1000W – 5000W, and it can cut metal as well. This technique is more developed than others, the results and precision is better than fiber laser though it is more power-consuming.

 

 

Conclusion

Let’s take a look at the awesome chart that sums up this article.

Non-metal engraving
(marking)

Non-metal cutting

Metal engraving
(marking)

Metal cutting

Small
quantity.

Diode laser

CO2 Laser

CO2 Laser

Factory

CO2 Laser

Fiber Laser

Factory

Large
quantity

CO2 Laser

CO2 Laser

Nd:YAG Laser

Fiber Laser

High-power CO2 laser

Fiber Laser

One Last Thing

Beambox and Beambox Pro is the latest product FLUX proudly presents, a 40W / 50W desktop CO2 laser cutter that is perfect for laser etching and cutting on non-metal materials. Beambox comes with a camera alignment feature, a super active user community and an in-house software that supports Windows 7+ / Mac OS X / Linux, and with our special coating, you can also engrave on metal! Beambox is the best choice for designers, makers, schools, and studios who want to make full use of the laser technology to turn their ideas to life, at a very reasonable price.  Please click here for more details.

FLUX Store Now Accepts Cryptocurrency

At FLUX, we have high expectations for the possibilities of cryptocurrency.  In the past two years, cryptocurrency has proved its benefit in the market. Though some might disagree, we still believe that there are a number of altcoins that possess unique and outstanding values. We aim to provide safer and user-oriented payment methods, therefore FLUX will become one of the not-so-many companies that take cryptocurrencies and be on the cutting edge of technology.

FLUX Store now accepts 5 cryptocurrencies (BTC, LTC, BCC, DASH, ETH), you can use them to purchase FLUX products, including the FLUX Delta+,  and all kinds of filament and accessories on our store. With these products, you can make amazing things.

Let us get started!

FLUX Delta Family Warranty Policy Announcement

[ FLUX Delta Family Warranty Policy ]

Hello FLUX Delta and FLUX Delta+ users!

After busy months of production and shipping of our new product, FLUX Delta+, our community is growing stronger and more people are enjoying the fun of digital creation.
To provide better customer support, we will update the FLUX Delta warranty policy, the new policy will be effective in one week (2017/5/5).

 

[ FLUX Delta warranty policy revision]

The road for FLUX Delta was quite bumpy at first, thanks to the continued support from all the FLUX Delta users, we found solutions to the issues together. Though the process wasn’t easy, the team managed to provide RMA service without any charge and the free upgrade kit campaign, which will end on May 5th as well.
To strive for better quality of our customer service, the team will start to enforce the warranty policy. We will charge repair costs and shipping fees for RMA service if the warranty of the product has expired.
The warraty starts from the date of delivery to the end-user purchaser.

For warranty periods of FLUX Delta products and modules, please see the chart below:

 

Product Warranty Period
FLUX Delta 9 months
FLUX Delta Printing Toolhead 3 months
FLUX Delta Laser Module 9 months
FLUX Delta Holder Module 9 months

 

[ FLUX Delta+ Warranty Policy ]

Howdy newcomers! We’ve been shipping out FLUX Delta+ orders and receiving some great feedbacks from users. Although some users are still waiting for a second shipment for the modules, don’t worry, the warranty starts from the date of delivery. Within a month after delivery, FLUX Inc. will pay the shipping cost for RMA service. Subsequently, during the warranty period, the customer is responsible for shipping costs.

For warranty periods of FLUX Delta+ products and modules, please see the chart below:

Product Warranty Period
FLUX Delta+ 1 year
FLUX Delta+ Printing Toolhead 6 months
FLUX Delta+ Laser Module 1 year
FLUX Delta+ Holder Module 1 year
FLUX Delta+ Blade Module 1 year

 

Feel free to submit a request to our support staff if you have any questions regarding the warranty policy. Thank you for your support and understanding.

 

Happy creating!

FLUX Team

To Delta Users – Product Improvement and Upgrade Kit

We just launched our new product—FLUX Delta+. It’s no exaggeration to say that without the support of our FLUX Delta users, we would never have become what we are today. We’re one step closer to achieving the goal we set for ourselves 2 years ago.

Since the end of 2015, we’ve been shipping FLUX Deltas all across the globe. We deeply appreciate all of the helpful feedback you’ve provided. All the reviews, bug reports, encouragement, and even criticism motivate us to make this product even better.

We’ve received a lot of feedback from you in the past few months about issues you’ve experienced. On this day of the new product launch, as a sort of reward for those of you have been anxiously waiting for the upgrade kit, we’d like to give you a somewhat detailed analysis of the most common hardware issues encountered and their solutions. We’d also like to provide you with more information regarding the exciting changes that are part of the upgrade kit.

We’ve compiled your feedback and organized it into 3 categories:

1. Failures caused by inadequate instructions

When we started shipping out orders, instructions and manuals were inadequate. Users ran into problems that could have been avoided with better guidance. For example, some users experienced ball joints detaching while moving, the printing toolhead base melting because of bad first layer adhesion, filament sensor detection errors, and/or filament knotting problems. All of these issues could be addressed with better instructions.

