Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: LaserPro (GCC) vs Epilog vs ULS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    113

    LaserPro (GCC) vs Epilog vs ULS

    I've read a lot of comparison between Epilog & ULS, but haven't seen a lot about LaserPro. I have been reading everything I can find on all of them and have literature in hand. I am currently leaning toward the LaserPro because of (perceived) advances in technology. Can anyone elaborate on this? Do the Epilog and ULS machines have something similar to SmartACT, Center Home, Relative Move, Automatic Vector Sorting & free driver upgrades. I read several long threads and learned a lot about Epilog vs Universal, but was hoping someone may have more information on direct comparison including the LaserPro.

    All models I am considering are in the 18"x25" range, although the LaserPro is 18" x 29".

    Thanks everyone...

    Ricky

  2. #2
    Ricky,
    I've had a LaserPro Mercury for about 5 years and aside from routine maintenance, I have had no major problems with it. I chose it over other makes because of the pass-thru ability that allows me to laser over sized items. However, one caution - make sure you have good support from your sales rep. LaserPro's support people seem to be few and far between in some areas of the country. My rep was very hard to contact and customer support was poor. To make matters worse, the documentation that came with the laser was very poor and was obviously written by someone who had little knowledge of the English language. Fortunately, the problems I did have were minor and were due to my own inexperience. Trial and error solved them. Having said that, the equipment itself is well built and solid. As with any of the major laser companies such as LaserPro, ULS, Epilog, Trotec, etc., the most important factor in deciding which make is best is the quality of the customer service and support.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Tom Hempleman
    Carroll, Ohio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    3,912
    The Spirit is the machine to go for if you want to go GCC. The most useful features on this machine are pass thru , the fact the whole lid lifts for cleaning and maintenance , reliability and the ability to engrave from the centre or manually move the head to a start position.
    The biggest "downside" of the GCC machines has got to be their rotary attachment which is not the most user friendly.
    At the end of it all , most lasers in the size/price/wattage class do exactly the same thing as any other inb that class. Dont be swayed by useless bells and whistles like 3d engraving or stamp mode etc if you will never use them.
    I would buy the machine with the best local support and the longest no quibble warrantee on both the machine AND tube.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    151
    Hi Ricky,
    I've got an 8 years old Epilog Radius and a 2 year old GCC Mercury - both 25 watts.
    Basicly they work the same with the following provisos.
    1/ The Epilog is much faster in carriage movement (at least 30-40%) so big raster jobs where power is not the factor take much longer on the GCC. I don't know how the current models compare.
    2/ The much newer GCC pumps way more power from the tube, and shows no sign of decline. (It marks stainless quite well without Metalmark or the advantage of "Radiance Optics".) The Epilog has had a LOT of use and power has dropped off a bit with time, but is still the weapon of choice for jobs not requiring cutting.
    3/ The GCC software is rather "clunky" and not user-friendly. The manual is very poor. Epilog much more usable.
    4/ In my experience the Epilog is rock-solid for reliablility (one x-motor and bearings being the only replacements) while the GCC has been generally good. It has occasional glitches on jobs for no apparent reason, and then performs flawlessly for a month or 2 (and no, the problem isn't power related)
    5/ Startup time on the GCC is abyssmal. Like waiting for the next ice-age.
    Epilog just a few seconds.
    6/ GCC needs to be tuned to cut and engrave accurately while the Epilog is good out of the box.
    7/ We do quite a number of drinking-glasses on the laser. The Epilog rotary attachment is far from perfect but a lot better than the GCC, which is a real pain.

    They are both good machines, but to my mind the Epilog is clearly a better general purpose everyday device. I am looking at getting a 75 watt machine in the near future, but the GCC offerings are not high on the list. The price difference would have to be pretty large to make it attractive

  5. #5
    I can't speak with great knowledge of the SmartACT option, but having read what it says it does, I would expect all lasers do in the bigger names. I honestly had no idea what they were talking about when they said you no longer have to save blank space for ramping up. I understand completely what ramping up and down is, but believe that all the big names are doing this without calling it a great selling feature. That's a guess on my part, I admit.

    As far as center positioning, the Epilog and ULS do that, relative move, both the Epilog and ULS give you options for positioning in different ways. I don't believe either of those two do the automatic centering and alignment, but I honestly don't see a ton of use for that.

