View Full Version : Importing a Chinese laser cutter! (400x600mm 80w reci)

Jason Hakki
08-31-2016, 12:37 PM
Hello everyone,

I own a small custom sign shop with a 5x10 CNC plasma cutter and a 5x10 Multicam router. Buying this laser cutter is a bit of an experiment and my first time importing something large like this from China.

We are buying our machine from Ray Fine Technologies and their contact has been Blanca Yan. My reason for going with Ray Fine was I had read positive things about Shenhui and both Mr. Feng and Blanca Yans customer service. When I tried to contact Blanca and Shenhui laser it turns out she was a new company, Ray Fine, and a few people here had positive experiences so I made the decision to go with Ray Fine.

So far it's day 5 after my deposit I was able to make through Pay Pal. The machine is built and going to be crated today. They will be putting it on a ship soon and dealing with customs and bringing it to their warehouse in Vancouver, Canada. From there I will arrange freight myself.

I will keep anyone interested updated!

Videos and pictures

Jason Hakki
08-31-2016, 12:47 PM
And here is the photo

David Somers
08-31-2016, 1:46 PM

Please give my best to Blanca! I found her the same way. I had heard great things about her from folks who had bought through her at Shenhui, got her contact info and found she was now with Ray Fine. Got my 900x600 80 watt laser and same size CNC from here. She was great to work with and we keep in touch even now, almost two years out. When you get the machine in pop me a note and I can go over a few things you may want to do with it right off the bat to make life easier.

Jason Hakki
08-31-2016, 3:09 PM
Thanks for the reply David!

I am interested to hear of the few things to go over, I like to be prepared. I've built 3 CNC machines myself at this point, so I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty. How has your laser treated you so far?

John Noell
08-31-2016, 4:43 PM
David, does yours look the same? The difference between that cabinet and my Shenhui is interesting. It looks like the overall size might be a bit smaller (which would be nice).

Klaus Madsen
08-31-2016, 5:55 PM
I know it doesn't matter, but wow I like the gold colors :)

David Somers
08-31-2016, 10:17 PM
Hi Jason!

It is hard to tell from your photo, but I believe your machine comes with aluminum slats as well as a honeycomb? Hopefully they are still using a steel honeycomb. I like being able to use strong magnets to hold down light materials or warped materials. I use N52 magnets that I get from KJmagnetics.com. 1/2" x 1/2" by 1" is quite strong and is low enough to clear the bottom of the lens tube with a 2" (50mm) lens in it.

First thing I did after simply making sure it ran and getting the airblower setup to suit my garage was to level the tables. Keep in mind I am a bit anal about level and repeatable setups.
I removed the honeycomb and put all the aluminum slats in.
I used my little acrylic focus spacer they provide and got the laser "focused" on the rear left slat. The one nearest the first mirror. Then I moved the laser forward to the front of that slat and used the little hex screw under it to set it to the same height using my spacer. I did that for all the slats so that every slate was on the same distance from the plane of the gantry. Be careful doing this. When you are done, recheck it all and make any final adjustments. Then make sure the locking screw on each of those hex screws is locked down, and to be really anal I applied a dab of locktite to each to be sure it didnt vibrate loose. Nail polish would work fine for this too.

Then I put the honeycomb back in place and used the spacer again to "focus" on the surface of the honeycomb and made sure that it was also on the same plane as the gantry in all four corners.

Next I made sure the honeycomb was setting on the slats so that the laser was firing on the honeycomb completely and not on the frame around the honeycomb. I found the frame was NOT square by the way. This bugged me.
I drilled through the frame down into the steel table frame itself in all four corners. Then I used a tap and die to thread those holes in the table frame to match bolts. I then threaded in the bolts so that the honeycomb was now held down firmly. I could then remove it for cleaning or to use the slats directly, and then be able to quickly and accurately put the honeycomb back in place.

Now that the honeycomb was locked in and replacable accurately I ran wide masking tape along the back edge of the honeycomb and on the left and right edge. I ran the laser to those edges and fired a dot into each corner so I could see the limit of the lasers range. I used a straight edge to mark a line on the tape for each of the edges and then put a mark on the honeycomb frame so I knew where each edge was. Next I got some steel (actually I used some inexpensive steel rulers I found, but any steel straight edge will work fine.) I put double sided tape on the bottom of my straight edges and adhered them to the honeycomb so the inside edge of the staightedge followed the lines I had marked for the limits of the lasers cut. Once done I now had a fixed guide that marked the back working edge of the table, and the left and right working edge. Now I could accurately put something down on the table, butt it up against the guides and repeatedly get things lined up the same way each time. Like I said. I am a bit anal about squareness and repeatability. And since I had fixed my honeycomb in place I could remove it and replace it and the guides remained accurate as well. I find this a real help for repeated work with sheets of things. Blanca and her crew thought I was nuts. It seems they just lay oversized stock on the table. Cut it and toss the waste. That would drive me crazy and force me to get prescription drugs. <grin> The nice thing about this is that once you go through this you are pretty much set and should not have to change it again.

