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There are many threads re: importing laser machines from China, and many are very skeptical and there is little feedback re: peoples experience with them when buying. I only found a couple of China based manufacturers positively endorsed in these forums. If more share there experiences, it will help people in looking to import from reliable Chinese Suppliers.
Today, we have just finalized our purchase of a custom built laser from www.sukelaser.com (Jinan Suke Science&Technology Co.,LTD). I found them in these forums, where Alice from sukelaser.com has been providing positive practical advice towards solving user issues. But there was no feedback from buyers of their machines. In this thread I will keep posting about our experience with sukelaser.com from manufacturing, through to delivery, setup and commissioning machine.
Our custom built machine is based on their SK1490, and includes :
- Twin 80W CO2 lasers
- CCD Cameras
- SK1490 has working area of 1400x900mm
- Honeycomb, vacuum table with fume extraction
- Motorised platform
- Rotary attachment
- Upgraded Chiller (for two laser heads)
- Red Dot Pointer
- Auto Focus
- Filtering System on exhaust
- Spare Co2 tubes and mirrors.
Alice has been more than helpful, in terms of working to advise us on which machine and what specifications will work for our particular needs. Last week, we sent her some product samples to check on their machines, and very quickly got images back of our product (we sent specific product, with my handwriting on them, so we could ensure photos from the test were ours - and they were) and this came with specific feedback on which laser strength was required, as well as the limitations on the products we sent (single sheet/double sheet cutting etc).
Alice will be sending me some images of the machine during construction, so if you are interested, subscribe to this thread, and I will keep updating, all the way through to final commissioning of the machine.
Hope this helps someone, who is looking to purchase a laser machine, that is about 1/3 of the cost of a similar machine from local suppliers.
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Thanks for your feedback. I have amended.
Within hours of confirming the deposit, Alice sent soft copies of all user documentation and videos of how to use the software for not only the standard system but also the CCD system.
Without the machine, it was only an interesting read but it did highlight a few things that I hadn't thought of. So if your buying a laser cutter, consider the following :
- Water chiller - highly recommended to use distilled water (30L every 3 or 4 days). Don't know how critical it is but I am assuming it is. I thought of getting it delivered and found companies that will delivery 1000l barrels. However, I did a bit of research and found a local company that supplies small water distillers with 3yr warranty. They produce 4L in 4 hours for about $250. So - 8L a day x 3 days is 32L and costs about 8c a day to run - a lot cheaper than having 1000L barrels delivered! So we are going to distill our own water.
- Laser system needs separate earth (to earth not door frame). The wire is included, so fortunately where we are installing the machine, a small hole already exists in the wall, so we can drive a steel spike into the ground to connect.
- Power regulator is recommended. Given spare parts are not just around the corner and may take weeks to arrive, I am going to use a Belkin Surge Arrestor. I used to sell their products and have seen them being tested - effective and relatively cheap - in comparison to machine down time!
- Original specifications were for USB connectivity. However, as we upgraded to dual laser heads, I wasn't aware that dual heads systems need a different motion controller that requires a PCI Card. So driving the system from the laptop is out of the question. Fortunately, I have a spare desktop PC that I can dedicate to this machine.
So like, any project there are always a few unexpected expenses, but so far, these are fairly small. The good thing though, is that now I can prepare everything in advance of the unit arriving, so that commissioning is not delayed.
Am I glad Alice sent the docs. in advance - absolutely!
Looks like I am about two days ahead of you on ordering a laser
Similar in size (1400x1000) and options except for the dual head and cameras. I ordered a single 130W RECI tube, stated hours on that tube can be up to 10,000 hours, properly cared for.
Your outfit sounds like it will be a great piece of equipment.
I have just gone (and still am in) China to buy trophies , marble crysal awards, acrylic sheeting and have gone to the factory that made my lasers - have a look at this thread for some great info and pics of the factory and lasers etc...
Despatches from China
I would suggest you buy a lot more spares like a spare stepper , a spare stepper drive , a spare mainboard , spare belts , a spare laser power supply etc - they shouldnt be expensive and you can carry on operating instanly instead of waiting a long time.
Thanks Rodney Gold - sounds like good advice.
Alice has sent a few pictures of the machine in production. Two images attached show the machine being assembled with the twin lasers installed.
Production is scheduled to be completed towards end of the week.
So far so good.
Mind if I ask what that setup cost you?
I see myself upgrading to a new laser in a year or so as I ourgrow what I have now, and whule yours is worlds beyond what I'd want, I'm curious what a setup like that cost.
I got a SK1280 directly from Suke few weeks ago. Alice well organized the shipping to France, everything went right. The surprise was port fees, almost 15% of the total price for just unloading the container, that's crazy. I went to the seaport with a van and I cleared custom by myself as a non-professional people, this was easy.
Let me show you some pictures.
I really had a doubt when the forklift came with the box, only few centimers of margin !
The machine in my workshop.
Cooling system, air pump and air extractor
This is a computer watercooling radiator, it's fit perfectly with machine water tube.
I can't really speak about the machine performance, this is the only one I ever saw working. So far I have cut plywood to build some furnitures, this it good up to 15mm and the precision is far beyond what I need.
I find the machine well made. It use mostly standard parts easy to change. Most important are from major manufacturers, 3M belts, Hiwin rail guide, Omron electrical switchs. The software Lasercut 5.3 has some bugs but I don't find any default on the machine itself. I guess that these kind of machine are used widely in China for mass production. Once the file is in the machine, nothing can stop them !
Thanks for the PICS & info Flying Ben - nice to see everything went well for you!
The Port Charges are over the top aren't they! I often find with imports that it is anywhere from 20 to 40% on top of invoice for port fees, customs brokers and taxes etc.
Alice has advised our Machine is now officially at sea, after a Typhoon cleared way, and we now have the Released Bill Of Lading - very excited as it means it should arrive in a few weeks!!
Attached are some more images.
Next post will be when we receive.
The upgraded cooling system is a trash can of water and a radiator with fans?