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Is It Feasible to Modify A CNC Plasma to Fiber Laser Cutter?

Publish Date: Jun. 30, 2022 Author: Jackie Publisher: EagleTec CNC Modify Date: Jun. 30, 2022

CNC plasma cutting machine is accepted and used by the majority of customers because of its fast-cutting speed and high efficiency. However, with the rapid development of laser cutting technology, predominantly driven by the domestic high-quality fiber laser source (such as Wuhan Raycus), the price of fiber laser cutting machines is approaching the acceptable range for most users. Many users who own plasma cutting machines want to try to modify the original plasma into laser cutting machines for cost-saving purposes. Is this modification plan feasible?

First of all, let's look at the cutting principles of the CNC plasma cutting machine and fiber laser cutting machine.


Principle of laser cutting machine: 

When the laser beam irradiates the surface of the workpiece, it releases energy. And the power makes the workpiece melt and evaporate to achieve the cutting purpose.

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Plasma cutting principle:

Plasma cutting principle: using the heat of the high-temperature plasma arc to partially melt and evaporate the metal at the workpiece's incision; then use the high-speed plasma's momentum to remove the molten metal to form the incision.

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Secondly, let's take a look at the performance comparison between the CNC plasma cutting table and fiber laser cutters.

Of course, the fiber laser cutting machine is better for the cutting effect. The finished product processed by the metal laser cutting machine is lovely and clean, while the product processed by the plasma cutting machine has slag or burr around the cutting path. Regarding cutting precision, Laser cutting positioning accuracy is 0.05mm, and repeat positioning accuracy is 0.02mm. This is difficult for the plasma table to achieve. Also, the cutting speed of the laser cutting machine is faster than cnc plasma table. In terms of cutting costs, plasma cutting machines use air as auxiliary gas, while fiber laser cutter machines need oxygen or nitrogen. So fiber laser cutting machines cost more. In terms of environmental protection, plasma cutting machines generate a large number of toxic fumes during the cutting process; metal laser cutting machines have little or not.

The above shows that the fiber laser cutting machine performs better than the plasma cutting machine in terms of processing effect, accuracy, and working environment. Therefore, an idea came to plasma table users' minds: could I change the plasma torch to a laser head? So that I can get a better cutting effect at less cost. Is such a bold idea feasible?


In simple terms, this plan is acceptable. It sounds like replacing a car with an advanced engine.

However, if we analyze it from a real usage point of view, we will find that such changes are unscientific. Because the high precision of the fiber is not only brought by the fiber laser head. Actually, it is from the whole system. All the components of mechanical transmission and electronics control in the fiber laser cutting machine are more precise than cnc plasma table. The CNC plasma cutting tables transmission generally adopts regular rack and pinion transmission with common linear guideways.


In contrast, to meet the high speed and high precision cutting, the laser cutting machine adopts helical rack and pinion transmission with linear guides of excellent quality like TBI. Not to mention the utterly different motion systems. So if we want to refit cnc plasma table to a fiber laser cutting machine, we need to change the drive system, control system, and even the whole machine construction. After this transformation, the cost is not necessarily less than buying a finished fiber laser cutting machine directly from the manufacturer. Still, the machine stability and cutting effect are probably worse than a new set fiber laser cutting machine. Just like that, we cannot change a cheap car to BMW just by replacing the engine with BMW.

EagleTec CNC keeps our faith to provide you with high-quality cnc machines and the best technical support. If you need a high-quality fiber laser cutting machine at a reasonable price, welcome to contact the machine manufacturer directly. Welcome to contact


Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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