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Thread: GCC LaserPro X500 II 150w

  1. #1

    GCC LaserPro X500 II 150w

    Hi Friendly Forum Folk (well usually anyway )

    Firstly let me say great forum this so well done to one and all on here.

    Secondly I tried to find a "Hello" section to introduce myself but couldn't find one so I'm sorry my first post is looking for info. Point me to it and I'll spill the beans

    So as the title suggests I'm leaning toward getting myself one of these, main use will be cutting acrylic for signs and similar but we also have a full small format digital print department so cutting paper and card will be a plus. We don't do any engraving but presume I will want to (on to acrylic and possibly wood) once I have the machine. I've always outsourced all my work but as it's more and more I'm looking to bring it all in house.

    So all I am trying to find out is if this is a good machine and anything I should be considering before spending the money on it, there are lower wattages but thought I would rather start with the highest if I can afford to?

    All the best

    Warren

  2. #2
    Warren

    Welcome to SMC. There are some things about the unit you've selected which are bothersome to me.

    1. It's water cooled. There's nothing inherently wrong with a water cooled system but you have to buy and maintain a chiller. My preference is air cooling.
    2. If I understand the specs it's extremely slow at 40 ips. That's in the range of lower priced Chinese machines.
    3. As I understand their spec the maximum height of work can only be 1.9" If that's accurate it's a show stopper for most of us.
    4. The Z axis movement is manual rather than motorized.

    GCC has been building machines in Taiwan for years and their machines have generally been pretty good equipment. But in the US their parts and service lags other manufacturers. I've known of owners who had to wait 6 weeks to get a tube replacement.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350 Hot Stamping
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation Sand Carving
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5 , Engravlab

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,193
    I have a GCC/Pinnacle Explorer ZX and have been very happy with it over the 7+ years I have owned it. I bought mine through signwarehouse and would NEVER do that again, nor would I recommend them to anyone! I would, however, buy another GCC as long as it was through another reseller.

    I read the specs on that machine too and it does look like it has a very short vertical range, about 1/3 of what the others in their "laser cutter" section seem to have. Mine has about 7" of Z, so 25/50mm would be very limiting unless you were only cutting fabric, acrylic or wood. As for the speed - I wouldn't worry too much about the speed that is mentioned as that is vector speed, raster speed is likely much higher - mine is 40 ips vector and 80 ips raster. It's very rare, less than 1% of the time, that I use more than 10% speed when vectoring. Since you are looking at 150 watts, that would be different for you, but if you find the recommended speeds for cutting various materials, I bet you'll find that you never use 100% and very rarely use over 50% speed. So I would suggest you put a lot of thought into the materials you want to cut and send a file along with samples of your own material to the reseller asking them to cut and provide a video showing those samples being cut.
    As for power - yes, it's a good idea to get the most power you can afford but you have to consider what you'll be doing with the machine. I do a ton of Cermarked stainless and more power would be nice, but I also do a lot of anodized aluminum and more power doesn't really do much for me. Most machines allow speed and power adjustments by %, 150 watts may be difficult to turn down low enough to accommodate certain materials, plus, the beam size on a 150 watt machine is larger than on my 30 watt so you'll lose out on detail.
    I would recommend getting the highest power machine that will be adjustable enough to accommodate everything you want to use it for, more than that is a waste of money. I'd also recommend the largest bed and front/rear bypass doors - both get used a lot and I have many jobs that wouldn't have been possible without those two features.

    Gary
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

    Trotec Speedy 400 80 watt 8/2015
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 1/2016
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 3/2015
    DCS-1024DD - 10" x 24" UV Printer
    Fargo HDP5000 Card printer
    40HP Diesel, Rotary screw compressor - "The Beast"
    24" x 40" sandblasting cabinet
    FFL-01


  4. #4
    Hiya Gary,

    The spot size on a 150 watt can end up being smaller than a 40 watt due to the way Meniscus and Plano / convex len's focus. The bigger the input beam the smaller the spot size for a given focal length.

    cheers

    Dave
    Poof! and just like magic the shop keeper dissappeared

  5. #5
    Hi Mike

    Thanks for the info, taking in to account the max we will do is 20mm acrylic and that will be seldom, up to 10mm acrylic for day to day production. I guess in a way it is just a cheap Chinese machine but with the back up and support. This one is 15k where the Trotec 400 (with smaller bed size) is 25k. For 25k I would probably rather start looking at a CNC machine.

    I guess this is an entry level machine for us for cutting mainly acrylic letters and panels etc, maybe a few jobs a week.

