what is the Best Laser cutters up to £15,000 for cutting stainless steel?
I'm based UK and looking to start a business. I wish to use AutoCAD and photo shop on Windows Vista to cut a variety of materials. I do graphic design, Web design and have just recently taught myself AutoCAD 2009, well the basics anyway.
My main focus will be on producing stylised art pieces and fabricating small projects for people's artwork and stencils and possibly gaskets brackets and business cards in stainless steel and acrylic types of materials. Hopefully possibly some three-dimensional jigsaw that fit Together from thick cut acrylic shapes or a combination of all these skills into something artistic and or mechanical.
My budget is up to £15,000.
I wish to be able to cut with a laser cutter:
Stainless steel business cards.
Engrave onto stainless steel.
Cut shapes in a variety of acrylics up to 25 mm thick.
Cut MDF/ Playa board 20 to25 mm thick and Mitre the edges.
Cut card and paper and textiles.
On an area 1250 mm x 2500 mm, or 1250 mm square depending on my price range.
I need the machine to be as compact as possible.
Is this possible with my budget of £15,000 and if not what is the most powerful and versatile machine that would fill as much of my criteria as possible for around £15,000 or under?
Ideally I'd like a machine that is a good workhorse with a USB connection that is easily controlled from my laptop through photo shop, illustrator and or AutoCAD for cutting precise components and that is easy maintain with the replacement of consumables is easily achieved.
Should I buy second-hand or brand-new?
What brands easy to get replacement parts for?
What sort of wattage would be sensible for these projects that would be in my price range?
Does one laser do all of the jobs I need or would I need separate lasers for each specific job?
Also I need to bear in mind maintenance costs and consumables costs does anyone know what this is likely to be?
If I cannot cut certain materials within my price range what is the thickest hardest material that I would be able to cut with a £15,000 laser cutter?
I've noticed that a lot of the machines that I have seen have been a bit smaller and only seem to be able to engrave onto metal but not cut it and machines that have been able to cut metal have been way too big for my workspace.
I have looked around the forum and the Internet and could not seem to find what I was looking for. Machines are all either too big or too tiny and I could not seem to find something in this size or price range.
Any help would be greatly appreciated or even links in the right direction.
Thank you for all your knowledge in advance it is greatly appreciated and hopefully this thread will have help other people looking for this type of thing.
Hopefully if I get a machine there should be some very interesting shapes and things being made in the near future.
Best Regards Paul.
Also just a side note if you enjoy tinkering around with all your crazy CNC toys and have a bit of spare time on your hands and I would highly recommend you take a peek at www.OverUnity.com
Would it be possible to cut this with a CNC laser cut? It's properly not ideal but I just wondered if it could be done. "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2ycczuFEF8"]YouTube - OCAL Magnet Motor Experiment 2
Practically impossible have universal laser for 15 000 pounds. My advise - buy good CO2 laser like Spirit GE 40 Wt and find contractor for stainless steel cutting jobs. Engraving on steel could be done with materials like Litoscript paste/spray.