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Thread: Purchasing first Laser with no experience

  1. #1

    Purchasing first Laser with no experience

    Howdy everyone,

    I've posted a couple very dumb questions here before. (thank you for being patient) But I have never run a laser. Mostly I just read the posts here and watch youtube videos of the machines running as I sit at home green with envy.

    I think I have finally come to the point where I'm emotionally ready to part with my dollars. haha I have no idea where to start, so I thought I might just ask for some suggestions.

    There are so many options, but I'm finding it really difficult to compare products because most companies don't disclose their pricing. I also don't know what my power needs are.

    The main jobs I would be using the laser for would be engraving and cutting leather, engraving and cutting wood up to .75" thick, and engraving glass bottles.

    I know that means I'll need a rotary attachment, but I don't know if those are something I can use on any machine. I know there's a technique where you can flip your work piece and cut through double the thickness, but depending on the price, I might just opt for a more capable machine.

    I've really been considering everything. At one point I was looking at the inexpensive Chinese lasers, but...I'm just not sure I want to get into something where I'm trying to figure out how to get the thing calibrated and functioning from the very start not knowing what I'm doing.

    I know you're all going to cringe, but I was considering a glowforge too. I liked the fact that the pro model had a passthrough slot so you could feed in long material. I also liked how user friendly it looked thinking my family might enjoy playing with it on occasion too. As a matter of fact, I probably would have already bought a glowforge, if I hadn't seen so many negative opinions of it on here. Though, it looks like the majority of those posts are a little older and might be there partly because of the distribution issues they had when they were first shipping.

    The first laser I ever saw was on a podcast called 'systm'. It was from Universal Laser Systems. When I google them, the first price I can find is a used unit going for 21,000. I know it might be decked out with a billion watt laser and all the fixings, but it just leads me to think they are out of my price.

    And I guess that's the main issue, the price. I guess I should just take the time to contact all of these companies and talk to them about my needs individually. I just thought it might be faster to get some opinions first. I'm hoping to borrow your wisdom because I don't have any of my own. I honestly am open to recommendation. If you all think I should go get a Chinese laser and modify it for my needs, I would probably go down that path. I'm sure I would come out smarter for it. But I'd like to keep my budget around 6000. I might go as high as 9000 if it means a drastic improvement in quality.

    Thanks for entertaining this post. Even if it's just a brand recommendation, it's a great starting point. I just need a little direction.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,398
    The Search on this Forum is great. If you do some targeted search and read you will find your questions already answered.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  3. #3
    Bill's right but forget cutting 3/4" wood with a laser. It just isn't feasible.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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

  4. #4
    One thing that seems to be not considered by those wanting to buy a laser for the first time- or okay, more than one thing I'm sure

    to start- what does one pay for a car? Decent used cars are routinely in the $15,000 to $20,000 range. Many people have several cars. And what do most cars do to make you money? Get you to your job is about it, they don't actually create an income. So why is it so difficult for people to borrow the same money for piece of machinery that can create an income, and help pay for itself-?

    I know the answer: Fear of not succeeding. So if the worst happens, if you only spend $6000 or so on a machine, you keep your losses to a minimum.

    Which leads me to another point rarely considered: resale value of the equipment... To keep this short: your absolute best value in a 'start up' machine, is to buy a good (caveat emptor applies) used "Western" machine, ie a machine with an RF laser rather than a glass laser. The reason is simple-- a 4 or 5 year old machine in good condition will likely have almost the same resale value 2 years from when you bought it, and most people after 2 years will know if laser engraving is going to work for them or not. Buying a new Western laser is great but you'll still have roughly 25% (debatable ) depreciation at least, or $5000 on a $20,000 machine. If you spend $6000 on a new glass laser, in 2 years it'l only be WORTH 25% of buy price, if that- But if you spend $10,000 on good used machine, 2 years later, assuming good working condition it'll likely still be a good buy for someone at $8000, if not more.

