PDA

View Full Version : Laser Engraver



Kevin Torf
07-09-2014, 7:19 PM
I am a hobbyist that makes models using mostly Bass Wood and ABS plastics. I am looking to purchase a laser cutter to cut the wood that I cut by hand or jigsaw today. I have tested the Epilog and Universal lasers. Both would be excellent choices for me and easily cut 1/4 inch Bass wood I tested. I tested the 30w and 50w models. I preferred the 50w model as it cut the 3/8 inch bass wood slightly cleaner.

I always like to buy good quality tools as I look after what I buy and it always lasts me a long time. I am however struggling with the price at $18k for the 50w model I was looking at with an exhaust filter. I looked at other models and saw the Boss that I could purchase a 60w unit for $8k and they have a USA based office. I don't plan to use it a lot as I only do hobby work on Sundays so maybe 200 to 300 hours a year. I don't need speed. I don't need a lot of support and I am usually able to install and setup most types of tools myself.

I work with Corel Draw and Solid Works and like to be efficient, organized and produce quality. After reading most of the threads on this site I get the message I should stay away from Chinese lasers and glass tubes. I understand some of the reasoning but given my limited use is the extra expense worth while.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Kevin

Dan Hintz
07-10-2014, 7:55 AM
If your use is limited, have you considered farming the work out to another laser owner? You're not tied up with machine costs, but you still get a quality output/product.

Kevin Torf
07-10-2014, 5:26 PM
Thanks for the idea, it is possible but it would mean planning my cuts in advance so I can mail or take them to a laser owner and then getting it back. Since I only do this mostly on Sundays it will mean a week each time I need to do something. But I like the Idea. I am in California, Palos Verde's if you know of anybody.


Thanks for the reply.

Dan Hintz
07-10-2014, 6:00 PM
I'm having this moved to the Engraver's forum...

Only you can decide what's best for your business model. Can you deal with the frustration of Chinese-written/un-supported software? Can you troubleshoot techy stuff when it goes bad (and things often go bad)? Can you afford to have a machine (of any cost) down for an extended period of time? If none of the above fits you, then you need to go with a Western (and expensive) machine.

50W will give you significantly more freedom when it comes to cutting materials... 30W is a good starter if you mainly engrave. For the (relatively) minor cost difference between a 30W and a 50W cartridge, the usability far outweighs anything else... I'd get a 50W if I could afford it.

Robert Tepper
07-13-2014, 12:02 AM
Kevin,

I sent you a PM. I am located about 15 miles from you.

Robert

Bill George
07-13-2014, 11:03 AM
Kevin I don't know where you are located, but I purchased a Chinese laser from Automation Technologies who are located in Chicago, and one of our advertisers here. Software is a challenge at times.

Kevin Torf
07-14-2014, 11:50 AM
Thanks for all the replies, I am still doing my home work and understanding my options, I will make a decision at the end of the month.

Kevin Torf
07-14-2014, 12:35 PM
I think I am going to go for a 50W Trotec Rayjet 50 or Epliog Zing 24. They are similar in pricing, the Epilog being slightly cheaper. The biggest difference I can see is the cutting table size with the Rayjet at 18"x12" verse 24"x12". I also need a exhaust filter as I don't have a way to exhaust the system outside. I am looking for the best cut, consistency, least effort to manage and setup, reliable and low maintenance cost. Speed is not a big issue, I will be doing mostly cutting with a little engraving.

I will be cutting wood so I am looking for the least burn on the wood and best air flow.

Any thoughts ?

Dan Hintz
07-14-2014, 1:40 PM
I also need a exhaust filter as I don't have a way to exhaust the system outside.

See my blog post on a filter setup... that should save you a few grand.

Ross Moshinsky
07-14-2014, 5:22 PM
Contact Rabbit Laser. For less money you'll get a better machine for what you're doing and you're situation.

Dan Hintz
07-14-2014, 5:50 PM
I always like to buy good quality tools as I look after what I buy and it always lasts me a long time.


Contact Rabbit Laser. For less money you'll get a better machine for what you're doing and you're situation.
I almost started this with "I'm not sure, but"... what I really mean is...

"I'm sure I wouldn't consider a Chinese machine better than a Trotec or Epilog. He can buy cheaper, but he can't buy better...