Laser cutting and engraving machines are capable of accomplishing some truly impressive things despite now being quite affordable. Most such devices include tubes filled with gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) that are actually responsible for generating laser beams.
All such parts will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, at which point owners will have some significant decisions to make. A quick look at the issues which most often prove important when searching for a co2 laser tube replacement could be helpful.
A Couple of Factors Tend to Matter the Most When the Time Arrives to Replace a Laser Tube
Laser cutters and engravers normally ship from the factory with fairly economical tubes that do a good job of catering to the needs of the average buyer. Laser machine owners can always opt for identical parts when the original tube gives up for good and needs to be replaced.
There will typically be at least a few other appropriate options which will be at least worth considering, however. A couple of the most significant ways these alternatives differ from stock parts include their:
- Energy source. Encouraging gases to produce photons that can be collected and turned into a laser beam requires some sort of energy. Many laser tubes have cathodes and anodes through which direct electric current gets passed for this purpose. Others include small radio frequency transmitters that pump that type of energy into the gases contained in a metal housing. Tubes of the former design tend to be less expensive to purchase, while those of the latter generally boast longer expected lifetimes.
- Power. Every laser tube is designed to transform, at most, a certain amount of power into a coherent beam of focused, energetic light. Tubes with higher power ratings can typically cut through thicker materials or make quicker work of less-demanding duties. The ability of a given laser machine to support a tube rated to consume more power, though, will depend upon its configuration.
The Perfect Replacement Tube for Any Laser Machine
Looking into issues like these should help highlight the most appropriate replacement tube for any laser machine that needs one. As the associated choice will impact the performance of the machine thereafter, it will always be wise to put some effort into researching the options.