    I'd ask what the purpose of being able to set a square on the table, crooked, and then having the machine figure out how to make that straight. That doesn't make sense to me. Why not just push it up against the rulers and have it be on there straight in the first place? Having bought two lasers in the last year, I can't say any of those features would have swayed me one way or the other. They seem like nice selling features that may not get used as much as you think you would, with exception of the centering feature (which all of the machines have).

    Both the Epilog and ULS have vector sorting.

    What's become a more important feature to me than any of that is job control software and being able to go back and look at settings on every job I have ran. That's what's made me money by saving me time.

    I have no opinion of the LaserPro. I've never used one. It may be a very strong machine, but don't think that they are the only one with those features because they are not. Do yourself a favor before you buy anything and call for some demos from Epilog, ULS, and Trotec. Come up with the things you plan to do and make each machine do it in front of you. There is no substitute for seeing the machines run, in my opinion.
    Last edited by Scott Shepherd; 11-01-2007 at 11:24 AM.
    Lasers : Trotec Speedy 300 75W, Universal PLS4.60 with Rotary Attachment
    Printers : Mimaki UJF-6042 UV Flatbed Printer , HP Designjet L26500 61" Wide Format Latex Printer,
    Ricoh Dye Sublimation Printer, Summa S140-T 48" Vinyl Plotter
    Router : ShopBot 48" x 96" CNC Router Rotary Engravers : (2) Xenetech XOT 16 x 25 Rotary Engravers

    Real name Steve but that name was taken on the forum. Used Middle name. Call me Steve or Scott, doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    By all means check out all of them. This is a big outlay and not all are the same.

    I have a Trotec which has been outstanding. Previously I had a Universal and operated a couple of Epilogs. Tech support was great with all. I know of some disappointments with Laserpro/GCC on that score.

    On tube replacement I believe ULS is the winner. That is important becuase it will be your largest cash outlay for a replacement part.

    Don't overlook a used machine. There are many good ones for sale and one of our members, Rob Bosworth, is in that business and enjoys a good reputation.
    Last edited by Mike Null; 11-01-2007 at 10:49 AM. Reason: word change
    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

    Vs.

    Do yourself a favor before you buy anything and call for some demos from Epilog, ULS, and Trotec. Come up with the things you plan to do and make each machine do it in front of you. There is no substitute for seeing the machines run, in my opinion.
    Steve said it best. Opinions are great but nothing beats seeing the machines first hand. Compare features, build quality, output quality and after sales & technical support.
    Peck Sidara
    Epilog Laser
    888.437.4564 ext. 236

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Davis View Post
    I've got an 8 years old Epilog Radius and a 2 year old GCC Mercury - both 25 watts.

    . . . The much newer GCC pumps way more power from the tube, and shows no sign of decline. (It marks stainless quite well without Metalmark or the advantage of "Radiance Optics".)
    Bob, although you are getting good performance from your GCC tube, it can't be assumed that this is a "feature" of the machine. More likely, you were just lucky to get a higher power tube than the rated wattage. When they sell a 25 watt it could be 25 watts or 29 watts or maybe even a bit more. (If it was delivering 30 watts it probably would have been reserved for a 30 watt machine.) But maybe they ran out of 25 watt tubes . . .

    I'm still surprised that you can mark stainless directly however.

    Just don't want anyone to assume that all GCC "25 watt tubes" deliver more energy than the competitor's 25 watt tube.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodne Gold View Post
    The Spirit is the machine to go for if you want to go GCC. The most useful features on this machine are pass thru , the fact the whole lid lifts for cleaning and maintenance , reliability and the ability to engrave from the centre or manually move the head to a start position.
    The biggest "downside" of the GCC machines has got to be their rotary attachment which is not the most user friendly.
    At the end of it all , most lasers in the size/price/wattage class do exactly the same thing as any other inb that class. Dont be swayed by useless bells and whistles like 3d engraving or stamp mode etc if you will never use them.
    I would buy the machine with the best local support and the longest no quibble warrantee on both the machine AND tube.
    I wouldn't say 3d engraving is useless. It helps with certain types of projects where a grade is needed and pics where I don't like the pixelation effect of multiple dots. I even made some passable braille text that way. While I don't use it often, I would miss it if it wasn't there. It just takes some time to master the shading skills to make it useful. Stamps as a money making item...not so much I do like the ability to do those occasional custom items the Mrs. wants though Epilog's driver allow's starting from a user set point as well, that's been an incredibly useful and headache saving feature for me.
    Last edited by Eric Allen; 11-01-2007 at 1:25 PM.
    Epilog Mini 24 45W/various other dangerous implements the wife has ok'd over the years

