View Full Version : Bit the bullet

dave hensley
12-21-2010, 11:07 AM

I have made a down payment on a Versalaser 3.50 machine! Just waiting for the final amount from ULS to close the deal. :D

If everything goes as planned, I should have it within first couple weeks of January. Until then, I'd like to do as much learning as I can about the processes, materials, etc. for lasers.

I've had a CNC router for about two years that I've been using for most of my projects, so I'm familar with how these machines work. What will be totally new for me is all the various materials you can use with a laser and the techniques involved. Besides this forum, are there any sites/books/references that anyone can recommend to help me in learning about my new venture? :)



Peter Odell
12-21-2010, 11:12 AM
Way to go Dave

Jiten Patel
12-21-2010, 11:47 AM
Well done mate. Let the fun begin. Sorry, can't really offer you too much advice as I have only had my machine a few weeks.

Robert Walters
12-21-2010, 12:10 PM
Hi Dave,

Many suggest that you read ALL the posts in the engraver section.

The one material you should NEVER laser is PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) or any material with "chlor" in it's name as these materials are toxic to both the machine and your health and will usually void your warranty.

PVC will outgas HCL, damage the optics in your laser, and can be lethal.

If you plan on cutting with your laser (most do), you'll want air assist and requires a clean moisture-free air source.

You'll need an air exhaust, most use woodworking dust collectors as they have bothe the CFM and SP (Static Pressure) called for from the manufactures.

The Dust Collector's that most choose are:

Red DC - small and loud (for an office environment)

Green DC - Not as loud

PennState DC - Relatively quiet (compared to the above) but requires a 110/220VAC 16A/8A circuit

dave hensley
12-21-2010, 12:25 PM
Thanks all!

Many suggest that you read ALL the posts in the engraver section

Well that would certainly keep me occupied until the laser arrives! :)


David Fairfield
12-21-2010, 12:27 PM
Best reference book for lasering is the manual that comes with the machine. Everything I've ever produced, is a variation of something contained in the manual. The best reference for lasering I've ever found is this website.

dave hensley
12-21-2010, 1:04 PM
Thanks David!

Regarding the dust collectors, I am thinking I'll put one in the storage space that's next to my office. If I do this, I also want to build an enclosure for the DC to dampen the sound and then vent it through an exterior wall. Thoughts, comments, suggestions about this idea?

Martin Boekers
12-21-2010, 1:22 PM
You Tube is great for videos.

Larry Bratton
12-21-2010, 4:53 PM
Congratulations on your purchase!
Depends on how much time you have. If you have the time to read posts in this forum, you can probably learn everything you need to know. However, it would be time consuming. You could also spend a little money and subscribe to Laser Bits "Laser University". I believe it is about a $100.00. I purchased it before I got my laser a couple of years ago and it gave me a good amount of insight into what I was doing when the machine came. It is well organized and you can go at your own pace. Good luck with it and have fun!

dave hensley
12-21-2010, 5:13 PM
Thank you Larry! I'll look into that. :)