View Full Version : Universal M-300 50W

Donald Ethredge
12-22-2011, 10:23 PM
I pretty much just purchased a used unit today from engravers network, of course now the wife is asking me what we are going to do with it. We own a Embroidery, Screen Printing and Sign business. I think we can use it to expand in some areas as well as now cut the twill we now do with a cutter as well as some other ideas I have about making some Plastic Stands for some RC work I do..

I'm I heading in the right direction by purchasing the large wattage I can afford., the unit has a new tube as of last month and come with 6 month warranty.

Mike Null
12-23-2011, 8:15 AM

Welcome to Sawmill Creek. Congratulations on your planned purchase. That's an excellent machine and ULS has very good and free tech support. From a power standpoint that's more than I started with but a good spec for commercial engraving work.

As soon as you get the machine make some sample office nameplates and name tags. You'll be amazed at how much of that stuff you can sell.

Ernie Balch
12-23-2011, 8:18 AM
we have a sign shop with t shirts being an ever increasing part of the business. Like you, we bought a laser and now are wondering how to make it pay for the floorspace it requires. I am very interested to hear the answers. So far we have been making wood boxes, decorative pieces and lots of engraved plastic samples. Today I am going to try cutting leather for a project.


Joe Hillmann
12-23-2011, 11:46 AM
A great way to have your machine pay for itself is to have the local paper do a story your business and your new purchase and what it is able to do. After the story appears in the paper go to every business in town(not just the ones that you think might need engraving) and introduce yourself and bring along a few samples. Since they have already seen your story in the paper they will most likely be more open to the idea of doing business with you. At least that is how I did it and it worked for me.

Michael Hunter
12-23-2011, 1:27 PM
Following the publicity, you must also be ready for EVERY insurance salesman in the area, plus assorted "financial advisors" to contact you peddling their wares.

Been there, got the tee-shirt.

Terry Swift
12-24-2011, 7:58 AM
One thing apparel types can do is laser fleece, poly clothing, and even denim. That's starting to catch on more and can help keep that laser running more. Fleece is a great item to laser and it leaves a nice mark, whereas when doing poly clothing - you have to work with mainly medium colors; as they generally only darken a couple of shades. Denim is great, as the laser bleaches the area white - so you can customize jeans, etc. I haven't tried it on cotton items yet; but that may be just a test project for some who have lots of spares laying around gathering dust.

The sky and your imagination is the limit. Check out some of the lasering suppliers and you'll find so many things to do - it boggles the mind and pocketbook. Simple signage and tags can be a big business for some areas.

I upgraded my 30 watt to a 50 watt and love the extra power and less time it takes to do stuff compared to the old 30 watt. Robert / Susan / and staff at Engravers Network are great. They hold classes on CorelDraw and other subjects; plus have a big area of stuff they have lasered for samples to get the wheels churning in your mind. I've done leather journals, domino sets w/ box, baseball bats, all kind of plaques and plates, and the list goes on.


Knives and guns are a good source of revenue (but be careful when doing guns). The next to last picture is of some fleece I did a test on. Bought some scraps from Joan's and play with it. The last item is Rowmark black / white acrylic, using an HDR photo to create a one of a kind picture image. Files are humongous when working with HDR though.

Just play, play, play - that's the only way to figure out your machine. Take copious notes of settings, as you'll easily forget them and using manufacturers settings doesn't always produce the best product. Each machine is a one of a kind - no matter if it's a M-300 50 Watt like mine.

This forum and there are others as well - provide excellent help; so ask or more importantly - do a search thru the archives, because your questions has probably been asked 30-40 times before.

Doug Novic
12-24-2011, 12:11 PM
Terry is absolutely right. Play, play, play, and you will be amazed at what you learn. It can be frustrating but educational. A piece of worthwhile advice I received from a fellow laser owner was to always keep an open mind. You may think your business will use it in one way and you are using it next for something completely different than you planned. Happens a lot and it helps pay the bills plus you get to excess's some creativity as well.

Enjoy and welcome.

Ross Moshinsky
12-24-2011, 1:15 PM
I'd start with the 4 basic materials and work from there.

1. Coated Metals - These can be engraved at 100% speed. This means not a lot of time on the laser. You can do plaques, name plates, business cards, and a whole bunch of other things.

2. Wood - With 50W you should be able to engrave wood fast enough to make it profitable. Work with wood that gives you a high contrast so you don't have to get into color fill.

3. Acrylic - Acrylic signs will add another dimension to your sign work. You can cut the letters out. You can shape the backer board. You can simply engrave the letters right into the acrylic. You can let your imagination run wild. With 50W you'll be able to handle the thicknesses you'll want to work with.

4. Laminated Plastics - To a certain extent, this is going to replace a lot of work you hated to do on your vinyl cutter. It's going to be easier to setup a job, put a piece of plastic in the laser, and let it go. You're also going to be able to do the small letters and the name tags you've never been able to do. It also allows you to buy things like resin trophies and make up quick name plates.

I'd start simple and work my way up. Photos are difficult to make money off of because of the time element. So is doing engraving in stone, color filling, and engraving on customer supplied objects. You should eventually learn how to do those types of things, but they aren't easy to make consistent money off of. Especially if you are already worried about the floor space the machine will take up.

Donald Ethredge
12-24-2011, 6:20 PM
Thanks for all the information, I ran into some issues with the wife on purchase so the project is now on hold.. Might need to find a different starter machine to play with.