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View Full Version : Kern laser cutting Chemetal metal laminates



Keith Outten
05-10-2016, 3:23 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb9dpfHyQxU

Chemetal metal laminates can be easily fabricated with a Kern laser cutting system.

Dave Sheldrake
05-11-2016, 8:50 AM
Nice machine but fibres are dropping in price so fast CO2 is rapidly becoming an outdated technology for metal cutting :(

Braden Todd
05-11-2016, 10:18 AM
What would a 4'x8' fiber cost?

looking at that metal I'd guess you could cut that with 35-40% power on their 400 watt. I'm currently running 16ga stainless at 55% power. More I cut metal the more I like cutting it and designing pieces using that material.

Dave Sheldrake
05-11-2016, 5:53 PM
UK supplied 2500mm x 1220mm 500 watt Fibre 55k, 1,000 watt just under 100k

600 watt Imported Fibre $38k, 1,000 watt $70k

Keith Outten
05-11-2016, 10:29 PM
If the majority of the work you do is best served by a CO2 laser how would a fiber laser be beneficial.

Keith Winter
05-11-2016, 10:40 PM
UK supplied 2500mm x 1220mm 500 watt Fibre 55k, 1,000 watt just under 100k

600 watt Imported Fibre $38k, 1,000 watt $70k

Which import fiber brands would you consider Dave? Any quality ones in that price range?

Dave Sheldrake
05-12-2016, 8:05 AM
If the majority of the work you do is best served by a CO2 laser how would a fiber laser be beneficial.

The video is of metal cutting, CO2 is inefficient at metal cutting in particular on aluminium.


Which import fiber brands would you consider Dave? Any quality ones in that price range?

Great Year Laser seem pretty good and they do some real monsters in CO2 / RF / Fibre up to 5m x 3m beds. Weike have really upped their game on Fibre as well, their Mid-entry 600 watt 3m x 2m is on my shopping list to replace the big CO2 I have , mostly down to the lower running costs of fibre for gasses etc.

I'm looking to replace my big CO2 with a couple of fibres, one low range 600watt / 1,000watt or so and a mid range 4kW for less than I can sell the older CO2 for second hand. A 600 watt will handle 4mm sheet, a 4kW will handle 20mm sheet and I very rarely do anything over that these days anyhows.

Most of the fibre imports are ballscrew servo setups so speeds tend to be better on reliability (they have proper backlash control) an entire cutting head for the 1kW fibre costs less than a lens cartridge for my big CO2. For any kind of sensible engraving the big import fibres are pointless, they don't have the beam refinement of western resonators but for cutting work there is very little difference.

The upper limit for cutting speeds in metal is controlled by the movement train rather than having enough power and a 4kW fibre will easily keep up with the 7.5kW CO2 at a 1/5th of the cost

The line between big business machines and mid size industrial machines is getting more blurred by the day.

The 400 watt Kern is a great machine but at 180,000 here compared to a 2.5kW fibre for less they just don't make economic sense for what I do.

(PS:) The power ratings for the fibres are raw power figures, not interpolated

Keith Outten
05-12-2016, 8:50 AM
From my point of view the video is about a CO2 laser that will also vector cut metal. Basically it extends the capability of the CO2 laser, its not necessarily about just being able to cut metal.

Braden Todd
05-12-2016, 9:34 AM
From my point of view the video is about a CO2 laser that will also vector cut metal. Basically it extends the capability of the CO2 laser, its not necessarily about just being able to cut metal.

This why I love ours! We are now getting orders for cut and engraved metal, as well as custom mounting brackets etc. Maybe a fiber will come in our future, but right now we are able to build this market base while still producing engravings daily.

Dave Sheldrake
05-12-2016, 10:09 AM
From my point of view the video is about a CO2 laser that will also vector cut metal. Basically it extends the capability of the CO2 laser, its not necessarily about just being able to cut metal.

Oh no complaints from me Keith, it just seems to be false economy to make a machine not best suited to cutting metal do so. Any 400 watt CO2 will cut metal, even a 100 watt DC tube with the addition of a cutting head and Oxygen will cut metal, the part I find hard to understand is why make a machine that does two jobs ok, rather than two separate machines for less cost that will do the job much quicker and in many cases more accurately (accurately due to the much smaller focussed spot size of the fibre)
Kern's are fantastic machines, I guess I just can't see the point of making a machine do something it cannot do very efficiently..it's a bit like the HDPFO (or however they name it) great, you can engrave metal with a lower powered co2, but why? a fibre can be obtained for less money and will have far better definition due to spot size.

In the US it may be more economically viable but the 400 watt Kern on an 8/4 bed is 180,000 here (about $250,000) or roughly 4 x what we pay for a speedy 400 with a 120 watt tube.

It's like banging in nails with a heavy spanner....it's surely better just to buy a hammer :)

Keith Outten
05-12-2016, 1:59 PM
Interesting, how about the cost of a fiber laser that can cut large panels like 48" square or instrument openings in a 4 by 8 foot sheet. Would this be possible?
.

Dave Sheldrake
05-12-2016, 3:08 PM
Interesting, how about the cost of a fiber laser that can cut large panels like 48" square or instrument openings in a 4 by 8 foot sheet. Would this be possible?
.

Very much so, the $38,000 Fibre I mentioned as an Import has a 2,550mm x 1,250mm working area (100 inch x 49 inch) and runs a 600 watt IPG source. around 7m per minute on 1.5 - 1.75mm metal stock (stainless and carbon) and will handle mild steel to 4mm ,stainless steel to (just) 3mm
To go above 4mm up to say 9mm (carbon steel) you would need 1,000 watts and then the price jumps a bit (think $70k to $80k) for everything the same just a more powerful source.

Keith Outten
05-12-2016, 11:00 PM
Will it engrave and vector cut acrylic, wood and all of the other materials that CO2 lasers will?
.

Dave Sheldrake
05-13-2016, 5:43 AM
Will it engrave and vector cut acrylic, wood and all of the other materials that CO2 lasers will?
.

No, it will engrave and cut some plastics but nowhere near what a CO2 will. Fibres won't do much of anything on wood.Then again a CO2 under $500,000 won't cut 8mm steel plate either. I'm not saying the Kern is a bad machine or that it doesn't have a wide range of abilities, what I'm suggesting is that Kerns promotion of it as a metal cutting tool is much akin to saying spanners make great hammers.

Keith Outten
05-13-2016, 8:33 AM
I disagree, Kern is simply offering a CO2 machine that has metal cutting capability. The extent of its vector cutting capability in metal is limited compared to other machines but that's true of any laser based on its design even when cutting wood or plastics. I wish my laser engraver was capable of cutting thin metal, it would be a very nice addition.
.

Braden Todd
05-13-2016, 10:22 AM
I've found for awards and wall mounted pieces I'm not even pushing my Kern to its full ability. Thickest I've cut is 11ga steel for custom brackets, not even maxed on the power and could run 1"/sec still. So for the awards and smaller signage market the Kern does kill it, if you're trying to cut metal only all day long or super thick metal a fiber would be better.

Attached is a finisher medal I cut on my Kern, it's made from 11ga steel and full of tiny details!