I have a couple of questions regarding the pass through feature:
First… is this a door/flap? My main question would be if I have poor ventilation control those times when I am cutting on something that does happen to fit all the way inside. I imagine that there is a flap/door, but don’t see it immediately addressed as such.
And while talking about door/flaps… what keeps someone from just cutting an opening for themselves on a basic model? Are there electronics through that space, or other concerns?
The next concern I had was precisely how the laser uses the pass through.
Insert material, get the current area cut, then machine prompts you to advance the feed, warns you if you advanced too far, continues cut on new stationary section, rinse and repeat until done.
Insert top of material, machine begins cutting printer style (vertical line segment at a time, instead of continuous arcs/segments and travel time), and you feed the material through constantly, obtaining an error notice if you try moving too fast.
I would imagine #1 is the way it works. Software considerations would make that considerably easier. However, that method relies on being able to hold the material in place in a stable manner (don’t try supporting by hand, especially if it is a huge and heavy object you can barely keep from wobbling).
And #2 has the advantage of being able to be hands off. I can build a conveyer belt rig to push the material in at a set pace, and just walk away for however long the print takes to finish. But again… it fails for the guys doing things manually, since they might jerk the material in such a way to move faster than the cameras can react and disable the laser.
I somewhat agree with the steep price, however when you consider that the whole system will have to know how to align cuts with previous cuts on the same board given a long cutting plan, it seems much more reasonable. Perhaps the software would tolerate your modifications if you are lucky, but perhaps not. I opted for the upgrade while the early-bird pricing exists over taking the risk of being constrained to the size allowed by the basic machine.
There are more differences from Basic to Pro than just the slot and higher wattage. Having a compiled list somewhere would be helpful. I believe that all the changes are: 5 Watt higher tube, Peltier Cooling, Passthrough Slots, Included Filter.
The filter alone is $500 of the $1,500 price difference. The higher wattage on the tube doesn’t look all that significant at a glance, but for someone who will have this thing running for the majority of the day, it will have a notable difference in output capacity (cuts will be marginally faster). But the Peltier Cooling is the major difference.
Basic is air cooling and nothing else. When the temperature is too high, it just doesn’t run. Not so bad if you are in an actively air conditioned workshop, devastating if you are in an Arizona non-ventilated garage, Granted, the Peltier cooling still cools the hot side of the Peltier with the same air cooling, but that hot side is significantly hotter, and thus can be cooled at higher ambient temperatures, and cools faster at the same ambient temperature as any basic would.
There has been chatter on other threads about possible modification to how airflow works in the Pro model to maintain a higher pressure inside the chamber when the flaps are closed (to keep them closed with a pushing force from inside). Not sure if there are any other changes Basic to Pro at this point.
So it is a nice little plastic bit. Hopefully with solid hinges. Ideally with rollers built in to rest the material on and hold it level with the honeycomb, and I would love to see tabs extending from the filter to provide extra support under the flaps when they are open. That or have them completely removable, instead of hinged. (@dan: Any plans for such? Or clarification on precisely how the passthrough functions at this point?)
Actually the filter isn’t $500 of the $1500… The Pro is $2000 more than the Basic, or $1500 more than the Basic + air filter.
The Pro upgrades over the Basic appear to be:
Better/more powerful laser
Better cooling/temperature regulation
Pass through slots
Upgraded software capabilities to allow for the-registering as you pass objects through the chassis.
That said, I remember Dan mentioning somewhere (the Tested video?) that even the basic would let you, say, roll up leather inside the machine and unroll it in stages to cut larger projects from a single piece.
I remember that as well. And it would be odd to run different versions of the software for the Basic and the Plus, the added functionality wouldn’t interfere with the Basic, and since the software is in Cloud, not on board, there is no loss of speed or space to just use the same software across all devices.
My bad on the $2,000. Should have looked at the numbers instead of relying on a poor memory and random forum post comments ><
The slot on the above linked image seems to be only 1/2" high. Before the design is final, can you please consider making it 1.5" high? It doesn’t make sense that the bed can be removed, but we still can’t insert thicker material (double-sided multi-pass) into it. Especially for those whose main feature of the $1.5k upgrade is for longer materials. If for any reason that’s not possible, please let us know that reason.
Yes Please… I would like clarification on what the maximum thickness of material can be used on the pass through of the pro model. 1/2" seems a bit limiting, especially when I think about engraving parts for furniture etc.