Which Machine Has Most Value? Laser or CNC?

That’s a good question with an answer that’s obviously relative to the material you’re processing. To determine “value” is relative to what is most “valuable” with YOUR project. What you value or should place as a priority would be the operational expense of the machine, the total cost of purchasing it, the overall cut quality and cut precision and then finally the rate of production. These are key factors to add into any equation and based on those you can determine whether a CNC, laser cutter, or both will work best for you.

Laser Company Reviews

laser-reviewThere are alot of laser machine companies to review and so this post is simply a review of some of the more popular (or maybe notorious in some cases) laser retailers that find their way on top of the search engines. So, this is simply a matter of opinion based on my own experience but more so based on the general consensus of the laser customer base.

Epilog Laser – Very proud of their laser machines made in the USA. They are based out of Colorado and have mostly CO2 an fiber laser machines at the upper end of the market. By that I mean their laser cutter/engraver prices are bit pricey.  Nonetheless, you get a well refined laser machine in return in terms of size and speed.  Most of their engravers are equipped with servos..but in some cases depending on what you’re doing servo motors may be over kill.  See Epilog Laser pricing below:

http://www.peppm.org/Products/epiloglaser/price.pdf

Universal Laser – Similar to Epilog they utilize metal co2 tubes that are air cooled, but unlike Epilog they outfit their machines mainly with stepper motors and flying optics as well. Actually, the link below has a forum review.
http://www.signs101.com/forums/showthread.php?58487-Universal-vs-Epilog-laser

Full Spectrum Laser – Not real familiar with this company. They operate out of Las Vegas starting around 2010.   Their most discussed laser machine on forums seems to the 20×12″ hobby laser that they have “assembled in the US” – which probably means its not manufactured in the U.S.  What’s nice is that their imported CO2 glass powered tube keeps the price at around a mere $3,500. A quick review of FS Laser and you’ll find out quick that they’re proud of their own home software as well.  Also, FS has ventured into a popular technology and introduced an inexpensive 3D laser that has gained some traction.  As exciting as their product seems the reviews from forums leave you questioning what you might get in terms of quality or support, however.
http://www.bbb.org/southern-nevada/business-reviews/lasers/full-spectrum-laser-in-las-vegas-nv-90014429

https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2013/07/21/fullspectrumlaser-aka-why-you-should-think-twice-on-buying-from-them/

Trotec Laser – One of my friends had a 29 x 17″ Trotec 100W CO2 metal tube laser.  He paid over $20k.  He had some issues with shipping and setup but after the learning curve he was very impressed with its capability…but not so much with the software.  The driver didn’t allow him to migrate files to the latest Autocad edition so he had to revert to an older version.  Overall he loved its flexibility and […]

By |September 22nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

CNC Technology Today

cncToday CNC technology is truly amazing but still compared to co2 laser and fiber laser technology its acclimated rather slow.  What we see now is CNC being retrofitted more and more into various machine tools.  

Find laser engravers and cutters at boss laser, llc.  

Many machines which are created for the sole purpose of being a CNC they’re  still retro fitted such as milling machines and lathes. CNC machines are not only retro fitted but also custom built for using CNC operation. CNC equipment can be retrofitted or built specifically for CNC opereration such as 3D printers, pick and place machine, routers, cnc plasma cutters, laser cutters, laser engravers, and milling machines.


What Can A CNC Do?

There is virtually no limit to what a CNC can do. Computer Numerical control (CNC is the acronym) is the automation of machine tools that are operated by precisely programmed commands in which computers play an integral part of the control. CNC machines are responsible for almost all modern day machining operations in manufacturing industries. When CNC was first invented it was a technology that was adapted to fit existing machines.

Today CNC technology is still being retrofitted to various machine tools out there but there are also many machines which are created for the sole purpose of being CNC machines. Cnc machines are still retro fitted such as milling machines and lathes. CNC machines are not only retro fitted but also custom built for using CNC operation. CNC equipment can be retrofitted or built specifically for CNC opereration such as 3D printers, pick and place machine, routers, cnc plasma cutters, laser cutters, laser engravers, and milling machines.

There is virtually no limit to what a CNC can do. Computer Numerical control (CNC is the acronym) is the automation of machine tools that are operated by precisely programmed commands in which computers play an integral part of the control. CNC machines are responsible for almost all modern day machining operations in manufacturing industries. When CNC was first invented it was a technology that was adapted to fit existing machines.  See links below for further reference.

http://www.sme.org/MEMagazine/Article.aspx?id=73269&taxid=1411

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNC_router

Laser Machinery or CNC?

laser_cutter_engraverThe continuing growth of CNC (computer numerical control) systems and equipment all started out well before  personal computers came into popularity….and were appropriately named NC equipment. Any numerical control system will certainly make use of a supply of electronic codes in order to automatically carry out a selection of machining operations to increase production.
CNCs new machinery improve output at times performing regularly twenty-four hours daily –  all year round.  Also, CNC’s on occasion may require being turned down for occasional servicing.  In the early days, there was a pinned up need for advanced metallic operating equipment that would create challenging components within modern systems.
Anyone experienced with a CNC or laser machine for that matter will probably say that the true money maker over the long haul will be a CNC router…with emphasis over the long haul!  CNC machines do run similarly to a laser machine but yet – at the same time they are totally different. Compared to a laser CNCs have more than double the steps from design to creation. They also mandate expensive software and a long learning curve. Learning how to run a CO2 laser machine is much easier. In fact producing money paying work would take a new CNC operator several months longer compared to a laser operator. And I dont think most people have the mental capacity to program a CNC. However, about anyone can operate a laser. And it is so much easier for novices to get going with especially if they dont have a machining background.
“Compared to a laser machine a CNC will inevitably require more than double the steps from design to creation. “

But, if you get the chance to speak to an experienced CnC or laser machinist – its hard to deny that a CNC is the one […]