View Full Version : New to laser machines

Matt Strauss
06-04-2010, 2:33 PM
Hey everyone, new member here. I'm also new to laser engraving/cutting machines. I'm looking at an Epilog Helix or a Universal VLS to cut puzzles with. Does anyone have anything to say one way or the other about epilog vs universal, or have a specific recommendation for a puzzle cutter?

Also, if you have a used machine available, I'd be interested in hearing about it.


Chris DeGerolamo
06-04-2010, 3:06 PM
People are going to say good any bad things about both...

What is your primary use for the machine - business or hobby/pleasure? If this is a business venture, I would pilfer through these threads to read about what items and services other people offer to keep you out of the red. The answer to my question will probably affect the decision you end up making on the make and power of machine to buy.

John Noell
06-04-2010, 3:10 PM
Welcome to the creek Matt. I think most people here would agree that the most important thing to consider when deciding what laser to buy is your business plan. Is a laser even the best tool for cutting your puzzles? What material(s) will they be made out of and what thickness?

Matt Strauss
06-04-2010, 3:22 PM
good questions!
We are currently using a roller press die cutter. It has worked fairly well, but has limitations, including limited die life, and the machine's ability to withstand the ongoing pressures of making puzzles. To get to the next level up, a 200-ton press, it looks like a very expensive machine the size of a car, which is way our of our budget at this time. our business produces short run and 1-off puzzles, very much like the ones you see in a store, chipboard, with an image attached to the top and then cut. We produce a good number of them, and would love to be able to offer more products on more materials and in more sizes, like hardwoods or plastics.

thanks for the fast replies, much appreciated.

Rodne Gold
06-04-2010, 4:14 PM
Wood chars with a laser - You wont get great results at anything over 3mm - 6mm thickness , especially if the print is on paper and its applied to the wood backing before cutting. You would need around 100+ w for cleaner cuts at the thicker end , if not more than that. Perhaps you should be looking at 250W+ and thats going to be pricey.

Viktor Voroncov
06-05-2010, 3:23 AM
Agree with Rodney. Have customer with same needs, push him two months do not buy :) laser for puzzle die-cutting. We have got acceptable (without visible burning) results on GCC Mercury 25 Wt BUT only with adding CO2 to lasering area. After cost calculation customer decide continue press die cutting.