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,125
    On the newest BETA software for the Universal we have the capability of turning on the red diode pointer finding a point and clicking on a button that says relocate to where the pointer is located or the capability of moving the graphic within the job control software to any location in the laser system.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    3,912
    Gcc use either Synrad or Deos tubes so will be on par with other machines , the Explorers use beam collimators , so you might get a bit better beam quality. Being able to engrave from the centre of the engraving is a huge boon and a major time saver when dealing with irregular objects or trays and bowls or other objects where the head might hit the sides.
    You get it right every time with little futzing.
    I tried some 3d stuff once or twice , but cant really find a great application for it or anything thats commercially viable. I had high hopes for doing 3d spin casting moulds , but the quality and control you have as well as precision are just not good enough.

    I recon if you total laser and Corel newbie , buy from a co with damn good training and telesupport so you up and running instantly. If you got to pay for the training , do so , it's worth it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    2,395
    Ricky:
    I have no knowledge of the machines other than Epilog. I am 6 months or so into a 36EXT. I can say, without a doubt, that the technical support I personally have received has been outstanding. I am a great believer in purchasing American made products as is Epilog. That figured into my decision. Another one was the fact that the local Epilog rep is right up the road from me and is an experienced and conciencious guy. I can get him any time I need him (which hasn't been much)
    I personally would not buy one of these machines of foreign manufacture. They may be just fine, but that's my preference. I like it when I call for tech support and I don't have to struggle with trying to understand an accent other than good ole English.
    Epilog doesn't hesitate when it comes to replacement parts under warranty. I suspected a problem that might be related to the board, tech support didn't hesitate in sending it out. As it turned out, that was not the problem at all and I returned the board. The board was here the next morning too.
    So, thats my two cents worth. Good luck with your purchase.
    Epilog Legend EXT36-40watt, Corel X4, Canon iPF8000 44" printer,Photoshop CS6, Ioline plotter, Hotronix Swinger Heat Press, Ricoh GX e3300 Sublimation

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Posts
    467
    I've had my Explorer II for just over a year now (Sign Warehouse Pinnacle ZX). It's been absolutely great. Customer service has always been very helpful and prompt. Never had any real issues but wasn't sure the Z motor was working quite right and they UPS'd me another no questions asked.

    I absolutely love the drag and shoot nature of the Laserpro. I just was using it not 10 minutes ago. It a MUST HAVE in my opinion. I use the pass through doors for those odd shaped pieces and long sections (I cut a SINGLE piece UAV fuselage side that was over 9 feet long).

    I compared many machines and in the end, had the best feeling (and best price) when dealing through Sign Warehouse. I also bought a vinyl cutter and dye sublimation system from them. I won't hesitate to buy my next toy (... err I mean tool) from them.

    Take the best deal you can find and fax it over to them. They can beat most any other.

    Pinnacle ZX Explorer II
    40W, X3
    Vinyl Express Lynx 24"
    Epson 4800 Dye Sub Hybrid

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,193
    Looks like Mike and I bought our machines about the same time. I have a 30 watt ZX and couldn't be happier. Had a few problems at the start but it has been trouble free ever since. I use the pass through doors about 3 times a week and would never buy a laser without them. I saw an earlier post about troubles with the rotary attachment but I use mine weekly and have never had trouble setting it up or using it.
    Support is the key to any laser - if all of the lasers you are looking at will do what you want then it really comes down to support to make your decision.

    Gary

  15. #15
    I have also purchaced the explorer 30w from sign warehouse. I am very happy with my choice. At first my company wondered if we should opt for more wattage but ultimatly decided on 30 watts. We are amazed at its power. We use our laser every day in an industrial enviroment marking many different metals. Cermark works good and speeds up the process but we have no problem marking bare tool steels and various stainless steels. Our experience with lasers was nil , but sign warehouse advised us that 75% of thier laser buyers dont buy training from them. They are very easy to use or are easy to self teach. If you have a good understanding of computers and how to add misc drivers and hardware , you will catch on fast. Plus its FUN. Good luck, Dana

Similar Threads

  1. Epilog Laser Power Problems
    By Keith Outten in forum Laser Engraving General Topics
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-31-2009, 3:38 PM
  2. Epilog Helix vs. Universal PLS 4.60
    By Scott Shepherd in forum Laser Engraving General Topics
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 04-14-2009, 9:40 AM
  3. Epilog Laser
    By Peck Sidara in forum Laser Engraving General Topics
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 07-10-2007, 10:42 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •