Is a Laser Cutter Worth It?

If you are involved in the world of manufacturing, buying a laser cutter might be something that has crossed your mind. Laser cutters are vastly used at the industry level, and their popularity has been constantly on the rise. However, one ought to consider many upsides and downsides before deciding if a laser cutter is going to be worth its price.

Manufacturing companies use laser cutters in the fabrication process to cut and shape materials into custom-made designs. Therefore, if you are looking for a machine that will provide flexibility, accuracy, speed, and cost-efficiency, buying a laser cutter might be a worthwhile decision.

There are many types of cutting tools in the market. But, is a laser cutter worth it compared to them? Well, this article will try to answer exactly that. Here we will talk about what sort of advantages you can expect from laser cutting compared to all other methods. And we’ll talk about some of the considerations of buying one as well. So, keep on reading.

Potential Advantages That Make Laser Cutter Worthwhile

One of the main reasons why laser cutters have grown in popularity so much is because of the upsides it offers. From precision to quality assurance, you can unlock the potential for manifold versatility and automation possibilities through laser cutting. Here is a list of potential advantages that can make your investment in a laser cutter worth it.

Flexibility

Since a laser cutting machine allows you to use the same setup in different use-case scenarios, it is more suitable than almost every other engraving option. Also, by using a laser cutter, you can get all the intricate and convoluted cuts with extreme ease.

Accuracy

A laser cutter allows you to conduct your business with a high level of accuracy. In fact, the accuracy rate of using a laser cutter is so high that there is virtually no need for any additional treatment afterward. As a result, having a laser cutter allows you to deliver high-quality products.

Speed

Laser cutting methods enable you to carry out businesses quicker than any other cutting method. More importantly, no matter how compounding the cut is, laser cutters are adept at handling it very efficiently.

If you compare laser cutting speed against other methods such as plasma or flame, laser outruns them in terms of efficiency by miles. However, keep in mind that the rate of the laser cutter can vary. It mainly depends on the power of the machine you are using.

Automation and Cost-efficiency

Laser cutters require little manpower to operate; therefore, you can save a lot of costs using this method. Of course, you will still need an experienced operator to deal with such machines with expertise. But the process requires a negligible amount of menial working process. As a result, the labor cost of running such machines is low compared to other methods.

Contactless Cutting

Since the beam is the only thing that makes contact with the material you are engraving upon, there is no mechanical friction that can irritate your tools. Almost all the other available methods require a form of contact that laser cutters do not.

Versatility

Laser cutters allow you to engrave a whole range of materials. For example, some of the materials suited for laser cutters are metals, wood, acrylic, MDF, etc. You can configure your laser cutter in multiple methods to perform different jobs. Of course, the price of your laser cutter might determine what kind of materials your machine is compatible with.

In general, laser cutters on the lower end of the pricing are not suitable for all sorts of materials. Whereas the cutters that tend to be more expensive tend to have a lot of pre-installed features that you will not find in the lower end of the laser cutters.

Potential Disadvantages You Should be Wary of Before Buying a Laser Cutter

Depending upon the individual purpose, an investment in a laser cutter might not be as fruitful as one believes it to be. There is a list of possible downsides you should be wary of before making a purchase decision. You should go through each of them extensively before deciding on an investment in a laser cutter.

Requiring Expert Hand

Although the laser cutting method is an automated work process that requires no menial work, you still need to appoint an experienced operator to use the machine. Because without a specialized operator, you will face a hard time maintaining the quality of the product you are delivering to your customer.

Sunk Cost

Laser cutters can be an expensive investment compared to other cutting methods. You can make your investment worthwhile once you have started profiting off your business; however, if your company does not prove to be as lucrative as you expected, you risk losing your capital in sunk cost.

Safety Maintenance

Since laser cutting entails cutting and engraving many metal-like items, it can result in the emission of gasses and fumes. Therefore, fumes can cause mishaps that can be life-threatening for workers if workplace safety protocols are not adequately met. As a result, your manufacturing establishment needs proper safety measures to avoid potential safety hazards.

Installing the necessary safety protocols can prove expensive to ensure a safe working environment. Therefore, you must consider all the permutations and combinations of cost-benefit analysis before deciding on a potential investment in a laser cutter.

Conclusion

Many factors should determine whether buying a laser cutter is a worthwhile decision. Suppose you are involved in a production business that does a lot of cutting and engraving for different materials. In that case, it is a good investment in the long-term considering all the upsides it offers. But caution must also be exercised when thinking about a long-term investment.

While a successful manufacturing house can pay off the early investment manifold, the sunk cost incurred in case of a failure can be damaging for early investors. However, a laser cutter can be a worthy investment if you have a business plan that can thrive under flexibility, creativity, and versatility.

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