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  1. #1
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    Laser cutter for GOBO

    Hello all, first of all I'd like to say thanks for having me in this community, I am a novice and am trying to learn about laser cutters.

    I am looking for a laser cutter capable of cutting gobo's, the metal disks used in light projectors to project monograms and logos on walls at weddings and corporate events and the like. They are typically made of stainless steel, around 1mm thick but that can vary a bit, and the designs are typically under 2 inches in diameter. At that scale the details can be tiny.

    I was looking at metal cutting 150w CO2 lasers from China in the 6-8000 dollar range. Apparently these will cut the steel, but I am worried about the fine detail. I happen to know that a company specializing in gobo's in California uses a machine from LPFK designed for cutting SMT Stencils that costs 265 thousand dollars. Obviously this is light years out of my budget. Is it really true that these little plates of metal that usually cost between 30 and 60 dollars have to be cut on a machine of that quality? I've attached an image of a gobo with some especially delicate cuts to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

    I have been scouring the internet looking for info, and have found some, but I wish I could get a straight answer from an expert saying this machine will work, or this wont. I cannot spend 8 grand on a machine that wont work. Can anyone give me advice? And thanks again for your help
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rosco_250777350660_Steel_Gobo_7735_1404931125000_190442.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Re: Laser cutter for GOBO

    I wouldn't recommend CO2 for your application. You need a galvo fiber laser.

  3. #3
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    Re: Laser cutter for GOBO

    Quote Originally Posted by Storen View Post
    I wouldn't recommend CO2 for your application. You need a galvo fiber laser.
    Thanks for your reply, why is this? Do you have any specific recommendations, obviously cost is a concern.

  4. #4
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    Re: Laser cutter for GOBO

    Quote Originally Posted by meehanjo View Post
    Thanks for your reply, why is this? Do you have any specific recommendations, obviously cost is a concern.
    I would recommend importing a custom configuration, build per your own requirements from China. Personally, I would never buy a Chinese gantry machine but the galvo ones are ok. I have one and it works well.
    Does the material have to be 1mm S Steel? Can it be thinner and aluminum?

  5. #5
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    It actually can be thinner, most are in fact around .2mm, I just picked 1mm because they vary and I thought that would be a good to have a little extra cutting capability. And yes they can be aluminum, I was under the impression that s steel was easier for the laser to cut.

  6. #6
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    Re: Laser cutter for GOBO

    Quote Originally Posted by meehanjo View Post
    It actually can be thinner, most are in fact around .2mm, I just picked 1mm because they vary and I thought that would be a good to have a little extra cutting capability. And yes they can be aluminum, I was under the impression that s steel was easier for the laser to cut.
    You should be able to cut that with 30W in multiple passes and the edge quality would be excellent. Your budget is sufficient for a basic configuration.

  7. #7
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    Re: Laser cutter for GOBO

    Quote Originally Posted by Storen View Post
    You should be able to cut that with 30W in multiple passes and the edge quality would be excellent. Your budget is sufficient for a basic configuration.
    Ok that's great, do you have any brand recommendations?

  8. #8
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    Re: Laser cutter for GOBO

    Quote Originally Posted by meehanjo View Post
    Ok that's great, do you have any brand recommendations?
    As I mentioned earlier, I would advise against buying a branded machine. Instead, I would suggest ordering a custom, generic (no brand) configuration, built for your specific needs.
    To do that you first need to select of the many Chinese assembly factories with experience in this type of machines and work with them on the configuration.
    It is going to take awhile. In general, the process of buying production equipment is very different from buying consumer machines and tools.

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