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Thread: Focused Light Engraving - CO2 Galvo Laser

  1. #1

    Focused Light Engraving - CO2 Galvo Laser

    I'm looking at the potential of acquiring a local company that has a 60W Focused Light Engraving CO2 Galvo Laser. It runs on a software called FLE LaserMark. I believe it's a tweaked/customized version of LaserMark, which seems pretty common in the world of Galvo lasers. The actual laser source is a 60W ULS tube. It's not the new type but the older type made by I believe Coherant. It was rebuilt about a couple of years ago.

    I spoke to the owner of FLE who was a very nice guy and told me about the machine. I've also spoken to the owners of the company, who seem to use the laser to get the job done, but beyond that, have limited knowledge/interest.

    I'm just looking for any feedback/info anyone has to help in the decision making process. It seems like a decent machine to add to our shop but I don't want to over/under value it either.
    Equipment: IS400, IS6000, VLS 6.60, LS100, HP4550, Ricoh GX e3300n, Hotronix STX20
    Software: Adobe Suite & Gravostyle 5
    Business: Trophy, Awards and Engraving

  2. #2
    Can you make use of the thing? Me, I've never came across a scenario where a galvo steered C02 would do me any good. But then I'm not in the awards business
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,686
    I did a lot of work for a company that had a galvo co2 that they used for serial number and logo marking on large anodized aluminum parts. It was many times faster than my co2 but the working area was pretty small, similar to our fiber lasers with a 175mm lens - just under 7". It worked well for them since the number was small and they had a nice fixture to slide the part over for the logo.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Can you make use of the thing? Me, I've never came across a scenario where a galvo steered C02 would do me any good. But then I'm not in the awards business

  4. #4
    From what I can tell, the machine makes quick work of metal plates and things of that nature. The work they did on plastic and acrylic wasn't great. No idea if it can be done better. I assume it can, but I never got that far.

    In the end, we couldn't make a deal for the business due to the guy wanting to sell yet being unwilling to provide P&L statements and customer sales info, even with us offering to sign NDA and allowing him to redact customer names.

    I've found people in this industry to be horrible to deal with when selling their businesses. If you want to sell your business, you should be able to provide 3 years of P&L statements. Quickbooks or any accounting software spits it out in less than a few minutes.
    Equipment: IS400, IS6000, VLS 6.60, LS100, HP4550, Ricoh GX e3300n, Hotronix STX20
    Software: Adobe Suite & Gravostyle 5
    Business: Trophy, Awards and Engraving

  5. #5
    --- so, it sounds like he wants to be paid for The Business, but he's only willing to part with the taxable personal property that was used in The Business.

    Kind of a red flag... sorry to hear it...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  6. #6
    Wouldn't a fiber CO2 be pretty good for engravings on wood? I might be wrong there- the last time I thought about using one was for a job to do a bunch of pre-cut wooden coasters. I didn't need much power with my (admittedly quite slow) gantry laser. The job fell through though so I never pursued it.

  7. #7
    If I can help, I see currently two CO2 galvo lasers for sale with incredible value. What you can do with CO2 galvo laser you are able to see on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4Ij4362gUc&t=368s Kind Regards.

  8. #8
    The issue with galvo C02's, as I see it, is the power to speed ratio. I have 4 C02 lasers- a 30w, a 40w, a 35w tested at 47w, and an 80w; and I have 3 30w galvo fibers...

    My 30w machine, to produce engraving to my liking on black Rowmark requires no more than 75% of its 80 inch per second speed at 100% power and 500 lines per inch resolution-
    My 40w machine I run at 85% of its 80 inch per second speed, etc,
    My 47w machine runs at 65% POWER at 100% of its 80 inch per second speed,
    My 80w machine's max 'decent engraving' speed is a whopping 27.6 inches (700mm) per second, so it doesn't even count in this conversation!

    My 30 and 40 watt machines are 14 and 15 years old and running their original tubes, so I'm suspecting their actual output is around 3 or 4 watts less than 'advertised', which is backed up by my 47 watt machine requiring a reduction in power rather than speed to produce the same results...

    That all said, assuming a 60w laser at 80 inches per second would likely run at 50% power, then a 120w laser should give good results at 160 inches per second--

    But a galvo head is capable of 300 to 400 inches per second engraving speeds. Which means to get real-world use of that speed would require at LEAST a 100 watts of power, just to engrave Rowmark. With that much power I believe a galvo C02 would be a viable piece of equipment, with the caveat being the output size limitations, 8x8" work area with a 200mm lens, etc...

    so after I typed all the above, I checked out the video Art posted up-- a few observations: I noticed, and this is just guessing based on what I saw, that the laser is running that wood at around 20" per second- maybe a bit faster but not much. However, vs a gantry machine, it's an exponentially more efficient 20" per second since a galvo passes over all 'white space' at full speed. But I did notice a strange anomaly, a great deal of waiting time between laser stops and starts at times... that just doesn't happen with my fiber machines, any time gaps between jumps are in the milliseconds. Pretty cool to watch! My BIL engraves almost nothing BUT wood, one of these machines is probably in his future!
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  9. #9
    Quick Update:

    I moved forward with the deal after re-evaluating some things. Hopefully it will all work out. I have very low expectations for the laser at this point. The demo was not impressive and dealing with Focused Light Engraving (FLE) has been terrible.