    And then there's the longevity of Western v Chinese lasers, no contest...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,620
    Two things stick out from your post - cutting .75" wood and cutting leather. A laser can certainly cut wood and leather but the power to cut .75" wood is beyond what you would need for anything else. A high-end rv manufacturer in the town I used to live in used a 250 watt co2 to cut .75" plywood and it cut it really well, although they could have used more power and had better cuts - 500 watts would have worked much better. As for leather - up to 1/8" is fairly easily cut with an 80 watt machine but it depends on the type of leather. The smell of cutting leather is enough to drive you out of the area - think burning hair! Between cutting thick plywood and leather, you will need pretty hefty ventilation and if you have neighbors within 25-50' then you'll need filtration as well - filtering the smell from leather and heavy smoke from wood will cost you a fortune in filters (thousands, not tens or hundreds of dollars).

    The glow forge would not do anything remotely close to what you mentioned, and I'm not sure it even has a rotary. Even if it does, it's barely a toy/hobby machine so don't even consider it to be an option.

    You'll have to adjust your expectations and then take a close look at your budget to decide what to do. A cheap Chinese machine or an eBay machine (still Chinese) is not likely to tick all the boxes of what you want to do.
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

    Trotec Speedy 400 80 watt 8/2015
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 1/2016
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 3/2015
    Fargo HDP5000 Card printer


  6. #6
    Thank you all for the opinions. I will definitely continue to search and look at older opinions.

    I'll consider getting a used one. I guess I'm just concerned because I don't know what I'm looking at. Hard to know if you're getting a good deal when you don't know anything about what you're buying.

    I'll let go of the glowforge. But it would be nice to be able to fit the end of a board in the machine.

    I think I can manage to lower my expectations. :-) But the only reason I mentioned the .75 inches is because I watched a rep say his 50 watt product could cut up to .5 inches. I thought it was within the realm of possibility. Maybe he was fudging and saying if you flipped the material, you could cut through .5 inch. Who knows.

    I don't plan on pulling the trigger tomorrow. I'll continue to research and learn. If I were to look for used a machine, does anyone have a suggestion of a good market place to look?

  7. #7
    My BIL came up with the best idea (for him anyway) for cutting just about any wood: He bought a small but nice scrollsaw; he uses his laser to mark where to saw and for doing the artwork but never cuts wood with it. He made these things after very little practice, says it cuts wood like butter...

    scrollsaw2.jpg
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  8. #8
    Good advice above, and great advice to use the <search> function.
    I'll also suggest seriously looking for a better 2nd hand 'western' machine. Our ULS is 17 years old and still earns its keep, while the learning curve is simplicity.

    P.S. whatever you get, you will need software like Corel Draw of some version or another, and familiarity with vectors, and welding etc.
    That can begin any time - no need to wait for a machine.
    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.
    Esab router, 1989, 4.5 x 2.0 m, conv. to Tekcel, and modded a 2nd time.
    HP L260-60". Roland PNC-1410. Mimaki GC-130 SU.
    Screenprinting carousel 6x4 and 7x4 ft 1-arm bandit vac table.
    Corel Draw X3, Illy, Indesign & Photoshop CS2 & CS5, Enroute 4
    Pencil, paper, paintbrush, airbrush & dagger-liners & assorted other stuff.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Stewart-Koster View Post
    Good advice above, and great advice to use the <search> function.
    I'll also suggest seriously looking for a better 2nd hand 'western' machine. Our ULS is 17 years old and still earns its keep, while the learning curve is simplicity.

    P.S. whatever you get, you will need software like Corel Draw of some version or another, and familiarity with vectors, and welding etc.
    That can begin any time - no need to wait for a machine.

    That's a very good point! I will do that today. Is there a particular version of corel draw I should look for?

    I need a familiarity with welding???

  10. #10
    I've been using Corel x4 for years, it's a big upgrade over x3 as to how menu's and file-openings work but I still use x3 too- If you're into really artsy, X6 is a good upgrade- Me, I'm a 1-bit pony, everything I do ends up black/white to send to the laser so I'm perfectly happy with X4...

    Welding is the process of connecting 2 or more overlapping shapes into a common shape, and there's cutting and trimming and other stuff I don't actually know the names of
    cut.jpg
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #11
    Check into AP LAZER aplazer.com
    They have great group on Facebook that can be useful if you can't get the 24/7 tech support.
    Really good staff and quality machines. You can call them with your needs and they can guide you.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    3,806
    I bought my laser from goldraydigital off Ebay it is a 130 watt and came with a CW5000 chiller and a rotary. the shipping was super fast also

  13. #13
    I am sorry my post will be quite opinionated, I will describe my path and raise some questions to think about before you spend your hard earned dollars.

