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Jeff Watkins
12-10-2017, 2:28 PM
Hello, I have been reading the forums for some time and, like many before me, I am ready to invest in a Glavo Fiber laser. As many of you who already have or are going through the order process know, the choices can be very daunting. I ve received a number of quotes over the past few weeks with prices and options all over the place. Some with lower prices but higher shipping, others with different models of laser sources. The 30w M6 quotes range from $8k to $10,800, with some including a rotary and others not. After perusing the forums for awhile now, and funds permitting, I am pretty settled on a 30 watt MOPA in the Split type design with a Rotary for doing Stainless Tumblers and mugs with some color here and there. The problem or question I have run into is with the JPT sources. I noticed some companies quoting YDFLP-30-M6+-S and YDFLP-30-M6+-L1 laser sources and others showing C-30-M6+-S and C-30-M6+-L1 sources. None of them seem to be able to tell me the difference between teh YDFLP- and the C- source. Thinking it was just each companies naming, I decided to look at the JPTOE website and sure enough they list both YDFLP and C version with identical specifications. The -L model of each has a 31-2000kHz range and the -S version 60-2000kHz range, otherwise everything else is identical. Does anyone have any of these models and if so which one? What is the widest kHz frequency range you have used with your fibers? What is the wildest thing you have been able to mark? leather, wood, pu notebooks, etc... Of the people that have Glavo Fibers, what would you do differently if ordering again. If you have a MOPA, do YOU use color and do you play with it to get the best colors? Have you paid off your investment and how long did it take you? I am somewhat torn between LaserPower Company who is offering the YDFLP-30-M6+-L and XT Laser who uses the C-30-M6+-S. XT Laser has a blog that's updated regularly and they are constantly posting videos of their lasers. LaserPower seems to be offering a better source for a little less but I can not find anything on them and they do not post videos very often. Thanks, Jeff

Tim Bateson
12-10-2017, 3:25 PM
Got mine through DLM Lasers in Minnesota. Would I get something else now - probably not. Great machine. My 50 watt is a bit more expensive than what most here use, but I still think it was worth the extra cash. Only had it 5 months, so not yet paid for itself, but pretty darn close. There were less expensive lasers out there, but I'm an established business man, so cheapest isn't my primary goal. Dependability & capability are a bit higher on my priority list. I only cut corners by not getting a hood/box for it. Jury is still out if that was a miscue. Been a couple jobs I would have wanted one, others, it would just have been in the way.
DLM Lasers

Rodne Gold
12-11-2017, 4:00 AM
The only thing that I regret is not going for a 30w .. my 20W was $5k door to door
Paid for itself in a month or so. It makes a ton of money , oddly enough , with rowmark and other engraving plastics
I would look at getting a larger field lens (220mmx220mm) along with the stock (110mm x 110mm)
a 220 lens allows us to do 40 5cm x 2cm plates in a couple of minutes , I use the laser to engrave and cut the stuff ... the stock lens we change for metals (a 2 minute job) as it has better power density

Gary Hair
12-11-2017, 6:07 AM
Donít buy a fiber to do color engraving, itís not worth it. Someone recently posted a picture of a US flag that took 18 minutes to laser, it was pretty small, maybe 1/2Ē x 1Ē or so. At a typical rate for lasering, that would have cost a minimum of $36US to the customer - nobody will pay that (on a regular basis anyway) for such a small mark. Stick to what a fiber does really well - engraving metal.

Jeff Watkins
12-11-2017, 2:23 PM
@Tim I looked at DLM, did you do their Portable or Desktop 50w machine? While DLM's prices are higher than similar China machines they aren't nearly what some places are charging.

@Rodne Do you have any Rowmark pictures you could share with detail and edges? I've been doing 10x2 Rowmark Name plates on my 45w CO2. There's a detailed logo on it and while it took awhile to get perfect I keep wondering if the Fiber can do better. How much angle do you get on the outer edges and how long does cutting Rowmark take?

I'm honestly just looking at 30w due to reading everyone's comments, it seems like a good compromise as I don't do any high volume yet. Some of my CO2 jobs take 30-60 minutes if I'm engraving and cutting Acrylic or Wood. Ozark Trail tumblers take about 10 minutes either stainless with cermark or powder coated for a 3x3ish logo.

As for color, I've seen some things take awhile to do and other that went fairly quickly. Wisely has a video doing a stainless phone back with 7 color logos covering most of the back that took 5 minutes so it seems like settings are a big factor in speed. I have to agree that color marking will always be slower but having the option seems like a good idea. What's funny is almost every CO2 video is sped up while most of the Glavo Fiber videos are in real time. I want the option of doing Color and not having to say no when someone asks. I also like the expanded options the MOPA is supposed to give for plastics.

