Almost every business is asked why customers should choose to work with them over a competitor – and while we know we’re amongst the best laser cutting companies that you’ll find in the UK (and indeed, the world), there’s a lot that goes into building that trust. When you’re picking a laser cutting company to work with, you need to be certain that the business can provide everything you need – and not just in the beginning when you’re making the initial purchase. In this post, we’re covering the reasons that many of our customers choose to work with us, and to continue to work with us, from their first purchase of a budget laser cutter to advanced, professional platforms, and all the stages in between.
Our laser cutters are the best out there
We’ve been dealing in laser cutters for more than 20 years, and during that time we’ve got to know which brands are the best – and those are the brands that we choose to work with. They’re the laser cutters that we’ve tested extensively, that we know work well, and that we’d choose to use ourselves. We’re huge fans of the Universal Laser Systems laser cutters, and we’ve worked with them for 21 years now, but we’ve also recently added a range of budget lasers to our offering too – the Beamo range by Flux.
Universal Laser Systems
Universal Laser Systems has been working with the application of laser technology since 1988, and today is the leading provider of laser material processing solutions, with a huge amount of investment in research and development to keep them at the top of the field. Their laser cutters have been used across a wide range of industries around the world, and we’re proud to offer a range of ULS machines, consumables, and accessories to customers in the UK from our base in Kent.
Our range of Universal Laser Systems desktop laser cutters is small, but perfectly formed, and made up of the VLS2.30DT, and the VLS3.60DT.
The VLS2.30DT is the smaller of the two desktop laser cutters in our range, (661 x 356 x 635 mm) but is a powerful machine that makes a great entry level option. Although it is desktop sized, you’ll need a reasonable amount of space, with the overall dimensions of 661 x 356 x 102 mm. This allows for a material processing envelope of 406 x 305 x 102 mm (12,585 cm³), and it can be fitted with 10.6µm CO2 laser source ranging in power from 10 to 30 watts or one 9.3µm CO2 30 watt laser source.
The VLS3.60DT looks similar, but is a larger machine that allows material processing of 610 x 305 x 102 mm (18,878 cm³). It has more potential power too, with a choice of one of five 10.6µm CO2 laser sources, ranging in power from 10 to 60 watts, or one 9.3µm CO2 30 watt or 50 watt laser source.
Both of the desktop lasers in our range also have manual gas assist with optics protection, so that mirrors and lenses are protected and kept clean and free of residue, and each machine also has fire detection with an audible alarm for safety. and you’ll gain access to the Universal Control Panel, the user interface for ULS laser systems, which also has access to the Intelligent Materials Database. This database continues to expand, and means that laser processing is automatically optimised for hundreds of different materials.
Should you require a specific spot for either of these desktop laser cutters to live, but don’t have the actual desk space, carts are sold separately – we can advise you and source these where necessary.
The platform laser cutters from Universal Laser Systems that we have in our range are the best in the world, and we’ve supplied them to hundreds of professional companies, educational institutions, and government organisations, up to international conglomerates. Whichever platform we supply for the organisation, we handle installation ourselves – which offers a cost advantage over other UK companies, since our team are completely qualified to do so. This means that installation costs can be minimised, because an additional engineer isn’t required.
Our range of freestanding platform laser cutters includes:
The VLS4.75 – the smallest of our free-standing platforms, with access to a single CO2 laser that ranges in power between 10 to 75 watts, or one 9.3µm CO2 30 watt, 50 watt, or 75 watt laser source. There’s a materials processing envelope of 610 x 457 x 216 mm, with an overall dimension of 914 x 965 x 914 mm.
The VLS6.75 – a similar powered machine to the VLS4.75, but the main reason that our customers opt for this model is the larger material processing envelope of 813 x 457 x 216 mm.
The PLS6.150D is a dual laser platform that can support two 10.6µm CO2 lasers with a power range of 10 watts to 150 watts. There’s a materials processing envelope of 813 x 457 x 216 mm, and there are additional features than are found on the VLS platforms, including a photo sensor, LCD display control panel.
The ULTRA R5000, is a customisable laser cutter, offering flexibility for users, with up to two laser sources consisting of two interchangeable CO2 lasers or one CO2 laser and one fiber laser. This allows users to access MultiWave Hybrid technology™, which can be used together as one single coaxial beam. There’s a materials processing envelope of 813 x 610 x 305 mm, with the overall dimensions of the platform at 1397 x 1211 x 1118 mm.
The ULTRA R9000 is very similar to the ULTRA R5000, but is larger, and allows for a much bigger materials processing envelope – 1219 x 610 x 305 mm.
