Newbie Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.


Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Question Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Looking to buy my first Laser engraver for metal and or wood.

    I hear stories that you can use a metal laser on wood but not vice versa.
    Other rumors I have heard involve "some" import lasers are toys and won't last long or claim to work without chillers and burn out in a few hundred hours.

    Main purpose is engraving aluminum, some steels. Possible other uses are wood and precious metals.
    I will be traveling with the laser possibly (depends on if co2 or fiber I guess) to shows to make stuff.
    Mostly engraving or doing graphics on weapons for now but want to be able to make challenge coins and other one off items.

    Suggestions? Directions? What not to buy?

    I like whatever atomicengraving dot com and others that do some neat multilayer stuff but I am not looking for a $100K or even $50K industrial machine.


    I already have a bridgeport series one CNC and do some stuff in the shop already.
    The one thing I notice about lasers is the item to be engraved has to generally be a flat surface or on a rotary spindle.

    My thought process is the laser moves so fast and does a wide area at once whereas a CNC mill only can use the single tool at a single location.
    Is this correct?
    I have also seen Laser Cutting machines that are true "tool" oriented and cut like a regular CNC but do they make Engravers and Markers that work that way?

    Any input is welcomed.

    JC

    Similar Threads:


  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Faroe Islands
    Posts
    210
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    What is your budget? Your options depend on what you can afford to spend. I can make some suggestions but if you only have $1000 to spend it will be pointless.



  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Thank you...
    I definitely have more than a grand LOL...

    But if I am going to spend $10K or more I need to know I am not making a mistake.
    That is my biggest fear is dropping a car payment on something and finding out I bought the wrong machine or the wrong kind of machine.

    Heck even if I can get by for under my budget (which isn't set in stone just depends on how much I pay and how much I finance) I want to make sure I don't screw up and purchase a lemon or a boat anchor.

    Wife gets REALLY nervous when I spend retirement planning funds on a idea that she can't see me making my money back on LOL... ;-)


    I may get a rotary axis (or build one) so that I can do tumblers and other stainless stuff to make money around the holidays when I am not plying my weapon stuff elsewhere.

    Thanks JC

    P.S. but let me add that I don't want an underpowered toy that takes 30 minutes to do anything.
    I just need direction so I don't purchase a High Speed parts marker for industry that is made for one purpose and it is not the purpose I want LOL....

    Last edited by neorules; 03-02-2017 at 01:31 PM.


  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    So my budget is under $30K... Any body?



  5. #5
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Faroe Islands
    Posts
    210
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Moving a laser around is never a good idea but if you must, then a fiber laser engraver with a galvo head is probably the best option. Keep in mind that a fiber laser will not engrave wood. There isn't really a "one size fits all" option.

    I don't know what you charge for engraving a gun but I suspect it will take quite a long time to recoup a 30K investment in equipment.

    A search on Youtube for "fiber laser engraver" should give you some idea what these machines can do.



  6. #6
    Registered abyss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    38
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Quote Originally Posted by epilotdk View Post
    Keep in mind that a fiber laser will not engrave wood.
    I was using Epilog fiber laser and this was nicely engrave and cut thin wood. Internet is full of samples https://www.pinterest.com/francoismarking/epilog/

    Polish @ Éire


  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Faroe Islands
    Posts
    210
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Are you sure it's a fiber laser? Not a YAG or RF? If you look at the specs for the fiber laser markers on Epilogs site, they have a list of suitable materials. Wood is not among them.



  8. #8
    Registered abyss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    38
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Damn, my bad, it was RF.

    Polish @ Éire


  9. #9
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    193
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Neorules,

    The only portable lasers are the ones with galvanometer. None of those are toys. Engraving wood and metal would require 2 different laser technologies, so you will need 2 separate machines. Your budget of 30K would be sufficient only for the cheapest Chinese brands with questionable warranties, support and without local representation. In other words - you will be taking a huge risk. You may want to rethink your idea and requirements. My advice would be to focus on ether wood or metal and get a descent machine with a proper service center in the US.



  10. #10
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Definitely metal is the requirement for now!
    I will purchase a wood machine later but realistically is $50k doable or is that also still unreliable machines?

    And the whole portable thing is another non requirement.
    Just be an added bonus but I think I will avoid doing that.

    Thanks for the input so far JC



  11. #11
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    193
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    50K is more than enough for a single machine. If you don't mind buying Chinese you should be able to get one for much less.

    Check with Hanslaser - https://us.hanslaser.net

    I don't know how is their support but they are one of the very few Chinese brands that have a dedicated rep. and support center in the US. I think it is in California.

    For a US machine I would start with Laserstar - Industrial Laser Systems | Laser Welding & Engraving | LaserStar



  12. #12
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.

    Has anyone dealt with Triumph lasers?

    They have a model CX30 that I found accidentally when looking for Trumpf lasers

    Thanks JC



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
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum for manufacturing industry. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on


Our Brands

Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.
Where to start or What lasers are real and what are toys.