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Want2build1
06-05-2014, 04:15 PM
Hi all
I'm after a laser cutter.
I was looking at this ...
Updated 50W CO2 Laser Engraving Engraver Cutting Carving Machine USB Port 220V | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Updated-50W-CO2-Laser-Engraving-Engraver-Cutting-Carving-Machine-USB-Port-220V-/321392971821?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item4ad483902d)

but after contacting them, and not being able to get a UK address from them, I said forget it !
Then they gave me this address ..

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=po3+5fl&client=ubuntu&channel=cs&aq=f&oq=po3+5fl&aqs=chrome.0.57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#channel=cs&q=unit+10+po3+5fl&safe=off&start=10

which pretty much counts them out for me.

Soooo...
Can anyone recomend a decent supplier for something aroung this size/poer for 1500 ish ?

Else, any suppliers for the parts I need to build one myself ?

I've built my own CNC , so reading around, a laser seems quite easy . Just I'm stretched for time at the mo. I bought a WC spindle in Nov last year, and haven't had time to power it up yet !


thanks for any suggestions :)
Rich

m_c
06-05-2014, 04:58 PM
Unless you want to pay a price premium, then one from the chinese dealers is the best option.

I've looked at them for a while now, but I keep ending up spending money on other things!
The advice I received from somebody in the know, was get an A3 size blue and white one of ebay, from whatever seller is having them shipped out a portsmouth warehouse (means you don't have to worry about customs fees).
The A4 ones although cheaper, are nowhere near as good, due to a fixed table height and coming with Moshidraw which at the time was pretty rubbish. I got that advice a bit over a year ago, so they might of improved it, but I'd doubt it.

Want2build1
06-05-2014, 05:13 PM
this is exactly what I linked to !

I'f I'd have just bought, and got a machine that worked, I'd probably not think any more about it.

BUT !

I put a best offer, which led to and 'off ebay' email ... which led to me asking questions ... !

I eventually got the warehouse address (see link) .. which I believe to be fake (or at least not coshure)

If I got a machine that works, all is good :) ... but if I got something broken/damaged .. then I think I'd be stuck

Which leads me on to maybe sourcing components (With lower individual risk) and building my own mchine ??

Would be nice to just buy one though, as I'm pretty busy at the mo !

Rich

m_c
06-05-2014, 05:30 PM
I did look at the link, but just posted what I've been told previously.

Personally, I'd just buy one through ebay, as that way you get some reasonably good protection if things do go majorly wrong. Try some best offers via a few different suppliers, and see who'll give you the best price.
Although having just had a quick search, it looks like several of the sellers don't have stock available so have bumped their prices up to keep the listings active without selling anything, so you may need to wait a week or two until new stock arrives, before you get a few more sellers to compete with.

I'd only go off ebay, if it was a supplier I knew was good. Avoiding ebay I'd be looking for at least a 10% discount, as that's what most sellers will be paying in ebay/paypal fees.

gavztheouch
06-05-2014, 05:41 PM
You will be hard pressed to find a better machine for 1500. You will be at least 3000 for a uk based seller. I have bought stuff from chinese based ebay companies that claimed the product was being dispatched from a UK warehouse. I contacted them to make sure and I got a broken english email back, telling me not to worry and everything will be fine but they couldn't give me any answers to my questions. I was sceptical but ordered anyway and figured I would just pay the tax as I was sure it was coming from china. I felt silly when it turned up the next day delivered by the royal mail. Im not saying the laser is the same but it may be worth digging around a bit more before writing it off.

The laser I built cost at least 1500. If I had my time again I would buy the laser in your link and then "tart it up" as time goes by.

Lasers cutters/etchers are harder to build WELL than most people think, weight is extremly important and there is balance to achieve between speed weight and robustness. If the gantry is too heavy the belts will stretch and parts will vibrate as you move the head about cuttting at speed. You need an enclosure to take the smoke away and a moving table to focus the beam.

I am working on a moving table design with a canatilevered x-axis right now http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/general-machine-building/7231-laser-cutter-engraver-rebuild-build-log.html

If anyone in scotland is looking to build a laser maybe we could build two or three together.

longy
06-05-2014, 08:43 PM
The address you gave the link has some interesting history ASA Adjudication on wigshow.co.uk - Advertising Standards Authority (http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2012/7/wigshow,-d-,co,-d-,uk/SHP_ADJ_194378.aspx) also look what other products the seller is offering as buying a laser I know I would only want to buy from a seller that just sells lasers or cnc related products and not a general seller.

