I’ve been searching the web for a desktop, small-scale laser cutter for metal up to 3mm thick. I’ve only found rather large machines. Maybe such a thing doesn’t exist??? Any suggestions for places to look will be much appreciated. Thanks!
Are you talking about for cutting sheet metal? Or simply engraving?
I’m not aware of any desktop equivalent of a fiber laser meant for cutting and I haven’t seen any practical desktop alternative laser technologies that would be practical for anything that thick.
For anything desktop sized with metal at that thickness you’re likely better off going to some sort of CNC solution. Cutting aluminum at that thickness should be fairly readily achievable. I’ve seen desktop solutions cut steel but you’ll need a fairly rigid and relatively powerful solution to do this well but still possible at the desktop size.
[EDIT] As I say that I find a video that supposedly shows a desktop fiber laser cutting what looks like 2-3 mm aluminum. You don’t get to see the entire cut, however:
[LXSHOW Laser] 50W MAX desktop fiber laser marking machine cut aluminum - YouTube
They may have a different definition of “desktop” however:
[LXSHOW Laser] desktop metal laser cutter LX1390M 1000W JPT fiber optic laser cutting machine - YouTube
I had searched for this on a different request and I see some 500 watt that claim they can cut 3mm stainless. However most of the real commercial people seem to say the 1kW model is the only real solution. All of these are fiber…
Thanks for the reply and links! I have cut aluminum and brass with an X-Carve and it works fine unless you need to have sharp inside corners. It’s also relatively slow. I have a 20W fiber laser and a Glowforge and I still find myself wanting to quickly cut some relatively thin metal on occasion. If I could find a 1kW fiber laser that I could mount onto my X-Carve frame what would be cool.
I think I should focus my search on 1 kW laser modules that could be attached to an existing X-Carve CNC frame. Thanks for the reply!