the saga of buying a chinese laser cutter is best not visited by anyone
below you can peruse through my tale of woe…. it’s a bit of a saga.
having some idea on the size of things i wanted to cut, I did a bit of research on some of the features i wanted to have & out of the gate I purchased this machine:
- 600mm ( 3728227/10000000000 of a mile)
- x 400mm ( 497097/2000000000 of a mile)
- pass through slots front & back for oversized stock
- motorised bed lift
- 80W CO2 laser
I think the item ended up costing me just shy of ~AUD$3000 landed.
I was pretty excited to get it up & running, but I took my time about a week all up, having never purchased anything this expensive (outside of a motor vehicle) unpacked it all carefully & the only assembly required was to put the legs on the main chassis, everything else was factory assembled….
I purchased a heap of distilled water filled a resevoir, connected it all up & very carefully filled the laser tube ensuring all the bubbles were expelled.
It was at this time (initial power up) I could begin to smell an issue, but initially thought it was just a ‘new’ electronics smell as things warmed up first time use….
it wasnt until i popped open the side of the machine opening the electronics maintenance panel that the full power of the smell wafted up & caught me & I new it wasn’t a new smell anymore
the very first time powering this unit on, out of the factory….. & it melted the entire ribbon cable, cut through the insulation of several other wires….. & toasted my controller card.
I asked them should i check the controller card, seeing as the wiring loom to it was so severely damaged, despite their re-assurances that “everything is ok dear…” my spidey senses were telling me to crack it open….. & just as well i did
& the whole time I was trying to fault-find/trouble-shoot this at my end, the chinese kept telling me: “no friend everything is fine, just power on & send file to the laser….”
this is one of the more concerning shots, you can see where it was cutting in location as required, but in between those points, the laser was still firing…. when it was supposed to be off. Just as well i didn’t stick my fingers in there to move anything.
Initially I raised a dispute (on AlilExpress), but the vendor explained that i needed to close the dispute so that they could process it at their end. This was complete bull, as soon as i had closed the dispute I was unable to raise any form of complaint with AliExpress again regarding the item.
All correspondance with the vendor following that, just seemed to want to fob me off, not really wanting to help, despite me sending screenshots, videos, wire traces, etc. doing all the technical fault-finding well & truly beyond the ‘warm & fluffy’ crap they were telling me.
Despite repeated emails & messages through AliExpress, assuring me that a replacement card had been dispatched, they sat on it, waiting first for me to return the card, I returned the entire controller unit, the case, the main board & daughterboard (shield).
not forgetting all the dodgy chinese processes i needed to follow, heaven forbid anything might be done above board….
Despite repeated requests for a tracking number of the replacement card, it never came
more excuses/subterfuge ensued….. these scumbags are simply incapable of telling the truth
repeated requests, over multiple days & still no joy
& then this happened
When I finally received a ‘replacement’ card it was the same case complete with scorch marks, what seemed to be the same daughterboard (shield), but i can only assume a new controller card, as I was unable to determine if they had attempted component repair on the board.
So I had to sit & wait for my damaged card to return, them to inspect, decide to repair/replace, then return it, before i could continue to trouble-shoot my non-functioning machine. This took almost 3~4 months.
they didn’t even want to acknowledge that they had returned to me the same original & now potentially faulty board….
They tried to get me to remove the chargeback BEFORE they would help me…. fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice – I don’t think so mate.
I explained in detail what the machine was doing with the replacement card
I sent them a video with the described action as they requested, so they could once again ignore the problem & find any excuse not to assist me or replace any failed components
& because I refused to cancel the charge back until i was actually given assistance to get me what i actually paid for (a WORKING unit), that’s the last that I ever heard from them.
So…… in short – don’t scrimp, you are much better off buying locally, the pain & head-aches you will encounter dealing with dodgy unscrupulous chinese vendors is such that you may as well set your wallet on fire instead. I basically ended up with an anchor weight.
It took me over 18 months dealing with the vendor, my bank & VISA to recover my funds.
If in Melbourne I can recommend MWLaser in Pakenham. VIC
or visit his YouTube channel here
Matt was able to pull the guts out of my machine & furnish me with reliable/reputable components that just work. He also provided me with a few additional bits & pieces I hadn’t enough experience to realise i would need, which have also been gems.
He is very knowledgable, helpful & no nonsense kind of guy.