Redsail 100 Watt C02 Laser Cutter

I was looking at this Laser Cutter:
https://www.ebay.com/i/282044824520?chn=ps&dispItem=1
to do stencils and enclosures for my Propeller projects. Also to cut parts for ELEV-8, StingRay and ARLO add ons. Maybe a plastic Penguin or Toddler? :)

I have seen members that have bought the same format from China, but most did not name names. This seller indicates free shipping to buyer, but other sellers will ship to nearest port, making another trip. What are you experiences?

Have you found that you have to purchase other items, such as water coolers, ect.?

Epilogs are just out of my range at this time unless I can generate some revenue off of it in the short term.
Infernal Machine

Comments

  • 12 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • JasonDorieJasonDorie Posts: 1,918
    edited October 9 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have a similar machine, but not that exact one. Mine has a Ruida controller, which is one of the better ones from what I've been told. There are a few sellers that keep stock in a US warehouse in Oakland, California, which makes it simpler because you don't have to deal with importing. Mine was $2500, shipped to my door.

    ( This one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Port-100W-Laser-Engraving-Cutting-Machine-CO2-Engraver-Cutter-Woodworking/172525359621 )

    As a bonus, if you get one with a Ruida controller, you'll be able to use the software I'm writing for it: http://facebook.com/LightBurnLaser (shameless self plug)

    (Edit: I just checked the details, and that one you linked says "(Ruida System Optional)" - I would opt for that over the AutoLaser system.

    I did purchase a water cooler, and a quieter fan, but otherwise it's been a very good experience. There may be mechanical issues, like loose screws, due to vibration in shipping, and the wiring internally is made for 240v, which means lower amperage - Don't use the outlets on the back for anything or you'll pull too much power and melt stuff. There are good support communities on FB for the Red/Black laser I linked to.

    I added a red-dot laser, a water cooler (Active Aqua 1/4hp), and that was about it.
  • Thanks Jason. I'm in contact with the seller to see what the Ruida upgrade will be. Also there's probably going to be an upgrade on shipping with a liftgate to a residential address.

    Looks like this auction comes with the water cooler.
    Infernal Machine
  • Anybody on the East Coast recently purchase a like unit?
    Infernal Machine
  • If the water cooler is a CW3000 you'll need a new one. That is just a radiator and can't cool below ambient temperature. You want to be more like 60 to 65deg.
  • I've purchased two lasers from Shenhui in China. Nowadays I would look at Gweike or (can't recall the name at the moment - I'll update later).

    Definitely use a broker for shipping, the cost is minimal (sometimes even cheaper) and the headache savings is huge.

    The CW 3000 is crap. Get a CW 5200, or CW 5000. I also would recommend an 80 Watt Reci tube over the 100W. The Reci is a better tube and 80W is the sweet spot for good engraving and cutting. My original 80W Reci is still going strong after five years.

    The absolute best resource I have found is the Laser engraving forum at Sawmill Creek. Spend some time reading up on lasers there and you'll have all the information you can handle.
  • While I can't offer opinions on Chinese lasers, I will second the opinion of Sawmill Creek forums. Lots of knowledge there for laser cutters. Just avoid the few folks that are hardcore backers of only one brand of laser.

    While I absolutely love my Epilog Legend EXT 75w and would make Epilog first in line for any other laser purchases, I also have had the chance to use a Universal at the local Hackerlab and saw other advantages. Fortunately, my laser needs are work related, so reliability and features are well above the cost factor in decision making. I paid $42k for my Epilog about 9 years ago and have only replaced the tube once. Only had a factory tech on site one time for a full PM/calibration. It gets used heavily but works like new.
    Andrew Williams
    WBA Consulting
  • I shifted gears a little, and started looking at used Epilog units to see if I can get one in the states that I can demo.
    Infernal Machine
  • Epilog is good, Trotec is better. I almost bought a used Epilog Helix, fortunately it had sold before I got a chance to see it. If I had bought it I would have had a nice machine, but the workspace would have been 1/8 the size of my current machine at more than twice the price with half the power and quadruple the repair costs.

    If you are going into business with the machine AND will be doing mainly engraving then a mainstream machine (Epilog or Trotec) makes a lot of sense. Those machines use an RF excited laser tube which can turn on and off much faster than the Chinese DC glass tubes. That enables the machine to move faster while engraving, maintaining great quality. You can get the same quality from a Chinese machine but it will take longer.

    Having said that, you can get about ten Chinese machines for the price of one mainstream one. So for the money you can still get much higher production for the money using the Chinese machines, plus a lot of redundancy - if you have the space.

    If you will be doing mostly cutting and occasional engraving then a mainstream machine will not give you any significant advantage. A $3k 80W Chinese machine will cut just as fast as a $50k mainstream machine. The mainstream machine has a slight edge in production situations because of the higher rapids speeds between cuts but again, that advantage is easily overcome by getting two or more machines. The one advantage that mainstream has that the Chinese cannot yet match is accuracy. Mainstream machines use full length optical encoder strips. Chinese machines uses either open loop steppers or closed loop servos, or some sort of hybrid with the encoders on the steppers. This means that inaccuracies introduced by the belts cannot be easily overcome. We are only talking a few thousandths though, realistically there are very few applications where that level of accuracy is required - especially for a home user.

    For me I did need that kind of accuracy for a certain project. The solution was to cut all the pieces, which had to all have the exact same dimensions, in the same place on the table. When cutting them side by side there was a very small difference (fraction of a mm) between the pieces which simply would not work for this project. Repeatability however is excellent so making all the cuts starting from the same point resulted in identical pieces.

    Even with perfect accuracy you can still have problems with the material expanding due to the heat added during cutting.

    I'll be helping a friend set up a new very large machine (full 4' x 8' sheet capacity) in a couple weeks. It claims to use special belts and hybrid "servos" for greater accuracy. I'm interested to see how it compares. If it is as good as they claim then that would eliminate the mainstream lasers advantage of higher accuracy.
  • Rich - What controller are you running in your Chinese machines? I'm looking for other Ruida users with different controller models than mine to see if my software works on them.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,728
    edited October 11 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Mine has the RDLC320-A main board. I also have a couple of the older RDL9520 boards.
  • Hmm - Do you use RDWorks V8? If so, that one might just work out of the box. The physical interface and manual info looks nearly identical to mine. Mine has ethernet, but that looks to be about it.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,728
    edited October 12 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have not been able to get v8 to work with my machine. I think I'm using v6 now. Correction, it is v5.1.02
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