Full Version: Vision Engraving Systems

From: gt350ed [#1]
 25 Jul 2005

I'm looking at a Vision Phoenix 1212 with cylindrical add-on and was wondering if

1) there are any Vision users on this forum who might offer opinions about Vision products in general and the Phoenix 1212 in particular.

2) anyone else might offer opinions about their knowledge of Vision's reputation, etc. even though they may not own a Vision product.

EDITED: 25 Jul 2005 by DGL

From: kmccutch [#2]
 25 Jul 2005
To: gt350ed [#1] 25 Jul 2005

I have 2 1212's and the cylindrical engraver. The 1212's have
worked very well for me. The cylindrical works good on anything
without a handle. If it has a handle I sandblast it.
Tech support has been outstanding on any questions I had even
though I bought mine used.
I am using Vision software now will upgrade to VisionPro
when I can.

From: gt350ed [#3]
 25 Jul 2005
To: kmccutch [#2] 25 Jul 2005

Thank you for the response. Your experience is encouraging. And it's nice to confirm what I had heard previously regarding the helpfulness of Tech Support.

May I follow-up and ask what types of items and materials you primarily engrave using the table and cylindrical attachment?

From: Dixie2 [#4]
 25 Jul 2005
To: gt350ed [#1] 25 Jul 2005


I have 2 vision machines.. a 1212 and a 1612.

I've had my 1212 for almost 10 years now, and only had one problem with the machine, which was fixed through tech support. The 1612 has been excellent..

I personally think these are great machines.. i mostly use my 1212 for plaques and trophy plates.. i use my 1612 for larger engraved materials and my silver gift items.


From: kmccutch [#5]
 25 Jul 2005
To: gt350ed [#3] 25 Jul 2005

I have one engraver set up for plastic and the other for medal.(I'm lazy.
Got tired of changing over.) The 1212's are used mostly for flat work,
plaques and plates. We do very little jewelry type work. I don't enjoy doing it so we don't encourage it.
I think I misunderstood about the cylindrical attachment. I have a cylindrical engraver, for glass and cups not the attachment for pens.

From: gt350ed [#6]
 25 Jul 2005
To: kmccutch [#5] 25 Jul 2005

Again, thanks for the quick response and additional feedback. Actually, you ARE correct and did not misunderstand regarding the cylindrical "engraver". It IS the engraver, not the pen holder/clamp/jig that is an accessory. I was incorrect in my description. It is the engraver, the same as what you have.

I caught your comment about not being able to engrave cylindrical objects "with handles". I'm presuming that this is due to the clearance that is provided front, rear, above and below. What IS that clearance, and are there some things with handles that could work (like a stainless travel mug)? Or, is the clearance such that almost nothing will work? I guess a glass beer stein will be problematic.

Obviously, within budget, I'm looking for a set-up that will do most things and will compliment our laser.

Thanks again. I appreciate your time.

From: gt350ed [#7]
 25 Jul 2005
To: Dixie2 [#4] 25 Jul 2005

Thank you Dixie, for your feedback. The amount of time that you have been using the Phoenix says a lot.

As a follow-up, aside from the working area differences between your two machines, is there any reason the 1212 would not do a good job on "silver gift items" and the like?

Within budget, I'm looking for a set-up that will allow good looking small item engraving whether brass, aluminum or "silver gift items" like business card holders, flasks, plated heart boxes, etc.

Thanks again. I appreciate your time.

From: Dixie2 [#8]
 25 Jul 2005
To: gt350ed [#7] 26 Jul 2005


The 1212 would be fine to use for engraving gifts.. I like the 1612 for my silver platters mainly because of the table size, and the spindle is easier to work with.

I have engraved MANY silver gift items with my phoenix.. I do use my 1612 a lot more, but that's mostly because of where it is.. I have set the desk that holds my 1612 right beside the desk where i use my laser.. so it's more convenient.

I was going to open another store in a neighboring town, and the machine i was going to buy for that shop was the Phoenix.. it's been a great machine, and i would recommend it to anyone!!

Good luck, and hope i've been helpful.