    I'm talking about brand name system only here, because having a brand name -- means having support, it is common to see 15years old laser system working 5 days a week 8 hours a day.
    These systems are solid [Trotec/Epilog/Universal/Gravograph], support for them is solid. you may have spare part in 3 days or less if motor is broken, or laser is not firing -- even for 15 years old system.
    You may call tech support and in 15 min your question will be answered. You may drive and see your local tech representative in your are in person.
    All these people you calling or meeting love lasers and they are willing to help you.
    Also: brand name systems are based on metal (or ceramic) rechargeable laser tubes [brands are Synrad, Coherent, Iradion, Epilog, Universal], which lasts much longer than glass tubes, though
    remember each tube is individual creature, there is no exact science on recharging the tube, and you usually get +15%(or more) on top of nominal laser power after recharge.

    I started playing with lasers a year ago.
    So, my advice on where to start: check kijiji.ca and craigslist.org twice a day; check searchtempest.com and searchtempest.com/kijiji as search aggregator. Be patient. Expect to drive 300 miles for a good deal.
    Check Canada listings regularly -- they have very good offers regularly. Like Epilog Helix under $6000 canadian dollars.
    Also you may check industrial auctions of any kinds -- online. I saw Trotec Speedy 300 [80watt] for $9500 -- it was a steal but I could not afford as hobby machine.
    First thing is educate yourself, focus on brand name machine [Trotec or Epilog brand]. Learn about models of each brand. Learn why servo motors are better choice [choose Trotec Speedy300, or Epilog Mini24/Helix],
    remember that cheaper models like Epilog Zing (and likely Trotec Speedy100) uses stepper motors -- you may regret having stepper motors later.
    Learn why people buying bigger system if they can. Consider 12x24 is a minimum table size, you will regret having smaller table size later.
    Few years after you'll get the system in your hands you will think about upgrading the laser tube, and bigger machine will accept more powerful tube because more powerful tube is usually a longer tube,
    for example: Epilog Helix will accept Coherent C70A tube -- which is 70watt tube, when fully charged it may fire as much as 90+watt, or Coherent C55A tube -- which is 55watt tube, when recharged may fire 70+watt.
    Look here for recharged coherent C55 tube performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKBJJ_US-W0
    Skip very old lasers, like those made before 2000 -- main reason for that is: those will not work with latest operation systems and design software [Like Windows 10/MacOS X], so
    it would be real pain to send a job to a laser -- at least you need to know what software will be compatible with your laser. To my experience: Epilog line produced from 2006 is compatible with Win10.
    Learn how to test the laser power with piece of acrylic -- Epilog manuals has tables of speed/power/frequency to cut material through -- refer to it, those are at the end of the manual.
    You may check Universal Laser systems and Gravograph as brand name manufacturers of laser systems. To my sense software which comes with Gravograph is counterintuitive, and I cannot say anything
    about Universal Laser -- the only thing I know is -- it is dependable brand name machines.
    .....and BE PATIENT on laser hunting.
    .....to my experience, interesting deal appears on my radar once every 2 months [like Epilog Helix 40watt under $4000], it is usually in Canada, most interesting deals appears from July till October, or
    from Christmas till end of January. .... finding a good deal is a lot of work and it may be gone in 3 hours after message is published on craigslist/kijiji/ebay/industrial auctions.
    When you search, you search for "Trotec", "Epilog", "Laser Engraver", "Coherent laser tube", "Synrad laser tube". When you find what you want -- do not wait, run. When you see real thing it may
    be different from you thought it would be, so discuss price after you see real thing, run test if possible.

    Right now on Kijiji: Epilog Helix 35Watt -- $6500 canadian dollars, which is under $5000 USD. Location is Canada/Toronto. Based on pictures it was made in 2006 or early 2007. -- that is an awesome machine. what you would need is to learn how to service it -- clean optics and lubricate moving parts --- download user manual from epilog web site, read it thoroughly -- and you'll be happy with it. https://www.kijiji.ca/v-other-busine...ver/1460747430

    For recharging existing tubes I used: www.evergreenlaser.com -- they are awesome. you may also try photovaclaser.com -- I did not tried them yet, I saw laser tubes on ebay with photovaclaser service stickers. ask other people who used them and decide what to do.

