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Desk top laser cutter

Hi all,

I’m looking to begin a new venture and was wondering if any of you
have worked with these smaller laser cutters. Used for wood, plastic
and paper. If so, what model and software do you find works. I’m no a
Mac so the software would need to work there.



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Hi Leza,

Your attachment got zapped, so I don’t know which cutter you were
talking about, but I’ve used Epilog 30’s 45’s and 60’s. (as well as
3Kw Co2 steel cutters, but that’s a whole different game.) The
epilogs are very simple to use, and very accurate. The only problem
is that the software is PC only, and runs as a print dialogue from
within Corel Draw, of all silly things. The good news is that Corel
will load PDFs cut from Illustrator, and the passthru is pretty
good, once you know how to set up the Illustrator files. (I’m Mac
based as well, so my path was Mac Illustrator to PDF, to Corel, to
the laser. Who’s on first?)

For whatever that all’s worth,

Has anyone come up with a desktop laser cutter that cuts
gold/silver/copper? That would be my dream tool! Is there any other
kind of small-studio machine that can cut non-ferrous metals from a
vector file? I’m talking about really small-scale, detailed cutting
for jewelry.

Janet in Jerusalem

Hi Janet,

Desktop unit capable of cutting non-ferris metals? Probably not any
time soon, I think.

The power consumption is pretty massive, and the fact that silver is
a nearly perfect mirror adds a whole new level of complication to it.
What I can tell you is that the laser head (and equipment) on the
laser that cuts the KC saws is about the size of a refrigerator, and
that one will only cut 3/16 aluminum. I don’t honestly know what the
wattage is on that laser, but well up into the hundreds, which means
at minimum a 220V feed, if not several.

(CO2 lasers are only about 1-2% efficient. So if you’re dumping 100
watts out in the beam, you’re pulling 10,000 watts in power.) I had a
chance to play with a 3,000 watt cutting laser at one point, and it
pulled power by way of three or four separate 600V, 90 Amp feedlines.
It helped that it was about half a block from the university power
station, and had been wired into their generator boards directly.

So, the short answer for this is don’t hold your breath until/unless
someone comes up with some way to radically improve the efficiency
of CO2 lasers.


Desktop unit capable of cutting non-ferris metals? Probably not
any time soon, I think. 

There was a thread about a company who is offering laser cutting of
precious metals here on Orchid several months ago. I doubt it is a
desk top machine but if true they seem to have overcome some of the
problems with highly reflective and thermally conductive metals.

Did anyone try them out?

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts