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Thread: Two Years Later - Follow Up On Chinese Lasers

  1. #31
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    Yes over the years you have help many people here myself included , and I really appreciate your help as I'm sure others do also, and I hope you continue to help us. I didn't say you were bashing Chinese machines I just said you make it sound like you can't make big money with them. Yea thats on me I guess. I've read all the posts and it seems like you mention a lot about how much you make with your western machines and how we all could make more with them. Maybe I read this all wrong. I'll stop now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Shepherd View Post
    That's on your Bert, not on me. But since you brought it up, let's chat about that. How many times have I said, even in this post, that if you were vector cutting it wasn't much different? Huh? How many times? So since it seems some people like to imply what I mean when I say things, why doesn't someone tell me what that means? When I say that they have their place and their application, what does that mean?

    Search my posts. I've said it 100's of times. However, you didn't seem to call out the original poster for saying the following "I have continued to read the boogeyman stories online about buying Chinese machines. Some, I suspect from people with a vested interest in supporting domestic suppliers like Trotec and others.".

    I've helped 100's and 100's of people on this forum. Chinese lasers and Western lasers. I've spent 1000's of hours of the last decade helping people with any laser, including you Bert. When a guy called with a new Chinese laser and he couldn't get it to work and showed up at my door with it, I opened the door, welcomed him in, and sent him out the door hours later running product on his machine. I've mentioned we own a Chinese laser. How the heck you all read all this "hate" into my posts is on you, not on me. But I'll be darned if I'm going to sit back and let people misrepresent my words or my actions over the last decade. I clearly stated my position a couple days ago a few posts up (#24), which said that a Chinese machine may be a good choice for some jobs. Then you come on here and tell me, once again, that my posts "sound like no one can have a business and make money using Chinese machines".

    Unbelievable that the bias is actually so far the other way that so many read what they want to read instead of what's actually said.

    Last edited by Bert Kemp; 05-22-2018 at 3:00 PM.
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
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  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Bert Kemp View Post
    Yes over the years you have help many people here myself included , and I really appreciate your help as I'm sure others do also, and I hope you continue to help us. I didn't say you were bashing Chinese machines I just said you make it sound like you can't make big money with them. Yea thats on me I guess. I've read all the posts and it seems like you mention a lot about how much you make with your western machines and how we all could make more with them. Maybe I read this all wrong. I'll stop now.
    Explain to me where saying you can make more money with a faster machine is an inaccurate statement. It's interesting that when someone posts a great review of a Trotec and it's followed up with "I could buy 5 Chinese lasers for the same price as one Trotec", that none of you seem to bash that person for making that statement. Why? Because it's accurate. Just like saying a faster machine is more productive than a slower machine. It's an accurate statement. It's important for people to understand all their options when considering a laser.
    Lasers : Trotec Speedy 300 75W, Trotec Speedy 300 80W, Galvo Fiber Laser 20W
    Printers : Mimaki UJF-6042 UV Flatbed Printer , HP Designjet L26500 61" Wide Format Latex Printer, Summa S140-T 48" Vinyl Plotter
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    Real name Steve but that name was taken on the forum. Used Middle name. Call me Steve or Scott, doesn't matter.

  3. #33
    Bert

    I just took delivery on a new Trotec 80 watt at the first of the year. I'm sure there are those who wouldn't believe me but, it's already paid for itself in 5 months. I'm a home based business. I engrave other people's stuff in pretty good quantities.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall you had to buy 2 Chinese machines to get one that worked.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    11
    Hi just a a cheap one jpg 60 watt , would have prefered ipg along with german software ... the fibre was a steep learning curve after 8 mths im only just getting on top of it . (chinese software)
    Last edited by David Gray; 05-23-2018 at 12:08 AM.

  5. #35
    It looks like you have it pretty well mastered. That learning curve is my obstacle to buying one even though I don't currently have a market for fiber engraved items.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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

  6. #36
    --Due simply to the speed of Chinese machines, it WOULD be difficult to make a living with them on the ENGRAVING side. These machines for basic engraving have exactly the same problem as fiber lasers producing 'basic black' on stainless: They will do the work, but it happens at glacial speed, and customers don't want to pay $100 an hour for not-much-work just because the machine is slow...

    But flip the output from basic engraving to cutting and profiling, then (IMO) a Chinese laser could likely make you a fair amount of money. Machines costing 5x as much used primarily for cutting will be hard pressed to make up the machine cost difference. There will always be some differences, quality, speed etc. between eastern and western machines that can be pointed to either way, but (just my opinion) if your plans involve a lot of cutting, buy eastern.

    Myself, at least 98% of my laser work is raster engraving, I think I've had maybe 3 or 4 jobs in the past 18 years that were 'just' for cutting. But many folks here run machines nearly 24-7 doing just that.

    How people use their machines seem to get left behind in these discussions, it's not intentional, just human nature. Best I can tell from reading signatures, I have more 'designed for' engraving machines than any active posters here, the vast majority of them are tool machines. While all of them will essentially do the same thing as the next one, they each have fairly specific jobs. 4 of my machines do 90% of their work for ONE customer; my 5000 engraves cowbells, my older XT machine is my legend plate machine and other metal plate machine, mostly for one customer; my two 3400's in the back room each have one "90%" customer. My IS7000 does at least 85% of its work for one customer. My 3400 cylinder machine is always set up to engrave SS microphone bodies as they come in fairly regular, but it's my only cylinder tool machine, and due to it's construction it also allows me to engrave up to 16-1/2" tall items, and just having that option makes me about $5000 yearly... My newer XT is specific to "dry" engraving, and is my most 'variable' machine, 95% of all plastics and fiberglass machining get done on that machine, it does work for everyone. --Dry' means not wet - with the exception of the old C2000 my BIL uses daily and the one XT, all of my other tool machines I have set up for flood coolant delivery... the stuff is a pain and messy as hell but it makes engraving metals and machining aluminum possible, and me very popular with the engineers in these parts. In summary, my machines are nearly always already set up for the job it's about to do...

    ...which is great, because I have no employees! Now, my BIL works here 6 hours a day, but he's a licensed contractor. He runs the C2000 and the GCC laser. And that's it. He does brass police badges, keycap buttons and plate bevelling on the 2000, and he does basic Rowmark engraving in the GCC. He knows those machines, the C2000 software and Corel very well. As to all the other machines and software in this place, he knows zip. He CAN run repeat-part jobs once I've done the setup(s), in most cases.

    My lasers of course are not so job or customer specific, they do everything for everyone. Although the big Triumph, due to its speed, isn't near as versatile as the other. As such it sits more often than the others. But the past month it's been very busy- because while not as versatile, it DOES have a few unique qualities, such as it's the only machine that will reliably Cermark brass, and I can also engrave many off-the-wall items, like suitcases, leather purses, 32" tall aluminum housings, etc, and that makes me popular with a few sheet metal shops and promo-marketing folks around here

    So all this is to explain how 'some people'-- me -- use machines... My BIL is busy with his jobs 6 hours a day, my better half is usually painting, and really knows zilch about this business, so technically (literally) I'm a one-man-show as 98% of the time I have no outside help with the work I do. This includes reading/answering emails, phone calls, the door, price quoting, materials buying, PO handling, bill paying, after-work pricing, packaging, and 3/4 the invoicing- and none of that includes any actual money-making work: uploading prints, translating them into engraveable 'art', text uploading and typing, matrix setups, final layouts,applying Cermark, test runs and other verify's, and finally putting the tools and laser beams to the work- THEN there's the cleanup, deburring, bevelling, taping, washing off Cermark-- and then there's the inevitable rework...

    So all this leads me to this synopsis: Faster machines are great to be sure, but when it comes to tool machines, not a lot of give or take there. As to lasers, my 2 western machines run 80ips, more than fast enough for MY needs. At this point I really could use another machine, but more speed and power isn't my top priority, just having another machine to run a job that's, as of now, waiting on the other 3 would be far more beneficial, for MY needs. Now, some may debate that 2 Trotecs, based on their speed, could get the work my 2-3 current machines are doing twice as fast, theoretically doubling my production. Well, if I had employees manning the machines, this would be true. But I don't, so getting done in half the time would only help occasionally, simply because I can't be at the machine when it finishes, too busy ordering parts, answering emails and setting up the next job layouts. The simple fact is, I'm rarely at any given machine just as it finishes, ready to reload and start it up again, the machine's usually been done for a few minutes. Having a 2x faster machine only means it'll have been sitting there waiting for me twice as long!

    Therefore, because of how my business runs, having 4 slower machines available would nearly always be more productive, and FAR more cost effective, than 2 or even 3 faster machines. But in all honesty regarding the 'can you make a living with a Chinese laser' issue, I COULD, but I would need at least 7 or 8 eastern machines to match my current output, and if for no other reason than setup time, let alone space requirements, that's not at all practical.

    Ideally, for someone starting out hoping to make a biz of it, get one eastern, one western, run them well and anything's possible


    .
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 05-23-2018 at 1:10 PM.
    4 LASERS -- Gravograph LS900 -- GCC Explorer -- Triumph 1390 -- Triumph Galvo Fiber
    10 CNC ROTARY ENGRAVERS -- NH C2000 -- NH V3200 -- NH V3400 x2 -- NH V3400CL rotary -- NH V5000 -- NH V5000XT x2 -- Gravograph IS400 -- Gravograph IS7000
    Vinyl: NH 20" vinyl cutter
    Extraction: 3 -HF 'green' blowers, 1 HF 'big' blower
    4 -air compressors, 3 -drill presses, 3 -grinders, 3 -shears, 4 -saws, mini-lathe


  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    11
    Hi , I just did a late model harley clutch primary cover with a club logo for a customer , hatch setting on .001 the job took about 5 mins in total with excellent results
    that was a $250 win (this included making vectors file) my machine is a cheap JPG 60w fibre . the cover was crinkle finish matt black the results were a polished looking surface with a slight gold tone to it
    the customer was very happy . Big learning curve on my laser but once thru that its all good so far !!!! could i do 500 or 5000 covers on my machine ... you bet ya ... i do agee there is a difference of quality and speed with east vs west
    but im a poor boy i have to work with what i can reasonably afford, i simply cannot afford to pay x5 times more for my co2 lasers or fibres so to get the max out of the cheaper machines you need to invest a lot of time with settings and practice
    once you do that you can start looking at some upgrades to increase the machines ability , I have seen some stellar results with some of the new 3d scan heads in china , I sent the company a STL file and they burnt it out on a fibre using a 3d scan head the results were awesome and pro (superior to my german cnc) . I guess with a lot of these machines the bottom line is affordability , the chinese stuff lasts n lasts n yes the machines and software can be buggy ... my nephew in Brisbane runs a brand on etsy he has 6 chinese machines working very hard , a friend of his is a jeweler she bought a 60k machine with the view of making it big , she however didnt do well at all, she now uses her machine just to cut out basic shapes for him, so now she can service her loan she took out for the machine ..... at the end of the day i guess the machine is just a tool ......................
    Last edited by David Gray; 05-24-2018 at 1:26 AM.

  8. #38
    Thanks to the OP for the follow-up, I found it interesting.
    Quote Kev:" Ideally, for someone starting out hoping to make a biz of it, get one eastern, one western, run them well and anything's possible"
    Thanks, we did that ULS & Goldenlaser!... and our newest Chinese one is sitting at the wharves in Brisbane awaiting clearance and quarantine inspection- hopefully I'll be able to collect it midweek. 2 tubes, 180w & 100w, 2500 x 1300 bed, CW6200 chiller etc. Custom order from January- took a while with the Chinese new year interrupting thngs, and then testing it out after making it.

    I did want 'Easyservos' - the Leadshine closed loop steppers, and they did fit them, but found the interia of the gantry too much for them to handle with the extra rapid movements on a machine that big, so they changed it back to the steppers. The Easyservos are coming out with it anyway,(I asked for them, and paid for them) along with a spare w6 tube for the Goldenlaser, and a spare W1 tube and power supply- I'm going to look at converting a spare unused & slightly dead ULS V460 to Chinese later on.
    Best wishes,
    Ian



    ULS M-300, 55w made 2002 with rotary. Goldenlaser 130 watt, 1300x700 made 2011.
    Flat bed 2500x1300 150/90watt 2 tube laser, 2018 model.
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  9. #39
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    Yes your wrong they both worked just fine, one , the one I had all the support problems with claimed to be made in America with American support. It was warranty and support problems more then machine problems as a tube quit with in the warranty and they would not honor it. The other A Chinese machine made in China never claiming anything else, but having American support which is great support. and the only time I needed it was when I made mistakes with the software. I've had my machine going on 3 years now, still hasn't paid for itself and probably never will since I very seldom ask for money for the things I make and give to Veterans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Null View Post
    Bert

    I just took delivery on a new Trotec 80 watt at the first of the year. I'm sure there are those who wouldn't believe me but, it's already paid for itself in 5 months. I'm a home based business. I engrave other people's stuff in pretty good quantities.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall you had to buy 2 Chinese machines to get one that worked.
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  10. #40

    Insane

    Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    That is what this topic seems to be. The same arguments, same result. Come on all. Let's get over it. If you want to buy a Chinese laser go ahead. If you want to buy the U.S.A laser go ahead. Arguing about it all is silly. It seems these forums are more about arguing than productive tips no matter what machine you have.
    Redsail x700, 50watt & Shenhui 350, 50 watt

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    138
    Well said.
    Hilton Lister. NZ
    GCC Spirit 60w. Meistergram 912, Gravograph IT, Old Roland Vinyl Cutter, Hand engraving, Retired

  12. #42
    Yeah, and Einstein was married twice, so he'd know...

    Those who don't like the 'debating', don't read it- me, in the long run I just try to filter out the 'Ford Sucks Chevy Sucks' parts and take in the parts about users actual experiences with their machines. 'Productive tips' are here if you look
    4 LASERS -- Gravograph LS900 -- GCC Explorer -- Triumph 1390 -- Triumph Galvo Fiber
    10 CNC ROTARY ENGRAVERS -- NH C2000 -- NH V3200 -- NH V3400 x2 -- NH V3400CL rotary -- NH V5000 -- NH V5000XT x2 -- Gravograph IS400 -- Gravograph IS7000
    Vinyl: NH 20" vinyl cutter
    Extraction: 3 -HF 'green' blowers, 1 HF 'big' blower
    4 -air compressors, 3 -drill presses, 3 -grinders, 3 -shears, 4 -saws, mini-lathe


  13. #43
    Bert
    You've done what many others here have done--bought a laser to give you some enjoyment and satisfaction. I completely respect that. That is my mind set when I buy woodworking tools--they are not to make money but to give me some enjoyment.

    My laser is purely business as much as I'd like to spend some time playing with it.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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

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