I discovered from reading spec sheets that the JPT MOPA 30-M6+-S and 30-M1+-S (S model) are rated for .5mJ energy and the 30-M6+-L (L model) is rated at 0.97mJ. Most of the Raycus non Mopa are rated >=1mJ. This probably accounts for a couple mentions I've seen that stated MOPAs don't deep engrave as well. The JPT L series is supposed to take care of that so that's what I'm trying to get. A couple places quoted the L model as $200-$300 extra but one offered to upgrade me to it at not cost. $$$$ is the final deciding factor.

I'm open to suggestions if anyone has anything else to add that I'm missing.
Thank you all for your input.

Scott Shepherd
12-11-2017, 4:55 PM
If you think you are going to run stainless tumblers on it and make money, you might want to take another look. Like Gary said, it's not practical. We have fiber and CO2 and we wouldn't even consider doing a tumbler on the fiber. The rotary would end up leaving marks where it splits the image and rotates, and it would take forever. We can do a 3" x 3" graphic on a tumbler on the CO2 in less than 3 minutes.

John Lifer
12-11-2017, 8:30 PM
I've done one on my fiber. One. Full circumference, 80mm diameter roughly 50mm high, an hour and 15minutes. Yeah, could probably shave off a few minutes now that I know more, but 5 to 8min on co2 is way quicker fiber is great for very small items or deep Engraving. Not cheap ss cups.

Jeff Watkins
12-11-2017, 9:00 PM
Wow, thanks for the info. Are you referring to stitching type marks with the rotary? I have to ask, if the rotary will leave marks where the image is split, how are these jewelry makers marking wrap around designs on rings? Wouldn't it mess up their designs? Most of the 30oz tumblers and beer coozies I have seen on youtube appear to be running in less than 5 minutes and in real time. Is that not the case?

I make a number of different items, the tumblers being one of them but they take 10 minutes on my 45watt machine so I can knock out 6 and hour if I have my files set up and ready to run. The tumblers I do are all personalized with a logo and badge number so I setup individual layers with different badge numbers in Illustrator. I see you all have 75w or higher machines so your run times are less than mine.

So how long would a 3x3 image take on a fiber with Powder Coated tumblers. I've seen a number of people ranting about less cleanup with the fiber by running a cleaning pass when it's done and leaving the engraved area brighter than the rest of the tumbler. Like many, I don't trust my CO2's rotary for a second pass so I though the Fiber would add a second machine and more options.

Thanks

Scott Shepherd
12-11-2017, 9:32 PM
Wow, thanks for the info. Are you referring to stitching type marks with the rotary? I have to ask, if the rotary will leave marks where the image is split, how are these jewelry makers marking wrap around designs on rings? Wouldn't it mess up their designs? Most of the 30oz tumblers and beer coozies I have seen on youtube appear to be running in less than 5 minutes and in real time. Is that not the case?

I make a number of different items, the tumblers being one of them but they take 10 minutes on my 45watt machine so I can knock out 6 and hour if I have my files set up and ready to run. The tumblers I do are all personalized with a logo and badge number so I setup individual layers with different badge numbers in Illustrator. I see you all have 75w or higher machines so your run times are less than mine.

So how long would a 3x3 image take on a fiber with Powder Coated tumblers. I've seen a number of people ranting about less cleanup with the fiber by running a cleaning pass when it's done and leaving the engraved area brighter than the rest of the tumbler. Like many, I don't trust my CO2's rotary for a second pass so I though the Fiber would add a second machine and more options.

Thanks

When Chinese rotary devices turn, they are rarely perfect and you will get a few lines of overlap. People that make perfect looking rings rarely are using Chinese lasers with rotary devices. Higher end rotary devices and control boards will rotate smoothly while engraving. You can put the rotary step size super small and elimate that step, but then it takes a lot longer. It’s by no means superior to CO2 on powder coatings in any respect.

Just for reference, we do a lot of thick powder coated devices on our rotary. I think we got an order for another 100 today. At no point would I EVER consider the fiber lase as a faster or better solution. I wouldn’t even consider it. Keep that in mind when you are planning on doing it that way, while people like Gary and myself are saying we never use it for that because it’s not as efficient as the CO2.

We also have a 45W and we used to use it almost exclusively for rotary pieces. It sits about 12” from our fiber. Never picked the fiber over the CO2 there either.

I cant speak to any videos on YouTube, I just know from doing 1000’s and 1000’s of rotary pieces. Trust me, if the fiber is faster, we would have a row of them doing cups.

