Laser machine recommendations for fab shop with 100 employees


(Christopher Yoder) #1

Hello,

I’m new to the forum, but could not find this topic anywhere else:

I’m looking for recommendations. My company is looking for a laser to take some work off the waterjet. It could potentially be running for a full 8 hours on certain production jobs, so reliability is critical. We’d like a minimum cutting area of 40in x 24in. The larger the better, but we still need it to fit inside the office building. We’re not looking to put it out in the shop. Owner is not averse to cutting a hole in the wall to get it in the building. Looking for something around 100W or more that can cut acrylic, neoprene, other materials. Here are some of the brands I’ve looked at:

eBay
ThunderLaser
BossLaser
Full Spectrum
RabbitLaserUSA
G.Weike

Epilog
Trotec
Universal Laser Systems

Am I missing any brands I should be researching? What I’m trying to avoid is recommending a purchase to the owner only to have it cause a lot of production delays due to maintenance. I’ve seen a few that offer two independent lasers in the same machine for double production speed and redundancy. Is this a gimmick?

Thank you so much for your time.


(Ray Kholodovsky) #2

I’m the guy that replied to your email to LB yesterday.

Good that you found G. Weike, that’s a popular one I’ve seen around. The Rabbit also comes around.

These are not compatible with LightBurn.

Epilog and ULS are US Made, RF excited, air cooled tubes. Great stuff, super expensive though.

The other items in the list are the Chinese CO2 machines. Companies like Boss rebrand them and give you a warranty and a phone number to call for support. You’re still going to be doing your own maintenance though, no way around that. Just depends on how much you want to pay for “peace of mind.”

Anyways, plenty of people here that run these machines, and I hope you get some answers!


(Christopher Yoder) #3

Thanks for the quick reply! I’m pretty sure i sold the VP of my company on either the G.Weike or ThunderLaser. Do you have any idea which would be better for running 8 hours per day?


(Ray Kholodovsky) #4

I do not, as I have not had hands on experience with machines from either brand.

I can tell you that you will definitely want a CW-5000 series chiller for your water cooling. The 3000 series is passive and mostly useless. The 5000 series actually chills the water.


(Anthony Bolgar) #5

I have a G.Weicke and love it. It runs 8 hours a day without an issue. They OEM for Boss Laser in the U.S.A. Solid machines.


(Christopher Yoder) #6

Thank you both for the tips. I’m pretty sure we’re going to order directly from G. Weicke (requesting a Ruida controller, of course).


(Christopher Yoder) #7

Any chance you’d be willing to share your company name? I’d love to show VIPs a website with example work done on a G. Weike.

Also, any chance you’d be willing to share the model and how much it ended up costing you from factory to your doorstep?


(Anthony Bolgar) #8

I mbought the machine locally used for $1350 It was a steal. I have been told door to door is around $5K . Unfortunately I can not show example product as it is all custom prototyper work for clients, however the company is Revision 13 Prototypes

http://www.revision13prototypes.com/


(Christopher Yoder) #9

Thanks again, for all the info.


(Doug Fisher) #10

If your job is going to be on the line because of this and it must be able to run 8 hours a day every day, quality build/design with excellent components and decent USA-based technical support would be “musts” in my mind. I would first recommend a Trotec. Then an Epilog. Boss would be a distant third and I would definitely cover your axx by documenting your recommendation for a Trotec first and that the Boss was a compromise based on economics.


(sebastien laforet) #11

for the price of the trotec, you can but 5 chinese machines of the same size. if you have decent ones (not ebay K40 “adjusted” with a hammer), you can afford to have 2 or 3 machines and/or spares (motors, belts, tubes, power supply) and still plenty of money.

obviously, you still need to know how to maintain them, but if you source a good machine, maintenance is easy if you have a technical background.


(Christopher Yoder) #12

We finally ended up going with a GWEIKE. My job is definitely NOT on the line, and the machine is not initially planned for production work. We would like to be able to transition to running it longer and more often, however. Interestingly, Doug, you mentioned the Boss as a distant third, and Boss is manufactured in the GWEIKE factory. There are even photos on the GWEIKE website of their factory floor with a line of GWEIKE lasers next to a line of Boss lasers. We already maintain and service 3 Trumpf CO2 lasers in our shop, so we should be able to handle the service and maintenance. My CFO wired the money to China yesterday.


(Doug Fisher) #13

“We already maintain and service 3 Trumpf CO2 lasers in our shop, so we should be able to handle the service and maintenance.”

Well, there is a very important tidbit of information that would have helped everyone regarding their recommendations! :wink:


(Christopher Yoder) #14

ooh, good point!


(Ray Kholodovsky) #15

That’s how you know you’ve spent enough! For smaller sums all my suppliers just want cash via western union. A number of them take PayPal, but the ones that don’t are very memorable.