2. Reliability issue caused by design or production

Our product underwent numerous engineering and reliability tests to pass the strict standard of consumer electronic products quality control. However, there were still some issues regarding yield rate and reliability. Some issues encountered included printing toolheads clogging, scanner laser poles popping out, the micro USB port displacing, toolhead cable bad connections, and the grid on the metal plate peeling off.

3. Expectations were higher

In some cases, while the machine worked as designed, the performance did not reach user expectations, or simply could be improved. Some areas in need of improvement included: large area printing adhesion, shaping issues, and dimension distortions.

 

Regarding the issues mentioned above, we have come up with several solutions:

1. Shaping issues and dimension distortions

It has been reported that small circular and rectangular features resulted in poor quality prints or SVG engravings. We have dug deep into this issue for a long time and found out the cause is complex. We suggest two ways to address these issues:

(a) Keep the six guiding rods well lubricated. If you’re using the original, in-box lubricant, please apply it on all six guiding rods and then wipe the extra out with tissue or wipe. The lubricant will form a thin layer on the rods and keep movement smooth. Repeat the procedure every 100-printing-hours to get consistent printing results.

(b) Update firmware and enable correction function. According to our research, some static position errors may occur while moving through specific paths, especially right corners. Enabling the error correction function on the latest firmware will remarkably improve performance.
Download latest software and firmware

2. Flatness issue when printing on large area

We have tuned the advanced printing parameters for first layer printing. The first layer is now printed thicker with more extrusion of PLA, improving printing performances on large areas. Kindly let us know if the results improve for you as well.

Next is what you all have been waiting for: the upgrade kit! Please see the following information for complete details.

Extruder Kit

We have redesigned the filament extruding system. The extruding force has been increased 50% over the original version, which means faster printing speed. The filament feeding path has been upgraded to support elastic materials. The position which holds the tube connector has been refined to enhance usability.

Camera kit

With the release of real time monitoring, you can easily check the working status of the machine on your smart phone. However, the view angle was very limited due to the original CMOS camera module. With the camera upgrade kit, the monitoring area extends up to 7 inches (18 cm)!

All new magnetic print plate

Tired of using glue every time before printing? FLUX team has developed an all new flexible magnetic print plate which easily attaches to the hexagonal steel base plate. The surface of the new print plate has been designed to adhere to hot PLA. The plate is flexible, allowing you to easily peel off the printed object. This innovative accessory will optimize you 3D printing experience like never before.

Metal printing toolhead base:

Some users reported melted filament build up inside the printing toolhead when a print detached from the build plate while printing. If left unchecked, this build up would eventually damage the bottom of the toolhead. Our team has redesigned the bottom piece of the toolhead with an all new metal structure. With this upgrade, melted filament will no longer build up and harm the toolhead.

FLUX Delta USB cable

Wireless connection and operation is super convenient, but sometimes a wired connection is still necessary. A customized USB cable for the FLUX Delta family has been produced to meet the need for a wired connection, making it possible to use FLUX Delta without setting up the Wi-Fi environment. You can now connect to the machine through the USB Type-A port.

Needle for nozzle cleaning

Carbonized filament and other impurities will gradually build up inside the printing toolhead nozzle over time. The nozzle might clogged in several weeks or months depending on the operation frequency. To properly maintain your FLUX Delta, it is essential that you follow our nozzle cleaning tutorial and make use of the needle, which should thoroughly clean out the nozzle. Most nozzle issues can be resolved by using this procedure if the nozzle isn’t damaged externally. We don’t recommend the use of 3rd party filament, which may increase the rate of carbonized filament build up.

Oil absorbing foam on magnetic ball joints

To avoid magnetic ball joints detaching and to keep the printing quality high, all joints should be well lubricated. Oil absorbing foam was designed to be installed inside each magnet so that lubrication will last longer.

Scanner laser poles upgrade

The scanner laser poles popping up issue has widely affected FLUX Delta users. We’ve devoted months to finding the cause and the best solution. We have been providing the third version replacement parts since June 2016, lowering the defective rate to less than 2%. We have now redesigned the structure in order to solve the root cause of the pop-up issue.

Toolhead cable holder

It was a topsy-turvy couple of months before we found out the reason for bad connection issue. We discovered that if an oversized socket is paired with an undersized connector, the connector will rock and cause bad connection during printing. While users can make and install connector holders themselves, the machine may be damage if the holders are not properly installed. Therefore, we designed an official holder which will resolve the issue. If you have encountered a bad connection issue lately, please contact our support team ASAP.

 

Thank you for reviewing all the details regarding the upgrade kit.
Please sign in/up to your FLUX ID account and import your FLUX Delta order. After completing the 3 quests, you can get the upgrade kit (worth $150) for free (you pay only the shipping fee)!

Although there will be some differences between your upgraded FLUX Delta and the new FLUX Delta+, we guarantee that the upgrade kit will significantly enhance your user experience.

The FLUX Team would like to take this opportunity to thank our FLUX Delta users for sticking with us. Your support motivates us. To express our gratitude, we are offering a $100 discount to FLUX Delta users if you buy a FLUX Delta+! For more details, see our FAQ.

Once again, please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

FLUX Team