    On industrial auctions: it is interesting place to search for unusual devices. Like right now you can see Epilog 36EXT laser system 75 watt on bidspotter: https://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/sea...rchTerm=epilog
    Auction style: current bit is $5, auction ends: October 11. -- that is a very good price for this machine. https://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/sea...4-aad5018a35dc
    This system is too big for our small lab, but it may be good for you. I estimate selling price for this lot from $6000 to $7500. if you miss it, you may find same system later on ebay for $13000 or so.
    You may check https://www.facebook.com/pg/UsedLaserEngravers/ but I bet you will find better prices elsewhere.

    So after a year of laser hunting....I've got the following:
    1) Epilog Helix [2006] 35watt from Canada/Toronto [through kijiji] -- price too low to say, you may assume it was given as a gift. -- this unit was mistaken for old-old printer made in 2006, and sold to us for parts without testing. it works as new, though I had to drive 700 miles to get it. -- this is unicorn you may catch such a deal if you are searching.
    2) Epilog Mini24 [2007] 35watt from Connecticut [through craigslist], laser tube was empty, unit is practically brand new -- $2500
    3) Epilog laser tube [type C, 50Watt] with brackets and red pointer assembly from eBay -- $1200. someone was selling brand new from epilog factory, with all paperwork. measured laser power is 53Watt
    Then I learned that Coherent tubes with RJ45 control socket could be installed into Epilog Helix and Mini.
    4) Coherent C55A tube, recharged with laser power output of 76watt. -- $2500 [had to trade in a 35watt empty tube for it] worked with evergreenlaser.com on that, thank you Jean if you're reading this:-)
    Got two MeinWell PSP600-48 transformers to upgrade systems above, was very careful with wires, breakers, etc -- yes, if you have a tube 50Watt or above -- you need at least 48V 22Amp of power -- use scheme from MeinWell web site -- single wire of current share will make two transformers work as one unit -- same electric scheme as Epilog uses.
    Got an air assist Junair OF302 with tank and pressure regulator off eBay -- $180
    Got Turbo Accelerator nozzle for epilog from eBay -- still available there, quite expensive [$195], but allows to cut without charring, even with 35Watt laser, while 76 watt laser makes almost white cut -- that was a quality call mostly.
    Got UPS to keep my systems on the safe side and protect from electric spikes and power outages.

    Bottom line: Epilog Helix now has coherent tube and fires 76 watts, Epilog Mini24 has 50 watt tube and fires 53Watt. -- spent under $8000 for both.

    ... and after that I gave all this treasure to my beautiful wife, she now does laser cutting/engraving [etsy link was eaten by a link eater]
    and I'm very happy.

    PS. If you know where to get Coherent C70A tube, working or empty -- please let me know.
    Last edited by Dmitriy Pichugin; 09-28-2019 at 1:52 PM.

  14. #14
    I work for a large laser manufacturer and the customer's that come in can have very, VERY little knowledge about lasers, engraving or anything but have a successful application and they walk out at the end of the day being able to run a system without any further research, youtube videos, or 3rd party software. These aren't hobbist though, they can make their monthly payment within 8 hours of running the machine.

    The negative of course is premium price, but there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to support and parts and in a high production setting, every hour can be lost income. (24/7 support for a under $10k machine? Is that to someone who is qualified and ACTUALLY knows what they are talking about?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitriy Pichugin View Post
    I am sorry my post will be quite opinionated, I will describe my path and raise some questions to think about before you spend your hard earned dollars.

    I'm talking about brand name system only here, because having a brand name -- means having support, it is common to see 15years old laser system working 5 days a week 8 hours a day.
    These systems are solid [Trotec/Epilog/Universal/Gravograph], support for them is solid. you may have spare part in 3 days or less if motor is broken, or laser is not firing -- even for 15 years old system.
    You may call tech support and in 15 min your question will be answered. You may drive and see your local tech representative in your are in person.
    All these people you calling or meeting love lasers and they are willing to help you.
    Also: brand name systems are based on metal (or ceramic) rechargeable laser tubes [brands are Synrad, Coherent, Iradion, Epilog, Universal], which lasts much longer than glass tubes, though
    remember each tube is individual creature, there is no exact science on recharging the tube, and you usually get +15%(or more) on top of nominal laser power after recharge.

