The blunt contrast between the hi-tech digital interface and the fundamental pulse arc stylus is not lost on anyone who first bumps into the Orion 200i micro welder from Sunstone. The contrast is stark, but the relationship between the tech and the arc runs deep.
Let’s start first with the digital interface, because what happens at the end of the electrode begins with the touchscreen. The technology is what differentiates the Orion 200i from any other pulse arc welder on the market—that and the available power (up to 200 Joules!).
The purpose of the digital interface is to provide the operator (that’s you) absolute control over the weld. As an artist working with all types of metals, being able to adjust power and how the power is delivered allows you to work with any medium.
For operators who are new to micro welding, the touchscreen interface can be set to display the ‘basic’ control tab, a screen that lets operators configure their weld parameters in three easy steps:
The display will update after each selection to illustrate how the selections affect the weld. The Orion 200i has been programmed with different presets based on 12 different metal types and five different applications, meaning there are more than 60 different combinations available to help anyone find appropriate settings and make successful welds.
For operators who prefer to go a little deeper into the weld settings, the interface can be set to display the Arc control tab. In the Arc screen, operators have one-touch access to complete weld customization. With every project you can quickly adjust the waveform, weld energy, pulse time, agitation settings, ignition options, and more.
So what does “going deeper” into the weld settings mean? The Orion 200i is unlike any other micro pulse arc welder in the amount of control and adjustments it offers the operator. For starters, the Orion 200i has a power range from 0.15 to 200 Joules, and the energy can be adjusted by as little as 0.05 Joule increments. Jewelers and artists who find themselves needing to weld 34 AWG (0.16mm) wires together on one day, and then needing to weld 1/8” (3mm) thick armature and sculpture wire the next day, can do so with the Orion 200i.
What is also helpful, when making adjustments to the energy, is that the user interface will display an approximate spot size (or weld size). The estimated spot size takes some of the guess work out of determining how much energy to use for a particular job.
The Orion 200i is capable of welding many different types of metals and can be used for a large variety of jewelry production and repair applications. The Orion 200i comes with presets for the following metals, but rest assured that this list is not all inclusive of what the Orion can weld: yellow gold, white gold, titanium, silver, palladium, tungsten, aluminum, brass, and many others.
Operators can become proficient welding the following applications: prong re-tipping, ring resizing, closing jumprings, adding wires, filling porosity, eyeglass frame repair, chain repair, hollowear, springs and clasps, and temporary tacking prior to soldering.
The Orion 200i can be used for a wide breadth of different applications. So much so that Sunstone’s YouTube channel contains a long playlist featuring application shots using only the 200i.
In addition to the weld parameter controls, the Orion 200i has many other menus and tabs that empower the operator. The welder’s operation manual and how-to videos can be quickly accessed on screen. All the material is indexed and includes a search option for faster searching.
The Orion 200i also includes dozens of application videos. When you select an application video suitable to your current needs, you have the option to load the weld settings used in the video. That one-click feature will save lots of setup time.
How has the Orion200i been accepted by bench jewelers? “I use my pulse arc welder every day,” says Jeff Bramblet, owner of Ross’s Fine Jewelers. “The ability to weld small or large items is fantastic. Between my Orion pulse arc welder and laser welder there is nothing I can not handle at my bench.”
The Orion 200i has a MSRP of USD $8,000 and can be shipped to nearly any location. Contact Sunstone Engineering at +1 801-658-0015 for more information (you can call or text to that number) or visit www.sunstonewelders.com.