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dan clarke
09-04-2015, 2:12 PM
I am looking at buying a laser for the first time. I have looked at tons of lasers. Most of all the top brands are way to expensive i need to stay around 25k or below. I am very interested in the ap lazer model sn3024. I think this would do what i wanted to do. I would like to be able to cut wood,acrylic, ect. I was told i would need 100 watt to do this. Is this true?
Your feed back would be much appreciated.
Thank you

Dan Hintz
09-04-2015, 5:00 PM
You don't say how big of a bed you need... plenty of deals to be made with the major companies, and an 18x24" bed can be had for under that price with a smaller tube. 100W is quite a bit, and it will certainly cut acrylic, but lower powers will, too. You don't say what thickness you need to cut, but I did 1/4" acrylic all day with my 60W ULS back in the day... never had much need to cut wood thicker than about 1/8-3/16", but I had no issues with that, either.

dan clarke
09-04-2015, 5:37 PM
thank you Dan and i am sorry i am new to this. I didnt know that about wood that is helpful. The sales rep told me i needed a 100w to cut wood but now i think of it i wont be cutting anything thicker than what you said. i would like 30x24 bed or some what close to that. I want to be able to mark bigger stone items. Do you know of any lasers i should look into?

Bert Kemp
09-04-2015, 6:45 PM
if cutting is your main goal and not rastering a decent Chinese laser will serve you well.Rabbit Laser USA, Boss Laser and Automation Tech all have lasers in the bed size your looking for and 60 to 80 watts, all well under 25K with US support.

Keith Winter
09-04-2015, 7:14 PM
I am looking at buying a laser for the first time. I have looked at tons of lasers. Most of all the top brands are way to expensive i need to stay around 25k or below. I am very interested in the ap lazer model sn3024. I think this would do what i wanted to do. I would like to be able to cut wood,acrylic, ect. I was told i would need 100 watt to do this. Is this true?
Your feed back would be much appreciated.
Thank you


I saw this thing at a show not too long ago. Major POS for the price. They had it all jeery-rigged, duct tapped, and a prayer out to heaven, but it still didn't work. All they could do is tell me about it since it was broken. They had it at about the $16k-$20k mark if I do recall, and it had absolutely 0 features. Plus side is you will have massive forearms if you buy this machine, from turning those 4 bed height screws up and down on every job. You'll look like Popeye in no time! :D

Ross Moshinsky
09-04-2015, 8:20 PM
Epilog, ULS, and Trotec sell their 24x18 variations with 60-80W tubes for around 25k. Importing a Chinese 80-120W laser that's 24x36 I believe costs about 7-8k all said and done (including shipping, importing fees, duties, spare parts, ect). Going with a Chinese machine from a US dealer is about $10-11k I believe without any spare parts.

Which should you buy? This has been discussed a hundred times but the general consensus is....

If you want to engrave primarily and cut secondarily, buying a Western machine has distinct advantages.
If you want to cut primarily and engrave secondarily, opinions will be split between the two machines. Typically boils down to if you're willing to deal with a machine that is less polished.
If you're looking to cut and occasionally engrave, it's recommended to really look at Chinese machines seriously.

dan clarke
09-04-2015, 11:25 PM
thank you all so much for all the good info for a newbie like myself. I want to engrave primarily and cut secondarily. I will look into all your suggestions. I like boss lasers seems like a good company. I know one thing i want to buy from some one in the states just for the support. I have read a lot of horror stories about buying straight out of china. Thanks again, I will let you know what i end up getting

Jack Clague
09-05-2015, 1:15 AM
Hi Dan,

I'm in AU so prices here are a jump up from the US but going by what I have researched so far; have you considered a pre-owned or demo Epilog or Trotec Machine? you can usually get a big discount on those machines and they should come with the same warranty as a new one, depending on its age of course, plus on going support and after sales service from the big names is second to none.

dan clarke
09-05-2015, 8:48 AM
hi jack
i was trying to find a good place to buy a pre-owned laser or demoed one. Does any one have a good site or place to look into this?

Keith Winter
09-05-2015, 4:17 PM
hi jack
i was trying to find a good place to buy a pre-owned laser or demoed one. Does any one have a good site or place to look into this?

Call Trotec directly for pre owned or demo models. Engravers network has a bunch of used and demo uls lasers. Epilog probably has a similar used and demo setup to Trotec if you call them.

Raphael Weil
09-06-2015, 9:49 AM
Epilog, ULS, and Trotec sell their 24x18 variations with 60-80W tubes for around 25k. Importing a Chinese 80-120W laser that's 24x36 I believe costs about 7-8k all said and done (including shipping, importing fees, duties, spare parts, ect). Going with a Chinese machine from a US dealer is about $10-11k I believe without any spare parts.

Which should you buy? This has been discussed a hundred times but the general consensus is....

If you want to engrave primarily and cut secondarily, buying a Western machine has distinct advantages.
If you want to cut primarily and engrave secondarily, opinions will be split between the two machines. Typically boils down to if you're willing to deal with a machine that is less polished.
If you're looking to cut and occasionally engrave, it's recommended to really look at Chinese machines seriously.

Would someone mind quickly recapping those? I've been engraving on an FSL for about a month and really haven't had issues outside of a bit of software quirkiness here and there. I can post some pictures of stuff I've done recently, pretty mind blowing and very detailed.

Rich Harman
09-06-2015, 7:00 PM
Would someone mind quickly recapping those? I've been engraving on an FSL for about a month and really haven't had issues outside of a bit of software quirkiness here and there. I can post some pictures of stuff I've done recently, pretty mind blowing and very detailed.

The main advantage, IMO, of a Trotec is it's blinding speed. If you are engraving to make money, and have the business to keep it busy, it is the way to go.

While a FSL may be able to make a very detailed engraving (pretty much any laser can), if you were to compare your best to Trotec's best, you will probably see a difference - and the Trotec's will have taken a fraction of the time to complete. Not very important for hobbyists but if you have hundreds (or thousands) of things to engrave you'll be desperate for some more speed.

Jeanette Brewer
09-06-2015, 8:13 PM
Epilog probably has a similar used and demo setup to Trotec if you call them.




Epilog does have a list of used equipment. Go to Epilog's website, click on Products, select pre-owned equipment. Many of Epilog Laser's distributors (us included) have used equipment available too.

Ross Moshinsky
09-06-2015, 9:14 PM
Would someone mind quickly recapping those? I've been engraving on an FSL for about a month and really haven't had issues outside of a bit of software quirkiness here and there. I can post some pictures of stuff I've done recently, pretty mind blowing and very detailed.

Have you compared your engraving to what another machine puts out? I've seen a lot of people think they are putting out fantastic work and then compare it to what someone else is doing and then they re-adjust their opinion. I had the opposite the other day. I wasn't happy with a project I did the other day so I scouted out the competition and found I was very much in line with what they were doing.

Also as Rich already answered, speed. A FSL engraves at about 500mm/sec which is 20ips. Most Western machines engrave between 80-110ips and some go up to 150ips (or whatever Trotec is saying now). So when you take 10 minutes to engrave something, most people are doing it in about 2-3 minutes.

Scott Shepherd
09-06-2015, 9:19 PM
A FSL engraves at about 500mm/sec which is 20ips. Most Western machines engrave between 80-110ips and some go up to 150ips (or whatever Trotec is saying now). So when you take 10 minutes to engrave something, most people are doing it in about 2-3 minutes.

So you're telling me that I can charge move with a slower machine? :) 10 minutes at $60 per hour, I'll make $10 and those silly Trotec owners are only making $2 ;) LOL

True story, in manufacturing, we fired a guy because watching him work was like watching paint dry. Little did we know, he was a cash cow for us, he was working on time and material jobs, so the slower he went, the more we made :) Until that day, anyway :)

dan clarke
09-08-2015, 8:32 AM
Thank you. You guys have been more than helpful. You are all awsome

Bert Kemp
09-08-2015, 9:07 AM
One other thing Dan You have been using an FSL, You'll find that no one here will recommend FSL. Well maybe 1 guy . search them here before you decide on an FSL.