Diy laser cutter ideas
Pieces made with a laser cutter tend to be flat and even making them ideal for creating angular projects or those that require flat layers, unlike 3D printers that can create irregular and completely 3D objects from scratch. After materials own been printed, they can be affixed together or to other materials to create the final object.
The two machines may be useful during diverse parts of the creation process. For example, a 3D printer is a grand way to make an inexpensive prototype before moving on to full production at size with other materials.
On the other hand, some people do create final projects with 3D printed materials.
Laser cutters may cost more than 3D printers, which are available at a variety of price points. However, some people consider cutters more dependable as 3D printers can jam.
Laser cutters can also create objects and prototypes faster. Imagine printing a little shape out of a piece of wood. It may take just a few cuts. In comparison, a 3D printer has to create the shape out of the filament, which can take longer and cost more for the materials. Starting with a piece of material and cutting away what is unnecessary can make laser cutting the more affordable option, especially when the finish object is larger.
With both 3D printers and laser cutters, the project is confined to the size of the unit or platform. This may require users to break the project below into smaller components if possible.
3D-printed objects are always made of filament used, which may not always create the ideal functional or aesthetic output. However, the filament may be further treated to change the object’s appearance. A laser cutter’s compatibility with a wider variety of materials is appealing to people who love to experiment.
While you need to purchase compatible materials with your laser cutter, you may own unlimited options and possibilities due to the adaptability of the laser cutter. A 3d printing filament may be compatible if you purchase it from another source, but you may own to wind it onto a compatible spool to ensure it fits in your machine.
Ultimately, 3D printers and laser cutters can be used to create, but neither machine is perfect for every situation. These devices can complement one another and even create objects that can be attached to create something new altogether.
If you’re unsure which device is best for your needs, check out the products and materials on the Digilab website to get an thought of what’s available and how you can use it.
Hi, i am a product manager who likes to share electronics, Seeing this question from you, I would be happy to share with you about laser engraving machine.
4 Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Laser Engraving Machine
Buying a laser engraving machine is an significant decision for businesses and individuals.
This sophisticated piece of technology makes use of high-powered lasers to engrave designs onto diverse surfaces.
Like 3D printers, a laser engraving machine is also computer-controlled and performs the occupation effectively once provided with the CAD design.
However, diverse things need to be considered before buying a laser engraving machine. With so numerous options available in the market, determining the correct fit for you can be a daunting task.
In this article, we own discussed some of the factors which you need to consider before buying a laser engraving machine.
4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Laser Engraving Machine
Your decision to purchase a laser engraving machine should be guided by the needs you own from it. Firstly, determine what you need to fulfill by using the machine.
Determine which type of material you need to act out engraving. There are diverse kinds of materials available in the market, which include wood, plastic, paper, acrylic, and metals to engrave on.
Not every engravers can engrave on every of these material types. Thus, select the one that meets your requirements.
In addition to this, determine the engraving area required. Some laser engraver offers a large area and while other offers small.
Determine whether you need it for DIY personal use at home, or is it required for professional use? Spending a lot of money doesn't make much sense for personal use at home.
However, if it is needed for professional requirements, it is worth to invest in a machine with optimal performance and efficiency with high laser power.
Your budget for the purchase is going to determine the helpful of machine you will purchase. Though the price of the laser engraving machine isn't necessarily going to dictate the quality of it, budget is one of the things to be considered while making a purchase decision.
Maintenance is another crucial thing to consider while buying a laser engraving machine. Discover out how frequently the maintenance is required for the machine and whether you can do it yourself or needs to hire someone else.
Determining whether the device is simple to maintain or repair is complicated, resulting in a lot of downtimes. If it is hard to maintain, your company might need to hire a technician to do the maintenance activity, which can result in additional cost.
Thus, glance for a machine that is simple to maintain and repair.
Best Laser Engraving Machine
The following are some of the best laser engraving machines that you can consider to purchase depending upon the requirements.
Alfawise C30 2500mW Large Area Frame Laser Engraving Machine
Alfawise C30 offers large area engraving, ensuring that diverse kinds of needs can be met. The high-intensity laser machine can be used to act out engraving on various materials, including paper, bamboo, wood, leather, sponge, plastic, and ox horn.
It comes with an simple assembly design and a replaceable laser module. With 2500mW laser power, it offers an engraving area of 450mm x 400 mm.
It is currently available on sale on Gearbest. You can purchase it for $169.99 only.
2. Alfawise C10 Pro CNC Laser Engraving Machine
Alfawise C10 Pro offers a high degree of modularity. With a 2500mW laser power, you can quickly assemble and install the machine on your own, without the need for any technical assistance.
With higher engraving speed, you can easily engrave diverse models and shapes on material such as wood. Though not explicitly suited for professionals, you can purchase the machine for personal or DIY use.
The machine made from aluminum material offers better stability and durability with more precision.
The engraving area offered is 300 x 180mm. It is currently on sale, at $179.99 on Gearbest.
3. Alfawise C10 CNC Laser Engraver
Alfawise C10 is better suited for individuals who act out DIY at home. With a 2500mW laser module, you can engrave on diverse materials, including wood, acrylic, plastic, PCB, and other similar materials.
You can use this machine if you desire to engrave on brass, iron, or steel. It is lightweight and simple to carry.
The working area is 300mm x 180mm x 40mm. The laser engraver is available on Gearbest for just $149.99. Check it out before it runs out of the sale.
