Purchasing A Laser
- binary unos go out to Phil Torrone and Limor Fried at Makezine for
the vendor contact and laser cutter info http://www.ladyada.net/resources/laser/equipment.html
PRICING & SPECS
(prices from May 2008)
Mini 24 x 12 - 35 watt $17,000 <-- NYCR bought this one
Mini 24 x 12 - 40 watt $18,500
Mini 24 x 12 - 45 watt $20,000
Helix 24 x 18 - 35 watt $21,000
Helix 24 x 18 - 40 watt $22,500
Helix 24 x 18 - 45 watt $24,000
Helix 24 x 18 - 60 watt $27,000
Helix 24 x 18 - 75 watt $31,000
If we want to go even cheaper, Epilog has some lower end models as well starting as low as $10K
Rotary Attachment $1150
Air Pump $300
The Air pump is needed for the air assist. It blows the air at the point of engraving to cool material and prevent flair ups and charring. It's good for cutting and deep engraving and a must for rubber stamps.
Pin Table $300
The pin table is used for better cutting. Its used for making flawless edge cut quality particularly when cutting acrylic or plastics. It's not a necessary item.
Filter System $2500-$3500
There are 2 different models, the SPH-400 and the CSA-600. NYCR purchased the SPH-400, but if we had it to do over again we would have sprung the extra $1K for the better filter. Burning acrylic stinks.
Rolling Floor Cart - $100
It's shipped ground from Golden, CO and takes about 4 to 5 days to reach the East coast
VENTILATION AND FILTERS/CONSUMABLES
CSA-600 system - $3500.00
SPH-400 system - $2500.00 <-- NYCR bought this one, but we should've gotten the CSA-600
The CSA-600 comes with a 4 stage filter system. Replacement pricing is as follows:
Pre-filter Bags (sold as 5-pack) part #AG128 - $113.00 ($22.60each)
Secondary filters (sold as a 2-pack) part # F073 - $91.00 ($45.50 each)
HEPA filter part # F074 - $117.00
Replacement odor filter media part # AG110 - $124.00
Set of 4 interrupter brushes and pads part# AB024 - $75.00 ($18.75 each)
Filters should be replaced when there is a lack suction in the laser unit.
For filter life each application is completely different. It depends on the materials you are working with, how deep you are cutting, the laser wattage and how often the laser is being used. Typical non production applications have the pre-filter being changed approximately every 2-4 months, HEPA filter 8-12 months, chemical filter 8-12 months. This is just a guide as some end users last much longer and some also consume the filters much quicker. Short filter life is usually attributed to applications where you are vaporizing glues and/or resins which condense and blind the filters quickly.
The units come with interrupter brushes that will cut the blowers out when the brushes are consumed. Periodically a visual inspection of the brushes is a good idea. You should change them on a routine maintenance
BTW, don't burn silicone. We destroyed an expensive filter this way
Both units are fairly very quiet and you will not require an additional acoustic box. The compressor is rather noisy however.
$873.60 per year if we use the hell out of it (8 hours a day 7 days a week every single day of the year)
The Epilog MINI 24 pulls approx 8 amps max
The CSA-600 filter system pulls approx 12.8 amps max
Total system pull is 20.8amps max, which converts to about 2500 Watts 2.5kW x 8 hrs/day x 7 days/wk x 52 wks/yr * $0.12kWh = $873.60
Q. So what's the bottom line?
A. < $20,000. According to Phil, after all discounts we should be able to get the 35W Mini 24 in the door for no more than that.
Q. How long will it take to arrive once we order?
A. < 1 month. Build time is about 3 weeks. It's shipped ground from Golden, CO and is in transit for about 4 to 5
Q. What about intros and training?
A. Purchase includes free on site training/installation.
MANUFACTURERS & DISTRIBUTORS
Epilog Lasers of New England
10 Applegate Lane
Woodbury, CT 06798
Web site: http://www.epiloglaserofne.com
Best Equipment Sales Co.
Contact: Vic Cicchino
238 Hamlet Drive
Jericho, NY 11753
195 Industrial Rd
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Phone: (978) 342-9800
Fax: (978) 342-0606
Unique Lasers Concepts
THOUGHTS FROM OTHERS (from "CNC Lasers" thread on the NYCR Microcontrollers Google Group)
On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 5:45 PM, Carlos Chiossone <car...@sprout.net> wrote:
Hi everyone, I own a Universal M-300 with 45 watts. I love the machine and support. While in warranty if something went wrong they would overnight at their expense any part. I burnt the lens twice because I forgot to turn the air assist on. They paid for it!!! I was surprised. After warranty was off, I paid for it J
Now I do have a question, you seem to tinker with bots and similar. If you are planning to make parts, would it be better to get a Roland milling machine like MDX-20? I use that one to cast 3D on wax so I can later make plastic molds or models.
I already own a vertical mill. I realize you can make pretty much anything using that and a lathe, but it's usually a pain to do all the setup. My purpose with a laser is to convert a lot of shit i dream up into actual real geometry without the time and effort that machine tools require. Also, certain materials like acrylic don't mill very well.
Back to lasers. I have seen both first hand, Universal and Epilog. Both do great work. What you need to take into consideration is your use, do you need a 2.0 lens, a 4.0 lens and that is better that you talk to each company's testing group. Epilog has on their site a great amount of sample files, see if one is something like what you do.
If you burn something really hot, you may want to add air assist, a little air compressor blowing air to lower the flame if any appears. Also the air extractor is important. The higher power is not necessarily best, it has to be RIGHT. Too high power can make the items in the laser move by suction. To little power will not get enough out. I use this, http://www.pennstateind.com/store/DC3-1M.html?mybuyscid=3955185539 which takes the air from the laser and other machines in my shop. You can also use a 1.0 and be enough. This is noisy!!! Gets better when all ducts are hooked.
From what I've heard air assist is pretty much mandatory for cutting.
Depending on what you cut you may also want a cutting table, a $1000 additional investment for Universal models. I cut mostly wood so it was necessary. A pain in tha A** to clean (twice a year).
there is the cutting table and the pin table. seems pretty clear that you need some sort of scheme to avoid the residual energy melting the back of whatever you're trying to cut.
Hope this helped.