Want2build1
06-05-2014, 09:12 PM
why does it have to be such hard work !!!!!! :-(

longy
06-05-2014, 09:25 PM
It's not hard work you just need to do some research and find the right product at the right price for you. Now if you really want a laser that will do what you want have a look at Epilog Laser Product Line (http://www.epiloglaser.com/products/product-line.htm) they are not cheap but I have only heard good things about Epilog.

It only becomes hard work when your trying to find and buy a new Rolls Royce for the price of a scrap yard banger.
Also it comes down to what you intend cutting with the laser ?
Mike

Want2build1
06-05-2014, 09:37 PM
ok ... for better or worse ... I've ordered one off ebay ... twice the chance to get buyer protection ... but what is twice nought ! ... lol ... fingers crossed

I'll let you know how I get on :)

BTW .. it would be good to have a laser section on here ! :D

Want2build1
07-05-2014, 09:36 AM
for those that have a laser cutter ... what else will I need to cut MDF and acrylic ? will I need one of those honeycomb beds ? or can I use a spoilboard like on the CNC ?

Lee Roberts
07-05-2014, 05:37 PM
BTW .. it would be good to have a laser section on here ! :D

I've been thinking the same, ill add two sections later tonight, one under Machines for general discussion and one for the building section. I do plan to expand the machines section for other specific machines as well, just been working on other stuff first.

What unit did you go for in the end ?

.Me

Want2build1
07-05-2014, 06:03 PM
the same one I linked to, but I went through ebay.

I am prepared that I might have to tweak it etc... but as long as it's all there and all the electronics and tube works I'll be happy.

I think for double the money, you would get the same machine, but a better build quality.

deannos
07-05-2014, 06:35 PM
the same one I linked to, but I went through ebay.

I am prepared that I might have to tweak it etc... but as long as it's all there and all the electronics and tube works I'll be happy.

I think for double the money, you would get the same machine, but a better build quality.


OPLaser support forum • Index page (http://www.oplaser.co.uk/opsupport/)

Chinese Laser Cutter Modifications - Arduino Forum (http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=75708.0)

Lee Roberts
07-05-2014, 06:53 PM
the same one I linked to, but I went through ebay.

I am prepared that I might have to tweak it etc... but as long as it's all there and all the electronics and tube works I'll be happy.

I think for double the money, you would get the same machine, but a better build quality.

Ahh right, well I dont know about double the money you would more than likely get a more powerful tube and so on, you seem happy enough to give it a try, I know John S purchased one rather than build one.

Not sure regards build quality or what you are really referring to, i.e component quality over actual construction quality, from what ive seen there doesn't seem to be much to these machines, I dont think there is really much going on in terms of forces applied when cutting so mechanical requirements can be quite modest in comparison to lets say a moving gantry type machine people typically build.

When I had a little look at what diy options there was at the time I came across this website: http://www.buildlog.net/blog/2011/02/buildlog-net-2-x-laser/ it looks like a nice little unit, though you do need to source your own tube if I remember correctly, I think he says something about shipping on tubes being to hit and miss to feel comfortable selling them and so on. I know they pop up on the bay now and again and I'm sure our Asian friends will have a steady supply up for grabs.

I think there is also quite a choice when it comes to the mirrors these machines use, so again if you want to invest in decent ones you can do, probably comes down to spend again though.

O, something else on the tubes...I didn't realise but they degrade over time (hours used), I think they need to be re gassed after so long, something that put me off a little and to think about.

Regardless though, sometimes its a better choice just to pay the cost rather than go diy so I can understand your decision to purchase instead.

Good luck with it anyway, I look forward to seeing how you get on :).

.Me

Want2build1
07-05-2014, 08:08 PM
There's a thread on the zone where someone bought a cheap one and took it apart. The assembly was rough and ready and maybe slightly out of square.

My main reason to buy rather than build , is time.
I've been nursing my 'allthread' Z axis on the CNC for months, but it is in use all day every day. I have the new parts... ballscrew, rails etc. but not had the time to do it.
Same as I bought a WC spindle and VFD 6 months ago, and not even had a chance to power it up to make sure it works !

As for the tubes having a lifespan ... I spend more than the cost of a tube on router cutters ... so not an issue really

I'll put photo's and a mini review up when the laser arrives :)

Lee Roberts
08-05-2014, 10:43 AM
Best I get that sub forum added then :)

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 12:00 PM
Latest update:_

I've had the DHL tracking info come through.
Portsmouth it is !

IanParkin
08-05-2014, 12:21 PM
Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on it when it arrives
what do you imagine it will be capable of cutting? thicknesses, materials and speeds?

Ian

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 12:39 PM
Well I'll be really disappointed if it doesn't cut 3mm MDF , ply, and Acrylic, which is the main reason I've bought it.

If it will cut 6mm MDF at a reasonable feed speed, then I'll be really happy .. but I think that will be a long shot.

My CNC router is my main/only source of income, and the laser is hopefully going to increase my product range.
I know my competitors use similar power machines, successfully .

I also want it, to see if long term I might buy/build a higher power laser to replace the cnc router (to cut 18mm MDF), as at the moment I spend my days in ear defenders and respirator/dust mask !

Lee Roberts
08-05-2014, 12:45 PM
Latest update:_

I've had the DHL tracking info come through.
Portsmouth it is !

Cool sounds good so far then, you also have some new forums to play with: Laser Machines (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/laser-machines/), LaserGRAV (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/lasergrav/) and LaserCut (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/lasercut/).

.Me

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 12:56 PM
can you move this thread over, without everyone loosing touch with it ?

Lee Roberts
08-05-2014, 02:43 PM
Yea no problem, i've been working my way though what was Mills/Routers & Commercial machines moving threads into the right sections. ...so boring...

This one is in the laser section now :), i've also invited Rob the guy who posted the thread on the zone over, said he would be along soon enough.

I just found this on ebay as well, small area to work with but cheap enough as a little starter for anyone wanting to see what is what with laser power: PRECISE CO2 LASER ENGRAVING CUTTING MACHINE ENGRAVER NEW USB PORT | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRECISE-CO2-LASER-ENGRAVING-CUTTING-MACHINE-ENGRAVER-NEW-USB-PORT-/131058311535)

.Me

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 03:44 PM
I think the main problem with those cheap ones is the controller board/ Moshi draw

Only what I've read, but they seem to limit, very badly, what the machine can do.

I hope mine doesn't have it ! lol .. if it does, it will be the 1st upgrade :)

Lee Roberts
08-05-2014, 03:56 PM
Well yea, I think once i get comfortable with/in my workshop i'll have a go at building a diy one. I havn't looked into it enough yet but i'm gussing that a Mach3/Linux controlled machine would be so much better, like i say though, i know not enough to really suggest that.

Gav has a nice build log coming along so he prob knows allot more about it.

.Me

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 04:19 PM
Apparently it wouldn't be a bad idea to have Mach/EMC control over accell rates, as some of the built in controlers don't seem to. This gives problems/vibrations at corners/curves etc .

The more I read, the mor I thin EMC (which I use for my CNC) is the way to go . You just need to have a plan to turn the laser on/off ... Z axis pin outs are one solution , as long as you don't want auto bed height adjust/beam focus

I'm intrigued at the thought I don't need a dedicated PC to run the laser though... just a mem stick with the image files on ...this could reduce the over all cost by a couple of hundred (no pc needed) and the amount of desk top space each machine needs.

Obviously I am thinking for business use.. as for DIY/hobby it might not be an issue.

I'm planning on getting several machines running in the 'shop

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 04:24 PM
thinking about it more ... you would need to be able to control speed and laser power too.
Speed is easy ... laser power ???

Which Is why I thought I'd just buy one 1st, and figure the rest out whilst using it :D

Robin Hewitt
08-05-2014, 07:06 PM
Speed is easy ... laser power ???

The laser is either on or off, to set the power you adjust the percentage of the time it is on while measuring the current going through it on a meter. The volts go through the tube then through the meter to ground, that way you have very few volts at the meter.

Overpower it or lose the coolant flow and the mirrors at either end of the tube degrade PDQ.

The coolant pump supplied is naff and the tube seems to have a capacity to heat Olympic size pools with ease. This persuades you towards the CW-3000 cooler on ebay for 230 from China. Then you discover the CW-5000 for 525 and the CW-5200 for just shy of 600. The CW-3000 can sink 50W which is just enough, the CW-5200 can sink 1.5kW

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 08:17 PM
Huh ???? Robin you are teasing me !

The only thing I know is, you can set the laser power by % or the feed by %
These seem to set by the controller with the 256 colour output from the design package ?

I don't know about cooling till I get one and try it !

Do you have a laser cutter ?

Robin Hewitt
08-05-2014, 08:47 PM
Do you have a laser cutter ?

I bought the cheap Chinese 50W, blew it up then replaced the tube and the PSU. It is now apart again so I can replace the Moshi board which went tits up, probably it's most useful feature, the stepper drivers and stepper PSU. Pretty much everything inside and outside the box can be improved upon.
You can do laser cutting without understanding anything beyond the fact that the beam will blind you faster than you can blink. Extreme caution is needed especially with anything reflective.
Removing the Moshi software is on a par with removing Norton Antivirus. It comes with dongle protection, but you have to wonder why.

