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New bench top laser?


#1

I just heard a rumor from a reliable source that there is a new
$8000 bench top laser welder out or soon to be available. Does anyone
know anything about this? I am in the market for a laser and this
price is a lot better than $14,000 if it has comparable power and
features.

Thanks, Katharine


#2
I just heard a rumor from a reliable source that there is a new
$8000 bench top laser welder out or soon to be available. Does
anyone know anything about this? I am in the market for a laser and
this price is a lot better than $14,000 if it has comparable power
and features. 

While I don’t know about this newly cheaper laser, or if there even
is one, be quite attentive to the feature list. Power is not the only
thing to pay attention to. If you’re new to laser welding, a cheaper
laser may seem like an equivalently workable tool to you, for less
money, while it may in fact have significant limitations in order to
get the lower price. As an example, I had the chance to play,
briefly, with the small table top laser Rio Grande had at this
summer’s SNAG convention. Half the cost, roughly, of the full size
lasers on the market. To a beginner with lasers, it’s a cool tool,
and it will indeed to many useful things. But I also noticed a number
of significant limitations. The minimum weld size, for example, is
half again the size of the full size machines. That can limit how
detailed your laser welding can be, which might be an issue,
especially for some types of delicate repair work. And the weld spot
size was adjusted with a simple sliding lever control. Cheap, and
common to the older style BD (Siro) lasers, but not as conveniently
repeatable as a digital control. And significantly, at least to me,
was the lack of any pulse shaping. That can mean that some types of
metals, or combinations of metals, are harder to weld without weld
cracks (nickel white golds, and sometimes even 14K yellow gold can be
quite tricky to weld without cracks in the welds on some machines).
And so it goes.

If you go for a newly cheaper tool, try to find someone with decent
experience with both the new tool and full sizes machines, preferably
someone not trying to sell you one or the other, who can give you an
objective discussion of the limits the cheaper machine may have.
Cheaper is not always cheaper in the long run when it comes to
tools…

Hope that’s of use.
Peter Rowe