The ULTRA X6000, which is customisable, and the most flexible and advanced laser cutter in our range, with up to three laser sources consisting of two interchangeable CO2 lasers and one fiber laser. This machine is popular because, when it has been configured with three lasers, users have access to MultiWave Hybrid™ technology, enabling up to three wavelengths – 9.3 µm, 10.6 µm, and 1.06 µm – to be simultaneously combined into a single coaxial beam. It is a large machine, with overall dimensions of 1603 x 1219 x 1272 mm, but this means there is a materials processing envelope of 914 x 610 x 305 mm.
All of the Universal Laser Systems laser cutter platforms have customisable specifications, but gain access to the Universal Control Panel, or for the ULTRA systems, the Laser System Manager interface. Each are highly intuitive user software that allow for incredible ease of use and high productivity, with processing flexibility and quality that is second to none.
Universal Laser System laser cutter users also gain access to the Intelligent Materials Database, which allows users to minimise the amount of testing required to achieve the best possible results with their laser cutter. This database continues to be updated regularly – as often as every day – and many of our customers consider it a valuable resource for their business, minimising the risk of damage when working with newer materials.
As qualified experts in Universal Laser System laser cutters, our team can talk to you about the needs of your organisation, and can advise which of the ULS systems would be right for you, and we are able to provide installation and training as part of your purchase.
As experts in both installing and maintaining Universal Laser Systems, we’re often asked about selling second hand laser cutters when businesses upgrade, or otherwise need to sell their laser cutter on. Because we’re able to service and fully recondition ULS laser cutters, we’re happy to offer second hand, and ex-demonstration laser cutters. This is especially the case where customers have bought the machine from us, and have had a service plan with us, because we know that it has been maintained to the highest standards. You can browse our current availability of second user and ex-demonstration laser cutters here.
What materials can ULS laser cutters cut?
ULS laser cutters are gas assisted, and so they can cut and engrave glass, some plastics, some foams, leather, paper-based products, wood, and acrylics. There are hundreds of materials that you can process with Universal Laser Systems laser cutters – be it the desktop options, or the platforms – and with the Intelligent Materials Database, you’ll never need to wonder whether you’re going to cause damage to your laser cutter. The database contains information about what can be done with each type of process on each material, and as we’ve already said, continues to be updated regularly.
Laser cutters can be a huge expense, and they take up a reasonable amount of space, which means that even if they are going to provide significant value for your business, it might not be feasible to buy even a desktop laser cutter. We realised that there were more than a few businesses, and private individuals, that wanted a laser cutter, but wanted one they could allow a smaller budget for, or that have a smaller footprint to take up less space in their workplace. Rather than attempting to support laser cutters from eBay, that have typically been made in China, and aren’t easy to secure parts for, we chose to partner with Flux, so we could provide laser cutters that are lower cost, without compromising on price.
We provide email support for our range of budget lasers, and of course, a 12 month warranty on each system (3 months for the laser tube).
With dimensions of just 990 x 670 x 250 mm, the Beambox Pro is a compact, fully enclosed laser cutter that is a great choice for homes, schools, and small businesses. Despite the small size, the Beambox includes a lot of features that you’d normally find in industrial laser cutters – and for businesses that use a laser cutter only periodically, or for small tasks, this is a great option. Favourite features include:
Working area of 600 x 375 mm
50W laser power
Internal water cooling system
High resolution laser with 1000 DPI
Rotary add-on for engraving curved objects
Compatible with all standard graphics files, including JPG, PNG, SVG, and DXF
The Beambox Pro can cut and engrave on a wide range of materials, making it a perfect option for small businesses. The Pro model is the top of the range, with the most powerful laser of our budget laser cutters, and is currently on sale for £4,200.
A smaller and lighter laser cutter than the Pro, the Beambox is also a fantastic option for homes, schools, and businesses. You’ll get many of the same features as you get with the Beambox Pro, as well as the Flux software Beam Studio – which is fully compatible with your preferred design package and graphics file type.
The Beambox is smaller than the Pro at 800 x 670 x 250 mm, and as you’d expect, the work area is smaller too at 400 x 375 mm, and the laser power is 40W. This still packs a decent punch, and customers are typically very happy with their purchase when they buy a Beambox – especially when at just £3,300, you’re getting a lot of functionality for your money. This is a great option if you’re thinking about setting up a maker space, or you’re thinking about setting up a business with a laser cutter.
