View Full Version : Laser Recommendation

Ron Moorehead
02-10-2007, 5:36 PM
I know this question has been asked many time, but I thought I would ask it one more time.

What laser and laser wattage would you recommend; I have a customer that would like me to start cutting some ¼ inch acrylic templates for them. The largest piece would be 18” by 18”, but I would also like to branch out with the laser, but not sure into what yet.

I have seen the Epilog and ULS at trade shows and both look to be good machines, what about the Pinnacle, my understanding is they just sell on the internet, but I would like to see the engraver before I spend $15K plus on a machine any other engravers?

Any help would be great. Thanks…

Frank Corker
02-10-2007, 6:14 PM
Ron it seems to be a personal choice type of thing. The thing to remember is that if you get it with only the intention of cutting a certain depth, you can bet once you have it, it's never seems to be enough.

Personally I'd go for big wattage and big bed. In that order. I have a 45 watt and it has done everything I have ever required from it, but I'd feel even happier if it had 75 watt in there.

Gary Shoemake
02-10-2007, 6:20 PM
I have a Pinnicle and have no problems with it. If you have a Laserpro rep near you it is the same machine. Look at it then if you like the features and warranties talk to Signwarehouse and see what kind of a deal you can get.

Good luck


PS They are located in Dennison Texas near the Oklahoma border, they will give you a demo and tour of their facilites. Just call to set it up.

Tom Majewski
02-10-2007, 8:50 PM
Asking here what brand laser to get is akin to asking what religion is best... except that we don't have wars over it.:)

I have a Pinnacle and I'm really happy with it. What little support I needed so far has been quickly answered via phone or email.
The one common fact everyone will agree is to get all the power you can afford. With 40watts I can cut 1/2" mdf, but it was so slow and charred that I had to pass on the job. 25 watts is enough for 1/4" acrylic, but try to buy more because you never know what someone will ask you to cut.

Whatever brand you get, I think the real key is knowing how to use all of your laser's print driver settings, and knowing your graphics/vector software. You'll find lots of tips and shortcuts on this group.

Rodne Gold
02-11-2007, 12:22 AM
One has to weigh up both wattage and table size as both are expensive. A bigger bed might allow you to tackle the last 5% of the jobs you are asked to do but at a real high cost in terms of capital investment as well as all the problems that come with big beds (like power drops , alignment issues , motion system isssues and so on)
Same has to be considered for wattage , a 25-30 watt machine will generally engrave as fast as it can on most jobs and the areas you might save on in terms of time is cutting. The downside is a much more expensive machine and the fact that any tube replacement is also going to be extremely high cost wise.
I have 6 x 30w machines and they can do basically whatever I ask (1/4" acrylic is a doddle for these) ,

In terms of money , 2 x smaller 25-40 w machines is a far better bet than lets say a larger bed 75 watter at the same money. Multiple machines make far more sense financially as both machines can do 90% of all jobs and at 2x the speed , you also have a redundancy or backup machine if one goes down. Buy a machine that suits you financially and the most important factor of all , has great support and no quibble long warrantees.
More important than all of this is the business plan and the research of the markets you are going to serve. If you havent answered these questions adequately do not buy a laser.
1) What am I going to do with it
2) Who am i going to serve
3) How am I going to contact these ppl
4) What price am I going to charge
5) Who are my competitors
6) What do they charge
7) Why would ppl use ME instead of them
8) Whats the total cost of running a laser
9) How much profit am I going to make in a year.
Purchasing a laser for one customer and having all your eggs in one basket is a dangerous strategy IMHO.
the REAL secret to making money with a laser is not really just to offer cutting or marking services but to use it in house to manufacture items which you can sell at much higher profit margins than merely charging $x per minute for engraving or cutting.

Mike Hood
02-11-2007, 4:15 PM
I cut lots of Depron foam and birch ply for RPV/UAV developers in my area. It's a specialized group... but I absolutely NEED the ability to cut larger than 36".

One thing the Pinnacles and LaserPros have as an advantage over others is the feed-through doors (front and back).

I've cut 1/8" ply in single pieces 8 feet long (28" wide).

Mine is 40W and has a 20" x 38" table, and I use the full bed width all the time.