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Thread: Lasers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    River Fall WI
    Posts
    765

    Default Lasers

    We are looking to get a laser and not knowing the first thing about them I'm turning to a trusted place.
    This is what I'm looking at:

    Universal Vls6.60 platform laser engraver 60 watt,
    air assist, cutting table and 2.o lens
    TBH exhaust system
    Both DEMO UNITs

    Not sure what products we will be making.

    Trying to find out what a good price would be, and if it is a good laser.
    Thanks
    Kyle Stapleton
    River Falls Renaissance Academy
    Math/Technology Education Teacher


    PRS Alpha 96x60 2.2 hp spindle, Double Air drills, 6" indexer, Fein 5 zone vac table
    Desktop w/spindle
    Potter Pen
    Aspire 8.5, Creo 3.0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    cnc routing, portland or
    Posts
    3,623

    Default

    lasers are like cnc's you want good support and as much power as you can afford and as large as you can afford so you are not limited. universal is a very good brand so you can't go wrong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,300

    Default

    Like Steve said Universal is a good brand. You may have to get a new filter for the exhaust filters can be expensive to replace. If there is a chance to vent outside that would be better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    West Columbia SC
    Posts
    83

    Default

    I have also been looking at laser and I have been looking real hard at the Epilog Helix and hoping to go to their rep for a demo in the next couple of weeks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sun City West AZ
    Posts
    120

    Default

    It's one of the big three western laser's. Maybe best known for serviceable design. 15 to 20 grand. Most buy at one of the shows (best discounts?) check Sawmill Creek website for information.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
    Posts
    7,930

    Default

    I guess it all depends on what you want to make - that should have some additional thought. I am guessing it is the community's money (school system) and not your personal money, right?

    None of them are cheap. The Universal and Epilog units are good & reliable with excellent support compared to the cheap imported ones. Be sure to get a good warranty. Replacing the tubes can be expensive. Ask the salesman how much this is so you know. (amybe order a spare and shelf it) There are also places out there that 'blueprint' the imported ones and offer a warranty for the US market as well for a reduced cost.

    The only real application for a laser of that power is going to be engraving. You can do some cutting in plywood/acrylic etc, but the wood stuff will be charred on the edges. It does make for quick/easy cutting of small intricate designs that snap together, but there isn't a lot of call for this on a commercial level (using only 60 watts and small working area) other than engraving.

    One option is to add a low watt laser diode to your existing machine. The JTech comes to mind. You can easily control it with the SB control software & it has enough cookies to do nice engraving work and some through cutting. It's worth a look...especially for less than $600 total.

    Without knowing what your vision is for the laser, it's hard to recommend the right stuff. If you're just looking to burn up money in your budget for the year, either Epilog or Universal will do that...There was another brand (of the 'big 3') that escapes me.

    -B
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    250

    Default

    I have the Universal Vls4.60 50 watt laser and a GCC 30 watt laser, both of them are good machines. The GCC laser is about 9 years old and I had the laser tube rebuilt about a 1.5 year ago the cost was $2000.00. It is cutting like new again. The Universal is 2 years old and still going strong. Universal has a exchange program for the laser tube ask them what the going cost is for a exchange.

    Air assist on the GCC I have a little paint brush compressor that does a great job just blows air at the cutting area of the laser.

    On the Universal you need at least 50 PSI continually it blows air at the cutting point and on to the mirrors to keep them clean and clear. You want dry dry air expect to pay $1000.00 or more for a good air supply system for the Universal.
    Ron Moorehead
    R&S Design
    ShopBot PRS Aphla 48 by 96
    Laserpro Explorer 30 watt
    Universal Laser 50 watt
    3D printer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Brunswick, GA
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Watson View Post
    ...There was another brand (of the 'big 3') that escapes me.

    -B
    Probably Trotec
    ══════════════════════════════════
    Michael Tyler
    http://www.carvebuddy.com
    https://www.facebook.com/carvebuddy/

    - ShopBot Buddy PRSAlpha BT48 CNC
    - CarveWright CNC
    - Vectric Aspire, VCarve Pro, ArtCAM Pro, CorelDRAW

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    River Fall WI
    Posts
    765

    Default

    Thanks for the info. will post an update when things get a little more real.
    Kyle Stapleton
    River Falls Renaissance Academy
    Math/Technology Education Teacher


    PRS Alpha 96x60 2.2 hp spindle, Double Air drills, 6" indexer, Fein 5 zone vac table
    Desktop w/spindle
    Potter Pen
    Aspire 8.5, Creo 3.0

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Pro Signs, Coal CIty IL
    Posts
    293

    Default laser

    I've had a 16''x30'' 100W CO2 BOSS Laser for a few months now and like it. Toured the plant in Florida when we were on vacation last fall.
    Just finished a job a few minutes ago. I do a lot of tags for an electrical contractor, but it's handy for a lot of other projects also.
    I agree, get the biggest you can afford, so you aren't limited down the road. I actually ordered the next size smaller initially, and after thinking about it over the weekend, called them and upgraded to this one. Glad I did.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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