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In the market for used laser for 1/4" steel. Used machines?

DRobs86

Plastic
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
I'm in the market for a laser than can cut 1/4" steel cleanly and quickly. I have a waterjet that currently does steel profiling work for me, but it is slow relative to a laser and we are about beyond capacity on it.

I've been looking at lasers like an Amada LC-1212 for a couple of years now. 2000 watt machines can be had for $30k or so. Such a machine would be all we need for now and take a lot of pressure off our other machines. Is it worth it though? Some used machines turn out to be more of a liability than anything. I am always careful with capital expenditures. I know once delivered and installed we are looking at more like $40k, but I want to make sure I wouldn't get into something where a tiny little do-dad crucial to the operation breaks and costs $3000 to replace. A used waterjet is kind of like that....

Thoughts?
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Are you ready to learn a lot about lasers real quick?

I've bought and sold and own a couple lasers. I can tell you used Co2 are a hard sell so lowball the shit out of them if you want one. Selling a couple pretty cheap I had potential buyers send out factory techs to inspect and those techs tore the machines apart and told the buyers what I had was basically scrap and needed more in repairs than I was selling them for. Fact was they were well maintained production machines with pallets of spares and have run for years since then without much trouble.

It's hard to get straight answers on used lasers. Laser techs seem like they're mostly useless overpaid pricks. Lots of varying opinions on brands.

If I were getting into laser to compete in cutting I would only look at fiber and $40k budget is laughable.
 

gbent

Diamond
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Location
Kansas
A friend who runs a couple of fiber lasers scrapped relatively new CO2 lasers to install the fiber laser. The operating cost of the fiber is so much lower it paid for itself in a year and a half. IIRC, the CO2 laser isn't something you put in the corner and fire up one day a week. It costs you money every day to keep it in operating condition.
 

DRobs86

Plastic
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
A friend who runs a couple of fiber lasers scrapped relatively new CO2 lasers to install the fiber laser. The operating cost of the fiber is so much lower it paid for itself in a year and a half. IIRC, the CO2 laser isn't something you put in the corner and fire up one day a week. It costs you money every day to keep it in operating condition.

I have a 100w and a 130w laser.... I'm not sure what you mean by "if you fire it up one day a week". We have to screw with optics on them and replace tubes from time to time, but I'm not sure what daily costs you are referring to. Granted, the ones I'm looking at are much larger than these other machines, but you'll have to educate me on the daily costs to them.

What do you see as the hourly run cost of one of these older CO2 lasers?
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I have a 100w and a 130w laser.... I'm not sure what you mean by "if you fire it up one day a week". We have to screw with optics on them and replace tubes from time to time, but I'm not sure what daily costs you are referring to. Granted, the ones I'm looking at are much larger than these other machines, but you'll have to educate me on the daily costs to them.

What do you see as the hourly run cost of one of these older CO2 lasers?


Your 100w and 130w lasers have a "pretend" resonator.

A real big boy CO2 resonator has a vacuum system, water chiller system, laser gas system and of coarse the power supply, optics and nozzle gas. Lots of seals and sensors to go bad on all the systems. Lots of crazy procedures to accomplish seemingly simple tasks.

I have records on my Mazak (Panasonic) laser back to 1998. Holy shit did that thing cost some bucks to keep running. Most components in that laser look like they were built for the NASA space program. Everything is stainless steel. Bellows instead of hoses. V-band flanges abound, beautifully tig welded plumbing, etc.

Contrast that with a 100W China marking laser that is made from a formed up box of 29 gauge steel and plastic.
 

BT Fabrication

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
I'm in the market for a laser than can cut 1/4" steel cleanly and quickly. I have a waterjet that currently does steel profiling work for me, but it is slow relative to a laser and we are about beyond capacity on it.

I've been looking at lasers like an Amada LC-1212 for a couple of years now. 2000 watt machines can be had for $30k or so. Such a machine would be all we need for now and take a lot of pressure off our other machines. Is it worth it though? Some used machines turn out to be more of a liability than anything. I am always careful with capital expenditures. I know once delivered and installed we are looking at more like $40k, but I want to make sure I wouldn't get into something where a tiny little do-dad crucial to the operation breaks and costs $3000 to replace. A used waterjet is kind of like that....

Thoughts?

Why a laser? is it stainless or aluminum?
Plasma does wonders at 1/4"
 








 
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