Hello community. Parts in the attached images are made on my Chinese 80W CO2 with 2" lens (LightBurn software of course!). My settings are about 35mm/second, 9.5% power for the text. I am quite happy with the quality of detail. But I am considering purchasing a 100W machine to add to my business. Do you think I will be able to achieve the same quality in the lettering/fine detail? Will you post some examples if you have done similar work with your 100W machine?
If one of your goals is to have more power, you will find negligible difference between 80 and 100 watts (all other factors being equal e.g. optics and overall component quality). So if you are looking for higher power, go for a 130 / 150 watt tube. The Reci W6 form factor (overall size) is usually the threshold for a machine having a 900 x 600 work area. A W6 will provide you with 140 watts on average and this will be a noticeable difference in usable power.
You will need to learn / adjust to the different characteristics of a higher power machine. Yes you can maintain the same level of detail. There is more to the quality and detail than just the laser tube rated power and the PSU driving it e.g., X / Y mechanical stability, tube manufacturer / quality, optics, fume extraction, air assist, etc. I often see misconception that there is a trade-off in detail with higher power systems. And while this may be the case with a Yongli 300w laser, I do not find it to be true comparing a 40w RF laser, to a 60w Reci W2, to a 90w reci w4, to a 140w Reci W6.
Speed in production is what you will gain. I am always so surprised to see how slow non-commercial machines are run (or maybe sometimes it is just fear of the user).
For the work you provided examples, that text should be engraving at 250mm / sec easily. I wouldn’t hesitate speeds upward and beyond 400mm sec on my machine.
If you’d like, I would be more than happy to provide you with examples with magnified results with my machine. You can send me a few sample lightburn project files and I can engrave that for you and post the result with images and specifications. I have a lot of scrap material to play with.
Thank you so much Jeff for your expert insight. Frankly, I don’t really need much more power, or size for that matter. I’m really just looking for an additional machine to add as a backup to the machine I am using now. While I was at it, I thought I may as well get a larger machine that is more powerful too. Now I’m rethinking this. I already had a notion that perhaps only a slightly larger machine (600 x 900 compared to the 500 x 700 I have now) would be good, but possibly a better machine (better steppers, better tube) would be the ticket (600 x 900 machine with Reci 80W tube, probably better stepper motors).
But my budget is around $3,500, so I’m still probably looking at Chinese machines (like what I have now, but perhaps to my new specs 600 x 900, Reci 80W tube, stepper motors).
I’d love to send you some files to test for me, but it would be a waste of your time if the machine you are using is better/more expensive than my budget will allow.
Thanks again and I’ll see if you have more comments.
P.S. In regard to your speed settings, I have mine slowed down because I feel it maintains accuracy that way. Again, probably because I’m using a Chinese machine, yes?