Dont kid yourself, it’s a bad choice for cups.

Jeff Watkins
12-12-2017, 12:00 AM
@Steve, thank for the honesty I appreciate it. So which fiber do you have, and what do you use it for?
I too have a Sawgrass/Ricoh printer so I'll have to give sublimatable tumblers a try for the customers that want color, that's be much brighter anyway just not as permenant.

Kev Williams
12-12-2017, 3:04 AM
I love engraving powercoating with my fiber. As I type this I'm fiber lasering 10 black powdercoated aluminum cases. All 6 sides get engraved; Per the fiber's timer, total actual engraving time for all 6 sides is less than the time it takes me C02 engrave one powercoated Hydroflask. Many setups involved, but my jigs and routine make fast work of it all... If I could get just 20 of these per day and stop all other engraving, I'd make the same money I now make, in 1/3 the time. I've been going to take a stab at doing PC'd mugs with it but I haven't had time to experiment...

Scott Shepherd
12-12-2017, 8:16 AM
I love engraving powercoating with my fiber. As I type this I'm fiber lasering 10 black powdercoated aluminum cases. All 6 sides get engraved; Per the fiber's timer, total actual engraving time for all 6 sides is less than the time it takes me C02 engrave one powercoated Hydroflask. Many setups involved, but my jigs and routine make fast work of it all... If I could get just 20 of these per day and stop all other engraving, I'd make the same money I now make, in 1/3 the time. I've been going to take a stab at doing PC'd mugs with it but I haven't had time to experiment...

That's experience talking there. You picked the right machine for that that job and it's making you money. I still believe that a fiber rotary is not the right tool for the job on powder coated or stainless cups. Especially not for stainless cups. Horrible for that, unless it's an outline and it's very small.

Rodne Gold
12-12-2017, 9:52 AM
detail on the fiber with most engraving lams is exceptional
edge quality is great..no bevel
here are some pics on 4"x 4" plates
http://www.tokerbros.co.za/Tokers-Technical/index.php/

Jeff Watkins
12-12-2017, 1:19 PM
@Rodne, that's awesome! Thanks for sharing your site. So just to be clear, with Rowmark for example, the fiber is still removing the cap layer exposing the secondary plastic color? I realize you can mark plastic with a white mark on black plastic or vise versa but wanted to make sure it'll actually remove the cap layer like a co2 does.

Rodne Gold
12-12-2017, 1:43 PM
It either ablates the cap or it foams the material .. you can feel its engraved
Doesnt work on all materials and colours .. I didnt get good results with reds and blues
My operator who I passed it on to has experimented and got amazing results on metals
I see our overhead cnc doing a lot more metal work and the results ending up being fibered...

Jeff Watkins
12-13-2017, 11:55 PM
I though of another question for everyone... What additional fees do you pay separate from the $500ish shipping to get your Galvo Fiber from DHL, Fedex, or whomever delivers it?

Kev Williams
12-14-2017, 12:32 PM
I bought my fiber 6/16, my shipping was $555, duty & taxes was $261.

Scott Shepherd
12-15-2017, 8:02 PM
For what it's worth, I have a larger job (physically and count wise) to do that is powder coated. It's double sided, round, about 5" in diameter. I do them on a CO2 on the rotary and I have to take 2, sometimes 3 passes to get them clean. The powder is very thick and some colors are just brutal. Getting this order dropped on us on Wednesday wasn't what I wanted to hear because it's a week or more of engraving, which ties the machine up, and it's already booked solid into January. While one was running, I fired up the fiber, and put a setup piece in to try and do some of the smaller work that's on one side. I figured if I could cut out 1 side of the work, then it would lighten the load on the engraving.

I put a dark blue one in and it engraved down to the metal beautifully. The area of engraving was a little long and it started to slightly distort the letters some. Not an issue, I have the ability to resize that if necessary. Cool. After a few more tests, I decide to try another one, this time an orange one. Well, it was not having it at all. Same settings as the blue and it cut into the coating, but didn't get to the metal. I ran it about 5-6 more cycles (3 passes each cycle), and nothing. I changed the frequency. Nope. Changed the speed down to almost nothing. Nope. Overall, I ran it about 20 times, 3 passes each cycle, so 60 passes, and when finished, there was a layer of orange that look like it was about .0005" thick and it just won't come off. You cannot see the metal under it, it's that thick, but no settings or passes will remove it.

So be careful betting the farm on being able to do it, not all powder coating is the same. So it looks like we're back to having them all cross the CO2 on the rotary.

