I know there are a lot of teams out there that laser cut wood pieces while prototyping. My question is what laser cutter does your team use if this applies to you? We are looking to get some funding for a device in the near future. Thanks in advance for any input!
Our team currently has an old Rayjet 300, although we plan on getting a new Trotec Speedy 360. The 300 is great at both cutting and engraving, and from my experience fairly easy to use.
If we were to replace our laser today, we’d purchase a Nova 51 with the 130W tube from Thunder Laser USA.
I’ve been saving up for this one: 50W CO2 Laser Engraver with 12" X 20” Working Area - OMTechLaser – OMTech Laser
It’s not the strongest, but for the price you can do some decent work with it.
You want something around 100W ideally.
I run a Gweike 6090 Laser (100w) from China at home for my small business and have been cutting the teams prototypes on it this year.
Agreed with the above comments, around 100w for FRC would be a good idea. I myself wouldn’t go less than 80w (as in 80w is definitely manageable, but less will be slow and have more trouble with thicker woods and more “exotic” materials). And you can’t really go wrong with more power in an FRC application (it can be harder to do fine engraving/etching with a more powerful tube, but you’re mostly going to be cutting things for FRC).
I’m hoping we can pursue a laser for the team this offseason. I’ll be recommending we look into Boss (made in the same factory as the Gweike I own), Thunder Laser and Trotec. All quality machines that I’ve heard good things about. If you’re with a school, you should check and see if the school/board has any preapproved vendors/suppliers. If they do, choosing a brand on that list will likely make your lives much easier.
One of the teams I work with recently got an 80w Trotec 360. There were much cheaper options out there that would have worked great for them, but the school board only has Trotec as an approved supplier, and getting a different brand approved for use would have been a long and drawn out process.
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