Released in 2020, Beamo is one of the world’s smallest CO₂ laser cutters and engravers, and is one of the most affordable, user-friendly options. It is also significantly smaller than the larger models in in the range, at just 615 x 445 x 177 mm, and weighing just 22kg. Again, you get a smaller work area, 300 x 210 mm, but that’s perfect for hobbyists – 300mm is the length of a typical school ruler – and individuals that are considering setting up a jewellery business, or a wedding business with their laser cutter.
The laser has 30W power, and can cut up to 5mm, depending upon the material, and that is typically plenty of power for hobbyists and small businesses that want to cut and engrave on a wide range of materials. Currently just £2,010, the Beamo is certainly the best budget laser, and way outperforms any of the generic laser cutters from China.
Which budget laser cutter is best for me?
All of the Flux laser cutters are good options, but which one is right for you will depend upon your budget, the space you have available, and how powerful you need the laser to be. You can compare the Beambox Pro, the Beambox, and the Beamo in the table below:
We stock everything you need for laser cutting
Our operations aren’t solely about selling laser cutters – we’ve got the extras you need too. Fume extraction is the most important thing for keeping your setup safe, but then you’ll want materials, cleaning consumables, and software. We’ve always got those items in stock, and if there is something you’re looking for but can’t find, we can often help.
We went into the realms of fume extraction systems, how they work, and why you should need them in depth in this post, so we’re not going to cover this again in detail here. But essentially, you’ll need to have adequate fume extractions, and we’ve got the systems that you need to ensure you’re working safely and within the legal guidelines – and of course, we’ve got the replacement filters, and the advice that you need when you’re making your purchase.
If you’re choosing a budget laser cutter, you’ll also need to consider ventilation – but we’ve got you covered. The Beam air fume filtration system is a simple, ready to use filter with four layers, and automatically turns on when laser cutting begins, and off when the process finishes. The filters are incredibly efficient, removing dust and deodorising the air, and they have plenty of hours of use before they need replacing. With dimensions of 470 x 260 x 490 mm, and weighing just 17 kg, the Beam air fume filtration system is compact, and keeps the air safe for you and anyone that has come to peek at your creations. We also stock the replacement filters for Beam filtration systems – so we’ve got you covered when the time comes.
Whether you’re using your laser cutter for your business or as a hobby that might become a laser cutting or engraving business, you need the right materials for your setup. We took a deep dive into the materials that can be cut with a laser cutter before, but there is a huge range of materials that can be cut, and engraved with your laser cutter.
To ensure our customers have what they need, in addition to providing laser cutters, we source and manufacture the best range of acrylics, laminate, polypropylene, rubber, wood, as well as paper and board.
Although our standard materials are incredibly popular, we’re also able to advise on, and often source, less common materials. Our knowledge base is full of information, and we’ve tested a lot of different materials to understand how they react to laser cutting processes, especially with the ULS and Flux laser cutters – just get in touch.
Cleaning might not be everyone’s favourite job, but when it comes to keeping your laser cutter in great working order, it really is necessary to keep on top of the required maintenance. You can’t simply reach for a multipurpose cleaner, a duster, and generic cotton buds to clean your laser with either – you have to have the right supplies. We’ve got everything you need in stock, including lens cleaning fluid, lens cleaning tissues, and cotton tipped applicators (don’t be tempted to buy generic cotton buds – they often contain adhesive that can harm your laser). If you want everything in one package, we’ve got that too in the form of our great value lens cleaning kit.
We’ve talked at length on about the best design software for laser cutting and 3D printing before, and for good reason – there are some outstanding packages out there, both paid and open source. While we’re not going to try to sway you in favour of one or another (we’re sure you’ve already got your favourite!), we do recommend the 1-Touch Laser Photo software from Universal Laser Systems if you’re going to be etching photo quality onto materials. You can download from here before entering the activation code that we supply.
We’re experts in the field of laser cutters
Hobarts as a company has existed for a lot longer than you might expect – since 1989, in fact. But our current business model came into being in 1995, when we moved to Kent, and started manufacturing acrylic. We began selling laser cutters in 2000, and since then we’ve become a go-to for businesses that want high quality laser cutters, with outstanding service – which is exactly what we are able to give, with over twenty years of experience.
As you can imagine, a lot has changed in the field of laser cutting since we began selling them. The software, and the hardware that laser cutters require has been changed and updated, and there has been a lot of developments with the lasers themselves too. We don’t just learn about these development from YouTube clips though (although they’re handy) – we provide our technicians with regular training, both in-house, and at Universal Laser Systems facilities in Vienna and Arizona. That’s why we’re the top distributor for Universal in the UK and Europe, and are second in the world, and why we’re the only UK distributor that can provide a fully qualified installation and training service – other distributors need to book ULS engineers for installations, at additional cost to the customer.
