Metals are somewhat complex to process. As a result, specialized equipment has been created to assist with the burden. Including the laser machines. In this post, we will look at the metal cutter from all angles and inside to see how it works, what types exist, and how to choose one for your business.

Where and Why

Nowadays, CNC laser cutters for metal are widely used. They participate in productions such as airplanes, vehicles, elevators, plumbing, decorations, advertising, and others.

The reason is quite simple: to make sure you will definitely hit the fifth floor and not the ground while riding an elevator, each and every detail should be perfect and in place. And precise machines can guarantee it!

They also speed up the process of manufacturing and ease it up.

cutting metal sheet

How it works

So, why is a laser cutting machine for metal as reliable as it is? Well that depends on the components and company, of course, but in theory everything is the same.

First of all, it’s CNC equipment, so the human factor and possibility of mistakes are lowered.

Second of all, the work is done by a laser. It vaporizes part of a material, fast and clean. As you may remember, there are two types of lasers: CO2 and fiber. For work with metal the fiber one is used.

What’s inside

Now let’s look inside of the laser metal cutting machine. We’ll talk about five key parts of this equipment.


This is the starting point for every laser machine, as accuracy is dependent on the element’s stability and reliability. It also determines which components could be installed on the future metal cutter.

All of our beds go through a thermal treatment, which removes the tension and increases their service length.

We have three variants for laser cutting machines for metal: E, S and Hard series. Let’s use them as examples to see the difference in possible configurations.

E-series. The wall thickness ranges from 6 to 8 mm, and it allows the portal to move at a speed of 80 m/min. The maximum laser power for this one is 3 kW. And the warranty for it is 8 years.

S-series. Walls are thickened up to 10–12 mm, so the traveling speed is 120 m/min. And the laser power can be equal to 6 kW.

Hard. Its thickness ranges from 12 to 16 mm, speed is 120 m/min. Maximum laser power goes up to 20 kW. And this type of frame has a 10-year warranty!

There are some brief distinctions to understand the importance of this component.

machine that cut metal

Move, baby, move! Kinematics of the CNC laser cutter for metal

Life is in movement, so let’s figure out how big machines like laser metal cutters can move as quickly and accurately as they do.

These following parts are responsible for that aspect of work: planetary gears, servomotors, guides, helical racks, and ball screw unit that moves the laser head.

  1. Planetary gears. This little, yet very important, invention allows machines of all kinds to reach the highest speed without losing control over motion. We use Nidec Shimpo gears of different series, VRB or VRS. They are known for precision and first-rate ability to deal with overhung loads and continuous duty cycles.
  2. Servomotors. Wattson uses Mitsubishi and Yaskawa ones. They are compact, reliable, and produce less vibration. The HG-NS series, which we use on a 1530 metal cutter, for example, is known for its speed and accuracy. 
  3. Guides. On our laser metal cutting machines are installed Hiwin guides. This is a worldwide known brand with a proven track record.
  4. Helical racks. The Lean B2 racks are built to withstand serious loads. 
  5. Ball Screw unit. Since the head’s movement should be primely accurate, we decided to mount this kind of movement system in it. The Ball Screw unit from the TBI brand guarantees that precision.

Laser head and source

laser head of cutting machine

These components work together to provide precise and efficient metal cutting results.

The metal cutter’s laser head is the component that interacts directly with the material being cut. Its function is to concentrate the laser beam on the workpiece and guide it along the cutting path. Laser heads are outfitted with modern optics and focusing systems to provide maximum precision and accuracy during cutting. Wattsan offers laser heads from three brands: Raytools, Precitec, and Bochu.

The laser source generates the high-energy beam. Metal cutting may be performed using a variety of lasers, including fiber lasers, CO2 lasers, and neodymium-doped lasers. Fiber lasers are the most often utilized for metal cutting due to their efficiency, dependability, and high power output. We can again give you options: IPG and Raycus. They also have various lifespans.

Additional benefits

For everyone’s comfort we installed an automatic oil lubrication system on each linear bearing. It saves effort and takes care of the CNC laser cutter for metal for you.The machine also has a capacitive height sensing sensor to prevent collisions with the material. Convenient trash collectors will help to collect everything that falls down.

metal detail

Control system

This is the machine’s brain. Our laser metal cutting equipment have an FSCut software. The FSCut 2000S is designed for conventional metal cutters, the 3000 for those with tube-cutting modules, and the 5000 for professional laser pipe cutting machines. There are others, 4000, 6000, and even 8000, and they are also used. We will write a separate essay regarding this system’s powers, but for now, here are some of the more fascinating ones!

