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Laser welder purchasing advice


#1

Greetings Ganoksinners,

I am looking to purchase a laser welder. I have seen them from 6K to
32K.

I have used and considered the Rofin Performance. Great Machine.

I have also seen the Neutec Pulse point studio welder for much less
as well as the Hans 50W precision welder.

What are the differences between these and what jobs can I do with
each of them? I would realistically like to do everything;

seam welds, platinum welds, eye glasses, medical equipment, etc.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Regards,
Kennon Young, GG, CBJT, AM
Member, National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
USPAP Current


#2

I have a Rofin, and absolutely love it! I couldn’t really afford it
at the time of purchase - $26k is a lot of money for someone just
starting out - but it has continuously provided me with enough income
to keep paying for itself. What can I say? I’m a whore for cool
tools.

As far as its capacity is concerned; I have fused platinum with rose
gold, patched holes in a cheap (and extremely thin) hollow Italian
bracelet, and even fixed one of the titanium caster forks on my
wheelchair. Euro-hinges for cabinetry, 0.75mm curb chains, broken
car keys, computer components…nothing is out of reach. I dont know
if you can find anything as capable as the Rofin for less money. I
haven’t checked recently. Mine is a year old, and I would sleep with
it if I could pull the thing up into bed with me.


#3

I test drove a Rofin for half a day. Not really enough to get to
know the machine. I used an older Crafford full sized for a while. It
seemed OK. I currently have a Neutec studio laser. Its OK too but
there are a few things about it.

Its small, which is good if space is a problem but the chamber is
small too. Sometimes just a big bangle requires creative positioning.
After awhile of welding with high settings the machine will overheat.
Supposedly its not dangerous but work comes to a standstill til it
cools off. Its cheap by comparison to full sized models. Cheap enough
that I put up with the downers. If I had another 20 grand lying
around unemployed I would have opted for the full size Rofin. Better
is always better. But they call it ‘Studio’ for a reason. Its good
dependable(so far) lasering at a lower cost. If you have in mind
high production of all sorts of materials, the Rofin may be better
for you. You have to bear in mind "will I make money with it?’ Being
able to do everything is only profitable if you can book a lot of
everything. Excess capacity is a drain.

I think the Rofin has an advantage with its sweet spot technology.
Its hard for me to compare because like I said I didn’t spend a lot
of time on it. But there have been cases where with the Neutec I just
couldn’t get the weld I wanted. I suspect the sweetspot thingie would
be helpful. Although I haven’t hooked up argon to my machine yet so
it might be as simple as that. The Crafford had a hard pedal, the
Neutec is light. Spend a few hours on the laser and that becomes an
issue.

Like the junkyard guy in Mad Max asks, “Speed costs money, how fast
do you wanna go?”

I would add one last thing. With a studio laser, its easier to buy
outright. 15 vs 35 grand. If you lease a big machine you will have
monthly payments which in times like we may expect to come soon, a
lot of recurring debt can add up to making things difficult. I
bought mine and really glad of it


#4

I am a “Go big or go home” kind of guy. I bought the biggest Rofin
you could get about four years ago. In my shop, there is someone
working on it all day, everyday, and it has performed impecably. It
does things too numerous to mention, and I don’t think I could
function without it. I am in Canada, and I bought this unit when the
dollar was way backwards, but this machine has paid for itself many
times over. I know sometimes people are hesitant to dive into that
type of financial commitment, but I believe that the increase in
your capabilities will create new revenue streams that help offset
the costs. I worked the eyeglass repair thing, and now I do more each
month in just eyeglass repairs, than what my payment on the machine
would have been. That doesn’t even include the constant flow of
jewellery work that goes through the machine on a daily basis. I
know it was a scary thing when I decided to get it, but it was the
smartest thing I ever did.

I had looked at the other laser welders, and I am glad I went with
the Rofin. I think they are a very well made machine with good
technology, and with proper maintenance, they will give you very good
service.

Dave


#5

Lasers pay for themselves this way:

  1. 75% of all work will go LOTS faster.

  2. 25% will be slower (sizings) but you can charge more.

  3. The machine doesn’t cost $30,000.

  4. The machine costs give or take $500 a month.

  5. Would you not pay rent or insurance to save a few bucks? That’s
    $125 a week. If I were to send you a college kid at 4125 a week and
    he could repair any estate piece flawlessly and do work that you’d
    have to remove all of the emeralds, but he could do it w/o taking out
    stones, would you?

  6. As Sarah Palin would say “You betcha!”

David Geller
JewelerProfit


#6

Go Rofin!

The machine in awesome, the company and service is the best and The
durability is that of a mack truck.