UK based searching for Laser


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Thread: UK based searching for Laser

  1. #1

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    Default UK based searching for Laser

    Hi all,

    I have recently started making custom boxes for table-top graving, and was using a pyrography pen to etch designs. Realising that a laser would be much faster, I have been looking at various options.
    I need a machine that can engrave detailed pictures into wood, but that could also cut out silhouettes with felt (some lasers just burn and shrivel the material.

    The two main laser dealers close to me would be Epilog and Trotec. I have looked at the Speedy 300 and think it is a fantastic machine, just not so sure about the job control software.

    With Epilog, I was looking at the Helix machines, but they have given me a really good quote for the Fusion Pro machine (it works out as the same price for the Speedy). Whilst I could go for smaller machines, the open bays do sound handy should I expand.

    Now obviously, the desirable thing here is that they offer after-sales support, and are known for it as well. However, to expand I am having to take out a business loan and ideally would like to keep investment costs as low as possible.

    There are a number of UK brands that do their own lasers, I just have no idea about the quality of them. I think some are Chinese imports, whilst others are made in the UK. There are companies such as Kent Lasers, HPC, CTR, Boxford, Solar and Red Dragon. I have no idea if they would have the quality that I am after.

    Has anyone got any suggestions? I do not have any issues with Illustrator so will be using that. Lightburn looks great too, just not sure what machines it would be compatible with.

    All help is appreciated, whether that is machine suggestions or top tips. I will also add, I will be expanding into into other areas and need to sort a machine out by September. Business plan is ready to go, ideally would like to keep costs below £20,000.



  2. #2
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    Default Re: UK based searching for Laser

    Speedy 300 and Fusion Pro may or may not be the right machines for you.

    I would suggest when contacting vendors or looking for recommendations to provide as much as possible information about your use scenario and performance criteria. "detailed pictures into wood" and "cut out silhouettes with felt" is a bit too vague.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2K View Post
    There are a number of UK brands that do their own lasers
    I've never heard of a UK company designing and producing their own laser gantry machines. The ones you mentioned resell low-end Chinese machines. The only European brand making such machines is Trotec.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2K View Post
    I do not have any issues with Illustrator so will be using that
    All contemporary controllers use standard vector formats so using Illustrator should be perfectly fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2K View Post
    ideally would like to keep costs below £20,000.
    That is a decent budget. You should be able to get something nice as long as you spent the money on hardware and not on seller markups.

    Last edited by Storen; 07-23-2019 at 09:14 AM.


  3. #3

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    Default

    Thank you for your response, it is appreciated. With the engraving (pictures), many will be of detailed art pieces within the fantasy genre, so will have elements of shading and fine detail. In relation to felt, I need a laser with settings that can easily be managed, as you do not need a lot to cut out the pieces. I will also need a laser capable of engraving photos for a side business for my wife, who is involved with wedding planning.

    I have just been made aware that there is a Universal stockist within the UK as well, so not sure if I should explore them too. They seem to come up often as a recommended supplier.

    I am leaning more towards Trotec currently. Their machines seem great and the customer service I experienced from them so far has been exceptional.



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    Default Re: UK based searching for Laser

    By more information, I meant - sizes, acceptable tolerances, cycle time, materials, pictures showing acceptable or unacceptable beam paths and hatching, etc. There are a lot of options in terms of technology. My advice is to first nail your requirements and the technology you need and only then compare vendors.

    If I have to choose between Epilog and Trotec I would also go with Trotec, but again this may not be the best machine for you. In fact, you may need two different machines.
    Buying production equipment requires a lot of research and it is never fun



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    Default Re: UK based searching for Laser

    I would have them each do the same engraving on their machines and compare. The Trotec will most likely be faster



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    Default Re: UK based searching for Laser

    I was wondering what you decided on CB2K? I'm in a similar position, looking to engrave primarily on wood & metal - I presumed Chinese fiber would be the way to go but need to do further research. I don't know how commonly repairs are required but the lack of UK support would be a concern!



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