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View Full Version : Trotec Job Control VS. Epilog



Conor Gaffney
03-16-2015, 1:07 AM
Hello,

I am about to purchase my second laser. I currently have a Epilog Mini 24 40 Watt, have owned it for 4 years. I am looking at purchasing either a Epilog Fusion 40 75/120 watt(depending on what price my rep can give me) or the Trotec Speedy 400 60/80 Watt(depening on price given by Rep.).

I have Demo'd a Trotec 3 times and was blown away by the raster speed, but had a tough time wrapping my head around the Job Control software and not having a "Set home" position. On my third visit I started to understand it a little and began to thought that I could wrap my head around it with time.

95% of my business is rastering.

My hesitation with going with Trotec is that the Job control software will take so long to set up each job that the increased speed wont make any difference. With Epilog it's so simple to load a job in Corel, print, set my home position and go. With Trotec it seems to be so many extra steps to print. I have been mulling this over in my head for weeks. Basically not pulling the trigger until I search every nook and cranny for info and opinions.

I also have a part time employee who will be using the Laser about 10/30 hours a week, depending on work load. Not sure if the Trotec will be too complex for them to learn & eventually master? Thanks so much, I really appreciate this forum!

Mayo Pardo
03-16-2015, 4:08 AM
I've never used the Epilog so I can't comment on that.
I'm still fairly new with my Trotec but I don't find the Job Control software to take long to set up a job at all.

In the beginning you will add to or tweak the included materials database with the speeds and power settings that work best for your particular materials. You don't have to do this all at one time - just as you initially work on various materials, you can select the kind of material it is from the database (wood, plastic, glass, etc) and add another item, name it something you'll recognize, and put your speed and power settings in and save it. The next time you work on that same material, you select your customized setting and click print. Job control opens up, you drag and drop your job onto the visual "plate" and now you have options where you can decide to engrave from the bottom up, options where the job is positioned, if you have a job that includes cutting and engraving you can select "Vector ordering" and the job will process faster. It will also cut the centers of letters or objects with interior cuts first, and then the outer part will cut.

You can see on the "plate" in the software exactly where the laser is before starting the job. If you reposition the laser using the keypad on the laser, the software updates in real time with the new position.

You can click and drag the job so it snaps a corner of the job to the laser, or snap the center of the job to the laser. You can rotate the job (only 90 degrees but sometimes it is advantageous). If you need to, you can move the laser to a specific position by entering coordinates in the software.

You can tell the software you want to cut or engrave a material in multiple passes.
You can move the Z height of the bed as part of the settings for a given material before cutting or engraving and you can also move it for different layers.

It has a built in photo processing mode that works great.

If you're doing multiples of the same job, you can just start the same job again (after loading the next piece) with the press of one button on the laser control panel. You don't have to go back to the software. You can't get any faster than that!

I'm sure there's more that I haven't had a chance to play with yet and maybe others with more time in the software will let you know other advantages.

Chris J Anderson
03-16-2015, 5:01 AM
On my machine (Trotec Speedy 300), the Job Control software is nice to use, but yes, takes a step or 2 more than Epilog driver.
probably not enough difference in that time to be the difference between choosing between the machines.

The Trotec requiring less cleaning is a big one for me, plus the on board air supply...

I do like that the Epilog doesn't require the pc to stay connected, whereas Trotec Job Control needs to be connected until the job is completed.
My Epilog also can save jobs in memory so you don't even need a pc for them, however the memory does get regularly corrupted, so I no longer use that feature.

Jiten Patel
03-16-2015, 8:00 AM
Conor,

I do not have an Epilog so cannot comment on its software, but Job Control is easy to use after a few hours playing around with it. It takes me maybe 30 seconds to a minute to set up a job. Surely the speed the machine can raster at would be a lot faster that and save you time in the long run compared the the epilog.

You can setup plates with markers to help positioning and also press and hold a button on the machine to temporarily set the home position for that plate.

Hope this helps.

Scott Shepherd
03-16-2015, 9:11 AM
As so many have said, it doesn't take too long to get used to, but it is a different approach. It's a different approach for a reason. It's more productive and powerful. While you might think that the epilog system is faster, if you used Job Control as it's intended, it would be much faster at the end of the day. The ability to send multiple jobs over and put them all on the same layout, inside Job Control, versus have to create a new document in Corel and copy and paste all the things you want to cut into one file are the things that make a difference.

I don't know your business or what you do, so the Epilog style might fit your needs better, and if it means anything, Epilog is working hard to emulate the Job Control system, so if you don't like it on the Trotec, you're about to have it on the Epilog. There's a reason Epilog is going that route, it's a better, more productive system.

I've used the two systems and I'd say you are right, the Epilog is the easiest on the market. However, it's also the least powerful in it's features.

Mike Null
03-16-2015, 9:39 AM
I do mostly rastering on my Trotec and don't notice that JC takes longer. In fact, I think it's really fast and time saving. There are multiple ways to save info in Job Control though I use the materials file most often. The jobs I run are quite similar but not identical so re-using a job file isn't something I have a need for with one exception.

My only regret is that I should have bought a more powerful unit as I can't make full use of the awesome raster speed with just 45 watts.

Bryan Jater
03-16-2015, 11:13 AM
You can use the "quick print" function in Job Control, the process is then much more like an Epilog machine.

Job Control is worth sticking with though, there are lots of features which will save you time in the long run.

Scott Shepherd
03-16-2015, 1:17 PM
You can use the "quick print" function in Job Control, the process is then much more like an Epilog machine.

Good point, "Quick Print" will send the job over, put it right on the plate and if you want, it'll actually start engraving if I remember the options. Or, it'll just go to the plate and wait for you to hit the go button.

Conor Gaffney
03-17-2015, 3:31 AM
Wow thanks everyone for the feedback. I am mostly engraving glass water bottles. My web site is where you can see my work. one thing I love about the epilog is that while one job is engraving, I can set up the next one, and print it to the machine while the last job is still engraving. Once it finishes I put in new bottles, hit the reset button, then press go and I'm off and running on the next job. Does trotec have this same work flow? For some reson I never thought to ask my local rep about this. It's a huge time saver for me.

Jiten Patel
03-17-2015, 5:21 AM
Hi Conor,

Job Control doesn't work exactly like that. While a job is running, I can set up another, print it to JC and when the current job is finished, the job is waiting in the job queue. You simply delete or return the current job back to the queue and place the new job where you want it by dragging and dropping or double clicking it to send it to home. You can right click the job in the queue and position it multiple times on the bed. Another feature I use all the time is setting up plates with markers for repeat jobs which match up to my jigs. Using this, you can drag and drop files and they snap to the markers. It is a very flexible and efficient work flow, although not perfect.

I would love to have the feature to position multiple jobs to snap to my markers (some plates have 200 markers) automatically rather than manually. Hope this helps.

Tony Lenkic
03-17-2015, 10:48 AM
Conor,

Are you using rotary attachment for glass work? If yes than either system will do one at the time. Setup process will be same on any system running rotary.

Conor Gaffney
03-17-2015, 12:27 PM
Sometimes I'm using the rotary, but mostly the glass is square so no rotary is needed.