For those in the custom laser engraving business, the question of whether or not to replace their laser machine with a CNC router has recently become a serious dilemma.
As we all know, a CNC router is a very versatile piece of equipment capable of cutting various types of materials, along with drawing and etching. However, the laser machine still has its advantages and will most likely be around for a long time to come.
Difference Between Laser Machine and CNC Router
The primary difference between the two is that a laser machine can only cut, while a router can cut and engrave and etch. A laser machine can do this because it uses a high-energy beam of light (a laser) to cut the material. The laser machine is generally used when accuracy and detail are needed, such as in the sign industry or cutting very detailed shapes.
A CNC router is similar to a laser machine because it uses a high-energy beam of light. Unlike the above, however, the light is infrared, which increases its power. As a result, a CNC router can cut through many materials, including wood, plastic, acrylics, and more. It can also cut through thick materials, such as wood, much faster than a laser machine because of its powerful beam.
When it comes to custom laser engraving, as mentioned before, a laser machine is generally used. The reason for this is that it offers the utmost accuracy and detail. On the other hand, a CNC router can engrave, but it cannot cut as detailed or delicate as a laser machine.
Advantages of Using CNC Router and Laser Machine Together
Now, what happens if you use both technologies together? If you have a CNC router and a laser machine, the first thing to do is set up your cutting path for your material on your computer. After doing this, cut your design on the CNC router and engrave it using the laser machine. This way, you’ll get the best of both worlds: a very detailed and accurate cut and engraving, all in one project.
Why It’s Highly Recommended to Own a CNC Router and Laser Machine
While the laser machine still has its advantages over the CNC router, such as its ability to cut more delicate materials, it’s recommended that any custom engraving business owner own both.
The CNC router is a versatile piece of equipment that can do much more than just cut, making it an absolute must-have for both sign shops and custom laser engraving shops.
For example, if you own a sign shop using a laser machine to cut your signs, what do you do if someone asks you to cut a piece of wood that’s very thick? You can’t use your laser machine because it has trouble cutting through a thick wood. So instead, you use your router. The high-energy beam is powerful enough to cut through the wood, pushing it out of the way with ease so you can create a beautiful cut.
Laser machines and CNC routers both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, if you’re looking for the best of both worlds, what do you do? The answer is simple: you use both of them together. You can set your machine to cut and engrave/etch, making it easier than ever for you to create beautiful custom signs, logos, plaques, and more.