View Full Version : Another new person

Bruce Larson
11-11-2004, 12:50 AM
I found this site about a week ago and have finally finished reading every post and all the threads. Thanks for the great info. I have an Epilog mini 25 watt machine and am seriously shopping for a 60 watt or larger machine to replace the mini. I do mostly acrylic and also have a Multicam CNC router.
I would appreciate any input as to which machine might have a significant advantage over another brand.
I am mostly happy with the Mini, but feel a need for MORE POWER. It appears that the Pinnacle/GCC machines have some advantages in terms of 3D capabilities, but the Epilogs look to be faster (on paper). At present I probably will get an Epilog Legend because I have some familiarity with their system, but I would listen to any informed opinions.
Again, it appears that this is THE place to get true laser facts.

Rodne Gold
11-11-2004, 1:16 AM
Hiya , welcome.
If you have one make and are happy with it , then stick to it.
We run GCC explorers and have had quite good reliabilty with them , we also do a ton of pex. (I also have large format overhead routers etc - similar to you)
Higher powers are really only an issue if you are doing a lot of cutting , if you are doing a lot of engraving , then speed and quality are the issues. Pointless having superfast speeds without the quality to go with it.
In terms of the GCC (laserpro) the explorer is a very much faster machine than the mercury. I'm not sure how much faster any other machine can be - this thing runs exceedingly fast, i would say it has at least 1/2d the time it took to do the same graphic on a mercury and sometimes drops to 1/3rd of the time.
I would rather compare actual speeds in doing a graphic at the same resolution on the machines you are looking at then paper specs. Take your image , your material , let the dealer run it and time it , look at the quality too .
I think 3d is a waste of time , especially on perspex which does not engrave in 3d well. I wouldnt base a decision on this unless it is a major portion of the work.
I maintain that all lasers in their price/power class do more or less the same as each other , some of the bells and whistles might be better - like for example the rotary attachment on a laserpro is just about useless or at least very difficult to use. I would concentrate more on the core applications and what warrantee and support you get.
As I say , if you are happy with the brand you are using , go for their better model.

Mark Singer
11-11-2004, 1:18 AM

I know nothing about such machines but others will help in my ignorance.

Tyler Howell
11-11-2004, 7:23 AM
Welcome Bruce! Great place to hang out!

Keith Outten
11-11-2004, 7:28 AM

I purchased an Epilog Legend 24 three years ago and for the most part I have been satisfied with the machine. Of course there are times that I wish my engraver had a larger power supply but it has not been a major issue based on the type of work I do with the machine. Of course I might be willing to admit that I have gotten used to designing projects based on the capability of my engraver after three years now and it would be nice to be able to work with materials that are thicker and larger sizes.

Since I have only used one model I don't have any words of wisdom concerning other manufacturers but I expect they are all comparable in most aspects. The bells and whistles might be a bit different but the basic functions of comparable machines are probably very close. I am certainly comfortable with my Epilog Legend and I have even been able to use the rotary attachment with reasonable success however the auto-focus has been a major disappointment. I'm sure you have similar comments about your model and I can understand why you would want as much feedback from others before purchasing your second machine. I can say that Epilogs preview window has been a life-saver for me and is an option I would not want to compromise on in the future.

I think that the drivers are as important as any other feature and you would be wise to look at each manufacturer closely to determine how long they continue to support their machines with driver updates. As they move on to newer machines if they discontinue supporting driver updates your three or four year old machine could become less productive, especially if a major operating system comes to market. At the very least you might have to keep an older computer around just to print to your engraver. Honestly I am disappointed that Epilog won't provide a driver for Linux and we have no other choice but to use Microsoft operating systems.

Chuck Burke
11-11-2004, 11:22 AM
Welcome to the Creek.
I too am new to this, but I have immersed myself in education, something I wish I had done before I bought my laser. ( I currently have a GCC )
My best advice and what I would do if I had it to do over again, would be to STOP, take a deep breath and tell yourself NOT TO HURRY!! Take the time to actually see ALL of the lasers available. It might cost you some money and time up front, but in the end you will probably be more satisfied.
While I am happy with my GCC, (Pinnacle/Mercury), there are other features on other lasers that I would have liked to have, such as a touch screen, a larger lcd panel that would allow me to actually SEE the job. A usb port, network compatibility. Had I looked further, I could have gotten these features for not a lot more money.
Also, you need to really define what you want to do, because as Rodney said, more power is not always a good thing, however I am thinking my next laser will be a 60 watt.
Finally Bruce, think about support. What software packages is the company going to support you with? Are parts available NEXT DAY? Where are the parts stocked? Try to think VALUE not "price" and make CUSTOMER SERVICE one of your TOP criteria.

I hope this little diatribe is of some help.

Chuck Burke
Pacific LaZer Works

Ken Fitzgerald
11-11-2004, 12:43 PM
Bruce....Welcome to the 'Creek!

Bob Reda
11-11-2004, 3:25 PM
Going somewhat along with this thread-some companies are offering leasing instead of buying-going along with what Keith said about changing systems and such has anyone considered leasing these things and what advantages would it have or not have.


Ted Shrader
11-11-2004, 7:36 PM
Hi Bruce -

Welcome to the Creek! A great place to hang out and exchange ideas. Don't forget to venture on over to the other forums when you get done reading on the Laser Forum. :)


Bruce Larson
11-12-2004, 9:27 AM
I am currently doing the research in looking at the many other brands out there. We have not limited our product line to one medium and therefore are trying to find out the best combination of features which will give us the greatest flexibility. We have no intention of becoming the biggest or most prominent laser producer of any given product. I am retired and if I had wanted to keep in the rat race, I would have kept the job I had, as it was the best one in the country.
We are still in the state of amazement at what we can do with both the laser and the router, and while we haven't done any laser 3D yet, I can see where there could be some niche products that would be fun to explore further.
We are fighting the Corel Draw 12 learning curve, and have been to several clinics and classes and have read extensively on the subject, but feel that this is like Autocad, and know for sure that we will never fully grasp all of the intricacies of this powerful instrument. I still learn features with Autocad, even though I have been using it for many years.
We are "tool freaks" and enjoy working with all different processes, and particularly try to combine different materials and methods to make "stuff" that we enjoy, and if someone wants to buy it, that's OK, but we don't want to become slaves to a product.
So far our experience with Epilog and our distributor, Brewer Sales, has been a good one, but before we make the next large financial commitment, we just want to get the benefit of others happy or unhappy experiences.
Sorry for the long-windedness of this, but just wanted to share our thoughts.

Kevin Huffman
11-12-2004, 10:32 AM
Hello Bruce,

Welcome to the Creek.

To be 100% honest I am partial to Pinnacle M-Series machines but that is just me. LoL

I am one of the Tech's over here at Pinnacle Laser but I love sharing information more.
This place is one of the best boards I have ever been on and had the pleasure to post on.

If there is anything I can help you with let me know.