Likely your machine uses a toggle switch to raise and lower the table. The switch is probably a 3 position switch....top position raises, middle is off, lower position lowers the table. I replaced this with a spring loaded toggle that returns to the center position the second you let go of it. I also moved the toggle switch from the right side of the cabinet to the front face just below the controls. My machine is bigger than your cabinet and it was awkward to reach the toggle and see into the machine to watch the table height. The spring loaded switch and the new switch location is much more convenient.

I added a milliamp meter onto the top of the machine so I could see how much power is applied to the tube as it runs. More for curiousity, and also for simplicity if I need to diagnose an issue later on. Initially I wanted to know how much power in milliamps was being applied to my tube at 100% power setting on the laser. Then I could see if their 100% setting was really 100% power and account for that if needed to avoid applying true 100% power to the machine. I looked up on line what the recommeded power was for my tube (80watt EFR tube) and used that as my target. No when I hit 100% on the machine I am getting the recommended power level, not actually 100%. Again, anal, but I wanted to protect my expensive tube.

Mine came with a thin tube Flourescent light in the lid at the back side. I added an LED "tube light" to the front of the lid as well. That helps with visibility.

I fussed with the mount for the Red LED laser that shows where the laser beam was going to hit. It was not the most secure mount and wandered around. Now it is pretty solidly fixed in place and when I focus on an object the Red dot shows me right where the beam will hit.

Lastly, I double checked the alignment of all 3 mirrors and made sure the lens was placed in its tube in the correct orientation. And to finish it all off I used a sheet of painted metal and did a focus test to be sure the little focus spacer they gave me was spot on. Amazingly, after an overseas voyage in a container ship and delivery by a truck on a rough alley it was all in excellent alignment. But it was nice to know it was spot on. I also kind of wanted to go through the procedures for this so it would not be new to me if I needed to do an alignment in the future for some reason. It also gave me an excuse to go through the whole machine from top to bottom while it was under warrantee.

I did have Blanca send me a simplified chinese version of the manual for the machine and RDWorks. Blanca was terrific about helping me when I hit something in their translated English manual that was funky. There was even a section that even should could not figure out and she had to go to one of their engineers for help deciphering it. Once I had the simplified version of the manual though I could take a page and run it through Google Translate and a few other online translation tools and have a translation I could work with and not have to keep pestering Blanca. She was always kind and helpful. I just felt badly going back to her for clarification. Plus with the time and date difference there was obviously a delay in her replies.

So.....those were the things I did at the outset. I have been very pleased with the machine, delighted with Blanca as both a sales person and a "tech support" person. All in all this has been a terrific experience. My experience with the CNC from them was equally good. That was on the same order BTW.

Does that help you?

David Somers
08-31-2016, 10:23 PM
Hi John!

Hope all is well down there in Fiji!!!!!

My machine case is not configured the same as his. Mine is a 900 x 600 bed and the case is considerably larger. It will easily contain the 80watt EFR tube inside the case. In Jason's case they use an extension to the case to cover the tube. An 80 watt tube (RECI or EFR) is too long to fit in the case of a 600x400 case.

I can photograph anything you might want. Just let me know what you are interested in.

Cooling down here now. We could still get warm weather but probably not much beyond the mid 80's This week looks like it will be low to mid 70's for the daytime, and 60 or less at night. Even getting a tad bit of rain now. Not a lot though. Lovely weather though. Low humidity, mostly clear skies. Hard to beat!!!!


Jason Hakki
09-01-2016, 3:14 AM
Thank you David! I definitely like your ruler guide idea. I will also make sure the slats are at the correct height. I'm not sure what you meant by taking a piece of painted metal to test the focus. Can you elaborate?

It is definitely reassuring to hear of other people who have had positive experiences in my situation!

