View Full Version : Any other Versa-Laser VL-200 Owners???

11-24-2003, 1:12 PM
Hi All,

Does anyone else have the VL-200? I am getting more and more frustrated with my laser... I have wasted well over $100.00 of materials due to a problem where the image gets mixed up and either won't cut the complete image or places the image in totally the wrong place!

I have been working with ULS support for the last week and stll havn't resolved the problem! So, I am wondering if anyone else has this version and what their experience has been... I am NOT trying to trash ULS, just loooking for other owners and their experience.



Keith Outten
11-24-2003, 6:36 PM

If you look at the Laser Woodworking Forum you will see several posts by Nick Silva. Nick owns a Universal Laser and obviously has had good luck with the machine. I will contact Nick and see if he would be willing to assist you via email.

Your problem is most likely software, not hardware. My Epilog laser gave me the same types of problems in the beginning. Learning to vector cut is simple once you have the hang of it, but it is tricky to learn.

Use cheap acrylic sheet when you are learning, never use expensive materials untill you have learned to control the machine. Matte board is also very cheap if you buy scraps from a local frame shop.

11-24-2003, 8:27 PM
Hi Keith,

Yes, I agree it is probably software, and they have created 1 patch for this issue - we'll see if that fixes the problem. They e-mailed it an hour or so ago, but Outlook removed it as it thought it was suspcious.

The biggest concern I have is that when it gets "Confused", the mechanism that the laser rides on will literally slam into the front and back of the cabinet and then the gears (or whatevery they use to move it) will make funky noises. I am very concerned about this - To power off, it takes 6 seconds, all the while the noises are going... Secondary is all the wasted material.

As far testing it goes, there is no real consistancy - it happens mostly with the small box, but I have been able to make some. I can get it to happen pretty consistanly trying to cut simple squares...

So, bottom line is I am working with them, but I just don't understand why the "Basic" driver is having these problems and what are the long term effets of the carriage banging???

12-02-2003, 8:48 AM
Hi All,

I just wanted to update everyone on the status of my "issue". The People in ULS support have re-created the exact behavior (bug) in their driver and are supposedly fixing it right now.

When I spoke with my contact last night, he said Wednesday at the latest for the SW patch to their driver.... So, if anyone has the VL200 - and you do vector cutting, you will need this patch. My contact also assured me there was no damage to the mechanics and if there is any down the road, they will "take care of it" - I'm not from Missouri, so we'll see if there is any lasting damage.

So, don't get me wrong, I don't mean to slam anyone - but as an individual, I spent so much money to buy this laser I am rightfully nervous given what I have seen and gone through (not to mention wasted materials!). I just can't believe I am the first guy to bring this to their attention! So, I am just posting this out of fairness to ULS and I'll keep this board appraised of how it goes!

Take care,


Keith Outten
12-02-2003, 12:27 PM

It's great to hear that ULS is attending to the problem. I know the frustration you are dealing with but it will pass. I keep two computers in my office up to speed with the latest drivers and duplicate files as a backup. I actually have a removable hard drive bay and two drives for the backup machine, one with Windows 2000 installed setup for engraving and one with Redhat Linux. I use the Redhat OS for general stuff and keep the Windows drive stored for safekeeping.

Once you get rolling and get a very big job going you don't want any computer problems to kill your progress. It can take me at least two evenings to rebuild my main computer if I suffer a hardware or software problem. It happened to me once! Now I keep my backup machine ready just in case.

If I had one wish it would be for a Linux driver for my laser engraver. Linux is more stable and would prove to be the most reliable platform for a commercial engraving system. Epilog just flat told me no when I asked if they had a Linux driver planned for the future.

Now that my engraver is out of warranty maybe Aaron will develope a Linux driver for my engraver.

Food for thought!!!

12-02-2003, 4:34 PM
Hey Aaron,

Famous last words...

"How hard can it be???"


You mentioned that you cut your own marble and granite - I can see that with a tile cutting saw, but, how do you get that bevel on the edges? Do you know of a good source for pure black marble? I have a pretty good one here for Granite, 12x12 for 5.50 each - just having problems with marble!

Take care all.


Keith Outten
12-03-2003, 12:07 AM

I just got my second tile saw last week, the first one I bought was a real cheapo but it served a purpose. My new wet saw cuts marble without effort and accurately. (MK-377 model $229.00)

I'm gonna send you a Private Message with the link to my source for black marble. Absolutely black marble with no veining is tough to find :)
A member of SawMill Creek who also engraves shared his source with me for black marble. I will introduce you shortly.

Beveling the edges is a tough one, I have been using a 1" by 30" belt sander so far but I'm working on a new technique that should be much faster and more accurate. I have invested over two weeks and have purchased lots of different cutters experimenting. My goal is to be able to produce a bevel on any shape, not just rectangles. Any time you spend learning to engrave marble is well spent, marble is a killer material and will be your most profittable work but you have to invest heavely in the learning end. I should mention that there is almost no waste with black marble, even the small pieces can be used for paper weights and all kinds of cool stuff.