Lol, I see what you did there Luke. Double Negative. This is a meeting where everything is already predetermined. That is what your saying right? Keep on sticking it to the man! Bro Fist!
But seriously, @merissa thanks for sharing more information on what we are considering. Also, thanks Luke for sharing the price range and power specs.
I feel that the Thunder Laser has proven a good platform for us.
On a Pros side of things:
- We have many members that know how to use the machine and software.
- We already have curriculum to teaching the software and running of the machine
- It has been a pretty intuitive platform. This has been very apparent as the support documentation is pretty lacking and I've seen many issues just worked out by messing with setting and diving through menus.
- The software imports many file formats
- Consistent user interface for multiple machines
- Good at Vector and Raster Cutting / Engraving
- Moderately fast head movement speed
- 130 watt laser good for cutting the materials we have been supporting in the Laser Committee.
- Low cost compared to quality
Now for Cons:
- Not great support documentation.
- Lower quality laser diode. The Thunder laser we have uses a tube lasers rather than the higher quality lasers used in epilogs. This is a cost saving move and I believe the tube lasers have a shorter lifespan. But, in the long run this may be a wash.
- Not a raster cut power house like the Epillog. Not sure we have large demand for raster etching areas larger than you can fit in the epilog, especially when you consider how long it would take.
- Not able to cut metal. Speaking to others on fibre lasers capable of cutting moderately thin metal, getting to the power levels needed to cut metal would most likely require major electrical work for the facility as these lasers are not as efficent as the CO2 lasers.
Personally, I support the idea of getting 2 smaller Nova 35 Lasers from Thunder Laser, especially with 130 watt Laser Diodes. I think they would quickly get more use than the Lasersaur as I have found a line for the Thunder Laser while no one is using either the Epillog or the Lasersaur. I also like the Thunder Laser Software over the Epillog or Lasersaur's offerings. It fits my work flow of designing in a CAD or Vector Art software. You just import the files, plus the step and repeat grid functions has proven useful.
I hope the rest of the committee supports this.