    So with that would it be a good "first" entry level laser cutter? There are even cheaper options than this for half the price at same bed size but common sense says that it's a false economy going that cheap, thought this would be a middle of the range entry level machine and hopefully so. The Trotecs are beautiful and really well made and some great features etc but as it's not my main business it has to start somewhere

    Appreciate the info though, gives me a few more things to research and consider as these are not something I knew about.

    Thanks

    Warren

  6. #6
    Now that I see the price I believe this is a glass tube model and the raster speed would be 40 IPS. I suspect GCC is making it in Taiwan but don't know that for a fact.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350 Hot Stamping
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation Sand Carving
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5 , Engravlab

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    3,912
    Its primarily a larger format cutting machine.. glass tubed with the benefit of GCC's platform and drivers. Not meant to be a raster engraver so its speed and vert adjustment follow suit.
    Rodney Gold, Toker Bros trophies, Cape Town , South Africa :
    Roland 2300 rotary . 3 x ISEL's ..1m x 500mm CnC .
    Tekcel 1200x2400 router , 900 x 600 60w Shenui laser , 1200 x 800 80w Reci tube Shenhui Laser
    6 x longtai lasers 400x600 60w , 1 x longtai 20w fiber
    2x Gravo manual engravers , Roland 540 large format printer/cutter. CLTT setup
    1600mm hot and cold laminator , 3x Dopag resin dispensers , sandblasting setup, acid etcher

  8. #8
    Not just any glass tube...it's a GSI sealed unit (made in the UK), in many cases far superior to a cheaper RF unit but VERY expensive to replace when it dies (my 200 watt GSI cost $25,000+ for the tube alone) Once you get to 120Watts+ quite a few lasers end up water cooled. Air cooling just can't deal with the heat even on RF units.

    cheers

    Dave
    Poof! and just like magic the shop keeper dissappeared

  9. #9
    Many thanks to all who have responded, great feedback thanks.

    I guess I see myself (as more of a sign maker) having this machine to cut mainly up to 10mm acrylic a few times a week at first, once we pick up with it a lot more and size etc are becoming limited I would probably add a CNC flatbed to the business, the laser cutter would then be for smaller acrylic or clears acrylic for the polished edges off the laser. All in all I doubt the machine will ever run a full 8hrs a day 5 days a week. So the speed doesn't worry me too much and the line of work we're in nothing thicker than 20mm (until the machines installed ) What I wanted most is size so I'm not too limited in what I cut or how many sheets I have to put in to cut a whole bunch of letters for a shop fascia with a long name

    I really just need to assure myself this is the best I can get for my budget as well as like mentioned not spend more than I have to and already considering maybe the 100w!

    Appreciate comments so far

    Warren

  10. #10
    Warren

    Just so we're all on the same page, the others are correct that this machine is entirely adequate for your cutting needs. That much power is a plus and Dave's remarks on the tube would give me more confidence.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350 Hot Stamping
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation Sand Carving
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5 , Engravlab

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    3,912
    I have both lasers and CnC routers - in effect , the Lasers are really only good to about 8mm or so and are not good for wood .. anything thicker is best cut on a CNC machine and then flame polished if you need the edge.
    I would look at a 1300 x 900 120W reci tubed chinese made machine for "occasional" use , should cost your round $6-7k all in
    And then a 2400 x 1200 CnC router for the other stuff.
    Rodney Gold, Toker Bros trophies, Cape Town , South Africa :
    Roland 2300 rotary . 3 x ISEL's ..1m x 500mm CnC .
    Tekcel 1200x2400 router , 900 x 600 60w Shenui laser , 1200 x 800 80w Reci tube Shenhui Laser
    6 x longtai lasers 400x600 60w , 1 x longtai 20w fiber
    2x Gravo manual engravers , Roland 540 large format printer/cutter. CLTT setup
    1600mm hot and cold laminator , 3x Dopag resin dispensers , sandblasting setup, acid etcher

  12. #12
    Many thanks guys, great to get some feedback on it and appreciate all the comments and help. I look forward to my new venture in to laser cutting.

    Can anybody recommend suppliers for buying materials like wood, acrylic etc and general supplies like the etching stuff for steel, lense/mirror cleaners etc etc

    Many thanks again.

    Warren

  13. Hello Warren,

    I'm currently looking into buying a GCC X 500 III and was wondering if you decided to buy the mark II and how it has been for you.
    Any insights would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance

    Pieter

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