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CO2 Plotter

As opposed to a galvo machine, in which the mirrors rotate, but do not move, in a plotter machine the mirrors that direct the beam move, but do not rotate, the laser source can be CO2 or Fibre, modern metal cutting machines are fibre plotters, whereas CO2 plotters are more versatile in the materials that they can process, and while they are more ideally suited to cutting, they can also use a raster movement of the plotter mechanism to raster engrave.

The materials list below covers a more common sample of materials that a CO2 plotter can cut or mark or engrave, there are many many many more materials that the CO2 beam can work with, so please ask us if not sure.

All CO2 lasers produce a beam of 10 micron wavelength.

Currently our main CO2 machine is "George" and has an XY work envelope of 1300 x 900 mm and a Z (vertical) axis travel of 240 mm, and pass through doors front and rear for longer / larger objects, but please be aware of the "one shot" max work envelope of 1300 x 900 mm.

Although capable of speeds in excess of 500 mm/sec we have always limited "George" to 300 mm/sec max as it offers greater precision.

"George" as standard is equipped with either a 2.5" lens or a 4" lens, which means a clearance flying height of 6 and 10 mm respectively over the work

"George" as standard uses ordinary ambient air assist up to 40 psi, we do not use other gases or cut metals.

CO2 Materials List:

  CUT MARK ENGRAVE
ACRYLIC
ANODISED ALLUMINIUM    
WOOD / VENEER
TEXTILES  
GLASS    
COATED / PAINTED METALS    
PAPER / BOARD
CERAMICS
DERLIN
LEATHER / HIDE  
MARBLE / STONE    
MAN MADE BOARDS (MDF, ply)
RUBBER
FIBREGLASS  
CORK
CORIAN
POLYCARBONATE    
POLYPROPYLENE    
CARBON FIBER  

CO2 plotters are the workhorse of any laser fab, while they are mainly a cutting machine they do so many other jobs on such a great variety of materials that unless you are a specialist one job shop, your first purchase will probably be a CO2 plotter.

Although demand for the work that a CO2 plotter can do is steadily increasing, it is being left behind by the rapidly rising demand for Fibre galvo work metal marking and engraving, but even here there are many jobs where some of the pre process work might be done on the plotter machine.