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Thread: UV Laser

  1. #1

    UV Laser

    Hello Everyone,

    First off just want to say that this site is so rich with people with their time and openness to help others. I have not posted anything in the past but walked away with ample amount of information and knowledge, thanks to everyone.

    I am a one person operator that works in the promotional industry and printing company logos is all I do. What led me to this site was that I have a Rofin Powerline F20 fiber laser that was purchased used about 10years ago. It has never given me any issues and the quality of markings from it are very good. While running it one day all sudden there was this large bang sound that came from the controller. I called Rofin that was located in Toronto but since has closed and the only contact was from their MA office. I described the issue to them and we ran some diagnostics and the tech confirmed the IPG was gone, this was done over the phone. The price for labour and parts was quoted at $13k USD.

    I began looking around for another used machine or importing one from Asia as it seems many people were doing this and had satisfactory results and this is when I came across this site. Long story short, after extensive reading on what possibly can go wrong in a laser machine from SMC and a few other sites I decided to open the box up and have a look inside. One of my customer is a licensed electrician so I invited him to come over to take a look and as it turns out, it was really a simple fix. The power supply box to the IPG had failed and this was what caused the bang sound. I ordered another part online and for $200 and a case of beer I was back up and running again like before.

    I have been outsourcing orders to other printers that does engraving on wine glass, decanters, awards and so on...... since I do not have a CO2 machine. I have never been satisfied with the quality when it comes back, perhaps I am not being fair because my fiber machine does provide good results.

    Question: I am looking to purchase a UV Laser 3w to 5w because I think the markings from it are higher quality than that of a CO2 machine. Has anyone have much experience on this machine and if so what is your machine and what have your experience been?

    Thank you for any thoughts or inputs that you may provide.

    Regards,
    Patrick

  2. #2
    I look at it this way: I've been C02 laser engraving since '02, second machine I got in '05, 3rd machine in '13, 4th machine in '15, 6th machine last October... I've been fiber lasering since '16, got my second fiber last November I think it was, and my 3rd last January...

    Of all the parts I've engraved in all that time on all these machines, the ONLY person who's ever had anything to say about the quality of engraving I've produced-- is ME

    Yes a galvo fiber's quality in the small-size-high-detail department is much better than a C02, and as I understand it, a UV laser's quality is about the same improvement over a fiber. Mostly- as I understand it- due to smaller beam diameters in proportion to smaller beam wavelengths-- a pencil would make higher detailed sand drawings than a broomstick!

    As to your outsourced items, yes the quality of your fiber has spoiled you But, it sounds like some of your dissatisfaction concerns glass engraving-? Engraving glass decently with a C02 takes some skill with the settings, and a capable machine. It's a good bet your other engraver isn't dialed in quite right. I can produce glass engraving that closely rivals sandblasted glass-- and with the same machine I can make the same engraving on the same glass a splintered & fractured mess.

    I'm not really sure what UV machines are capable of aside from extremely small detail, and very little heat transfer making them safe for marking delicate items...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  3. #3
    Hey Kev,

    Thanks for your reply, it is the long weekend for us in Canada so I was away and did not have a chance to replied to your earlier comment.

    Your purchase of several CO2 machines and confidence of the unit says alot about the quality output that you are getting. You are very correct to say that much of the result lies within the operator and their dedication to getting the best out from the machine, much of that is trial and error and taking the time to dial in on the job as you said. My customers has never complained about my work but I value their business and try to do my best to not to give them any opportunities to do so.

    There are not much options for us in the Toronto area for a CO2 machine other than couple of the name brands. There is a local retailer that imports various machines from China and I have done some testing on it, I am not happy with their units. Whether it be a CO2 or UV machine I am leaning towards a desktop version similar to my Rofin to facilitate setting up a bit easier, I do not plan to do any cutting. I will continue to read and absorb a bit more before making a decision.

    Thanks again for your thoughts, appreciate it.

    Patrick

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