Laser engravers..........what's out there?
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pillager, MN
    Posts
    5,791
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1880
    Likes (Received)
    5319

    Default Laser engravers..........what's out there?

    I see "toy" engravers being sold everywhere for the home hobby guys and millennial "craftsmen"...........what's out there for industrial/commercial grade engravers? Or are some of the weekend warrior models up to the task? What to look for? Only looking to mark parts for customers in various materials.....part numbers, logos and such. Parts are all smaller than a shoe box...........heck, smaller than a soup can.........................TIA

  2. Likes Laurentian liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    195
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    80
    Likes (Received)
    118

    Default

    At IMTS, FOBA seemed to be a front runner in technology on the industrial front.

    Manufacturer of laser marker and laser marking machines - FOBA - Alltec GmbH

  4. Likes Laurentian liked this post
  5. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Burlington, North Carolina
    Posts
    409
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    466
    Likes (Received)
    157

    Default

    I used to work for a place in Orlando that does industrial laser marking. Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but give 'em a call. I can tell you this, it ain't gonna be cheap.

    Industrial Laser Systems for Precision Mfg | CMS Laser |

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    468
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    102
    Likes (Received)
    123

    Default

    I was looking at Epilog and Trotec but I'm not in a position to buy one yet.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,123
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4200
    Likes (Received)
    3794

    Default

    We have been needing one for a few years now and ARE pulling the trigger as soon as we close on the new property. ( which search of seems to be taking inordinately long )

    You want to avoid CO2. Toy stuff. Fiber seems the way to go. Marking can be done around 20W with Fiber, and Engraving around 40W/50W and up, depending on details of material and needs. And it costs more. We are finally getting there and I cannot wait. SO tired of dealing with sub standard idiots unable to follow directions who think spelling, font choice, dimensionality, and location are flexible and interpretive.

  8. Likes CBlair, bryan_machine, Laurentian liked this post
  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Posts
    1,735
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    56
    Likes (Received)
    213

    Default

    I would suggest Trotec and Universal Laser, Epilog, not so much. CO2 is fine for anodized parts and plastics, you will need Fiber for actually cutting into metal, whether it be a few thousandths for part parking or deeper for engraving and gun style marking/stipling which is all the rage on Glocks right now. Be ready to spend a lot of money for a fiber in the 30-50w range, and be cautious, most of the fiber machines are just Chinese imports with a local company behind them.

    I have had Universal Laser CO2 machines since the early 90's, they do what I need to do, and I'm not all that interested in using a Fiber, but if you want speed and your parts are small enough to go on a Galvo machine, then that might be the way to go.

  10. Likes anchorman, Laurentian liked this post
  11. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Arizona
    Posts
    206
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    94

    Default

    Make sure you know what material you want to mark. A lot of the quality CO2 lasers (Epilog, Universal Laser etc) are not going to be able to engrave directly on metal but reportedly do great on other materials. However there are products like Ceramark you spray on the metal that allow you to mark on it. Like Zahnrad said I hear Fiber is the way to go but $$$. I have heard some of the toy diod lasers can mark directly on metal but as the saying goes you get what you pay for. Not a laser guy and don't own one but looked into buying one a fair amount.

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,040
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1143
    Likes (Received)
    676

    Default

    We finally picked up a fiber laser this last summer. It's an Epilog Fibermark 24. Set us back about $30k. Took a little bit to dial it in for copper & brass but it works great and is worth every penny.

  13. Likes Laurentian liked this post
  14. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Sunny South West Florida, USA
    Posts
    2,934
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    10823
    Likes (Received)
    3317

    Default

    FOBA or Control Laser... As long as someone else is paying for it...

  15. Likes Laurentian liked this post
  16. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,648
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    741
    Likes (Received)
    739

    Default

    We have an Epilog engraver to do all our mold components, part numbers, logos, and the like. Works on all materials, steel, aluminum, moldmax, plastics. We only do numbers deep enough to make them readable, I don't think your doing to do any stippling with it.

  17. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    394
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    231
    Likes (Received)
    117

    Default

    It really depends on what you need to do. If all you are doing is marking anodized aluminum, CO2 is fine. For engraving directly on metals, you would need a fiber or something along those lines, which are more expensive. There are definite out of the box solutions, Trotec, Control Laser and others.

    I have dealt with these guys on multiple occasions where they retrofitted a new control to an old YAG laser and it worked great. They also custom build machines to customer specs depending on what you want to do, but could also set you up with something basic.

    Laser Marking Services & Engraving Machines | Hai Tech Lasers

    The one complaint I had about shopping lasers was that it's like some sort of secret society. Nobody wants to give you a straight answer on capabilities or price, they just want to give demos and have you sign a PO. I really liked that Hai Tech was straight up with me, gave me good info and was able to repair and retrofit a 20 year old machine they didn't build.

