Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers


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    Default Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Hello fellow CNC enthusiasts!

    I was very excited to find this forum, and have spent the past fortnight getting lost in the threads. Unfortunately I am struggling to find any real informative reviews on products from GWEIEKE, Bodor, or Dropswell.

    I live in the UK and I am looking for the best balance of quality and price for a machine with bed size around 600x400mm. My budget is around £3000 ($3700) including shipping and charges, and I am happy to work with 40-100w CO2 laser tubes.

    I have been researching for the past two months and have excluded a plethora of companies from my research (due to cost/quality/reviews), but I always seem to be coming back to the above companies. I have also used HPC lasers and may well fall back to them, but their machine in my price range has a 300x400mm bed, which I just don't see being enough.

    I am quite savvy when it comes to maintenance of machines, but I have been put off by a lot of reviews on Chinese imports. I fully understand that the lack of build quality is reflected in the price of the Chinese models (and that the many companies use the same stock parts), but I would rather shell out more cash at the start than spend the man hours fixing or waiting for replacement parts.

    I would be eternally grateful for any help, guidance, or support that any of you could offer me surrounding these companies. I would also appreciate being pointed in the direction of other companies I may have missed.

    Thank you for your time reading this post,

    Gary

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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    I have a LG6040N from G. Weike. It has been in use for several years now and I've not had any issues with it. That will come in a bit below your budget. I have a 80W RECI tube in mine. I recommend specifying a Ruida controller. It runs RD Works which IMHO is better that Laserworks.

    Have you had a look at Justaddsharks? The carry Weike machines and their 60x40cm machine is £3500 excl. VAT.



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Hi
    I have purchased a laser cutter from Dropswell, so can give an honest review of them.
    I had originally purchased 2 of the cheap 40w Chinese machines from e bay and had nothing but trouble. Although they did prove a viable business opportunity. So I was wary about buying another Chinese machine. I did look at HPC but their machines seem to be very expensive for what they actually are, they look just like the Chinese ones. I found Dropswell on e bay but as it was only 20 miles away I asked if I could visit with some samples and see the machine working. They said that was ok and we arranged for the following day. They were very helpful and put my samples into their machine, (the same model I was interested in), and it worked perfectly. As I was there with a car big enough to put it in we haggled on the cash price, and including a rotary attachment, and chiller ect I got them down £200.00, so it came home with me. My laser is a 400 x 600 bed 100w tube ect. Now I had a couple of problems, the 1st was the red eye packed up. I phoned them and I received a replacement and all the wiring the following day. 2nd problem was the cut and engrave wouldn't line up to each other, after I had to wipe out my computer. I emailed them and they phoned me back, a very helpful guy on the phone talked me through what I needed to do as it was a software issue, and also offered to come out and fix it at my house if what he told me didn't work. Luckily it did and its been happily working away ever since. So personally I would recommend them, they have been a decent company to deal with.



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Hi Gary,

    Welcome to the forum!

    I don’t think there is a big difference between the machines sold by these 3 companies in terms of quality and components. I would divide them in 2 categories: Gweike and Bodor are assembly factories - they buy parts and put them together. Dropswell is just a re-seller. Most Chinese assembly factories would have very similar policies, and access to the same components for custom configurations. Importing from China is problematic, slow and risky.

    There is a huge difference between the local resellers. Some would keep machines in stock and allow you to test them before purchasing. They would often keep in stock the major components for eventual repairs. So buying from them is definitely less risky than importing the machine yourself. Others would only mediate between you and the original producer. They will take a deposit from you and order the machine on your behalf. In such case it may be better to buy the machine straight from China. There are many benefits of establishing direct relationship with the manufacturer and of course the price would be lower.

    Do you know if Dropswell have a machine in your price range in stock and ready to ship? Their prices seems fair, so if they do I would suggest to pay them a visit and inspect the machine before you contact other Chinese companies.

    If I have to give a more specific advise for the configuration I would say, get a machine with wheels, Taiwanese (Hiwin) steppers and rails, Ruida controller, Reci or EFR tube, and honey comb. Of course I presume you need the machine for slow speed cutting because this is what these companies specialize in. For quality engraving and fast-speed cutting you will need a bigger budget.

