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CNC LASER Suggestions.

CNC LASER Suggestions.

CNC LASER Suggestions.

If someone has a couple of $K to spend on a CNC laser system what do you consider the important parameters, the have-to-haves.

And, what about the like-to-haves or wish-you-hads?

How many watts?
What typical materials need to be lased by an electronics design bureau?

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: CNC LASER Suggestions.

Biggest question... what do you want to process? All too often I'll see people lusting after a laser when it's a CNC router they should be looking at.

Dan - Owner

RE: CNC LASER Suggestions.

I was hoping to engage you Dan!

I can see cutting:
Kapton stencils.

Perhaps Stainless Steel stencils.

Acrylic that's 1/4" or thinner.

I do have an acre of 1/2" acrylic laying around.

Be nice to cut Pelican Cases. (Polyethylene?)

PCBs?? (May not be a good idea.)

Can one ablate the copper cladding off of PCB stock?

Various labeling stocks?

Can ABS stock be cut?

Can Polycarbonate stock be cut?

Can 1/16th aluminum for front panels be cut?

Anything I've missed?

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: CNC LASER Suggestions.

It looks to me that more materials in that list are better cut with a CNC router compared to a laser. Even more would be better cut with a water jet.

A few like Kapton or label stock would be better cut with a vinyl cutter. These can look like a large format plotter/printer except they use a knife blade instead of a printing head.

RE: CNC LASER Suggestions.

Hmmm, that's a pretty wide range. I'd say a fiber laser is great for the Kapton and stainless steel. CO2 laser for the acrylic. CNC for pretty much everything else.

ABS doesn't work too well in the laser... it'll cut, but the edges are rolled/flared. Tape helps with the edge issues, but it's not perfect. Copper can be ablated off of PCBs, but it will be a slow process for copper of any thickness.

Of course, if your detail level isn't high, a lot of the laser stuff is more readily cut with a CNC (which will be cheaper in the short and long run).

Dan - Owner

RE: CNC LASER Suggestions.

Excellent points all.

We have several nice CNC routers. We'll stick with using them and buying our stencils.


Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

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