We share our knowledge
If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance that you found it through our ‘Learn About’ page – which is where we publish insights into laser cutting, and 3D printing. You’ll find all kinds of information on that page, so if you’re looking for new ideas, inspiration, or something else entirely, head there for more.
We offer a bureau service
For many customers that are considering creating their own product, or setting up a business, but aren’t quite ready to invest in their laser cutter yet, we also provide a bureau service to help. We can process, or manufacture prototypes, and offer support and advice for those businesses – particularly when they are looking to buy their equipment, and the materials they need to get up and running.
We’re advocates for UK manufacturing
Supporting UK manufacturing has been a passion of ours since we started out – and we’ve been manufacturing for more than 25 years now, so our passion for manufacturing has continued to grow. We continue to manufacture acrylic products, and supply acrylic sheet, blocks, and more to many different industrial sectors. Where it is possible to, we source from UK manufacturers, particularly for materials.
Because we consider UK manufacturing to be so important, we’re actively involved with various organisations and schemes that help students and new businesses that are in the field of product design and manufacture.
We provide support for your laser
Buying your laser cutter is only the start of your journey with it – not only are you going to do amazing things with it, but you’re going to need to look after it carefully too, to ensure that it keeps running as it should. Given that we’re experts, you’d be correct to assume that we provide maintenance as a service too – as well as helping businesses to get the new laser cutters that they need, without needing to invest the complete sum up front.
Being rated so highly for Universal Laser Systems is something we don’t take for granted – and as we’ve discussed above, our training is continual, to help us maintain the high standards we need to be able to support more than 750 of our customers.
In addition to ensuring that all our engineers are fully trained, we also ensure that they’re fully prepared for what they might encounter when they’re visiting customers. That means they’ll have in excess of £25,000 worth of spare parts when they’re out and about, so that they can leave the laser cutter in perfect working order. Not only that, but our expertise is such that diagnosing issues is rarely, if ever an issue, and we’ve a huge database of information that can help us to help you. This allows us to resolve around 95% of problems for our customers over the phone – no visit required, and the laser cutter back up and running almost instantly.
Not only are we experts in laser cutters, but we also fully understand what our customers need from us, so we can help them more efficiently. Many of our clients are schools, colleges, and universities, and because we know how busy these institutions are, we ensure our technicians always have their DBS certificates with them. This means that our team can carry out their work without needing to be chaperoned – which is highly appreciated by busy departments that are already under pressure.
As well as looking after your laser cutters, our technicians are able to test your extraction system is in perfect working order – which legally must be done every 14 months.
Because we want to ensure our customers always have the service that they need, we offer the best value service plans for laser cutters, at the most competitive prices, and we’ve frozen the price of the Hobarts Educational Service Plan for 12 consecutive years now. The servicing that we carry out on each machine checks over 100 different points, to ensure the machine continues to deliver optimal performance.
Our service plans are available at three different price points:
The Education Plan - £250 per annum
The Silver Plan - £600 per annum
The Gold Plan - £900 per annum
The main difference between the plans is our response time, and the number of routine maintenance visits that are included.
Customers that don’t have a service plan can still access our one-off servicing when they need it, and this option allows us to provide our top quality service to customers that don’t want to commit to an annual plan – for whatever reason that might be.
Finance and rental
Laser cutters can be a huge investment at any stage of the business – and sometimes that means that businesses can’t scale up as quickly as they might prefer, especially during times of economic uncertainty as we’re facing at present. Our rental schemes allow customers to be able to secure the laser cutter they need to reduce the initial outlay, and allowing them to make payments over a term that is more manageable than buying upfront. Payments can be made monthly, quarterly, or annually, and we provide quotes based on the initial deposit that can be made, and the requirements of the business. If buying a laser cutter with more flexible terms would allow you to achieve more, and scale up quicker, then get in touch to discuss your needs.
Our final thoughts
So there we have it – all the reasons that, if you’re buying a laser cutter – particularly a Universal Laser Systems, or a Flux one – that you should work with us. Chances are, you’ve made your decision by now, but if you’re still reading at this point, and you have a question that we’ve not addressed here, you’re very welcome to get in touch. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media – we post photos on our Instagram when we’re out and about @hobartslasers, and we love to be tagged in any posts you’re putting out that feature our systems!