    I started playing with lasers a year ago.
    So, my advice on where to start: check kijiji.ca and craigslist.org twice a day; check searchtempest.com and searchtempest.com/kijiji as search aggregator. Be patient. Expect to drive 300 miles for a good deal.
    Check Canada listings regularly -- they have very good offers regularly. Like Epilog Helix under $6000 canadian dollars.
    Also you may check industrial auctions of any kinds -- online. I saw Trotec Speedy 300 [80watt] for $9500 -- it was a steal but I could not afford as hobby machine.
    First thing is educate yourself, focus on brand name machine [Trotec or Epilog brand]. Learn about models of each brand. Learn why servo motors are better choice [choose Trotec Speedy300, or Epilog Mini24/Helix],
    remember that cheaper models like Epilog Zing (and likely Trotec Speedy100) uses stepper motors -- you may regret having stepper motors later.
    Learn why people buying bigger system if they can. Consider 12x24 is a minimum table size, you will regret having smaller table size later.
    Few years after you'll get the system in your hands you will think about upgrading the laser tube, and bigger machine will accept more powerful tube because more powerful tube is usually a longer tube,
    for example: Epilog Helix will accept Coherent C70A tube -- which is 70watt tube, when fully charged it may fire as much as 90+watt, or Coherent C55A tube -- which is 55watt tube, when recharged may fire 70+watt.
    Look here for recharged coherent C55 tube performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKBJJ_US-W0
    Skip very old lasers, like those made before 2000 -- main reason for that is: those will not work with latest operation systems and design software [Like Windows 10/MacOS X], so
    it would be real pain to send a job to a laser -- at least you need to know what software will be compatible with your laser. To my experience: Epilog line produced from 2006 is compatible with Win10.
    Learn how to test the laser power with piece of acrylic -- Epilog manuals has tables of speed/power/frequency to cut material through -- refer to it, those are at the end of the manual.
    You may check Universal Laser systems and Gravograph as brand name manufacturers of laser systems. To my sense software which comes with Gravograph is counterintuitive, and I cannot say anything
    about Universal Laser -- the only thing I know is -- it is dependable brand name machines.
    .....and BE PATIENT on laser hunting.
    .....to my experience, interesting deal appears on my radar once every 2 months [like Epilog Helix 40watt under $4000], it is usually in Canada, most interesting deals appears from July till October, or
    from Christmas till end of January. .... finding a good deal is a lot of work and it may be gone in 3 hours after message is published on craigslist/kijiji/ebay/industrial auctions.
    When you search, you search for "Trotec", "Epilog", "Laser Engraver", "Coherent laser tube", "Synrad laser tube". When you find what you want -- do not wait, run. When you see real thing it may
    be different from you thought it would be, so discuss price after you see real thing, run test if possible.

    Right now on Kijiji: Epilog Helix 35Watt -- $6500 canadian dollars, which is under $5000 USD. Location is Canada/Toronto. Based on pictures it was made in 2006 or early 2007. -- that is an awesome machine. what you would need is to learn how to service it -- clean optics and lubricate moving parts --- download user manual from epilog web site, read it thoroughly -- and you'll be happy with it. https://www.kijiji.ca/v-other-busine...ver/1460747430

    For recharging existing tubes I used: www.evergreenlaser.com -- they are awesome. you may also try photovaclaser.com -- I did not tried them yet, I saw laser tubes on ebay with photovaclaser service stickers. ask other people who used them and decide what to do.

    On industrial auctions: it is interesting place to search for unusual devices. Like right now you can see Epilog 36EXT laser system 75 watt on bidspotter: https://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/sea...rchTerm=epilog
    Auction style: current bit is $5, auction ends: October 11. -- that is a very good price for this machine. https://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/sea...4-aad5018a35dc
    This system is too big for our small lab, but it may be good for you. I estimate selling price for this lot from $6000 to $7500. if you miss it, you may find same system later on ebay for $13000 or so.
    You may check https://www.facebook.com/pg/UsedLaserEngravers/ but I bet you will find better prices elsewhere.

    So after a year of laser hunting....I've got the following:
    1) Epilog Helix [2006] 35watt from Canada/Toronto [through kijiji] -- price too low to say, you may assume it was given as a gift. -- this unit was mistaken for old-old printer made in 2006, and sold to us for parts without testing. it works as new, though I had to drive 700 miles to get it. -- this is unicorn you may catch such a deal if you are searching.
    2) Epilog Mini24 [2007] 35watt from Connecticut [through craigslist], laser tube was empty, unit is practically brand new -- $2500
    3) Epilog laser tube [type C, 50Watt] with brackets and red pointer assembly from eBay -- $1200. someone was selling brand new from epilog factory, with all paperwork. measured laser power is 53Watt
    Then I learned that Coherent tubes with RJ45 control socket could be installed into Epilog Helix and Mini.
    4) Coherent C55A tube, recharged with laser power output of 76watt. -- $2500 [had to trade in a 35watt empty tube for it] worked with evergreenlaser.com on that, thank you Jean if you're reading this:-)
    Got two MeinWell PSP600-48 transformers to upgrade systems above, was very careful with wires, breakers, etc -- yes, if you have a tube 50Watt or above -- you need at least 48V 22Amp of power -- use scheme from MeinWell web site -- single wire of current share will make two transformers work as one unit -- same electric scheme as Epilog uses.
    Got an air assist Junair OF302 with tank and pressure regulator off eBay -- $180
    Got Turbo Accelerator nozzle for epilog from eBay -- still available there, quite expensive [$195], but allows to cut without charring, even with 35Watt laser, while 76 watt laser makes almost white cut -- that was a quality call mostly.
    Got UPS to keep my systems on the safe side and protect from electric spikes and power outages.

    Bottom line: Epilog Helix now has coherent tube and fires 76 watts, Epilog Mini24 has 50 watt tube and fires 53Watt. -- spent under $8000 for both.

    ... and after that I gave all this treasure to my beautiful wife, she now does laser cutting/engraving [etsy link was eaten by a link eater]
    and I'm very happy.

    PS. If you know where to get Coherent C70A tube, working or empty -- please let me know.

  15. #15
    Right, I respect quality of Trotec machines. They are best of the best, which is reflected in machine price.
    That you referring as "under $10k" machines from Trotec line: -- only RayJet machines fall into this category.
    These machines have stepper motors [last time I checked] and relatively small bed size 12x18 or similar.
    To me these machines are great as other machines of Trotec line, but limitation comes mostly from small bed size.
    Trotec Speedy 100 is a great choice for anyone who want 12x24 bed size. When used, these machines are sold from $5k to $9k price range [if you are lucky].
    Trotec Speedy 300 is ideal choice. even in used condition it is super rare find under $10k. I saw two offers under $10k for Speedy 300 [60 and 80 Watt] during last year.
    When buying used system you can check laser hours of the machine from your PC -- it is in machine driver side -- and estimate the load.
    If you happen to buy 7 years old Trotec Speedy which was serviced regularly, you should be fine for next 15+ years, as quality and reliability of the machine is incredible. -- you will pass it to next generation, and your grand kids will use that system and will be thankful.
    Due to incredible reliability of the machines these are rare find in used condition, so catch it if you can. I was not so lucky in this game.
    And yes, new Speedy 300 starts from $16k-$18k easily. -- and this is out of reach for hobbyist or someone who starts on their own.
    From what people say, Trotec provides excellent customer support.

    One more thing, Trotec installs ceramic tubes manufactured by Iradion in their machines. Now it is known fact that these tubes are rechargeable, even if you've been told opposite.
    Ceramic is great material for the tub as it does not expand much when temperature goes up, thus less gas leaking due to it...
    However... if your tube is weak, but system still carries warranty -- call Trotec customer support, if it is out of warranty, try evergreenlaser for tube recharge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Cicala View Post
    I work for a large laser manufacturer and the customer's that come in can have very, VERY little knowledge about lasers, engraving or anything but have a successful application and they walk out at the end of the day being able to run a system without any further research, youtube videos, or 3rd party software. These aren't hobbist though, they can make their monthly payment within 8 hours of running the machine.

    The negative of course is premium price, but there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to support and parts and in a high production setting, every hour can be lost income. (24/7 support for a under $10k machine? Is that to someone who is qualified and ACTUALLY knows what they are talking about?)
    Last edited by Dmitriy Pichugin; 10-01-2019 at 6:29 PM.

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