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Thread: Advice on laser engraver

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Illinois
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    11

    Default Advice on laser engraver

    I知 looking to adding a laser engraver to my collection of tools. Is there a kit that works with the buddy? I haven稚 found one and I知 not too sure It would be a good idea to put it on my buddy. Instead I have been favoring the dedicated machine route and I have been looking at the VLS3.60 from Universal laser systems. Does anyone have a suggestion on an engraver that would work well for engraving aluminum, wood, acrylic?? I知 primarily going to use it to etch lettering and jpgs. I知 new to lasers and looking for input.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    150 Mile House B.C. Canada
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    Forget engraving aluminum, with a C02 laser anyway... Universal makes a very good laser, have used lasers starting in 1997. Check out our stuff...

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Burni...07304665958314

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dorr, MI
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    Default

    I'll agree with the CO2 laser not being able to engrave aluminum directly. Anodized aluminum works very well, or you have to apply a special paste or spray called Cermark to 'etch' the metal.

    I would go with a dedicated machine. Don't forget the software aspect either. I use Aspire for many designs that I can then cut on the SB or scale down and import the same drawing from Aspire into CorelDRAW for the laser.

    For example, a 12" dinosaur skeleton sits on my desk. A 4' tall sits in my front yard. Laser does the smaller ones much faster, but could not cut the thicker material for the larger one. I have also used the laser to add a logo or more details to a project created with the SB.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2010
    Location
    Illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhamm View Post
    Forget engraving aluminum, with a C02 laser anyway... Universal makes a very good laser, have used lasers starting in 1997. Check out our stuff...

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Burni...07304665958314
    Thats some good looking stuff!! I guess your using a Universal laser? I see you etched some metal on your facebook pages. I plan on coating the aluminum before i etch it. I should be okay doing that right??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
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    Kevin what laser do you use? Do you have any pics? Thanks for the advice on the Cermark!

    Quote Originally Posted by kbraat View Post
    I'll agree with the CO2 laser not being able to engrave aluminum directly. Anodized aluminum works very well, or you have to apply a special paste or spray called Cermark to 'etch' the metal.

    I would go with a dedicated machine. Don't forget the software aspect either. I use Aspire for many designs that I can then cut on the SB or scale down and import the same drawing from Aspire into CorelDRAW for the laser.

    For example, a 12" dinosaur skeleton sits on my desk. A 4' tall sits in my front yard. Laser does the smaller ones much faster, but could not cut the thicker material for the larger one. I have also used the laser to add a logo or more details to a project created with the SB.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    150 Mile House B.C. Canada
    Posts
    530

    Default

    Yes coated aluminum is great for engravings, we use cermark for Stainless steel and some glass..
    Thanks for the compliment..by the way..
    We have a Universal laser at present and have tried others, stay way from the offshore lasers, they are not up to the level of North American levels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dorr, MI
    Posts
    25

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Rucker View Post
    Kevin what laser do you use? Do you have any pics? Thanks for the advice on the Cermark!
    My laser is a Rabbit RL-80-1290 Laser engraving/cutting machine. The 3x4 cutting table is far too large for the normal small items, but does help when cutting lots of little items at once.

    I looked at all the options and decided that the Rabbit was far most cost effective for us, due to the simple parts and the accessibility of repair compared to the cost of the US made systems. I would love an Epilog, but the cost of the comparable machine from them was enough that I could order 4 of these for the same outlay.

    I'm not running full production (mainly playing and creating what I want), so waiting a few days if something fails is fine. I have not had any failures on the laser yet, other than the wife igniting some oily plywood.

    My wife posts some of the pictures on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/KAB-CN...11643938878211.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Classic Marine Co., Carrollton VA
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    @John, The best advise I can give you is whatever you decide on DO NOT BUY IT FROM SIGNWAREHOUSE !!!! They may be cheap but you will pay for it in the long run !!!

    I actuqally have a very good off shore laser made by GCC http://www.gccworld.comthey are made in Hong Kong but they use American Tubes (SYNRAD) and internals so, that may be an option for you to.

    And I suggest for your best audiance for this question you go register at www.sawmillcreek.org and ask this question in the Engravers forum you will find a much broader Laser user base there using all sorts of lasers. Epilog, Trotec, Kern, GCC ect.

    Oh and if you have the funds $$$$$$$ KERN is the laser to own !!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    31

    Default Laser Help

    Hey John,

    I have a 30 watt Universal in my shop as well as my bot. It has been a great compliment to my business. If you have any questions you may contact me at Four One 9- nine four four 6 five 6 five. or send me an email ... Rick (at) ToledoLaser dot com.

    Rick Wyatt

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Delray Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,708

    Default

    Hey Angus: Is this the same laser that Jackie says you almost burnt the barn down with?

    On a more serious note I am finding myself with an extra controller and motors and have been considering strongly building a flatbed laser to cut up to 1/4" ply and plexi (mainly) but know nothing yet about appropriate lasers and sources. Since I normally get these kinds of projects done so quickly () and this looks like a good place on this forum to start without hijacking, but rather supplementing, the existing thread, any added comments by those in the know on info to assist is welcome.

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