The FSCut may determine the ultimate cost of your product by entering the price of power per kilowatt, metal sheet, gas, and other factors, and then viewing the results.

It will also show you the approximate time necessary to produce the goods.


cutting sheet of metal

Now let’s look at some accessories that you may install if needed.

Table change

This is an option for those who need a truly and fully unstoppable manufacture. While the machine operates the workpiece at the first table, you can collect parts and remove garbage from the second one and prepare the next batch of material. And this becomes a production loop. Also, that’s the only way to load material in the machine if it has a cabin.

Rotary device

This one is required if you work with tubes. For example, consider our 1530S Rotatory model.

That appliance is used to operate round and square pipes. Those components might be employed in aerospace, medicine, architecture, or furnishings. From seats to airplane wings.


Safety comes first, as has been stated since the beginning of the twentieth century. That is why, for certain of our models, we include a protective “dome” to protect the operator from radiation and sparks during operation. Laser metal cutting machines with the highest powerful laser source, such as the 1530S, 4020, and 6020, come with a protective chamber.

How to choose CNC laser cutters for metal

metal cutting process

Obviously, the thicker the material to be cutted, the more powerful the source should be. To reduce vibrations, the bed should be more sturdy as the machine’s speed increases.

We advise all of our clients to select a machine and its specifications based on the idea of sufficiency.

Choose all machine parameters based on the jobs that your production needs to complete. Do you need a regular cutter or with a pipe module?

Pay attention to the carriage movement method. Always use servomotors over stepper motors; they are more costly, but they will not lose their steps when moving.

Do not scrimp on the smoke exhaust and gas cleaning system; otherwise, you risk being poisoned when working long hours.

support of laser machines

Talking about the source, don’t take the borderline values. If you need to cut a lot, the more powerful the source, the faster you will do it. What would you prefer, 5 sheets or 50?

Gas usage

It is important to mention that CNC laser cutters for metal have a fundamental consumable material — gas. It is used during operation; it is fed through the nozzle and directly participates in the cutting process.

These gases vary, and each material requires its own. For example, for stainless steel and brass, you need nitrogen, and for titanium — argon.

The most commonly used gases are air, oxygen, and nitrogen.

how to cut metal

Let’s talk about how to roughly calculate the gas consumption because, when purchasing a metal cutter, it is impossible not to consider this item in the expenses. Several factors influence this parameter, including:

  1. Nozzle diameter. Basically, it’s simple. The wider it is, the more gas is consumed.
  2. Pressure. The quality of the cut depends on it. Here you will have to find a good balance or use more gas. High pressure gives excellent results, but the consumption increases faster. A pressure of 10–14 bars is considered acceptable. That works for air and nitrogen. Oxygen requires more complicated tuning. 
  3. Working speed. The slower it is, the more time and gas are spent on one sheet.
  4. Material. The denser and thicker it is, the more time it takes for processing, and we return to the third point. Plus, as we said before, the material itself determines the type of gas that you’ll have to use.
  5. Beam power. Metal piercing comes into play. The speed of this process depends on the capabilities of your laser. Power = speed = less gas consumption.

As you can see, many factors need to be considered.

Some interesting facts:

  1. It is profitable to cut thin black steel with air. But you will have to pay a lot for the first time for expensive equipment for using air. Compressors, filters, containers, and more. But then you will have an eternal source of gas in your possession! Not taking electricity and compressor’s service into account, of course. 
  2. When cutting stainless steel, a 40-liter nitrogen cylinder can fly away in half an hour. Let the math begin!
  3. Gas is often provided in cylinders, which must be replaced often. That extends the operating time. There is also something known as the cylinder matrix. These are multiple balloons connected by hoses, either 12 or more or less. This alternative will last longer but will require more room. Furthermore, the matrix is difficult to fill and move. Another sort of gas source is a Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen Cylinder Storage Tank. This is a massive cylinder containing the nitrogen/oxygen in liquid form. This alternative is relatively affordable: there can fit about 40 regular cylinders, and the gas itself is very clean.


the process of cutting metal
  1. Metal cutters play an important role in many sectors, assuring precision and efficiency in manufacturing processes. CNC laser cutters for metal are widely utilized in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, plumbing, and advertising.
  2. The operation of a laser metal cutting machine is dependent on its components, which include the bed, kinematics, laser heard, source, and control system.
  3. Machine characteristics, such as laser source power and bed stability, should be chosen depending on the unique manufacturing process needs.
  4. The gas consumption of a metal laser cutting machine is influenced by variables such as nozzle diameter, pressure, operating speed, material, and beam power. It is critical to examine these elements in order to maximize efficiency and save expenses.
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