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Paul Phillips
04-08-2010, 5:49 PM
My name is Paul, I joined the Creek a couple years ago when I first started looking into getting a Laser and am very impressed by the quality of people and information in these forums. It has taken this long to finally get the ok (and enough work) to get a Laser so Im sure I will have more questions.
I have spent plenty of time searching the forums for information so I have a pretty good idea of what I want. I also went to the 07 ISA convention in Las Vegas and was able to look at several machines firsthand and talk to the reps. I know what I want in terms of size and specs but for me it has come down to brand quality, ease of use and support. I have it narrowed down to either the VersaLaser 60 watt or the Universal Pro series PLS6.150D. From what I have seen, it seems to me that the ULS systems are a little more user friendly than most and I like the features they come with. I am looking at both 60 watt and 120 watt (PRO) systems. I will be using it mainly for Rowmark/ADA signage along with and acrylics and some occasional . We do a lot of custom signs so I know we will end up using it for other materials and will push it to its limits, which is why I want the extra power.
So my question is, does anyone have experience running both types of machines and do you find a big difference in speed or quality between the VersaLaser and Pro series? There is only about a $3000 difference between the two comparably equipped machines so it seems to make sense to go with the better quality Pro series since it is upgradeable to 120 watts.
Also, does anyone have a recommendation on a good distributor located in So. Calfifornia?
Any recommendations and insight are appreciated.
For what its worth I have been making custom signs for about 20 years and I also run two MultiCam CNC machines and a NewHermes Rotary Engraver so if I can be of any help to anyone who has CNC questions please let me know.
Thanks,
Paul

Scott Shepherd
04-08-2010, 6:19 PM
Welcome Paul! Glad you joined us.

The reps for ULS in CA are listed here :

http://versalaser.com/find-reps/us/ca/

We have the PLS4.60 (I think it's called a 4.75 now). As for ease of use.....well, I wouldn't say it's the easiest machine to use. It has many features that are very powerful and available. You can go the easy route, or you can go the manual route, which gives you control over a lot of things other machines don't give you control over. I can't say it's easier to use than the Epilog. But I can say that I can do things on this machine I couldn't do on our Epilog.

We're in the same business as you, sounds like, so if you have specific questions, PM me, or PM me some info and I'd be happy to talk to you on the phone if needed.

The main difference in the VLS and the PLS is the lack of a control panel on the machine. The VLS doesn't have it, so everything has to be done from the computer. The PLS has a control panel and you can make changes at the control panel. Other than that, the VLS doesn't have the autofocus beam shooting thingy on it, but I've not used mine since I got it (years ago) because there are other, more efficient ways to set the focal point.

If I can help, just ask. Also know they have some smoking specials on right now, so ask about them.

Belinda Williamson
04-08-2010, 7:30 PM
Welcome Paul! It's always nice to have a new member. I look forward to seeing your work. Don't be a stranger to the CNC forum. :)

Dan Hintz
04-08-2010, 7:39 PM
Paul,

Steve (Scott) and I have the same machine (I have the 60W cartridge). Same as him, I never use the auto-focus ability, so it wouldn't be a draw for me if I was purchasing another machine. the front panel, however, has proven quite useful... it allows me to adjust power on the fly, and when working with one-of-a-kind objects, that's a big plus.

Paul Phillips
04-08-2010, 8:01 PM
Scott, I was aware of the vendor list but I wanted to know if anyone has a particular one they could recommend based on personal experience because there seems to be so many.
Thanks,
Paul
Sent you a PM.

Dan Hintz
04-08-2010, 8:08 PM
You pretty much deal with whomever is closest to you... to not do so would open up the door to bad situations for certain situations.

Mike Null
04-08-2010, 9:33 PM
If you're in SoCal deal with Mike Mackenzie. If you've followed SMC you know how much he contributes even if not his customers.

http://www.cemlasers.com/

Scott Shepherd
04-09-2010, 9:58 AM
Yes, another vote for Mike. My rep was out on medical for a period of time and I called on Mike several times for help and he helped me out several times. Super knowledgeable guy. If I were in his area, I'd buy from him!

Paul Phillips
04-09-2010, 11:20 AM
Thanks guys, that's exactly what I wanted to know. I have quotes from the factory sales rep already so as soon as I get financing approval I will contact mike and try to go through him.
Paul

Mike Mackenzie
04-09-2010, 11:41 AM
Paul,

When you are ready you can contact me at mike at cemlasers dot com. I have both of those system here and would be happy to demonstrate them for you.