    Ultimately, I figured out a way to export the jobs out of the software so I don't need to use the laser. Originally my hope was to integrate the laser into the business and use it as an asset. Now I'm just happy to be able to export the job files so I can run it on my standard equipment which produces the way it should.

    I did go ahead and have the 220V power installed the other day. Over the weekend I'm going to get the machine up and running and see if I can make it work at all. I hope I can get it working to my standards. Otherwise I'll keep it for 6 months while I work on exporting the jobs and then sell it for cheap on Craigslist / Ebay. It would probably work for someone in an industrial setting with lower standards.
    Equipment: IS400, IS6000, VLS 6.60, LS100, HP4550, Ricoh GX e3300n, Hotronix STX20
    Software: Adobe Suite & Gravostyle 5
    Business: Trophy, Awards and Engraving

  10. #10
    Seems the jobs themselves- which represent HOURS of computer time at the very least, is the most important aspect for you, so good deal! As to the demo, could be it just needs an operator upgrade
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #11
    Ross, I *may* know someone who would be interested in a galvo CO2. I'm not sure where you're located, but if you decide to sell it cheap shoot me a message before you stick it on CL. I may be able to arrange something.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bert McMahan View Post
    Ross, I *may* know someone who would be interested in a galvo CO2. I'm not sure where you're located, but if you decide to sell it cheap shoot me a message before you stick it on CL. I may be able to arrange something.

    Can you expand on the word "cheap".
    I am asking because galvo co2 lasers made in China on ebay when you do search - galvo co2 - are for $10000 -$12000 and gently used quality lasers co2 galvo from reputable companies are in the same price range but discounted from original price 50% - 70%. So what means "cheap" if $10000 is the base. I can point you to 10 different galvo co2 lasers on ebay in pristine condition in my understanding cheap and I will be happy to let you know where if your contact wants it. Example; this galvo co2 laser was $40 000 and works also like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsr1_JkvMiY and you can have it from ebay with a discount of 70%. Kind Regards.
    Last edited by art olin; 02-07-2020 at 1:33 AM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    The issue with galvo C02's, as I see it, is the power to speed ratio. I have 4 C02 lasers- a 30w, a 40w, a 35w tested at 47w, and an 80w; and I have 3 30w galvo fibers...

    My 30w machine, to produce engraving to my liking on black Rowmark requires no more than 75% of its 80 inch per second speed at 100% power and 500 lines per inch resolution-
    My 40w machine I run at 85% of its 80 inch per second speed, etc,
    My 47w machine runs at 65% POWER at 100% of its 80 inch per second speed,
    My 80w machine's max 'decent engraving' speed is a whopping 27.6 inches (700mm) per second, so it doesn't even count in this conversation!

    My 30 and 40 watt machines are 14 and 15 years old and running their original tubes, so I'm suspecting their actual output is around 3 or 4 watts less than 'advertised', which is backed up by my 47 watt machine requiring a reduction in power rather than speed to produce the same results...

    That all said, assuming a 60w laser at 80 inches per second would likely run at 50% power, then a 120w laser should give good results at 160 inches per second--

    But a galvo head is capable of 300 to 400 inches per second engraving speeds. Which means to get real-world use of that speed would require at LEAST a 100 watts of power, just to engrave Rowmark. With that much power I believe a galvo C02 would be a viable piece of equipment, with the caveat being the output size limitations, 8x8" work area with a 200mm lens, etc...

    so after I typed all the above, I checked out the video Art posted up-- a few observations: I noticed, and this is just guessing based on what I saw, that the laser is running that wood at around 20" per second- maybe a bit faster but not much. However, vs a gantry machine, it's an exponentially more efficient 20" per second since a galvo passes over all 'white space' at full speed. But I did notice a strange anomaly, a great deal of waiting time between laser stops and starts at times... that just doesn't happen with my fiber machines, any time gaps between jumps are in the milliseconds. Pretty cool to watch! My BIL engraves almost nothing BUT wood, one of these machines is probably in his future!

    this is not a strange anomaly, specs are exactly optimized for the material with 1 pass no burns and expected effect/result, if you are talking about galvo speeds on wood like this, it is also there, in regards to what organic material can take and/or give back https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPmS7nTVBJA

    Kind Regards.

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