    When you inspect the machine check if the X and Y axis are perpendicular. It is important to check that because if this is not calibrated properly in the factory it is very difficult (or often impossible) to fix it yourself. You can check that by simply cutting a large rectangular from paper and measuring the diagonals. You may also ask them to cut/engrave several ellipses at different angles at high speed - 300-500mm/s. See how pronounced and uniform is the jagging effect. This will give you an idea how good the mechanical assembly is and how well the software is calibrated for this specific configuration. There are many other things to check but these are the main ones.



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Hello,

    This is Emily from SPT laser, manufacturing co2 laser tube for laser cutter / engraver.

    Now introduce a visible laser tube to you all.

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    4. Output lens dust-protected
    In poor working environment, it can protect the laser output lens from dust and polluted.
    Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers-t-co2-laser-tube-jpg



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Thank you Mark, I appreciate your time as this is the first real review of Dropswell I've seen! I am planning to visit a factory and see the models working (another benefit of using a UK re seller) and it's good to know that if I go prepared to haggle I can get a little off! The after sales support sounds good, too.
    I am still very early days into my search but Dropswell seem to be the front runner at the moment.
    Could I ask you how long you had the machine for before you encountered the problems? And how many hours is/was the machine running on average?

    Thank you again



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Quote Originally Posted by Storen View Post
    Hi Gary,

    Welcome to the forum!

    I don’t think there is a big difference between the machines sold by these 3 companies in terms of quality and components. I would divide them in 2 categories: Gweike and Bodor are assembly factories - they buy parts and put them together. Dropswell is just a re-seller. Most Chinese assembly factories would have very similar policies, and access to the same components for custom configurations. Importing from China is problematic, slow and risky.

    There is a huge difference between the local resellers. Some would keep machines in stock and allow you to test them before purchasing. They would often keep in stock the major components for eventual repairs. So buying from them is definitely less risky than importing the machine yourself. Others would only mediate between you and the original producer. They will take a deposit from you and order the machine on your behalf. In such case it may be better to buy the machine straight from China. There are many benefits of establishing direct relationship with the manufacturer and of course the price would be lower.

    Do you know if Dropswell have a machine in your price range in stock and ready to ship? Their prices seems fair, so if they do I would suggest to pay them a visit and inspect the machine before you contact other Chinese companies.

    If I have to give a more specific advise for the configuration I would say, get a machine with wheels, Taiwanese (Hiwin) steppers and rails, Ruida controller, Reci or EFR tube, and honey comb. Of course I presume you need the machine for slow speed cutting because this is what these companies specialize in. For quality engraving and fast-speed cutting you will need a bigger budget.

    When you inspect the machine check if the X and Y axis are perpendicular. It is important to check that because if this is not calibrated properly in the factory it is very difficult (or often impossible) to fix it yourself. You can check that by simply cutting a large rectangular from paper and measuring the diagonals. You may also ask them to cut/engrave several ellipses at different angles at high speed - 300-500mm/s. See how pronounced and uniform is the jagging effect. This will give you an idea how good the mechanical assembly is and how well the software is calibrated for this specific configuration. There are many other things to check but these are the main ones.


    Thank you, Storen
    Could you please elaborate a little on the benefit of the steppers and controller?
    And thank you for the suggestions of things to cut during the tests, I wouldn't want them fobbing me off with pre drawn designs masking any issues!



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Thank you. I have looked at JAS but I was hoping to work out if it was worth paying them the handling fee for a product I could purchase myself for cheaper. Alternatively, it could end up being more hassle and more cost if I do it myself...that's why I started this thread!



