Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 38

Thread: Boss vs Thunder

  1. #1

    Boss vs Thunder

    Hello All!
    I am woodworker who has found that laser etching brings in a good bit of business. I bought a 5.5watt diode laser on a lark and it paid for itself with the first month (Genmitsu LE-5040). Now I am looking to up my game and transition to a CO2 laser that will increase my productivity. I have narrowed my search to 2 companies based on budget and needs. Here are my needs:


    1. Under $5000 (new business, still growing)
    2. Uses Lightburn (love the software, could learn Coral, just don't have the time)
    3. Minimum of 20" x 14" bed (I etch a lot of handmade serving board)
    4. Need a pass-through for larger items
    5. Minimum of 40watt (looking for much faster burn times)


    I don't want to wade through the Chinese / EBay jungle. With all the horror stories out there, I want to spend the little bit extra and purchase something with lifetime support from a reputable company (even if they are still Chinese lasers).
    With all that said, I have landed on either Boss Laser or Thunder Laser. Both companies come with a large following that speak highly of their products and services. Both companies offer a lifetime warranty and seem to really stand by their products.
    For the Boss, I am looking at the Boss LS-1416 w/ the upgraded table size (14"x20").
    For the Thunder, I am looking at the Mini-60.
    On the stare and compare, Thunder has a slightly larger working area (24"x16"), but is a 40watt laser and no moving Z table. The Boss comes with a 50watt laser and the adjustable Z table, but the slightly smaller working space. But, other than those differences, they seem to run fairly parallel.
    I would love some real world user's advice. As a fledgling company, this is a large expense and I really want to get this one right. Also, if there is an even better setup that hits the mark, I would love to hear it!
    Thank you all in advance for your time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Helena, MT
    Posts
    116
    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Forbis View Post
    Hello All!
    I am woodworker who has found that laser etching brings in a good bit of business. I bought a 5.5watt diode laser on a lark and it paid for itself with the first month (Genmitsu LE-5040). Now I am looking to up my game and transition to a CO2 laser that will increase my productivity. I have narrowed my search to 2 companies based on budget and needs. Here are my needs:


    1. Under $5000 (new business, still growing)
    2. Uses Lightburn (love the software, could learn Coral, just don't have the time)
    3. Minimum of 20" x 14" bed (I etch a lot of handmade serving board)
    4. Need a pass-through for larger items
    5. Minimum of 40watt (looking for much faster burn times)


    I don't want to wade through the Chinese / EBay jungle. With all the horror stories out there, I want to spend the little bit extra and purchase something with lifetime support from a reputable company (even if they are still Chinese lasers).
    With all that said, I have landed on either Boss Laser or Thunder Laser. Both companies come with a large following that speak highly of their products and services. Both companies offer a lifetime warranty and seem to really stand by their products.
    For the Boss, I am looking at the Boss LS-1416 w/ the upgraded table size (14"x20").
    For the Thunder, I am looking at the Mini-60.
    On the stare and compare, Thunder has a slightly larger working area (24"x16"), but is a 40watt laser and no moving Z table. The Boss comes with a 50watt laser and the adjustable Z table, but the slightly smaller working space. But, other than those differences, they seem to run fairly parallel.
    I would love some real world user's advice. As a fledgling company, this is a large expense and I really want to get this one right. Also, if there is an even better setup that hits the mark, I would love to hear it!
    Thank you all in advance for your time
    I've never personally worked on a Thunder laser, but know people that I trust that have one and are very happy with it. I personally have a BOSS laser machine, in addition to a couple of others. In reality, if I had it to do over again, I would not buy the BOSS machine. In my opinion, the build quality on them is not really that great.

    A couple of suggestions on your selections. I'd really seriously look at the Thunder Nova 24. I know it's a bit more money, but it's a much better machine than the Mini-60. I'd call Thunder and do some negotiating with them on price. The Nova 24 has hybrid servo motors, which will allow you to do much faster engraving than the Mini-60 will, as it's purely stepper based. Also, the Mini-60 only comes with a 3000 "Chiller" which is really no more than a water pump with a reservoir. It has no cooling circuit in it at all, so doesn't maintain as good of temperature control as the 5000 that comes with the Nova 24. If you're looking at the camera setup for LightBurn, do yourself a favor and buy it directly from LightBurn. It's the same camera that Thunder sells, but not at their big mark-up on it.
    Epilog Fusion M2 32 - 60 Watt
    CamFive CFL-CMA 4032K - 100 Watt
    Boss Laser LS-3655 - 100 Watt
    APLazer SN1812 - 40 Watt
    Radian RL-GT3-F30J JPT 30 Watt 3D MOPA Fiber

  3. #3
    Thank you Steve,
    Already have the camera on the way (I also saw the $300 markup). I have ran across some videos where people take issue with Boss's build quality. My starting point was Thunder, but on paper, Boss comes close....

