40W Laser Cutter or 45W Laser Cutter: What’s the difference?
When you are looking at purchasing a new laser cutter, you may notice that some laser machines including the Muse Core and Muse 3D Autofocus have options for a 40W laser cutter or a 45W laser cutter. On the surface, this difference may seem minimal, but there are benefits for getting the 45W laser cutter versus getting a 40W laser cutter. When it comes to your day to day laser cutting usage, the difference becomes more clear.
40W Laser Cutter or 45W Laser Cutter: The Details
The laser tubes that are used in many desktop lasers come from different manufacturers from around the globe. Every laser tube in our Las Vegas, NV facility goes through a variety of tests to make sure they meet our quality standards before we put them into a machine. These tests include multiple factors, but there is a big focus on the output of the laser tube itself.
While all Muse Core and Muse 3D Autofocus laser systems have the same power supply (the power supply is capable of supplying 25mA which is enough for a 45W or 40W tube), tubes created with a gold catalyst last longer and produce higher output power compared to their non-gold catalyst counterparts. These tubes with the gold catalyst are our 45W laser cutter tubes. These tubes have a slight pink hue to the innermost tube. Just like 60W and 100W light bulbs can go into the same electrical socket, 40W and 45W laser tubes are interchangeable since they have the ability to use the same power supply.
Laser tubes without the gold catalyst are marketed as 40w laser cutter tubes. Though, sometimes we have tubes that are tested which have the gold catalyst but can’t reach 45W and we label these as 40W laser tubes. To find out if you have a 45W tube, simply look at the tube and if it’s not perfectly clear glass and slightly pink then you have a gold catalyst 45W tube.
Notice the pink hue in the center chamber of the tube
40W Laser Cutter or 45W Laser Cutter: How this affects you
Whether you are using your desktop laser cutter for eight hours per day and five days a week, or if you just use it intermittently for only a few hours per week, the difference between these two options will become apparent the longer you have your laser.
The tube in a 40W laser cutter will not have the same life span as its 45W counterpart. The advanced gold catalyst in the 45W laser tube will recharge the CO2 gas, potentially giving it an estimated two to three times longer life.
Maintenance will play a huge role when it comes to the lifespan of the tube in your 40W laser cutter or your 45W machine. Make sure you are keeping the water that cools your system clean of any debris and monitor the lines for any algae or other buildup that might occur. Replace the water as you see it getting dirty (distilled water only), and if this happens more frequently, consider adding a small amount of bleach to the water for a few days to clean any buildup from your lines. Your optics will also play a major role in the lifespan of your tube. If you have dirty mirrors and lenses, it will take an increasing amount of time and power to cut or engrave materials which in turn will wear down your tube much more quickly. So keep your mirrors 100% reflective, and your lenses clean of any dust and debris.
Please note, there are a few factors that will determine the shelf life of your laser tube whether it is 40W or 45W. The laser tube is considered a consumable item, and they have a shelf life that will be affected by the temperature that you store it at, as well as the temperatures that it runs at while you use it in your laser cutter and engraver. Then there are other factors such as how it is used. If the laser is used more for vector cutting or if it is used more for raster engraving, this can play a huge role in the lifespan of your laser tube.
So keep these things in mind when you are using your laser. Make sure you are aware of these things when storing your spare laser tubes for extended periods of time. In fact, it may be best to avoid storing laser tubes, since the older they get, the less effective they become. The best practice is to understand the signs of a failing laser tube and purchase a replacement tube at that time. That way you still have one on hand for when the output of your tube reduces to a point that it is no longer able to cut or engrave, and you aren’t replacing it with a tube that has been stored for too long.
40W Laser Cutter or 45W Laser Cutter: The Right Choice
While the 45W laser cutter tube may be a slightly more expensive option, it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. So if you initially purchased a 40W laser cutter, consider upgrading when it comes time to replace your laser tube. This only works for the Muse Series Core and 3D Autofocus laser systems since the 40W and 45W laser tubes take the same power input. If you want to make those upgrades, and you aren’t certain of where to begin, feel free to contact a support technician and they will be able to assist you.
Full Spectrum Laser is a leader in easy to use, highly versatile laser cutting and laser engraving machines. Our systems range in size from desktop units and high-volume machines through industrial-grade production equipment. Our machines are running all over the world: from grade schools to National Labs, garage startups and many Fortune 500 companies. Contact us today to learn more.