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Hi Mortongj
    We purchased the laser in June last year, and to be honest we did have to man handle it into and out of the car ( Its 1.5 meter long). And then we had to turn it onto its front to get it through 2 door ways and into position, so I was expecting the mirrors to be all over the place, but they were spot on. At first we used it for around 2 hours a day, and the red dot stopped working around November. After speaking to them they said it would be a broken wire running in the plastic chain / guide, but they sent a new red dot and enough wire to rewire it twice. To be honest with the wires and airline running through the chain they are tight. They were right though when I came to do the repair it was a broken wire where they said it was. The 2nd problem was more down to me, I had a virus on my laptop so I wiped it out, I reinstalled corel laser and the cut and engrave were out of line with each other. I tried everything as it was perfect before, but I couldn't work it out. Again I spoke to them and there is a setting I had overlooked from the set up manual, they talked me through it and offered to come out and fix it if it was still not lining up. Here though I have to say that they told me if it was the machine the call out and labour was free, but if it was software which I knew it was there would be a charge.
    They told me and I think it says on the website though that even out of warrantee they will visit premises for breakdowns if you wish, but obviously for a fee, it is good to know though that there is always someone there to help out and fix it if you can't. They do carry spares too, I don't know if they are reasonably priced or not though, a 100w tube is £430.50.
    We still use it about the same approx. 2hrs a day but things are now starting to pick up, as this was an addition to another business and we have had to find the time to produce samples, but all the drawings are done now its just the matter of getting them cut.
    Where abouts you from? What materials you going to be cutting if you don't mind me asking, as I have found a decent place for acrylic not too far from me at a good price if you collect. I come from Wednesbury.
    Good luck with the searching, if I can help any more please ask, and I will try.



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Gary,
    this is Lucy from G.WEIKE .we have many choice around your budget like epilotdk refered 6040 or 500 or 6090
    I will send details by PM
    Any others feel free to ask me

    Best Regards
    Lucy
    han@wklaser.com


    Quote Originally Posted by Mortongj View Post
    Hello fellow CNC enthusiasts!

    I was very excited to find this forum, and have spent the past fortnight getting lost in the threads. Unfortunately I am struggling to find any real informative reviews on products from GWEIEKE, Bodor, or Dropswell.

    I live in the UK and I am looking for the best balance of quality and price for a machine with bed size around 600x400mm. My budget is around £3000 ($3700) including shipping and charges, and I am happy to work with 40-100w CO2 laser tubes.

    I have been researching for the past two months and have excluded a plethora of companies from my research (due to cost/quality/reviews), but I always seem to be coming back to the above companies. I have also used HPC lasers and may well fall back to them, but their machine in my price range has a 300x400mm bed, which I just don't see being enough.

    I am quite savvy when it comes to maintenance of machines, but I have been put off by a lot of reviews on Chinese imports. I fully understand that the lack of build quality is reflected in the price of the Chinese models (and that the many companies use the same stock parts), but I would rather shell out more cash at the start than spend the man hours fixing or waiting for replacement parts.

    I would be eternally grateful for any help, guidance, or support that any of you could offer me surrounding these companies. I would also appreciate being pointed in the direction of other companies I may have missed.

    Thank you for your time reading this post,

    Gary


    Lucy Lee G.WEIKE LASER
    han@wklaser.com


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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    That's brilliant Mark, thank you.
    I'm near Manchester and will be using acrylic, MDF, ply, and some fabrics. I am however based in a school (the laser is hopefully going to be my side hussle) so I may try and wangle myself some educational discount from our suppliers! But any other material sources would be greatly appreciated - I can add them to my spreadsheet of cost v quality!
    Thank you for the insight into the after care - that is one of the weightier points when considering whether or not to import myself - I will certainly take that on board. I'm also glad to know that the mirror alignment was OK after transport as I've got to try and get mine up two flights of stairs!
    Could I just ask you two more things?
    Firstly, are the standard mirrors doing a good enough job for you? (no loss of power or accuracy)
    Secondly, am I safe in thinking that the original tube is still runing OK and you haven't had to replace yet?

    Thanks again.



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    Default Re: Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers

    Hi
    Yes the tube is still the original, not had a problem with it at all. The laser is in my shed so over the winter I have had the water at a 50 / 50 mix of water and antifreeze. The original mirrors and lens are still performing like new too. I did however run the laser without warming it up first, it was -4 degrees and as the laser was engraving condensation formed on one of the mirrors, (the one nearest the tube). It boiled the water and put a dark spot on the centre of the mirror, this was my own fault I put a small heater in the cabinet now to bring the temperature up and clear any condensation, and no problems since. The mirror is still in and I haven't noticed any drop in performance, and still use the same power settings as before. I have ordered some spare mirrors but as its supposed to be 100w and that it gets cold in the winter I have purchased Molybdenum mirrors, my machine came with silicone mirrors fitted.
    The place I get my acrylic from is the plastic man, but its only 5 minutes away from me, collecting saves loads on shipping costs.



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Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers
Advice needed! GWEIKE, Dropswell, Bodor Lasers