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 09:09 PM
Removing the Moshi software is on a par with removing Norton Antivirus. It comes with dongle protection, but you have to wonder why.

hahahaha !!! I like that ... and TOTALY understand NAV ! haha .. had to go into hex mode to remove NAV in the old dayz ! ... many boot loader command discs still on file :)
Moshi seems to be controller based... so just upgrade(change) the moshi board to DSP(?) etc .. or cnc stepper and Mack/EMC

I am new to this ... so just what I've read so far :)

gavztheouch
08-05-2014, 09:34 PM
The problem with mach 3 is producing the g code for the machine. It does work but it takes a lot of time compared to the dedicated laser controller. If you were setting up the machine to repeat the same job time and time again mach would be great. But lasers are great because they are fast and easy to use, mach takes the ease of use part away in some respects. I think you made a good decision buying this machine and I look forward to your review.

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 09:35 PM
BTW ... I'll admit outright, I know nothing other than what I've read ... no keyboard worrier here ! lol

When the machine turns up .. I'll report wit I find ... no more , no less :)

gavztheouch
08-05-2014, 09:37 PM
When it turns up, don't you mean IF it turns up... ;)

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 09:40 PM
haha :P !

Want2build1
08-05-2014, 09:45 PM
... new toy alert ...

departed Southampton ! ... might be here tomorrow :culpability:

and "IF" it turns up .... I'll be busy playing (fixing) for a while :)

GEOFFREY
09-05-2014, 09:39 AM
... new toy alert ...

departed Southampton ! ... might be here tomorrow :culpability:

and "IF" it turns up .... I'll be busy playing (fixing) for a while :)

Good luck with setting it up. I bought a brand new Blackcat 900x600 fixed bed laser about 2.5 years ago and it has been sat in the garage ever since!! Spent a couple of weekends trying to get the alignment sorted, but never really had it properly aligned.
I did manage to do a couple of trial cuts, but it seemed to burn on corners/direction changes and I decided that I much preferred my router, so I pushed (its a big beast) it back into the corner where it remains gathering dust. G.

Want2build1
09-05-2014, 09:42 AM
That's a shame :(

what's the spec ?
you thought about selling it ?

Want2build1
09-05-2014, 09:51 AM
ahhggg ... I cant work ... it's out for delivery and I'm excited like a little kid at christmas !!! lol
I haven't even cleared a space for it yet !

GEOFFREY
09-05-2014, 11:55 AM
I know just how excited you must be. I have just bought a set of boat moulds to to build myself a GRP 18' sport fisher, and I am now going to arrange the transport - can't wait to get started. G.

My laser has 60W tube plus a spare, 900x600 table, and air pump, chiller unit etc.
I expect that it will end up on ebay!!! G.

Want2build1
09-05-2014, 01:07 PM
It's here ! :D
label on the carton was 104Kg !!!

But wifey and I got it into the workshop with a bit of forward thinking.

1st impression is better than I thought it would be.

That's all for a bit .. I have some work to do that's going out today.....

Jonathan
09-05-2014, 01:53 PM
It's here ! :D
label on the carton was 104Kg !!!

But wifey and I got it into the workshop with a bit of forward thinking.

1st impression is better than I thought it would be.

That's all for a bit .. I have some work to do that's going out today.....

This post is useless without pictures :rolleyes:

Want2build1
09-05-2014, 02:12 PM
I've taken pictures ... will put them on later :)

Lee Roberts
09-05-2014, 05:09 PM
O c'mon you cant tease like that !!!!!!

Want2build1
09-05-2014, 07:37 PM
tell me about it !!!

Imagine what it was like for me ... unpacked and in the workshop, then I had to work round it to get todays jobs out !!!

It's bigger in the flesh than I imagined (Realing out the tape measure didn't work ! ) ... so it won't fit where I wanted it to go.

I need to plumb in air and water and exhaust, so I have to be at least a little sure of where it will live, before I can commission it .

Just cooking for the family .. I'll load some 'unpacking' pics in a bit :)

oh .. and its over 100 pages of instruction manual ! .. so I'll read up tonight before starting on it tomorrow...

Lee Roberts
13-05-2014, 02:58 PM
Hey guys,

Want2build1 now has a 50W CO2 Laser Machine Unboxing, Review,... (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/laser-machines/7526-50w-co2-laser-machine-unboxing-review-modifications-more-new-post.html) thread and his recent question here regarding air assist is located here: optimum air pressure laser air assist (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/laser-machines/7525-optimum-air-pressure-laser-air-assist.html#post58257).

.Me