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Thread: Laser Engraver

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Davenport, IA
    Posts
    45

    Default Laser Engraver

    Just in the information gathering stage.

    Looking for a laser engraver to add to school curriculum. Anyone have any experience? What to get, what not to get, ect.

    What is a decent price range?

    Thank you,

    Greg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    210

    Default PM

    You have a PM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sun City West AZ
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Try here:
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/forum.php
    Its a big forum but look for engraving (500 pages of stuff)Every known type of engraver is there with questions and answers and many many opinions on the type and style and tec for tubes customer services .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sawdust and Noise, Brampton Ontario
    Posts
    110

    Default

    There are three main suppliers of quality laser engravers in the North American market,

    Trotec - Mercedes class of the bunch, built like a tank. Durable, reliable, accurate, and for engraving the fastest flying optics (general purpose) engraver currently available. Price "may" be slightly higher than the other two but that depends on your dealer and educational discounts.

    Universal - Chevy, good reliable machine

    Epilog - Ford, again a good reliable machine

    DO NOT purchase a glass tubed laser (Chinese and some low end American / Chinese systems) for education purposes unless the education is intended to include large amounts of machine maintenance.

    Disclaimer, I have owned a Universal X660 with a 50 Watt tube for 9 years with few issues, all in the first 6 months of ownership, and all sorted by the factory via a phone call, overnight parts supply, and another phone call the next day for instructions. The first laser tube lasted 8 years which is VERY good for that part (they usually last 4 - 5 years) and was very inexpensive to have recharged. I would highly recommend any of their commercial grade machines (ILS series) to my best friend.

    1 month ago I purchased a Trotec Speedy 400 with an 80 Watt tube and it is a considerable upgrade from the Universal and the pricing was slightly lower than a comparably equipped Universal or Epilog laser system.

    What I know of Epilog (and other) systems is from conversing with sales people at trade shows / in their showrooms and reading the posts on Sawmill Creek - a highly recommended resource that was also mentioned in a post above.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    150 Mile House B.C. Canada
    Posts
    530

    Talking

    Guess i'll add my 2/cents, I have been laser engraving since 1999 first machine was a Universal 50 watt still have it with one tube recharge after 10 years, leased a Epilog for 2 years 50 watt, there are some differences as the epilogue was faster and newer, but I like the UL better.
    But I also have a chinese laser, the machine is well made and accurate,
    the problems with (most) chinese machines is the power supplies and tubes and software.
    The tubes (glass) life span is "flakey" even sitting in storage they can leak there gas.
    But the cost difference in machines and tubes..? you can have spares
    I priced and american tube to put in the chinese machine recently and could buy 3 chinese machines for the price of the tube alone.
    there is a company in seattle wash. that deals with both American and chinese machines and tubes, they also make software that can turn a chinese machine into the Universal or epilogue format.

    check them out.... say I sent you.. http://2laser.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Have owned my laser engraver for a bit over a year now. I purchased a hybrid engraver with an american Synrad laser, and the rest of the machine/components are chinese. I have used both the trotec and epilog engravers as well. The Trotec/Epilog were both great machines. Customer service is also very speedy/competent with these units. One of my first questions when purchasing was accuracy with the chinese engravers. Mine seems to be just as accurate, although the speed may fall behind when compared to the american lasers. Still plenty fast for me. Customer service on the other hand, is very poor with my particular manufacturer/dostributor. I expect I will be on my own in the future should i have problems with anything other than the laser tube itself. For me personally, I was able to purchase a lightly used unit at a fraction of the cost. I then purchased as many replacement parts as were offered, and am hoping for the best, but prepared to become laser tech in a hurry should anything fail. At this point it seems difficult for me to justify the cost of an american laser based upon much of work that i typically see them used for-Marc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Newberry, MI
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Bought an Epilog in May of 2000 and replaced the laser in about 2008 (about $1500). Still going strong. Added a rotary attachment a couple of years back and love it. Good service people and the machine hasn't given me any trouble...
    My 2 cents!
    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    , Depew New york
    Posts
    83

    Default

    I have had a Chinese laser over 3 years. Did replace the tube this year (upgraded from 80 watts to 130 watts). The key questions are; 1, what will you use it for. 2, what is your budget.

    I have been very pleased with my laser and 99% of what I do is cutting wood.

    I agree that the Chinese units will require more maintenance (ie tube replacement), however the up front cost is hard to pass up. Especially, if the laser is only being used for a hobby or non-fulltime operation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    WoodTech World, Vancouver Washington
    Posts
    89

    Default

    Larry, I have been looking at laser engravers. I would be interested in what company and model of Chinese laser you have?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    , Depew New york
    Posts
    83

    Default

    David

    Gweike Model LC6090

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