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Thread: Zing vs. Mini air assist

  1. #16
    Sarah,

    Answers to your questions:

    The Zing 16/24 & FiberMark laser systems utilizes an Air Curtain vs. Air assist (avaiable on the Mini 18/24, Helix and Legend EXT):

    *The curtain is just that, a curtain or steady stream of air that blows over the entire width of marking area (table width). Similar to the old school lawn sprinkler that has many nozzles, shoots up, moves in the direction of a rainbow except our air-curtain moves in the direction of the y-axis.

    The air-curtain requires a low pressure, high volume pump for maximum performance. We offer one or you can source one yourself.

    *The air-assist on the Elite series lasers is a single metal nozzle of air that blows right over the area which is being cut. On the Mini 24, Helix & Legend EXT, we have a solenoid that is controllable for raster/vector or both. The Mini 18 does not come equipped with the solenoid.

    The air-assist requires a high pressure, low volume, zero back pressure pump. We offer one or you can source one yourself.

    The Zing16/24 does not come equipped with the vector grid. It is optional.
    The Mini18/24, Helix, Legend EXT comes standard with the vector grid and many other features.

    The Zing 16 and Mini 18 does not come equipped with our High Radiance Optics. The Zing 24, Mini 24, Helix and Legend EXT comes equipped with such.

    The Zing 24/Mini 24, FiberMark, Helix have a front drop down door for easy loading of parts.

    Quoting Mike Christen " must say that the cut quality of zing and helix were about the same with the exception that the zing took 3 times longer to cut the same object. Seemed strange being that the settings were identical with respect to power and speed and they were both 60 watt machines."

    Mike-Difference being is steppers vs. servos, different maximum speeds, different math algorithms that control vector speed.

    For cutting 1/4" regularly, I'd recommend 40Watts. You can cut 1/4" on a 30W but it'll be on slow side. Based on your notes, I'd recommend the Zing24 or Mini24 in either a 30W or 40W configuration. Go with the larger bed as you'll quickly learn the extra 6-8" in the x-axis will come in very handy. The front drop down door is very useful and the High Radiance Optics is a great feature.

    Hope that helps and feel free to PM or email me w/ any questions.
    Peck Sidara
    Epilog Laser
    888.437.4564 ext. 236

  2. #17
    Join Date
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    Sarah,

    Fellow software engineer here (embedded, actually, and out of work ). Have you considered any of the models by ULS?

    A very important warning... you mention a baby and cutting acrylic. Do not expect to walk away from the middle of an acrylic job to fuss with the rugrat... acrylic catches fire, particularly on lower wattage models due to the slow speed required to get through the material. Several members here can tell you of their woes, with one fire even caused by a piece that was outside of the machine on the bench cooling down.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

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  3. #18
    Mike, that's very cool that you got the Zing 24. Earlier today I was thinking that if I had to make a decision today I'd get the Zing 24 40W (as opposed to yesterday, when I was thinking Mini 18 30W). If I get one we'll have to swap war stories .

    Peck, thanks for all of the info. It helps that someone (you?) linked to the page with the online manuals recently. For some reason I'd never seen that before so I skimmed through them last night which was helpful.

    I was being generous with the 1/4" size. The actual material is more like 1/8" but for flexibility I figure 1/4" is the most I can see myself wanting to cut.

    Dan, I have considered ULS. I like Epilog's offerings for "entry-level" machines. If I convinced myself to spend more I'd probably go for a PLS 3.60. That said, I've never gone to a ULS dealer, not do I know where my nearest one is. At one point I got their brochure etc but I was in the bay area then and now live in Portland.

    I imagine most of my time watching acrylic jobs will be when my husband is home to watch the LO, though thanks for the warning. Working in Illustrator during the day will be much safer .

  4. #19
    Join Date
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    Hi Sarah, I work for the Epilog dealer UK and have until recently run around our little island demonstrating the Mini 24. I now have a Zing to demonstrate and I really like it. You are probably thinking"yeah but you are paid to say that" which is of course true but genuinly I have been very impressed with the system. The engraving speed is not lightening but you have to remember its an entry level machine. The curtain air system has always functioned perfectly for me and this system means that you dont have a pipe hanging down towards the workpiece which can get in the way for some items (doctors stethoscopes most recently).

    With regards power, I always recommend you get the most powerful you can justify. Nobody ever complains of having too much power!!

    Good luck

  5. #20
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    Sarah,

    Plenty of deals going on right now, I would think finding a 40W VLS3.50 under $12k shouldn't be too hard. Just trying to keep your options open, and don't forget to let your individual reps know you're looking at other systems and want the best deal.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

  6. #21
    Well if there's one thing you've convinced me of it's that I need to do a bit more research. I've been calling reps today to get more demos. I really wanted to just get the thing ordered this week but I hope my feigned patience will pay off .

  7. #22
    Join Date
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    Would you go into a car dealership, plunk down some fat cash on the counter and exclaim "I'm buying something today, so show me what you have on the lot!"? Probably not, so take your time making a decision. They are really fun to play with (and very aggravating when things go wrong), but it's a fairly major investment, so make sure you're happy with your decision.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

  8. #23
    Sarah

    You'll be the repairman so ask them to remove the sides to show you the construction and how to go about repairs and adjustments.

    When they have removed the side panels or the enclosure take a good look at the construction and whether you think it's a well conceived design. That may be a bit daunting but you can do it.

    If you've done your homework by reading this forum you'll know the questions to ask.

    The salesmen are more impatient than you. Some delay may turn up better pricing.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

  9. #24
    Yeah, I didn't even think to ask about the ease of repairs. I thought that I'd done my homework seeing as how I've wanted a laser for so long, but I realize there's a lot more to learn about the mechanics and the bounds of what each machine can do. My Trotec rep has a good price for a Speedy 100 30W so now I'm researching that as well. I won't be able to get a demo for at least a week but I have a much better idea of what to ask and what to get him to show me!

    I can't thank you guys enough.

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