Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Fiber Laser: 30W vs 50W?

  1. #1

    Fiber Laser: 30W vs 50W?

    The way things are lining up, I'm hoping to purchase a fiber laser this fall. It's purely for hobby use (so, hard to justify, but somehow the wife is on board), so I'll likely be going with one of the budget units off of my favorite online auction site.

    Is there any advantage to a 50W over a 30W besides speed/number of passes? I can stretch my budget if needed to get a 50W, but if the only significant advantage is shorter job times, well, I'm not that concerned with throughput. This is for a hobby, not a business. I haven't been able to find much information on the topic, but the little bit I have found has implied that a 30W can do about anything a 50W can, just with more passes.

    At the moment I'm not totally sure what my core use will be. Likely some stainless steel and carbon steel engraving, maybe adding some flourishes to a few personal firearms (I'm aware, get an FFL before considering work on guns I don't own). You get the idea-- random hobby projects.
    Licensed Professional Engineer,
    Unlicensed Semi Professional Tinkerer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    10
    What is your budget?

    I just got a 50w for $5,800 including import/duties ($1,200) off Alibaba. (At least I felt that's a good price) I may have caught a sale though not really sure.

    Originally was looking for a 20w and the price seemed really good on the quote $2k so I asked for the price of a 50w and decided to go that route Instead

    If I am allowed I will post a link to the manufacturer, he has been great to work with so far.

  3. #3
    I was hellbent on getting a 50w fiber, but in the meantime while price checking I picked up a 70mm lens, which vastly increases detail and power density, plus I've acquired 2 additional 30w units off Ebay, total cost of both was less than one 50w machine. You'll notice in my signature I'm a machine junkie. And if there's any absolutes I've found in my nearly 50 years in this business: 2 slow machines will produce more work than 1 faster machine; Any 2 machines are more versatile than any 1 machine... etc etc... These facts are exactly why I have so many machines. I have nothing against faster/more powerful, but seriously, when I got my 2nd 30w fiber, it made SOOOO much difference in production time that I totally forgot 50 watt machines and picked up a 3rd 30 watter.

    I'm thinking you're not really wanting 2 machines, so my advice, get a 30 watter with a 150 lens, then locate and pick up a 70mm and a 220mm lens to add versatility- if possible --depends on the lens that comes with your machine, I'm still looking for spares that will fit my ebay machines, the lens are physically much smaller than 'typical' and I haven't found a source for them- yet...

    --The lenses do have compromises, the 70mm only gives you a 2-1/2" -ish square working area. I'm using mine right now actually, and so far, I've never needed more work area. A 220 lens gives you LOTS more work area, but at the expense of some power density for the most part. I just found out last night the 220 lens on my 2nd ebay machine will run out a full 10-5/8" square before I start losing the top-left corner! Factoring a 1" wide plate, laid diagonally I can engrave 13-3/4" in length in one pass! And I engrave rifle barrels very nicely with this lens so the power density loss isn't really that bad.
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  4. #4
    I'm hoping to keep it under about $4K, but I can reach up to $6K if I can justify it. That being said, Kev, I've been following your thread closely (thank you for sharing!) and I completely forgot about lens selection. For what I'm looking to do, having a couple of lenses on hand would likely work great.

  5. #5
    This has got me thinking of upgrading from my 20w fiber laser, you seem to be able to buy a 50w machine for a similar amount to what I paid for the 20w. I put an enquiry on Alibaba and have been inundated with responses from sellers, most prices are around the $5,300 mark and $500 for air freight delivery to my door, with a delivery time of about a week. Some sellers had machines around $4,500, but most of those sellers would only send by sea freight, so a long wait and additional cost to get it from the UK port to my home which involves another sea crossing.

    Some communications and quotes from sellers I dismissed straight away, as they were lacking in much info and their replies looked too generic. Out of all the replies I received, I’ve communicated with two sellers, who sent well detailed quotations. One machine included a rotary attachment and also a powered z, but not by software, not sure how much use that would be. One advancement which seems to have taken place is a couple of focusing LEDs in the head, from what I understand when the two dots align, your work is in focus, reminds me of the dam busters for some reason.

    i haven’t decided if I’m going to go ahead yet, we will see.
    Shenhui SG350 fitted with a 60w tube.
    JQLaser 9060 with 90w tube.
    Mira 5030 30w RF tube.
    20w Fiber Laser.
    Located in the Isle of Man, which isn't in the UK but almost surrounded by it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,569
    Powered Z is really handy if you have to change focus a lot. My workday usually includes changing focus 20-30 times to accommodate the variety of parts/fixtures for the orders we have for that day. So the powered Z is a life (and arm) saver for sure. Because I need to get to an exact spot time after time, I mounted a DRO to the Z axis and it gets me to within .01mm very reliably. I would put zero reliability in the "focus leds", they are not likely to be useful in any precision work even if you carefully adjust and align them. For any other purposes they are about 99% useless as you have to have a flat surface to align them to and just seeing the dots is very difficult at best. Get a measuring stick or a DRO and you can be assured of being in focus if you set them up properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian Ashcroft View Post
    This has got me thinking of upgrading from my 20w fiber laser, you seem to be able to buy a 50w machine for a similar amount to what I paid for the 20w. I put an enquiry on Alibaba and have been inundated with responses from sellers, most prices are around the $5,300 mark and $500 for air freight delivery to my door, with a delivery time of about a week. Some sellers had machines around $4,500, but most of those sellers would only send by sea freight, so a long wait and additional cost to get it from the UK port to my home which involves another sea crossing.

