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Thread: Laser Bed Size verses Power

  1. #1

    Laser Bed Size verses Power

    I was just wondering if you, knowing what’s you know now, after having your lasers for a while, would you advise going for a bigger bed or a stronger watt laser?


    Zelma
    God Bless,
    James & Zelma (Psalm 18:2)
    "Inscriptions Of The Heart"
    Texas
    ~A person is only as good as their word~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    13
    Definitely more power. There really hasn't been a need for a larger table than the 12 x 24 that I currently have.
    ULS M-300 35W, Graphtec CE6000-60, Brother GT-541, Sawgrass SG400

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,628
    Both. Never, ever, has anyone said "my laser is too big and too powerful"!
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Hair View Post
    Both. Never, ever, has anyone said "my laser is too big and too powerful"!
    True, but if you absolutely had to choose one or the other?

    Zelma

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand (shakey town)
    Posts
    120
    If i was to add my 2c worth, Depending on what brand machine you get
    bigger machine first! you can always upgrade your power
    Epilog Helix 50W, Epilog Fusion 40 75W, Tekcel Router, Taylor Hobson Model D & K
    Dalgren 2516i, Epilog Fusion Pro 120W

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,628
    I would do whatever it took to do both. I financed the GCC because I didn't have that much cash sitting around and I financed my Trotec because it made more sense to take a very low interest loan and keep the $40K in my bank account. I can tell you from experience that both features have been worth many times the premium I paid for them. If you are buying a machine for hobby use then it's always tricky to justify the expense but if it's for a business then you just need to decide if you are going to make money with whatever feature you are buying and how much not having that feature, and losing that money, might cost you in lost revenue. Lasers for a business are an investment, not an expense! The GCC Explorer I had, and sold to Kev, was 30 watts and had a pass-thru feature and the largest bed for the money at the time I bought it. I think it cost me $2K-$3K more than the nearest competitor with a smaller bed and no pass-thru. I had at least $80K in work that I would have had to turn down without the large bed and pass-thru feature. That's a pretty nice return on investment - 17-25 times the investment!

    Quote Originally Posted by James & Zelma Litzmann View Post
    True, but if you absolutely had to choose one or the other?

    Zelma
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Olalla, WA
    Posts
    1,474
    There is no way that I could get by with a small machine. 24 x 48 would be the minimum I could manage with. As for power I can get by with 80W.

    If you get a DC tube machine then you need to take into account the fact that more power means longer tubes. If you think you might be cutting larger things then prioritize bed size over power. You can upgrade power, you can't upgrade bed size.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6

  8. #8
    I have 4 machines in completely different sizes- 18x12" LS100 IQ, 24x24" LS900, the 38x20 GCC Gary mentioned above, and my 51x35-ish/1390 Triumph. I love all of 'em, and have specific uses for each one. Each has its Pro's and Con's. But the variety allows me a great many options to get the work out...

    To expound on Gary's '...do whatever it takes to get both'-- for someone seriously wanting or needing both, there's 2 machines that I would chose from:
    1- The Gravograph LS1000XP-
    2- The Trotec Speedy 400-

    The LS1000XP has a 48x24" table, has pass-thru doors on all 4 sides, runs at 157" per second, with available power from 60 to 150 watts-

    The Speedy 400 has a 39x24" table, has front/back pass thru, runs at 175" per second, with available power from 60 to 120 watts-

    Either of these machines can do almost anything a C02 laser CAN do, and fast as hell to boot!

    Me, since 15 of my 19 machines are Gravograph/New Hermes machines, all of which have given me stellar service over MANY years, AND because it's a bit larger, can be had with a bit more power, I would take the 1000 in a heartbeat. (Also because my rep would sell me one at barely above cost )

    --But a great many here have and love their Trotec's, and for good reason, they're top-quality no BS machines that WORK.

    That all said-- if your needs lean more towards CUTTING than ENGRAVING, cutting being a slow process no matter the machine, then a big, powerful Chinese machine can offer a lot of bang for the buck. But if the signage jobs start coming in, you WILL need another, or FASTER machine... Lots to consider for sure
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    184
    I don't do enough cutting to justify going over 60w but I would love to have a larger work envelope. My Universal is 18x32 and is pretty quick.
    Universal 60w VLS6.60 w/ rotary
    RayFine 30w MOPA
    Corel X8, Photoshop

    Fab shop with South Bend Heavy 10, Bridgeport 9x42, 185a welder and a multitude of supporting tools/equipment

  10. #10
    Power would be my choice if I only had one choice. After 22 years in the business I haven't had to turn away much because of table size.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    3,824
    I say table size as I have had to turn down work because I only had a 12 x 24 table and they needed 20 x 20 cuts. I now have a 24 x 40 table with a 130 watt tube. I still use the 12 x 20 for small jobs but most of my work is on the bigger table.

  12. #12
    Consider that the higher the power you go, the more useful for cutting, and less useful for fine accurate engraving, it will become.
    I started with a ULS M-300. 40watt + roraty, and secondhand . Fantastic learning curve- dead easy if you have competence with Corel Draw.
    Brilliant for engraving, But small, and slow if you want a lot of cutting of things thicker than 4.5mm.
    Then we got a 2nd hand Goldenlaser, 130 watt, 700x1300 bed with passthrough. Really great, and we used the pass through for big 4 ft x 8 ft sheets.
    But poor at engraving, in comparison with the Universal.

    Then we had a 2-head, 2 tube 100 & 180w custom-made flatbed unit, 2500 x 1300 mm, with adjustable height bed for the front 3 ft.
    The others get hardly used now that this can accommodate most work- BUT there are times when I'll have all three running at once.

    If I had to get rid of 2, and keep one, it would be the 2-tube big one we'd keep.
    I had the ULS regassed and upgraded to 55w. It is still a lovely machine, albeit ancient.
    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.

  13. Thanks everyone for your input. We have a limited amount we can spend. We will be traveling about 3 hours today to see what the Trotec has to offer. We are still not sure if we are going for more power or bigger bed size, as your answers were divided, which makes sense that it depends on what you are going to do with it. I am just hoping they give us a good price : )

    Wish us luck!

    Zelma
    Last edited by James & Zelma Litzmann; Yesterday at 9:16 AM.
    God Bless,
    James & Zelma (Psalm 18:2)
    "Inscriptions Of The Heart"
    Texas
    ~A person is only as good as their word~

  14. #14
    Everyone's situation is different.

    1. Do you have the space?
    2. Even if you have the space now, will you be getting other equipment.
    3. On Chinese lasers anyways a machine with too much power won't engrave as well as in some ways as a lower 50-60wattage machine.
    4. It also depends on what you business your in. I have a 29" x 18", and 99% of what I do fits into that size.



    Also cost. Larger machines can cost thousands or tens of thousands more. So there really is no one size fits all.
    Redsail x700, 50watt & Shenhui 350, 50 watt

  15. #15
    For what it's worth I did this job with my first laser, a 24x12 Universal 25 watt.

    Grahyam Chapel.jpg

    The job was to engrave the Washington University logo on the ends of the church pews. The mfr. of the pews assisted by sending just the end supports for the pews.

    I work out of my basement so logistics issues sometimes dictate what I can do more than the laser size. This "little job" paid well but I managed to inflict a hernia in the process.
    Last edited by Mike Null; Yesterday at 8:24 PM.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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

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