    If you want to gamble a bit more on reliability, there are some importers like Boss or Lit that sell basically QC'ed imports. Who knows what you're actually getting as far as the machine, but from what I've read you can at least get tech support from the US, which is basically what they are selling. The bottom of the barrel would be to order an import one directly from eBay or something, but then you're basically on your own and it's a crap shoot.

  18. Likes mountie, Laurentian liked this post
  19. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    895
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    608
    Likes (Received)
    337

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AARONT View Post
    We finally picked up a fiber laser this last summer. It's an Epilog Fibermark 24. Set us back about $30k. Took a little bit to dial it in for copper & brass but it works great and is worth every penny.
    We got the same one (yellow?) about one year ago to mark logos, part numbers, and serial numbers on our chrome-plated steel products. We have been happy with it. Very easy to operate....connects to your computer just like a printer. Soup can-sized parts should fit just fine. I can’t compare to anything else, though, so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing.

  20. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Ohio
    Posts
    190
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    815
    Likes (Received)
    43

    Default

    Bought one of these recently: Minilase XL

    We've been very happy with it. They're made in Cincinnati, OH.

  21. Likes SamC-NC liked this post
  22. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,040
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1143
    Likes (Received)
    676

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdlinger View Post
    We got the same one (yellow?) about one year ago to mark logos, part numbers, and serial numbers on our chrome-plated steel products. We have been happy with it. Very easy to operate....connects to your computer just like a printer. Soup can-sized parts should fit just fine. I can’t compare to anything else, though, so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing.
    Yes, it's yellow. The Coral Draw software is really easy to use. I actually am setting it up right now to run 1000 1"Ø parts from C464. I will do them in batches of 200, which should take about 20min to etch 10 numbers on each part. No ceramark, so it will leave more of a white etch.

  23. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    3,270
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1864
    Likes (Received)
    812

    Default

    I picked up a FM20 Fiber from Boss. IIRC it was in the $17-20K range.
    I opted for both 110x110mm and the 200 x 200mm lens, and of course the rotary 4th.

    The laser appears to be the same thing other guys are selling for less (IIRC a spammer had a laser topic within the last month or so, in the CNC subforum) or more, depending.

    The laser WILL etch aluminum to a depth a 1mm, but it will take an hour or more, to get that depth.

    For most part / logo/ PO#, etc: you can get a steel or aluminum part etched in a matter of seconds.
    It is super simple to program, and setup.
    Most jobs take less than 10 minutes to program and etch the 1st part.
    I have been happy with it.

    FM-20 Laser Marker by Boss Laser

    Doug.

  24. Likes david n liked this post
  25. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    I work with a bunch of different laser engraver/etchers for medical marking. Some of them are old enough we have to have parts custom built when they break...Which isn't cheap. On that note, due to older lasers needing to be replaced, we recently bought a Tykma/Electrox Zetalase XL (fiber, 50W) and so far it is the best laser I've worked with. They have a lot of lasers available, and the service technicians are super helpful and get back to you quickly. Check out permanentmarking.com for more info.

  26. Likes edward.santos liked this post
  27. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    south west michigan
    Posts
    375
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    16

    Default

    I think you need to define "various materials".
    Co2 and fiber have different wavelengths. Makes a difference on clear plastics.
    If all you are doing is metals. Bare or anodized I can send you pics of what a fiber can do on both of those.

  28. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    21
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    15

    Default

    I bought one of the 20w Chinese fiber lasers from ebay about a month ago. I bought it from a California seller so I didn't have to deal with any of the FDA import requirements.

    No surprises in setup or use and so far it works and I haven't had any issues - probably have less than 2 hours of actual marking time on it so far.

    I paid $3325...time will tell if that turns out to be a good deal.

  29. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Country
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Posts
    989
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    195
    Likes (Received)
    241

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jm7905 View Post
    I bought one of the 20w Chinese fiber lasers from ebay about a month ago. I bought it from a California seller so I didn't have to deal with any of the FDA import requirements.

    No surprises in setup or use and so far it works and I haven't had any issues - probably have less than 2 hours of actual marking time on it so far.

    I paid $3325...time will tell if that turns out to be a good deal.
    What materials have you marked?

    Would is mark stainless steel?

  30. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    117
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    44

    Default

    A CO-2 laser likes organic materials to mark. It reflects too much to mark metals. An outfit called Full Spectrum Laser ( Full Spectrum Laser | Lasers for Cutting and Engraving) has an interesting method for the Chinese lasers it sells; they do the importing and check that they work. They also remove the controller card that came in the cheap ones and replace it with their own. They also supply their own USA editing software (the stuff that comes with Chinese machines is quite terrible).


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •