[hackerspaces] Laser cutter: Buy or build? Both?

Charlie X Wallace charlie at finitemonkeys.com
Fri Apr 13 20:00:32 CEST 2012

try Melody at wklaser, we’ve bought two or three of them within the group.
li at wklaser.com

red dot $90
CW500 $360
Air compressor ( worthless ) $-40)
LC900 reci V2 90w $3150

total USD3650


tell her you got the price from me, I just bought one a few days ago so this 
is the latest price I got


From: Sector67 Team
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 7:10 AM
To: Hackerspaces General Discussion List
Subject: Re: [hackerspaces] Laser cutter: Buy or build? Both?

I've been e-mailing a few Chinese companies about pricing, a productive 
thread is copied below:


Dear Chris
The laser tube is warranted for nine months, and it can used around 

For the 80w laser tube cost of replacement  is USD403 (EXW price) (for this 
laser tube the biggest power can arrive 95w)
For 100w is USD629(EXW price)(the biggest power can arrive 110W)
So that is why this laser tube is a little expensive than other brand

Best regards
Sincerely yours

From: team at sector67.org
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 22:24:08 -0500

Subject: Re: Inquiry about ZY-1613 laser cutting machine 
To: vivinar at live.cn

What is the cost of replacement tubes?  How many hours do the tubes provided 
in the machine last?

Thank you for the quotes,


2012/4/12 tanvivinar <vivinar at live.cn>

Dear Chris
Thanks for your letter again.
For the follows size i will do the 80w laser tube for example

ZY-9060 80w FOB guangzhou USD 3550  one pcs of extra honeytable is USD80

ZY-1310 80w FOB guangzhou  USD3870 one pcs of extra honeytable is USD104

All our machine is including water cooling system, air pump, exhaust fan .

We three phase stepper motor which is more precision than two phase stepper 
motor.Now many other company is still use two phase stepper motor.The 
mirrors we used from Singapore, High speed linear guide from Korea

May i know what kinds of materials that you cut, in this way i can give you 
more suggestions.

Looking forward to your reply
Best regards
Sincerely yours

From: team at sector67.org
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 07:53:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Inquiry about ZY-1613 laser cutting machine 
To: vivinar at live.cn


I'm interested in:


Thank you,


2012/4/12 tanvivinar <vivinar at live.cn>

Dear Sir
Thanks for your letter about our laser cutting machine.
May i know which size do you need?
Then i can give you the certain price.
Best regards
Sincerely yours

Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 13:57:03 +0800
From: team at sector67.org
To: vivinar at live.cn
Subject: Inquiry about ZY-1613 laser cutting machine 

Dear vivinar,
You have a new inquiry from http://www.vivinar.diytrade.com

Please Note:
Recently, a phishing scam was found in the name of buyer sending inquiry 
message to members via DIYTrade platform. When members replied to the 
message, an email with a hyperlink attempt to direct members to a fraudulent 
website with the intention to capture their email login and password.
To protect your interests, please pay attention to this kind of email. Thank 
you for your attention.
Subject: Inquiry about ZY-1613 laser cutting machine  Company Name: Sector67 
Country/Region: United States of America  Inquiry Date: 2012-04-12 13:56 
Inquiry Content: Please login DIYTrade.com to read the Inquiry details.
If the link on above does not work,
please copy and paste this web address into your browser :

Don't miss this valuable opportunity and please response to it promptly!



For this price (~$4k), I'd have a hard time building a machine with the same 
capability, *safety*, and footprint.  That said, I've had a large medical 
punch sampler (all belt drive, dual steppers/axis, very overpowered/fast) 
just waiting to have a laser integrated onto it, and have offered to buy the 
laser, supply and mirrors for anyone that will show coordinated movement on 
it but nobody has taken me up on it at our hackerspace :-)  The thing about 
building it is making sure it becomes someone's responsibility to keep it 
working so anybody can walk up and use it; without knowing to poke this part 
and sometimes that other part falls off and has to be glued on to get proper 
ventilation so it doesn't burn up, etc.

At risk of being shunned by this list ;-) , I have to bring up the thing 
that scares me the most - someone being blinded by something they couldn't 
see because the optics came loose and it wasn't in a fully enclosed in a 
designed housing.  I've done graduate school and worked around in/visible 
lasers for 4 years, we took careful precautions to make sure someone 
couldn't walk into a laser experiment without proper equipment on with 
lasers that couldn't melt through 1/16" plastic and would evoke a blink 
response.  The idea of something that will burn through my polycarbonate 
glasses and remove my vision that's completely invisible is a whole level 
scarier, especially to put this in the hands of someone who's semi-trained 
to know how to run it (which *is* the whole point of a hackerspace), much 
less know how to safely approach servicing it.

I've been using a 40W Epilog that eats PDF's as 'prints' and have to say I 
don't see the need for a traditional CNC operator interface (offsets, etc). 
The idea of pulling up Inkscape, vectorizing something I want, hitting 
print, and watching it go has been effective in everything I've needed to 
do.  I can see more experimental operations that having direct control of 
the machine/axes would be handy, like keeping the laser in a single spot 
while cutting in half a wine bottle or something.  But it seems to me that 
disconnecting the X or Y stepper could emulate the same effect (command the 
laser to cut a horizontal line at 100% power with the X stepper unplugged, 
it'll just sit in one place and doesn't have feedback to know any better). 
The only limit to this approach is that you couldn't blast something for 
more than the length of time to cross that axis of travel.  As far as 
integrating a rotary axis into it, do the same thing.  Unhook the Y axis 
stepper and hitch it to a stepper on a rotisserie, squish your image in that 
axis appropriately for the linear to rotary motion conversion, and it should 
work well enough.

Just my $0.02, if you have better leads on cheap but functional lasers I'd 
like to hear them (group buy?  Offer a Chinese manufacturer reviews and PR 
on our blogs in exchange for a discount?).  Thanks to the OP for a well 
written question!

Chris Meyer


2100 Winnebago St
Madison, WI  53704

On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 1:10 AM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:

On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 12:12 AM, charlie x <charlie at finitemonkeys.com> 
> I do want to go back to building our own with the 40W tube, and we will do 
> something with it
> eventually, well apart from fire it up with just the tube and power supply 
> and burning holes
> in things.

At the risk of risky thread hi-jacking, does anyone have suggestions
for the optics and lenses on a "nearly submicron" laser cutter? I am
putting together what will eventually be an open source project
running LinuxCNC, but I am somewhat shaky on how to make sure I get a
spot size on the order of 1 to 10 microns (ok, maybe up to 20). Any
takers ?

- Bryan
1 512 203 0507

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