David Somers
09-01-2016, 1:35 PM
Morning Jason. If you do a search in the forum for "Ramp Test" you will find some good descriptions of the process. Essentially you use a piece of anodized aluminum or perhaps some roofing metal that has a layer of paint on it and you put it under the lens with a slight ramp going from one side of the laser to the other. Get the laser focused where you think it should be and then run a thin line from one end of the metal to the other. Because the metal begins on your table surface and ends up higher you will find most of the line is out of focus. Use a Lupe or a magnifiing glass to look at the line closely and see where it is at its finest. That is the location of the point of focus. Measure the distance between that point and the underside of your lens tube and then make a spacer to match it. Now you have a spacer that is set exactly to the distance you need for that lens and lens tube combo.

Remember that if you change lenses (because this one gets damaged or you put in a different focal length lens) you will need to redo the ramp test. Even though two lenses may be 50.8mm focal length (2") they may vary. These are not precision optics. Testing it takes just a small effort and will make sure you are spot on for future work.
Also, save yourself some aggravation and if you are cutting one spacer, go the distance and cut two or three and set them aside in case you lose the first. I embedded a small N52 magnet in mine so when I set it on the laser case it cant go anywhere. We usually cut these out of acrylic, but mdf or wood works fine too so long as you dont damage the edges.

One other related thought. If you buy a lens shorter than your two inch lens (1.5" comes to mind) you will need to order a lens cone and perhaps a lens tube to go with it. The focal length of the 1.5" lens is so short that it is often just barely beyond the bottom of the lens cone and difficult to work with. There are shorter cones that give you the clearance you need to make using that lens easier. And you may as well get a tube with it so you dont have to keep dissasembling and assembling your current tube any time you want the 1.5" lens.

And seriously, tell Blanca hi for me. She is a lovely person.

Jason Hakki
09-01-2016, 3:01 PM
Dave, I did and this was her response: " ,thank you very much for all your trust. My best wishes to you and Mr.David" I agree, she has been very helpful I just hope there are no shipping issues.

Do you mind me asking what you use your laser cutter for?

David Somers
09-01-2016, 3:44 PM
Jason....are you using a broker to help you with the shipping/customs process or are you familiar with the process?

I am using the machine to cut and engrave wood and ply, mdf, acrylic, polycarbonate, paper, and the usual suspects of materials, along with some odd materials like a masonite board with a fine white clay layer on it. It engraves nicely plus it accepts watercolor and acrylic to embellish it. I do a mix of craft work with it....making things to sell at craft fairs and art shows to supplement my turned wood items (the turned wood is higher priced, the laser stuff is generally lower cost and tends to pay for the booths) and I am also gearing up to make some templates and guides for urban sketchers from thin, clear polycarbonate. Essentially things to help people as they learn to get proportions and perspective down in their drawings. I have way too many ideas in my head to be practical. <grin> I love the machine and have a great time with it. You might class me as a serious hobbiest or a wimpy business. ( I am retired so I am not looking at this to be my main income)


Jason Hakki
09-01-2016, 4:16 PM
Hey Dave,

So when we arranged shipping Blanca arranged for the shipping company to clear customs for me and bring it to their warehouse in Vancouver, BC. It cost a bit extra (300$USD) on top of shipping, and I still need to pay the import tax, but much less daunting then clearing customs myself.

Thanks for letting me know what you use your laser for! I'm just buying this one as another tool to make signage with, but it's always great to see what other people use them for to make money with.

David Somers
09-01-2016, 4:39 PM
Have fun with it Jason! And if you think of it and dont mind, post a few photos of your new toy and what you are doing with it. Good luck!!

(and feel free to holler if you need any help)

Jason Hakki
09-03-2016, 4:40 AM
I'm a bit confused a couple posts seemed to have gotten deleted? Anyway thanks for the info Dave! I am having them deal with brokerage, and having it delivered to a warehouse in Vancouver, BC.

Jason Hakki
10-31-2016, 3:31 AM
Just letting everyone know my machine has made it across the ocean, made it through customs (thanks to the broker) and is being trucked to my hometown. Should be delivered Monday or Tuesday with any luck.

So far the whole process has been straight forward. The broker made things easy and applied for an import number I did not have. It's been quite a few weeks now since I ordered, but I'm very happy with the process and Blanca still continues to answer my questions.

I'll update with photos when I take delivery!

Bill George
10-31-2016, 8:43 AM
I have inquired about a price on a 20 Watt fiber from Rayfine, hoping to get more info. Not sure if I need one but interested.

Jason Hakki
11-03-2016, 2:25 AM
So today was the big day! It showed up. The crating was done well, the machine was packed with lots of foam and there was no visible damage. I did not have time to set it up today but a quick glance showed that it looked to be in fine condition. Hoping to go through it tomorrow and hopefully burn some things!

A few photos of how it showed up!

I have not actually seen it run yet, but so far Ray Fine my expectations have been met and exceeded. Even shipping and customs went smoothly. I half thought I might end up getting ripped off or having issues with a company that dropped off the face of the earth as soon as I paid, but they have been great.

Anyhow, if anyone has any questions about my experience feel free to PM me.

Cheers! 346850346851

Bill George
11-03-2016, 8:54 AM
Looks pretty nice. Save the plywood it works great for laser art projects.

Jason Hakki
11-03-2016, 4:57 PM
Thanks Bill!

Today I filled the 'chiller' with dimineralized water. Hooked up the air pump, etc. Connected it to my laptop and opened the software. I was honestly amazed, it ran on the first try. I'm new to RDworks. Anyway, first attempt I was out of focus so I brought the table up and eyeballed roughly where I thought it should be and ran it again. And it cut!

Here are the pictures. The veneer was a bit lumpy so the etching wasn't perfect, but this is just fine tuning now.

Now...what to cut! I think my business needs some keychains to give away, I might cut a bunch of those.

Jason Hakki
11-03-2016, 5:01 PM
First cuts!

John Lifer
11-03-2016, 5:49 PM
Looking Good, Jason, you give me hope mine will work as well out of the 'box'. If you haven't, go to YouTube and watch a few of the RDWorks learning lab by the guy Russ in the UK.
At least a few will give you a good working knowledge of the program, a lot of his videos is him complaining about his eBay laser. But he does had several that are good as tutorials.
And with plugin from corel, it should be easy going. Yes, not as easy as say a Epilog, but not difficult either. YouTube is my best friend lately. Learned a lot about Corel.

Jason Hakki
11-03-2016, 6:25 PM
John -

That's funny, I'm actually subscribed to RDworks Learning Lab. I've sort of stopped watching his videos, though. He has good information, but he just draws it out way too long to keep my attention.

Thanks for the tip!

I haven't even explored the corel plugin option. What advantages does it have?

David Somers
11-03-2016, 10:19 PM

My experience with the plugin is that depending on the complexity of the job you save some time in saving the file, exporting out of Corel, and importing into the full version. It goes into the plug in faster. On big jobs I dont think you save time.

On the bad side, there is no way to save your common settings. In the full version you can save those common settings so they become your defaults. In the Plug in you have a relatively small window to work with. On the full version you can work full screen. That can help on a smaller screen like the laptop I use.

Glad to hear things are going well so far!!!

Jason Hakki
11-03-2016, 10:54 PM
Okay yeah I can see how that could save time now. I will have to keep that in mind for when I get a large complex order.

David Somers
11-03-2016, 11:26 PM

Remember that with either version, plugin or full version, once you have a job in RDWorks you can repeat it by simply hitting the Start button in the window again. So if you are repeating a job again and again (like I am currently doing) you can simply leave it up and rerun it once you have replaced your material.

John Lifer
11-03-2016, 11:33 PM
Ha, yeah, that's why I said there were a few to watch....he gets off on some tangents very easilybut he did,very quickly,convince me to avoid the generic Chinese eBay machines. My luck is not good. And David answered better than I could on the plugin.

Jason Hakki
11-04-2016, 4:59 PM
Definitely a smart guy. Does things very methodically. Just very typically British!

Cheers, thanks for the heads up.

Jason Hakki
01-05-2017, 1:59 PM
My laser cutter developed an issue with the power supply intermittently not working. It never fully stopped working but it needed to be replaced. Blanca was super helpful getting me the right power supply and within a week I had a new one delivered to me at no cost to me. I'm blown away, things don't ship this fast within Canada half the time. The customer support for my laser cutter has been really top notch. Thank you RayFine and most importantly Blanca!

Brian Book
01-05-2017, 4:31 PM
Hi Jason ..... good to know that RayFine has Good Customer Support .... I'm hoping I never have to use it :)


John Lifer
01-05-2017, 8:15 PM
In shipping mine that main glass fell and damaged the autofocus. She shipped me one in just a few days, took a week over the holidays to arrive, but she's the best!

David Somers
01-05-2017, 8:23 PM
I agree John, Blanca is a gem. Its been a while since I bought from her now but we still stay in touch. Someday they may get over to visit the US and hopefully they will visit through the Pacific Northwest. She knows they are welcome to stay with us.

Daniel Norman
01-09-2017, 8:30 PM
Hello Jason, I was reading your thread and am very interested in your experience with custom brokers and shipping. I am also in British Columbia and am trying to decide on importing myself or buying from a reseller in Vancouver. Is it best to communicate on this thread or should I pm you?