    Some communications and quotes from sellers I dismissed straight away, as they were lacking in much info and their replies looked too generic. Out of all the replies I received, Iíve communicated with two sellers, who sent well detailed quotations. One machine included a rotary attachment and also a powered z, but not by software, not sure how much use that would be. One advancement which seems to have taken place is a couple of focusing LEDs in the head, from what I understand when the two dots align, your work is in focus, reminds me of the dam busters for some reason.

    i havenít decided if Iím going to go ahead yet, we will see.
    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


  7. #7
    what you do is, when you know you're in focus, adjust the LED's so that instead of having them converge, which IS hard to see, align the dots so they're side-by-side, about a mm apart. It's easy to see 2 dots, and one being higher/lower than the other is very obvious. Evert time I check against my focus stick, it's right on the money. And speaking of head-mounted LED's, I'm not sure why they bother putting 2 LED's in the head, you only need one angled 'moving' LED since the machine's LED is stationary. That's how my Triumph's been since day 1, the angled LED is mounted to the machine's case...

    But I'd LOVE a powered Z-- I recently bought one of those XY hand-crank tables, my gawd, SOO much easier to move the work to the red light than the other way 'round!
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  8. #8
    I agree and I also doubt if the LED’s will be that accurate, I use a measuring stick with my currently laser and will no doubt cut another one for this new machine, which I have decided to go for. I’m thinking of getting two lens the standard 110mm and a 220mm.

    The company gave me prices for a 60w at $8,100.00 and a 100w at $15,800.00, both beyond my budget.

    This is the machine with the z motor being installed.

    Last edited by Julian Ashcroft; 04-21-2019 at 2:40 AM.
    Shenhui SG350 fitted with a 60w tube.
    JQLaser 9060 with 90w tube.
    Mira 5030 30w RF tube.
    20w Fiber Laser.
    Located in the Isle of Man, which isn't in the UK but almost surrounded by it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,497
    Powered z would be nice. Hadn't thought of a DRO Gary, would you mind taking a picture of your setup? I use the two LEDs, (one external) and recently I've been doing a lot of polished jewelry. I HATE the external LED as it is constantly reflecting in my eyes. I've gotten to where I use a piece of blue tape to cover it while I center the engraving.
    And Kev, the X-Y table is great. I adjust slightly with it way more than moving the engraving. Especially when I try and keep things center of page.
    As to original, I'd get a 30 watt. Even with my 20, I've found very little I have issue with. Speed is fine most of the time, little more power would be nice.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser
    Ray Fine 20watt Fiber Laser
    PM2000, Delta BS, Delta sander, Powermatic 50 jointer,
    Powermatic100-12 planer, Rockwell 15-126 radial drill press
    Rockwell 46-450 lathe, and 2 Walker Turner RA1100 radial saws

    RIA 22TCM 1911s

  10. #10
    I give up...what does DRO stand for?
    Epilog Legend 36EXT ~35W
    30W Fiber Laser
    Corel X6
    AutoCAD 2019
    FFL 01
    Some Patience

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DeGerolamo View Post
    I give up...what does DRO stand for?
    Digital ReadOut (think of the electronic scale on a set of calipers)
    Licensed Professional Engineer,
    Unlicensed Semi Professional Tinkerer

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,569
    I would take a pic John but the back of the machine where the scale is mounted is really hard to get to so all you would see if the lcd on the front of the machine. In essence, all I did was buy an inexpensive DRO made by iGaging and mounted the lcd to the front of the Z column and the scale/vernier/whateveryoucallit on the back side. Due to the sever slop in the Z axis it can be challenging to get the exact height you want but I have worked it out pretty well and have a method of calibrating it as well. For my purposes it keeps to within about .01mm pretty easily.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Lifer View Post
    Powered z would be nice. Hadn't thought of a DRO Gary, would you mind taking a picture of your setup? I use the two LEDs, (one external) and recently I've been doing a lot of polished jewelry. I HATE the external LED as it is constantly reflecting in my eyes. I've gotten to where I use a piece of blue tape to cover it while I center the engraving.
    And Kev, the X-Y table is great. I adjust slightly with it way more than moving the engraving. Especially when I try and keep things center of page.
    As to original, I'd get a 30 watt. Even with my 20, I've found very little I have issue with. Speed is fine most of the time, little more power would be nice.
    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


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,497
    Thanks Gary. I put one on my Powermatic planer a number of years ago and it helped me greatly sneek up on a thickness. Might have to give it a try. It would for sure help in moving focus a slight amount. I trust the led's not a lot.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser
    Ray Fine 20watt Fiber Laser
    PM2000, Delta BS, Delta sander, Powermatic 50 jointer,
    Powermatic100-12 planer, Rockwell 15-126 radial drill press
    Rockwell 46-450 lathe, and 2 Walker Turner RA1100 radial saws

    RIA 22TCM 1911s

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •