No laser anymore- Other lasers?

Hi recently I had no choice but to get rid of my laser,
and I use it to run my small business, do you think it’s best to go to a makerspace and try to use an epilog laser or just get my thing manufactured for the time being?

I’ve never used other lasers before for detailed work- (I’ll attach some of my work for examples)
Does anyone have experience with other lasers?

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Oh no, that’s a shame.

Nice art… As for competing lasers, it’ll be hard to beat the price to feature ratio on glowforge right now. You could go with a cheap chinese laser and get way ahead on price, but they’re fiddly. You could go with a serious workhorse like a universal/epilog/etc but you’ll be paying for it. You could go with a dremel/muse which is basically a direct competitor/clone of glowforge, but the reviews are mixed on them. (to be fair the reviews are mixed on glowforge too… cant please everyone)

Other people can weigh in with particulars, but right now maybe it’s confirmation bias, the price/performance of glowforge is still pretty attractive to me.

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The first laser I learned to use was an EPILOG in a maker space and I still think their great. There are definitely good things about them that I like that the GF just simply did not or could not impliment.

Such as?

Wow, your drawings are awesome. :grin:

The Dremel is expensive here in Canada. Nice art!

I’m not sure a makerspace is intended for members to make items for-profit, and it’s likely laser time is in demand, especially with people making masks and shields for healthcare facilities.

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It’s obviously not an ideal time to be in a makerspace, but it would normally be my suggestion to look into that. Someone there would help you use the other laser. They aren’t THAT different once you get the basic concepts down.

For now, sourcing out is probably wisest. Check Ponoko and the like, or maybe see if there’s a GF (or other laser) owner near you.

i mean, the list isn’t that short (and applies to a lot of other industrial lasers, too). really quick thoughts:

larger z axis
ability to add rotary (or other accessories, like different lenses)
true 0.0 placement
internet connection not required
Universal has a HUGE materials list with starting points for cut/engrave/score settings (not just proprietary materials)

there are other interface things, but hopefully GF will continue to up that game.

i live without all of these and i’m more than happy with my choice, but it’s not hard to come up with things that epilog/universal/etc can do that GF can’t. the question is whether they’re important to you or not.

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Many makerspaces are geared toward incubating small businesses. I have about 4 within driving distance and they all encourage entrepreneurs and offer space for people to rent, etc. That may not be true of a library or the like, but dedicated makerspaces in this area are proud of their small biz efforts.

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