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Alick Ford
08-01-2010, 12:33 PM
Hi,

I've been reading posts on this forum for a while now and it helped me a lot when it came down to deciding what laser to go for!

I have used a Gravograph LS900 for 3 years in a University in Ireland and decided a few months ago that buying a small laser for home would be a good way for me to make some much needed cash and help my mums wedding cakes and accessories business!

I found it really hard to decide between a VLS 2.3, RayJet and Zing 16.

In the end it came down to the fact that only Epilog had a dealer in Ireland, so hopefully my Zing 16 will be here by the end of the month!

Now for some advice....

I'm going to install my own extraction in my garage, any suggestions? I was going to go for the harbour freight (red) but can't find a supplier in the UK!

I use a macbook pro (with windows xp on parallel when using solidworks etc). Recently I've been thinking it might be better to buy a cheap dell desktop to use with the laser? anyone out there using apple with there laser?

Any other suggestions about things I should have prepared before the laser arrives?

Thanks,

Alick

Doug Griffith
08-01-2010, 12:44 PM
If you are on a Mac, I'm guessing you are using Illustrator/Photoshop. I would get a hold of a cheap PC and install Illustrator/Photoshop on it as well. Network the 2 and you're golden.

Joe Pelonio
08-01-2010, 3:58 PM
I don't know what's available there in the way of exhaust systems, maybe our
upstanding member Frank will chime in.

Congratulations on your purchase and good luck. I have done a fair amount of work for cake people, it is very useful especially for weddings. Personalized toppers, table markers, monograms for the wall, just use your imagination.

While I have not tried fondant, I spoke to the folks at "Ace of Cakes" and they say it burns around the edges when laser cut. They hadn't tried moulding chocolate. I have engraved cookies and that seems to work well.

Alick Ford
08-01-2010, 4:46 PM
Thanks for the advice guys!
Found this after many hours searching online!
http://www.tooled-up.com/Product.asp?PID=139099
It looks very like the harbor freight blowers.
I'm slightly worried about it being to powerful for a Zing? Is it possible to get extraction thats too powerful?!

Mike Chance in Iowa
08-01-2010, 4:58 PM
Any other suggestions about things I should have prepared before the laser arrives?

Welcome to the creek Alick.

Use the Search feature and read through the previous posts in this forum and you'll find all the answers you are seeking. There are thousands of threads filled with ideas and suggestions.

Mark Winlund
08-01-2010, 5:19 PM
I'm slightly worried about it being to powerful for a Zing? Is it possible to get extraction thats too powerful?!



You do have to be carefull.... this is what can happen....

Dan Hintz
08-01-2010, 6:11 PM
Mark,

Why do I see what looks like bed springs in there, a filler spout for an inner tube, etc.?

Dee Gallo
08-01-2010, 7:06 PM
Welcome, Alick!

I use a MacBook Pro and got rid of Parallels since it was too unstable for me. I use Bootcamp and it is fine for sending files to my Epilog (I use a wireless connection). I also have a dedicated pc connected to my lasers where I store all my jobs and related files, but most of the time I send files from the Mac. My old school computer experience makes me continue to store backups on a separate drive too.

I like having both platforms on the Mac because I still find I prefer to use Photoshop on my Mac. Corel gives you no choice after about v8 or something.

If you search the forum for "Mac Compatible" you will find some posts of interest.

cheers, dee

Larry Bratton
08-01-2010, 7:15 PM
Mark,

Why do I see what looks like bed springs in there, a filler spout for an inner tube, etc.?
That is actually a photo of what happened with James when he hooked up that 5hp to his machine. Looks like a pair of jeans in there too!

Mark Winlund
08-01-2010, 8:48 PM
Mark,

Why do I see what looks like bed springs in there, a filler spout for an inner tube, etc.?

Perhaps someone was using their laser in bed... maybe trying to get that "special tattoo" when the exhaust system collapsed the room around them? You know what they say about the bedroom being a dangerous place...

Mark ;)

Tom Bull
08-01-2010, 9:07 PM
That photo looks like a work of art from an episode of "Bones".

Jiten Patel
08-02-2010, 7:49 AM
Thanks for the advice guys!
Found this after many hours searching online!
http://www.tooled-up.com/Product.asp?PID=139099
It looks very like the harbor freight blowers.
I'm slightly worried about it being to powerful for a Zing? Is it possible to get extraction thats too powerful?!

Alick,

This is the same one I will be buying. Supposedly its quite loud. But I will be housing it outside. I am also using it for a Galvo Laser and not a flatbed. I couldn’t find anything similar but this one seems like it will do the job.

