Laser FAQ

What is a laser?

A laser is a device that generates an intense beam of light. Typically this is combined with a motion system to give you a useable laser system.


What does LASER stand for?

Laser stands for; Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.


How does laser cutting/engraving work?

The light energy from the laser is concentrated to a very small spot using a set of a focusing optics. The intense heat energy then typically causes the material to evaporate.


What’s the difference between Co2 and fiber laser?

Co2 & Fiber refers to the medium which is energised to produce a laser output. Both are viable options for a laser source depending on the application.


How much do laser systems cost?

Laser systems can be purchased online for as little as several £100. However it is important to keep in mind that at the lower price point safety, quality & reliability is sacrificed. 

We offer laser solutions with support that you can rely on from approximately £4,000+VAT.

How much is a laser service?

Laser servicing costs are dependent on your location & whether you require a service contract. Please contact us to discuss your servicing requirements. 


What wattage tube do I need?

Laser power choice is dependent on the maximum material thickness material you are looking to process and also the speed required. A 60W laser cartridge is almost twice as quick as a 30W laser cartridge when processing the same material. 

A general rule of thumb is that you need at least 10W of power to cut 3mm of Acrylic in a single pass – However when getting to thicker material this rule is non linear. 


How much does a recharge cost?

Recharge costs are dependent on your laser cartridge power – it is undertaken on an exchange basis where a new unit is sent to you and your old one is collected. This keeps you processing as long as possible.

Please contact us for a recharge quotation.


What types of graphics can a laser process?

Our laser printer driver controller means that you can work directly from all commonly used vector graphics packages such as Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, 2D design, Solidworks & Many more.

What’s the difference between vector and raster motion?

Vector motion is when the laser head follows a vector path drawn in the software. This is normally used for the cutting process. 

Raster motion is when the laser head scans across the top of the material just like a printer and pulses the laser to remove material. This is normally used for the engraving process.


Can a Co2 laser cut metal?

Yes a CO2 laser can cut metal but large amounts of power are required. Please contact us to discuss your metal cutting or marking options.


What are the ongoing costs of a laser?

Typically the ongoing costs of a laser are made up of 3 factors: 

Laser cartridge life – the laser cartridge has a lifespan dependent on use, shelf life, & environmental conditions. Typically our laser sources last 6-8 years when operating in the correct environment. When a laser starts to fail a recharge is required – please ask for a quotation for the recharge.

Extraction filters – If you have an internal extraction system the HEPA and carbon filter become saturated over time. The life span of these is typically 12-18 months. You will also need to budget for your annual LEV test. 

Servicing – Depending on application you may choose to have your machine serviced in an interval between 6 months and 2-3 years. Typically we undertake an annual service with the majority of our customers.


Are laser fumes harmful/dangerous?

Laser fume is generated from the vaporisation of the material being processed and as such is considered harmful. It is important that an adequate extraction system is in place.


What are the computer requirements?

Computers should be of at least a minimum specification to run Windows 10/ Our systems only work on computers with a Windows based operating system. The computer must have at least 1 USB 2.0 or higher port to communicate with the laser system. 


Why should I choose Solar Lasers?

At Solar we have years of experience supplying, supporting & servicing laser systems. Our job is not over when the machine is sold, it is just beginning. We hope our honest advice and support comes through – It is not just about supplying a laser system but one which is appropriate and suitable to help you develop as a business or fulfil the need of your application.


Can I leave a laser unattended? 

NO! – Nearly all laser damage is caused when a machine is left unattended. It is imperative that your machine receives constant supervision when processes work even if it is a job that has been processed many times before.


For further Information

If you have any further question please contact us by email or call: 01622 851311