Fiber Laser vs CO2 Laser: Comparison of Laser Engraving Machines

authorIcon By Normand Lemieux on March 07, 2019 topicIcon Laser Marking

Fiber Laser Systems

Fiber lasers use fiber optics as their gain medium. Other common gain mediums are gazes, crystals or mixture of dyes.

Fiber lasers use laser diodes as their energy source. The diodes pump photons to the gain medium.

The wavelength of the pumped light is often modified by rare Earth elements doped into the gain medium.

In the case of the fiber lasers used in Laserax’s laser cleaning and laser marking systems, the emitted light has a wavelength of 1064 nm. More information about our fiber lasers LXQ, LXQ 3D and LXQ 3D Vision can be found on our product pages.

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Advantages of the Fiber Laser Technology

  • Highly adapted to aluminum and many other metals

  • Low maintenance

  • Long useful life

  • High efficiency

  • Low heat management required.

Industrial Applications of Fiber Laser Technology

Fiber Laser Annealing of Stainless Steel



Laser direct part marking is a great way to identify a part with information related to that specific part. In this video, you can see Laserax’s LXQ laser as it anneals a logo and a barcode. Although we tend to recommend the use of Data Matrix Codes for industrial applications, barcodes are  a very common means to encode information such as date code, batch number, serial number or model number.

Fiber Laser Cleaning of Rust



In this video, laser derusting is used on steel of different shapes. Rust is not the only thing that you can get rid of with our fiber laser cleaning system. Laser cleaning is very versatile: Laserax has developed several automated laser systems for cleaning contaminants, such as paint, oil, grease and rust.

Fiber Laser Marking on Aluminum Ingots


Laserax’s LXQ and the LXQ 3D fiber laser series were developed with the needs and challenges of the aluminum industry in mind. During this video, you can watch as one of our LXQ fiber lasers writes a label directly on an aluminum ingot. The label contains information (legible by both humans and machines) about that specific ingot.

In order to provide a great contrast and improved legibility, the marking is done in two steps. During the first step, a pale background is created. During the second step, the actual marking occurs.

CO2 Laser Systems

CO2 lasers are part of the gas laser category. The energy source of gas lasers is usually an electric discharge, similar to that used in fluorescent lamps. Its gain medium is a gaseous mixture mainly composed of CO2.

The wavelength of Laserax’s CO2 lasers is either 9.3, 10.2 or 10.6 µm. More details about our Industrial CO2 laser - LXM can be found on our product pages.

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Advantages of CO2 Laser Technology

  • Highly adapted to breaking organic carbon-oxygen bonds, which are mainly found in plastics, ceramics, wood, paper and cardboard

  • Very well-established technology in cutting and welding metal plates

  • Commonly used in many industrial sectors such as in the package goods industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry.

Industrial Applications of CO2 Lasers

CO2 Laser Marking on Rubber


In this video, a rubber sample is being marked using Laserax’s LXM CO2 laser engraver. The dark rubber provides a great background for the pale markings carried out by the CO2 laser marker.

CO2 Laser Marking on Ceramics

This video features the branding of a ceramic with an appealing design. Similar results can be achieved with a laser marking system dedicated to the marking, for traceability purposes, of industrial-grade ceramics.

CO2 Laser Identification of Cardboard

Cardboard is commonly engraved by CO2 laser. In this video, you can watch the branding of a cardboard sample with text and a QR Code. The QR Code can be scanned by a commercially available scanner the same way barcodes and Data Matrix Codes are.

Trends and Predictions for the Future of Fiber Lasers and CO2 Lasers

Thanks to the scalability of fiber lasers, their stability and efficient heat management, fiber laser technology will be increasingly used in many applications. As a matter of fact, due to technological advances of fiber lasers and the reduction of the prices of high-power fiber lasers, analysts have seen an increase in the number of CO2 systems retrofitted with fiber lasers in various applications, such as laser cutting and welding of steel in many manufacturing facilities. That trend is expected to continue for years to come.

In the meantime, Laserax is positioned to take a leadership role in the growing laser marking and laser cleaning fields.

Laser direct part marking will replace legacy technologies, such as pin marking, dot peen marking, labeling and inkjet marking. Laser cleaning will replace traditional technologies, including sandblasting, chemical paint stripping and others, and  usher in new applications for surface treatments.

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Normand Lemieux's picture

Normand Lemieux

Normand is a well-rounded and autonomous marketing professional with a recent specialization in web marketing. He thrives to share experiences, to apply knowledge, to learn new things and get stuff done.​