  4. #4
    I just checked out the mini-24-- nice that it has servo motors, but I notice the max speed is only 1000mm/sec. The following are ***just my opinions*** based on my experiences, but putting servo's on a 1000mm/sec machine seems like a waste of servo motors. My 1390 Triumph's controller allows me to run it at 1000mm/sec, which I've done. The problem I found, is that my 80w RECI glass DC-fired tube can't fire fast enough at high speeds to render a decent mark. Even at 700mm/sec the engraving quality noticeably drops. IMO, speaking mechanically, if my big 1390 is capable of running at 1000mm/sec, ANY Chinese laser is. Therefore, IMO, the main reason glass fitted laser machines typically "come with" a 500mm/sec max speed has nothing to do with mechanical capability, and everything to do with engraving quality. I do a lot of small engraving on black anodized ski lift panels I build. Black anodized aluminum can be finicky with regards to the power applied, more power=whiter markings, less power=grayer to bluer markings. At high speeds, this issue becomes a noticeable problem, where the long sections of, for example, the tops of "T"s and bottoms of "L"s are bright white, but the thin vertical lines are gray. At 500mm/sec speeds my DC Triumph's engraving quality of .1" high text is equal to any of my three RF machines. But not so at 600mm/sec, the quality starts to falter, and just gets worse when going even faster...

    However, wood and leather for example, these are pretty 'forgiving' materials to laser, and I routinely run them at 700mm/sec with good results

    I've spent 7 years engraving with my big Triumph and have learned how glass lasers work- or not. At least mine, anyway -- I'm not wanting to steer anyone away from any particular machines, but I would suggest before laying down serious coin for what's supposed to be a 2x faster than typical machine, to think thru your needs and expectations, and maybe consider asking the manufacturer or seller for samples.
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  5. #5
    Just for the heck of it you should take a look at Rabbit Laser USA , Rock solid build. A+ support. take a look.
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine Oh wait its a 3D Printer my bad LOL
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Helena, MT
    Posts
    116
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    I just checked out the mini-24-- nice that it has servo motors, but I notice the max speed is only 1000mm/sec. The following are ***just my opinions*** based on my experiences, but putting servo's on a 1000mm/sec machine seems like a waste of servo motors. My 1390 Triumph's controller allows me to run it at 1000mm/sec, which I've done. The problem I found, is that my 80w RECI glass DC-fired tube can't fire fast enough at high speeds to render a decent mark. Even at 700mm/sec the engraving quality noticeably drops. IMO, speaking mechanically, if my big 1390 is capable of running at 1000mm/sec, ANY Chinese laser is. Therefore, IMO, the main reason glass fitted laser machines typically "come with" a 500mm/sec max speed has nothing to do with mechanical capability, and everything to do with engraving quality. I do a lot of small engraving on black anodized ski lift panels I build. Black anodized aluminum can be finicky with regards to the power applied, more power=whiter markings, less power=grayer to bluer markings. At high speeds, this issue becomes a noticeable problem, where the long sections of, for example, the tops of "T"s and bottoms of "L"s are bright white, but the thin vertical lines are gray. At 500mm/sec speeds my DC Triumph's engraving quality of .1" high text is equal to any of my three RF machines. But not so at 600mm/sec, the quality starts to falter, and just gets worse when going even faster...

    However, wood and leather for example, these are pretty 'forgiving' materials to laser, and I routinely run them at 700mm/sec with good results

    I've spent 7 years engraving with my big Triumph and have learned how glass lasers work- or not. At least mine, anyway -- I'm not wanting to steer anyone away from any particular machines, but I would suggest before laying down serious coin for what's supposed to be a 2x faster than typical machine, to think thru your needs and expectations, and maybe consider asking the manufacturer or seller for samples.