Alick Ford
08-02-2010, 9:58 AM
Alick,

This is the same one I will be buying. Supposedly its quite loud. But I will be housing it outside. I am also using it for a Galvo Laser and not a flatbed. I couldn’t find anything similar but this one seems like it will do the job.


Jit,

It's the only one I can find aswell, think I will go ahead and order it. It will be in the same room as my laser so I hope it isn't too loud! If it isn't up to much I will let you know!

Alick

Alick Ford
08-02-2010, 10:06 AM
Welcome, Alick!

I use a MacBook Pro and got rid of Parallels since it was too unstable for me. I use Bootcamp and it is fine for sending files to my Epilog (I use a wireless connection). I also have a dedicated pc connected to my lasers where I store all my jobs and related files, but most of the time I send files from the Mac. My old school computer experience makes me continue to store backups on a separate drive too.

I like having both platforms on the Mac because I still find I prefer to use Photoshop on my Mac. Corel gives you no choice after about v8 or something.

If you search the forum for "Mac Compatible" you will find some posts of interest.

cheers, dee

Good advice Dee,

I think I will give bootcamp a go, if it doesn't suit it doesn't take dell long to ship out a cheap desktop (24hrs I heard!).

So do you use Photoshop on the mac OS then save and send it to your laser while running bootcamp?

I really do think Photoshop/Illustrator will work best for me, but everyone seems to use Corel on here!

Best,

Alick

Doug Griffith
08-02-2010, 11:11 AM
So do you use Photoshop on the mac OS then save and send it to your laser while running bootcamp?

You need to send the file to the laser from a print driver so you will need an app on the PC side (Bootcamp) to do that. Also, since PS is a bitmap app, you'll find yourself wanting control of the x,y positioning of the graphic. To do this, you want to place the PS graphic in a vector program such as Illustrator and position as needed. You'll need a vector app anyways to be able to set cutting paths and control layering.


I really do think Photoshop/Illustrator will work best for me, but everyone seems to use Corel on here!

Not everyone. There are a few PS/IL users here. If you are on a Mac, you'll want to be able to keep your workflow in your preferred OS and not have to reboot into the PC in Bootcamp all the time. That is why I would go with the Adobe products. There are a few CAD/CAM programs I use on the PC side that force me to boot back and forth between the different OSs often. It can be a pain and time consuming.

Dee Gallo
08-02-2010, 8:18 PM
Alick,

I usually transfer all files to Corel to use the print driver, as Doug said. If I have to use PhotoShop, it is prep work of a photo or drawing. Otherwise, everything I do is created in Corel.

I've never even looked into sending straight from PS, but someone else told me they did it. I like consistency.

:) dee

Rand Luka
08-31-2010, 9:51 AM
I don't know what's available there in the way of exhaust systems, maybe our
upstanding member Frank will chime in.

Congratulations on your purchase and good luck. I have done a fair amount of work for cake people, it is very useful especially for weddings. Personalized toppers, table markers, monograms for the wall, just use your imagination.

While I have not tried fondant, I spoke to the folks at "Ace of Cakes" and they say it burns around the edges when laser cut. They hadn't tried moulding chocolate. I have engraved cookies and that seems to work well.

Hi Joe,
I've purchased Zing 24 about 3 months ago, I'm impressed with what the machine does, and I'm still in the stage of exploring different options. However, what you've been describing in the cake and cookie business is even more interesting. Can you please give me some more information and examples about it, as this is the first time that I know about it.

Many Thanks
Rand

Terry Swift
08-31-2010, 11:27 AM
Rand,

I'm with you on Joe's wide array of lasering abilities. Sounds like lots of fun too.

For all MAC & PC users alike - have your tried a Virtual Machine program on your computer to run either Windows or MAC software? You should be able to achieve the same results on just one computer instead of 2, as virtual machines run as a separate computer process. MAC users are more likely to do this than PC users; due to Windows based software is "usually" more prevalent and available. Bootcamp seems to make it a boot one way or another - whereas virtual machining lets you run both OS's at the same time and switch between them. Microsoft produces a version; but VMWare is the most used. They offer a 60 day trial.

" Run the Apps You Need on the Mac You Love -using a Mac doesn’t mean abandoning your Windows applications and devices. Ditch your PC and safely run your favorite Windows programs alongside Mac applications, and keep using your Windows-only devices on your Mac. Also optimized to offer the best Windows applications performance without impacting the power of your Mac, VMware Fusion delivers best-in class graphics support for Windows, including the latest Aero animations in Windows 7 and advanced 3D graphics for avid gamers."

http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/



Happy Computing. :cool: