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Thread: Very basic need for a laser.

  1. #1

    Very basic need for a laser.

    This is always my "go to" place when I need help. I really appreciate the advice from all of you!

    I have been going through the threads trying to figure out what I need, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I am looking for a laser engraver to engrave/burn names into wood. I have attached a picture showing what I want it to do. This is the only thing I need it to do. So pretty basic. As everyone, I do not want to spend a lot of money, especially when this is all I will be doing with it. The names will be less than 2 inches height x up to 24 inches long. The only issue I have is that I am burning them on a longer piece where I will need a “pass through” door to slide the pieced inside until it is at the appropriate spot to burn the name.
    Right now I had a CNC built with a 4’x8’ table. It has a laser attachment. That is how I am burning the names. Although it is extremely slow. To do a longer name can take 3-4 hours! The reason I am looking for an actual laser machine is to cut down on the burn time. It uses Inkscape. I am very happy with the machine and the quality. Just burns too slow!

    If you are burning a name like in the picture I have attached, approximately how long would it take for a laser machine to burn it?
    Any recommendations for a good priced machine that would accommodate my needs?
    IMG-20190424-WA0000.jpg
    THANK YOU!!!!

  2. #2
    2" x 24"? Maybe 5 minutes.
    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
    Router : ShopBot 48" x 96" CNC Router Rotary Engravers : (2) Xenetech XOT 16 x 25 Rotary Engravers

    Real name Steve but that name was taken on the forum. Used Middle name. Call me Steve or Scott, doesn't matter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Webber View Post
    The only issue I have is that I am burning them on a longer piece where I will need a “pass through” door to slide the pieced inside until it is at the appropriate spot to burn the name.
    That will be a problem since 99% of the lasers I have ever seen have a pass-through from front to back, not side to side. In order to get one with 24" of Y travel you'll need a pretty large machine, or one specially designed with either 24" in Y or pass-through in the sides. If you have to pass through front to rear then your engraving time would go up from the 5 minutes Steve guestimated to several times that much. Another option would be to get a galvo co2 but you'll be limited in engravable area much smaller than you are asking for. What you need can be done but it won't be a stock item from what I know.
    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


  4. #4
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    Rabbit Laser?
    Epilog Legend 36EXT ~35W
    30W Fiber Laser
    Corel X6
    AutoCAD 2019
    FFL 01
    Some Patience

  5. #5
    Shoot! I didn't think about that. On the photos, it appeared there were pass through doors going either way. So I assumed you could. So when you say it can be done, does that mean I need to have one custom built? Do companies even do that without charging triple the cost?
    Thanks!

  6. #6
    There's nothing wrong with front to back pass-thru, you just need to place the laser where it'll work for you; 90° against a wall with 2 or 3' of space in front and in back, or against a wall 'normally' as long as you have space to roll the machine away from the wall when needed, or in the middle of the room...

    -do what's necessary to get the job done-

    Couple of rather large plates I did in the past on one of my 5000XT machines, not a laser but 'pass thru' came into play.
    I have this machine positioned so anything long I'm doing will fit thru the laundry/saw-room doorway...
    pt1.jpgpt2.jpgpt3.jpg
    pt4.jpgpt5.jpg

    the plate above is 6' long, I can actually do up to 10' long if necessary, and the Y table size is only 19.5"...

    --do what's necessary
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  7. #7
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    I'm not saying there is anything wrong with front to back pass through, but if you are lasering an image that is 2" x 24" you certainly don't want it to be lasering across the 2" dimension, it will take forever. If you had pass through on the sides then you could laser the length of it instead of the width.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    There's nothing wrong with front to back pass-thru, you just need to place the laser where it'll work for you; 90° against a wall with 2 or 3' of space in front and in back, or against a wall 'normally' as long as you have space to roll the machine away from the wall when needed, or in the middle of the room...

    -do what's necessary to get the job done-

    Couple of rather large plates I did in the past on one of my 5000XT machines, not a laser but 'pass thru' came into play.
    I have this machine positioned so anything long I'm doing will fit thru the laundry/saw-room doorway...
    pt1.jpgpt2.jpgpt3.jpg
    pt4.jpgpt5.jpg

    the plate above is 6' long, I can actually do up to 10' long if necessary, and the Y table size is only 19.5"...

    --do what's necessary
    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


  8. #8
    Engraving FAST stuff vertically can get dam slow, yes, but wood is already slow to engrave, so going vertical isn't going to change the engraving time much, IMO...

    Steve estimated 5 minutes lengthwise, so even if the extra time engraving vertical is doubled, 10 minutes still beats the crap out of 180 to 240 minutes!
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
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    As I said in the other post, to get 24" of Y axis will require a larger bed than what he needs if I could get it on the X axis. So whether he could engrave it in 10 minutes or not ( I doubt it ) is a moot point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Engraving FAST stuff vertically can get dam slow, yes, but wood is already slow to engrave, so going vertical isn't going to change the engraving time much, IMO...

    Steve estimated 5 minutes lengthwise, so even if the extra time engraving vertical is doubled, 10 minutes still beats the crap out of 180 to 240 minutes!
    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


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    how big is the engraving going to be. Have you looked at engravers that have an open bottom

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Steve estimated 5 minutes lengthwise, so even if the extra time engraving vertical is doubled, 10 minutes still beats the crap out of 180 to 240 minutes!
    Nope, same time vertically for me. Trotec can switch from horizontal to vertical engraving with the click of a button!
    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
    Router : ShopBot 48" x 96" CNC Router Rotary Engravers : (2) Xenetech XOT 16 x 25 Rotary Engravers

    Real name Steve but that name was taken on the forum. Used Middle name. Call me Steve or Scott, doesn't matter.

  12. #12
    Gary- as you know the GCC has a 38x20 table, but I can engrave 40" long parts in the thing vertically simply by opening the front door. If I roll it out into the street and lower the back door I can engrave any length I have room for. Any laser that the work piece can extend beyond the front of the machine- like the GCC because of the drop-down door, or my LS900 with the lower door removed- you have double the Y table size in engraving area, if you're willing to deal with the sectional setups. With full pass thru your only length limit is the first wall in the way!(*) There is the issue supporting the extending pieces (HF adjustable roller stands work well), and the re-setup and alignment when piecing together 'long plate' work, but that's trivial compared to 3-4 hours for one sign!

    Steve- depending on exactly what's engraving, vertical can be faster with most western machines... Again, I'm just comparing different scenario's against Charles's 3-4 hour time

    On ebay there's a podunk 12x20" 50w machine under $1400/24 month warranty/free shipping in less than a week with front & rear drop doors. Anyone can engrave 20" x any length(*) items with it. Would I recommend it? Not exactly, very barebones and doesn't even come with a chiller, just a waterfall pump and you're own bucket of water- aka a 3000 ... but if Charles is ONLY going to engrave simple wood signs, might be worth trying out.
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  13. #13
    The original poster wants something like this where it’s possible to raise the top half of the machine off the bed.

    DA81B337-593F-4C50-AC56-D6C000B52F55.jpg
    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.

  14. #14
    Not sure how 'basic' you want to get, but have you looked at a diode laser setup? A Jtech laser with an Open Builds frame would definitely handle what you are wanting to do and allow for pass thru from the sides or front to back.
    https://jtechphotonics.com/

  15. #15
    Dave, this is the type of setup I have right now. Although effective, it is EXTREMELY slow. To do a 2"x 14" name it takes a 2-3 hours. I would love to get that down to 15 minutes if possible!!!! Even down to 1 hour would make me happy!

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