    One of the biggest issues I have with BOSS is their gantry. The head and everything is fairly beefy, which in my opinion helps cause some of the problems with it. Trying to speed up and slow down that much mass isn't easy, and exasperates the problem with trying to do anything "Fast" The head on the Thunder machines is smaller and lighter. I know a couple of people with Thunder machines, and they perform pretty well at faster speeds. They appear to be a fairly well built and performing machine for the money. Granted, they won't hold a candle to a good RF fired servo laser, but for the money, starting out, I think the Thunder machines are a good compromise.
    Epilog Fusion M2 32 - 60 Watt
    CamFive CFL-CMA 4032K - 100 Watt
    Boss Laser LS-3655 - 100 Watt
    APLazer SN1812 - 40 Watt
    Radian RL-GT3-F30J JPT 30 Watt 3D MOPA Fiber

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
    Posts
    3,710
    I bought a Thunder Laser Nova 35 a couple of months ago. I haven't had a lot of play time on it but I am very happy with the Laser and the Customer Service.

  8. #8
    Bert, I looked into Rabbit, but it doesn't look like they work with Lightburn, but their machines seem very solid.
    Thanks for all the input, I will use it on my pending purchase (leaning toward Thunder at this point)!

  9. #9
    Right Lightburn doesn't work with Letro but the rabbits work with corel, inkscape, sketchup , draftsight and others .
    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Forbis View Post
    Bert, I looked into Rabbit, but it doesn't look like they work with Lightburn, but their machines seem very solid.
    Thanks for all the input, I will use it on my pending purchase (leaning toward Thunder at this point)!
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine Oh wait its a 3D Printer my bad LOL
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  10. #10
    The Rabbit SD-XX-6040 has a Ruida controller. I have the QX-80-1290 with the Ruida controller and use Lightburn.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Olalla, WA
    Posts
    1,530
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Utick View Post
    The Nova 24 has hybrid servo motors, which will allow you to do much faster engraving than the Mini-60 will, as it's purely stepper based.
    Two points about hybrid servos;

    First, the ones that I have seen are not actually servos, they are steppers with encoders on them. No speed advantage there that I am aware of, and I am skeptical that there is any real advantage at all.

    Second, the limiting factor in engraving speeds for glass tube machines is the response time of the tube, not the speed of the motors. If you want fast engraving, you need an RF tube machine like a Trotec or Epilog.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6
    Gerber Sabre 408

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Olalla, WA
    Posts
    1,530
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    ... putting servo's on a 1000mm/sec machine seems like a waste of servo motors. My 1390 Triumph's controller allows me to run it at 1000mm/sec, which I've done. The problem I found, is that my 80w RECI glass DC-fired tube can't fire fast enough at high speeds to render a decent mark. Even at 700mm/sec the engraving quality noticeably drops. IMO, speaking mechanically, if my big 1390 is capable of running at 1000mm/sec, ANY Chinese laser is. Therefore, IMO, the main reason glass fitted laser machines typically "come with" a 500mm/sec max speed has nothing to do with mechanical capability, and everything to do with engraving quality.
    I've also run my machine at 1,000 mm/sec, but 800 mm/sec was the fastest reliable speed where it would never miss a step. Way too fast for good engraving though. Too many stray dots.

    200 - 400 mm/sec is a good range for my machine, much of the time the lower speed is actually faster because it spends less time ramping up and down.

    Servos on a glass tube machine serves no purpose, unless they are accompanied by linear encoders. Then the purpose they serve is not speed but accuracy - a stepper that utilizes a linear encoder would provide the same accuracy. I don't know of any glass tube machines that use a linear encoder.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6
    Gerber Sabre 408

  13. #13
    I agree with Rich I run my Rabbit 350 to 400 and get great engravings. If you need speed then spend 15K or more for a Trotec or Epilog , But for 5 to 8 K for a Rabbit , Boss or Thunder then your gonna have to go a little slower.jmo
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine Oh wait its a 3D Printer my bad LOL
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  14. I've a friend with an Aeon... can do 1200mms... but how do you get a good dark engraving on maple or baltic birch at 350mm/s?? Every time I see him run it goes maybe 170mm/s?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bert Kemp View Post
    I agree with Rich I run my Rabbit 350 to 400 and get great engravings. If you need speed then spend 15K or more for a Trotec or Epilog , But for 5 to 8 K for a Rabbit , Boss or Thunder then your gonna have to go a little slower.jmo

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by John Stegenga View Post
    I've a friend with an Aeon... can do 1200mms... but how do you get a good dark engraving on maple or baltic birch at 350mm/s?? Every time I see him run it goes maybe 170mm/s?

    what power tube does he have and is it truly that power. If he can't get a good engraving on baltic birch at 350 it proabaly a 40 watt tube putting out maybe 30, 35 watts.
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine Oh wait its a 3D Printer my bad LOL
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

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