From: kmccutch [#9]
 25 Jul 2005
To: gt350ed [#6] 26 Jul 2005

The cylindrical engraver has plenty of room for handles. The spindle
needs a certain amount of clearance. I have trouble getting the
engraving 90 degrees to the handle where I like it. Most likely lack
of experance on my part and not machine capabilities. Logos
are a problem for me but I have seen some done on the cylindrical
engraver that looked good.
It is easier for me to sandblast the ones with handles than
try to get it set.

From: gt350ed [#10]
 26 Jul 2005
To: kmccutch [#9] 26 Jul 2005

Keith: Thanks once again. Between you and Dixie, I have received some great feedback.

I'm glad I asked regarding "handles". I can live with my own need for training and experience. I just do not want to make an equipment purchase wherein I'm limited due to mechanical or technical constraints beyond "typical" tasks.

Thanks, again.

From: Zonas [#11]
 26 Jul 2005
To: gt350ed [#1] 26 Jul 2005

Ed, sorry I'm late responding, but haven't been on the forum much lately. I have the Phoenix 1212 and the Stylus cylindrical engraver (separate machine not an attachment - Joe/Vision thinks its the only one left-stylus) Both my machines are still running on DOS computers. I regularly do 18" x 48" signs on my 1212, have engraved pistols and do raster braille on this machine. These machines will be 10 years old in November and everything still works. I like the simplicity of the machines which is why I have never upgraded the software (If it isn't broke why mess with it ;). There are times I wish I had two 1212's one for metal and one for plastic just for convenience. If you work with Joe at Vision - just don't tell him you've talked to me - (devil)  - (it's a big joke between Joe, Rich Zydonik, and me)

zona's Engraved Creations

From: gt350ed [#12]
 26 Jul 2005
To: Zonas [#11] 26 Jul 2005

Thank you Zona. Your response was very timely. I only started this thread yesterday or Saturday evening.

Actually, I'm pleasantly surprised that those that have these pieces of equipment speak so highly of them.

From: gt350ed [#13]
 1 Aug 2005

Recently, I began this thread to solicit info in conjunction with some used equipment that was being offerred for sale. As I knew they would, several forum members came forward with direct experience to aid us in our decision. Copied below, is the final outcome in which this forum has again proved itself invaluable. What briefly follows, is the essence of some private forum emails that were exchanged. Names have been omitted for obvious reasons.

Thank you for the reply. Actually, since your first response to me on the forum, a lot has happened. The Phoenix 1212 and cylindrical engraver that I WAS looking at kind of fizzled. It probably was doomed from the start just by the fact the equipment was 2300 miles away. The two engravers were bundled with some really good "other" equipment and materials which, at first blush, made the whole package very tantalizing. But as we got into telephone
conversations, I sensed that there was something not quite right. I was
talking with one of two owners who were selling the package. Ultimately, the other owner got on the phone. We had a great conversation and he proceeded to tell me about their experiences.

First, the equipment was over 10 years old. It had been a Series I (DOS), but was upgraded to a Series II. Although the Phoenix was improved by the upgrade, the cylindrical engraver was made worse. And, according to the owner, it had always been extremely "finicky" and fairly frustrating right from the start prior to the upgrade. To make a long story short, the sellers, who happen to be fairly "visible" in our industry, pulled the cylindrical out of the equation and made me a proposal for buying everything else. I think, ultimately, they did not want the hassle of a disgruntled buyer out there in the "community"who, they were sure, would quickly be dissatissfied with the cylindrical engraver. And, although I decided not to make the purchase, I am most appreciative of their candor and honesty and look forward to telling them that again and shaking their hand in Las Vegas next year. They indicated that they hope to be there.

In any event, I've always been a big believer in the fact that things
generally happen for a reason. In this case, I believe that I was supposed to gain some familiarity with the Phoenix 1212. These sellers, and especially you forum members and others gave me that familiarity for which I am grateful. Additionally, it caused me to do further research as to my own needs.

Another "coincidence" in all this, was the fact that right in the middle of
it our West Coast version of the NBM "BIG" Show was taking place in Long Beach, California starting this past Thursday. We attended on Friday and then, again on Saturday.

The good news is that we purchased a brand new Phoenix 1212 that comes with the new Series III controller and Vision Pro 7 software. We could not be happier. We did NOT purchase the cylindrical engraver which, by the way, will NOT be able to utilize Series III.

Interestingly, as it turns out, sales reps from Vision had actually
monitored our forum postings as related to my thread. I would not have
believed it except that when we arrived at the Vision booth, the Southern California rep had my name and company name written on his lined tablet in the hope that I would be stopping by. He was able to recite our complete forum thread dialogue.

In the end, we cut a pretty good deal for what we got. And, I am very
confident that the forum "chatter" contributed to that end.

So, again, I thank you for your insight and replies.

From: JHayes55 [#14]
 1 Aug 2005
To: gt350ed [#13] 1 Aug 2005

Ed was the sales rep for Vision Joe Brill? Congradulations on your purchase. What will be your main use of the Vision?

From: gt350ed [#15]
 1 Aug 2005
To: JHayes55 [#14] 3 Aug 2005

Howdy, Joe! Yes, the reps name is Joel Brill. He will be doing our set-up and training. But the bulk of the deal (most of the time spent with us) was with Carl Thompson, National Sales Manger. Both of these guys were great.

We also spent a lot of time with Xenetech and Gravograph NH but just could not come to grips with various aspects of the equipment, price, and the overall approach. We know that both brands have a great reputation but, sometimes you just have to go with your own evaluation of where you are at, combined with what just feels right.

We wanted to talk with Quality 1 but they were a no show. At least we never found them to be there. And we were ready to buy at the show.

By the way, we also purchased a 24" CE3000 Graphtec cutter/plotter. Got a great deal on that as well.

Who knows what we'll be doing with the Phoenix 1212? We'll take it wherever it will go. As you may recall, our business operates out of two facilities. One is the store. The other is the production shop in a building at our residence. Although our laser covers 90% of what we are called upon to do, we've always recognized a need for a rotary. And in our case, the rotary will be placed in the store. Initially, it will be used for "same day" stuff and sports medals, name badges, etc.

Initially, the cutter/plotter will be used for banners (sports, as well as business promotional).

We also bit the bullet and made a significant investment in clipart. Frankly, we have needed it. It was long overdue and I'm not sure how we made it this far without it. We purchased from Smart Designs and upgraded our Corel from 9 to 12 while we were at it.

Anyway, enough for now. I have to go earn the money to cover all the checks I wrote this weekend.

Hey, August 1st, our Second Anniversary with a storefront. Now, where's the number of that bankruptcy attorney?

From: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#16]
 1 Aug 2005
To: gt350ed [#15] 1 Aug 2005


Those are some great investments that will serve your future well. Thanks for sharing a bit of your vision.

You are right-on with the decision to have the 1212 at your showroom. I don't anticipate it will ever find its way back to your other facility.

From: gt350ed [#17]
 1 Aug 2005
To: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#16] 1 Aug 2005

Thanks, David! We're very excited. This kind of represents the next big step in the evolution of our fledgling business; happening on the occasion of the store's 2nd anniversary. The laser, sandblasting and sublimation got us this far and, while they will continue in their roles (I make them sound like living things), we now have additional tools.

Of course, with new tools comes the "new" (for us anyway) learning curve. Although we have no illusions regarding the work ahead, we're energized by what these things can mean to our revenue stream and our continued growth.

And through it all, isn't it nice to know that this wonderful peer group exists to exchange ideas and ask and answer questions, etc. ?

Have a great evening!

From: Stunt Engraver (DGL) [#18]
 2 Aug 2005
To: gt350ed [#15] 2 Aug 2005


Congratulations on the new equipment and your anniversary. There will be many more to follow. I'm certain. :-) 

From: gt350ed [#19]
 2 Aug 2005
To: Stunt Engraver (DGL) [#18] 2 Aug 2005

Thanks, David L. ! It certainly will contribute to keeping us from getting away yet this summer. As if that were going to happen anyway.

From: UCONN Dave & Lynn too (DANDL48) [#20]
 3 Aug 2005
To: gt350ed [#17] 3 Aug 2005


Looks like you ran wild at the show! Good thing we didn't take you up on the lunch you offered!

Good luck with the new purchases.


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