View Full Version : Which company will fit my needs.

Doug Thompson
05-02-2010, 10:17 AM
Hello, I don't visit this side of the creek but it's time to purchase a laser. I need to engrave anodized aluminum, maybe wood and steel but steel is at the far bottom of the list (wish list).

Priorities are,

1.Quiet, I need to talk to people when it's running.

2.speed, I need enough power to get the job done without going overboard... I would also like to see it run off 110.

3.portable, I want to be able to move this in the car from place to place so a smaller laser with cart and it needs to vent to ???

4.At home this will run production, well a couple thousand a year.

5.I like American products.

6.Price, where do you find the best price and service... under $20 total.

7. 12" X 24" is needed

That said... the Epilog mini 24 (40 watt?)looks good but the rotary fixture looks weak compared to the Universal. All I need to do is put a name on some items that I manufacture. WHAT SOULD I BUY?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Steve Kelsey
05-02-2010, 10:23 AM
Speaking to the noise issue, I found that far and away the loudest part of my setup is the exhaust. There may be quieter ones on the market but I went for the Harbor Freight. I think I am going to eventually either build a 'case' for it to help with the noise or put it in the next room and use the wall to mask the noise. I am using a mini 24. It meets all of your other need except for maybe the portability. It weighs 90 lbs and I would not consider it portable. At least not easily. I would worry about damage to it when moving as well as the venting you would need at your destination. A lot of the substrates can give off quite a bit of odor however aluminum does not.

Doug Thompson
05-02-2010, 10:30 AM
So there won't be a need to vent when engraving anodized aluminum... cool. I really wish I could go smaller but some items are 22 inches long... at 90 lbs. it has to be portable... well two guys could pick it up.

Who has the best price?

Steve Kelsey
05-02-2010, 10:32 AM
You should always vent. It pulls away the particulates from your workpiece. Aluminum just does not smell.

Doug Thompson
05-02-2010, 10:43 AM
You should always vent. It pulls away the particulates from your workpiece. Aluminum just does not smell.

Steve, thanks you can see how little I know about this stuff. Quiet venting is that possible and I was worried about cooling fans being noisy.

Doug Griffith
05-02-2010, 10:53 AM
I also have a Mini 24 and while it is a good choice for you, I would not consider it portable by any means. At the very least you would need a large hatchback or small van. Also note that moving around a lot will increase chances for alignment problems on any laser.

Steve Kelsey
05-02-2010, 11:09 AM
The cooling fans do give off some noise but you can easily hold a conversation with them running. As for quieter venting options, there are several options. One is a remote unit (mounted on roof or outside). These would be more expensive. Another is to visit your local woodworking supply store (WoodCraft, etc) and have them fire up a few models for you. Last, and what I will likely do, is to build some sort of noise suppression around the motor. I will likely build a small case with some foam insulation on it to help reduce the ambient noise. It's just not high up on my list yet.

Joe Pelonio
05-02-2010, 11:27 AM
You should always vent. It pulls away the particulates from your workpiece. Aluminum just does not smell.
In most cases the exhaust vent is pulling through air to cool the laser tube, the internal fans are only cooling the electronics, so without the exhaust fan your tube would burn out very quickly. Whether you need quiet or not, make sure to use a fan that meets the laser manufacturer requirements for air movement in CFM. You also need to make sure the table in the laser can handle 90 lbs of material and still move up and down to focus.

Neil Pabia
05-02-2010, 11:41 AM
I was told I could use a strong bathroom type exhaust fan, have I been misinformed about that?

Doug Thompson
05-02-2010, 12:09 PM
This needs to be vented with a filter anywhere it's setup (no outdoor venting) they do make quiet compressors so someone should make quiet venting. This has to be able to relocate or all the plans change... venting is the big issue right now. Alignment is something that needs to be checked often, hopefully a ride in a SUV will help.

I plan to visit a dealer in Ohio next week... As you could see I'm out of my comfort zone when it comes to lasers.

Anything else you could say would be helpful.


Doug Thompson
05-02-2010, 12:26 PM
Another thought... companies do run lasers at trade shows I wonder what they use to vent their units.

Joe Hayes
05-02-2010, 11:24 PM
Many of them use these systems. www.bofaamericas.com
All the report I have heard on these systems has been very complementary.

Doug Thompson
05-03-2010, 5:52 AM
This is the what I've been looking for the past few weeks... all you have to do is ask and you found the information in hours.

I still need to figure out what laser, power and the rotary attachment.

Just to add good gosh is this expensive!

Viktor Voroncov
05-03-2010, 5:58 AM
This laser have 12 and 30 Wt lasers, rotary is available for extra $, table size is only 18" x 12"
I don't know price in USA, but expect not more than $12 000 for 30 Wt. But do not forget add $2-3 000 for air cleaning system.

Joe Pelonio
05-03-2010, 8:44 AM
Bathroom fans run about 100 CFM, my laser manufacturer calls for 400 CFM.

Chris DeGerolamo
05-03-2010, 10:23 AM
Just as was said above, you may want to look into the same exhaust systems used at the trade show. I remember the ones in L.V. were pretty quiet and small (which probably means they are expensive). Peck from Epilog lurks around here.. you should PM him.

Dan Hintz
05-03-2010, 11:13 AM
Also be aware those systems require pricey custom filters, and the ones being used at the shows are not really in "production" mode... small items, short periods of time, etc. IT can get expensive to run some of those units in a production environment.

Richard Rumancik
05-03-2010, 1:01 PM
Not only will the bathroom fan not have enough maximum flow, but it will never achieve the pressure needed. As Joe says, lots of lasers will need 400 cfm, some will ask for 600 cfm, but you need it to be able to attain a pressure of about 6" water column at that flow rate.

Bathroom fans are rated to achieve 0.1" or 0.2", maybe the higher end ones can achieve 0.4". But they are not suitable to use for a laser exhaust system.

Joe, which lasers use exhaust air to cool the laser tube? I thought that that was a design that was tried and abandoned - which manufacturer still does this?

Rodne Gold
05-03-2010, 1:14 PM
All I need to do is put a name on some items that I manufacture. WHAT SOULD I BUY?

What about farming it out?
Unless of course you want to personalise items on the road?

Howard Garner
05-03-2010, 1:18 PM
Universal makes a filter cart for the Versa Laser.
This might be an option.
The replacement filters can add up though.

Howard Garner
VeraLaser VL300 30 watt

Doug Thompson
05-03-2010, 2:53 PM
Universal makes a filter cart for the Versa Laser.
This might be an option.
The replacement filters can add up though.

Howard Garner
VeraLaser VL300 30 watt

This is another option Universal... they have a better rotary fixture but I didn't think they were made in America. The filters would be very expensive so when at home it needs to be vented outside... somehow it has to be done. At a show I really need to be able to use it and talk to someone a few feet away... I plan to engrave a name at the point of sale.

I'm learning alot in a short period of time which is the way it should be.

I needed this... to be honest I don't plan to run it but my wife has been choosen to do that... I like CNC's

Shawn Conklin
05-03-2010, 4:10 PM
I have been pricing filtration systems. Also be sure to check out Purex and Electrocorp



fyi ... the electorcorp unit meant for lasers is ~$2k and the Purex ones are ~$3500 for ones that would work well with the Epilog size your talking about.

The purex systems allow you to add a duct going out so if you wanted to you could vent out after the filter but they are both designed to direct vent back into room.