Okay ... you probably think I am completely NUTS. Maybe I am. :?
I am enjoying this X-Tool laser I bought. I am staying up at night experimenting with things. I got the extended frame, the AUX IR laser head, the filter machine, the air assist, the honeycomb grates, the rotary attachment, the leg extensions .... I added drag chains to the frame to make the cable behave.
I am beginning to do projects with the X-Tool, and the very first thing that bothered me about it was the glaring lack of SPEED and POWER. Yes, I am etching black anodized license plates right now. I am etching glass tiles, and experimenting with foams, etc. It really is amazing what this little low-powered laser can do.
But I KNOW ME.
I know that in a very brief time, I will outgrow this laser, and want to move up to something more serious.
So I am currently looking at the EPILOG PRO Series lasers now. "Are you NUTS, Joe?! you JUST BOUGHT the X-Tool a few WEEKS ago!"
Yes, perhaps I am. I will keep the X-Tool and I am sure I will continue to find projects where it will come in handy, but ...
So now I am standing here at this intersection, out in the desert, with a cool breeze making things comfortable ... trying to decide which direction to move next. :roll: I have seen the Chinese lasers, the AP Lasers, the BOSS lasers, the TROTEC lasers, etc. etc. They have more powerful Chinese CO2 lasers, and larger work areas, and SOME of the bells and whistles of the EPILOG lasers, but I truly believe You Get What You Pay For.
I can afford to take on a five-year lease on a nice EPILOG with their most powerful laser, and whatever "must-have" features that set it apart from the cheaper Chinese competition. But the price difference is DIFFERENT ENOUGH to pause to seriously consider whether or not to take that Leap of Faith. The very last thing I want to do, is to buy a Chinese laser for some $30K - $40K, only to find myself standing at this same intersection in six months, wondering if I can STILL afford the EPILOG that I should have purchased in the first place. This is the main reason I jumped head first into the 3D printer I purchased. I am fairly certain that it will be a very long time, before I get the urge to move up from THAT machine.
KERN LASER MACHINES claims to be able to cut 14 gauge steel with their CO2 lasers. They say I do not need a fiber laser for "such thin metal.
" They tell me that their CO2 lasers in the 250W to 650W range are somehow different than the Chinese lasers, both in performance and life expectancy. Of course, I know that I am listening to a SALESMAN! :lol: He is not going to tell me anything I do not want to hear.
EPILOG is honest, in telling me that their CO2 lasers WILL NOT
cut 14 gauge steel, but they do offer very high quality machines with very fast
speeds. Their PRO series moves at 165 inches per second
I guess I am asking for opinions .... Forget about the price. I know that I should give that more weight, but you only live ONCE, and at age 64, I just don't know how many more years I have left in me. I can take on a monthly lease payment without worrying about where my next meal comes from, and I am ASSUMING that if I dive into a professional level laser, I SHOULD be able to produce products that I will sell, to help pay for the machine.
I am selling these license plates for a good price, but they take THREE HOURS EACH to make, and if I do a second pass, it is closer to SIX HOURS per plate. That is just too %^@#* SLOW!
I would appreciate your thoughts on all of this, both good and bad. I have thick skin. You won't offend me!