Jeff Watkins
12-16-2017, 12:53 AM
It's interesting that Fiber is so color sensitive just like Rodne mentioned with some laminate colors. Powder coating is a strange thing in itself. I know when I started engraving them a year and a half ago I was using settings that got great detail. Then part way through 2016 I picked up tumblers for an order and pulled the first one off and there was no detail in it. I compared an old tumbler to the new ones and the coating was double or more.
I know some of you mention that you only use customer supplied tumblers. I have a entity that I do engraving for with a detailed logo and any less than 3 inches it looses too much detail. Because of the variance in tumblers I hand pick each one by flipping them upside down and finding the ones with the largest upper portion. I've found that if I don't had pick them I get tumblers that have too small of upper area and the 3 inch logo hangs over on the bottom. Other logos and things aren't as critical but like Steve said getting through certain coatings is a lot harder that others.

So soon I shall join the force... After much research, many quotes, and lots of middle of the night back and forth with China, I finally chose to purchase a Ray Fine laser. Everyone here seems to really like theirs and speak highly of them. It's in build and hopefully will ship next week. I was told 7 days but I'm not sure if they meant from today or when it ships next week.

I had a request today for engraved pens and though that figures! They want them for Christmas so I'll be doing them on the co2 but I can't wait to get my settings dialed in and try them on the fiber.
Thanks to everyone who provided input and insight.

Jeff Watkins
12-23-2017, 8:34 AM
What is the thread size for the laser and x-y worktable?
What does everyone use for work stops and holding?


I'll be at a Copper State Nut and Bolt later and thought about seeing if they have threaded pins but don't know the size. Thanks

Jeff Watkins
01-02-2018, 9:11 PM
So I finally settled on a Ray Fine 30 watt with a JPT MOPA M6 source with a Rotary, X/Y table and 100,200,300 lenses. I had to drive an hour to pick it up from DHL after a multitude of screwups on their end. My duties/customs/fees totaled $350. $250ish for the Duties and $100 one time bond, which I did see anyone else mention. I guess if you import a lot you can pay $500 for a anual bond that covers you up to $50000 worth of import. The container was obviously pryed open and retaped shut. The only obvious issue I saw from it being opened was there were supposed to be three glasses and while there were three cases only two had glasses in them, the other case was lying on top open and no glasses inside. It was sealed up with tape well enough that I don't see how they could have 'accidentally' fallen out.
Learning settings is so fun and frustrating, but rewarding when you have that eureka moment when something works and you get it dialed in.

The only real issue I've had so far and am going back and forth with Ray Fine techs is the Rotary has .05" of run out. It's enough that when testing on a copper pipe it's overlapped on one side and gapped on the other. Has anyone else had a rotary that was out of alignment? My is visible in the head and back to the step down in behind the head. The shaft coming off the motor was within .0015 run out with a indicator gauge so I think the external part of the issue.

Bill George
01-03-2018, 7:30 AM
So you ordered three lens and one box was empty, that was the one on the machine?

Welcome to DHL screw up club mine took nearly a week more because of them and my box was never opened. My duty was something around $200 or so and no bond, DHL was suppose to be acting as your agent so that should have been covered. I am assuming your in USA however.

My rotary seemed fine, but I rarely use. Have fun.

Jeff Watkins
01-03-2018, 3:25 PM
Hi Bill, The lenses were all there and were inside the plastic wrap around the laser. I ordered three pair of safety glasses and there were three cases on top of everything, like they were added last minute, but one of the three cases one was open and empty. DHL said I was the importer and that's why they asked for my social security card and info and I was responsible for the bond.
From the DHL website pdf...
If the entry is made with DHL as the Importer of Record, then DHL’s Customs Bond will satisfy the requirements and there is no need for the customer to post their own bond. However, if the customer is the Importer of Record, then the IOR is required to have a Customs Bond.

I was able to fix my rotary myself. Ray Fine tech wanted me to send video which I did but then they wanted video on the machine and though I had settings wrong. Nope it was just major runout that was visible to the naked eye. I'm sure they would have figured out what I was telling them eventually but I didn't want to waste any more time for what could be and identical replacement. I searched Chinese 3 Jaw Chuck Run Out and came up with a wealth of information on getting them to run true. I took the Chuck off the backplate and noticed there was so much burring that wasn't removed when they crammed the shaft in that it looked like tin foil being used as a shim. I took everything down, removed the shaft which was the hardest part, and got the burs out. I went over backplate hole where the burs were with 1200 grit sand paper then polished it and reassembled everything. I left out the wedge that was holding the shaft in so that I could use a rubber mallet and tap everything into place. I took the runout from 0.03" down to 0.002" That I can live with. It could probably be tapped a little more or holes lightly sanded to get it tighter but not the jaws are the weak spot and a project for another day.