[Lab] Laser cutter advice?

Matthew Bells matt at mbells.ca
Fri Nov 16 22:17:30 EST 2012

Kwartzlab and Site3, maker spaces in Toronto area, have G. Weike lasers.
These take a bit more setup but are cheap. And there is someone sort of
local to talk to and iron things out with it. Find out more from their
website: http://www.kwartzlab.ca/wiki/Laser_Cutter. The initial cost of
these is fairly low, though they may burn out the laser more quickly than
higher end systems. The kwartzlab one is 60W and is less than half the price
of an Epilog of comparable specs. You can expect to replace the laser after
about 1000 hours, and this part is a few hundred dollars. They needed to
make a few fixes like replace the switches with better (higher current)


If you have deep pockets and want a turnkey system, then Epilog
<http://www.epiloglaser.com/>  makes good and reliable laser cutters. These
range from 8k$-45k$. You can expect 4-5 years of professional use before
having to replace the tube. That is upwards of 8000 hours.


Generally, the current consensus from various maker spaces is the solid
state lasers tend to be flakey and burn out very quickly. Possibly having to
replace the tube after just a couple hundred hours, far shorter than the
listed MTBF. Cheaper ones also tend to have crappier software as well, and
the tool chain is very important.


For cardboard and acrylic, a 30-60W should do fine, though you may need 60W
to cut acrylic 3mm thick rather than just engrave it (others more expert can
comment on this). Other things you'll want to ensure is that you have power
for it; you will probably need in excess of 50amps and 220V, depending on
the model. If you are cutting anything other than cardboard, you may want to
install external ventilation as well.


You should also read up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_cutting.




From: lab-bounces at artengine.ca [mailto:lab-bounces at artengine.ca] On Behalf
Of Britta Evans-Fenton
Sent: 2012.November.12 10:27
To: Wesley Ellis
Cc: Lab at artengine.ca
Subject: Re: [Lab] Laser cutter advice?


I like the Zing Laser which is what we have at Artengine, but I am bias. We
got ours from Engravers Express.


On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM, Wesley Ellis <tahnok at gmail.com> wrote:

Hi folks,

I'm Wesley and I'm new around here. I stopped by once over the summer and i
think I recognized a few faces at the mini make faire.

I'm working with the Adventures in Science and Engineering summer camp at
UOttawa and they are thinking about purchasing a laser cutter. I think they
are mostly looking to cut cardboard and some acrylic/plastic for more
durable construction bits. 

Do you folks have recommendations for models and vendors?

Wesley Ellis
http://about.tahnok.me <http://about.tahnok.me/> 

Lab mailing list
Lab at artengine.ca


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