I am thinking of expanding my small home business into laser cut acrylic jewelry. However, I have NO idea what kind of desk top cutter to buy. I have been looking at 3 different types of cutter. The 3 I looking at are: Verea laser 10-50watt vl-300 , epilog mini 18 or 24, and lastly zing laser by epilog. I really want to buy US made and support our economy and all the reviews on the China's one are bad.
Now that being said I have never worked with a laser nor do I know anything about them. In general I just need help. I want to buy a smaller unit since I don't have much room. I'm work out of my apartment and plan on doing my cutting on my balcony (I'm on the 1st floor so weight is not an issue) since it is well ventilated and I know the fumes have to be ventilated.
I plan on doing cutting not engraving. My main working material will be 1/2" to 1/4" inch wood and colored acrylic sheets.
If anyone can guide me or help me in any way I would greatly appreciate it.
Wood and acrylic are some of the worst materials you can cut (barring rubber) while in close contact with others. You have to vent the fumes somewhere (with a noisy, powered blower, not just run the machine on the patio), and your neighbors are NOT going to be happy with you. You'll also need a noisy air compressor for the air assist to prevent flare-ups. If you expect to cut 1/2" wood and acrylic, you're looking at a 60W+ machine, and US made stuff at that power level is not going to be cheap (think $20k+). The Zing is not in the league you're looking at. You can get air cleaners that would allow you to run the unit inside, but you're looking at several more thousand $s, and the noise issue is still there.
I have a ULS PLS4.60 with all of the bells and whistles that's keeping me busy, as well as a Chinese 40W still in the box (need to sell it at some point). The Chinese unit has it's place, but I needed something more powerful. An apt. is simply not a reasonable place to run an engraver in.
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