4. Eazmaker C1310B Wood Router Portable Professional CNC Laser Engraving Machine
Eazmaker C1310B is made from aluminum material, thus making the laser engraving machine lightweight and durable. It is simple to carry and install and does not requires much technical assistance for set up.
The engraving area is not too large but is sufficient for your daily needs for engraving little things. You can get an engraving area of 13 x 10 x 4 cm. You can purchase the machine for $189.99 on Gearbest. Check it out before the sale ends.
All of these laser engraving machines are currently available on sale with excellent discounts.
Whether you need it for professional and personal use, there is an option for everyone. Select the one that better suits your requirements.
If you are looking for a machine that cuts through diverse materials, it will be more costly as compared to others. There might be a cheaper option, but it might consume a lot of power and energy. It could become expensive in the endless run. You need to consider every these factors need while setting a budget.
There are diverse kinds of laser engravers available in the market, starting from $70 to $20,000.
Some of the factors that affect the prices include laser power, engraving area, engraving material, and the laser type.
3. Replacement Parts
Another factor to consider is whether the replacement parts are readily available when the laser engraving machine breaks below. Regardless of which device you purchase, it is going to break below eventually.
There will come a time when you will own to replace some parts — no matter how carefully you maintain the machine.
Thus, it becomes vital to know whether the replacement parts of the laser engraving machine are available with ease, or you will own to wait for months before getting them.
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A product manager who likes to share electronics
Maintenance is an inevitable part of owning a laser cutter.
As noted, I’ve only had the laser set up for a few weeks and everything came well configured, so I haven’t had to go digging under the hood yet. If something suddenly breaks on me during my time with the cutter, I’ll update this post accordingly. But either way, maintenance will be part of the process for owners.
Even if nothing breaks unexpectedly, some of the parts involved are “consumable” and thus expected to wear below with use. The lens, mirror and laser tube, for example, are expected to final about a year with regular use, according to the company’s estimates.
The team says those parts should cost about $19, $9 and $139 to replace, respectively, and you’ll be capable to purchase them through their online store. Plan ahead for those recurring costs, and make certain you’re comfortable with the thought of eventually tearing the machine apart before you dive in.
You’ll also need to hold things clean to hold them operating well. Burning stuff dirties the optics, and dirty optics lead to weaker cuts and faster wear. You’ll desire to pop the work bed out regularly to get rid of any debris, and hold every the moving bits lubed. There’s more to keeping a laser cutter working well than tell, an inkjet printer.
Overall, though, so far so excellent.
The machine looks beautiful grand on a table; it’s not fairly as shiny and Apple-y as a Glowforge, but it should mix into a home office or studio beautiful easily.
It’s light enough to be easily moved by two people, and took me every of a few minutes to get up and running. If you don’t mind the occasional software hiccup, can figure out sufficient ventilation, are mostly working on projects that fit within beamo’s wattage/work area capabilities and are below to get under the hood for maintenance, beamo seems love a solid machine so far.
Many maker spaces and classrooms are equipped with both 3D printers and laser cutters, and creative people may own one or both devices in their homes and workshops.
Together, these two tools can be used to teach new skills and inspire creativity. Projects created with either a 3D printer or a laser cutter may be artistic, functional, or both.
These machines are cutting-edge technology that can inspire us to ponder exterior the box. They can be used together, but you might wonder whether you should get a laser cutter or a 3D printer, instead. To answer that, you need to understand how each device works.
Both machines rely on software to design your final project, and some devices own internal software and screens directly on them so users can operate them without needing a separate computer (although, some models can also join to computers).
The designing process might seem similar between 3D printers and laser cutters. However, there are some key differences.
Getting it running
My beamo unit came ready to go correct out of the box, mirrors aligned, moving parts every lubed up. I plugged it in, set up some basic ventilation, ran through about 10 minutes of software installation and configuration and started firing away. It every just worked on the first shot.
Speaking of ventilation: you’ll need it. Laser cutting is basically a tiny, super controlled fire… and that means smoke. Depending on what you’re cutting, that smoke can be super noxious.
Cutting wood? It won’t smell too bad, but it’s still not something you desire in your lungs on the regular. Etching a logo into felt? It’ll smell love you’re burning a trash can full of hair. Beamo uses a 200CFM exhaust fan to tug smoky air out of the machine, dumping it out through a 4″ exhaust hose that you’ll need to run through a window (or, if you’re feeling additional fancy, a dryer exhaust-style vent through a wall.) Expect to need about 8″ of clearance between the machine and any wall behind it for the exhaust hose and its bends, unless the path to the window is a straight shot.
The exhaust system is decent, but you’ll probably need to fiddle with how the hose runs to get it just correct.
If you’re venting through a window, you’ll desire to figure out a way of sealing up the open gaps around the hose to limit any fumes that might float back into the room. Put time into getting it correct. If the room still smells smokey hours after you’ve cut, you’ll desire to hold working on your ventilation. You don’t desire to breath that stuff in, especially if you’re running the laser more than occasionally.
Beamo’s built-in touchscreen. You’ll mostly control it over Wi-Fi, but you can access some basic functionality and monitor occupation progress here.
If you’re new to laser cutting, you should also put the time into learning what you shouldn’t put in these machines.
Some materials are safe to laser cut, but tend to catch on fire easily. Some materials will just melt and screw up your machine. Other things (PVC!) will straight up emit chlorine gas when you hit them with a laser. If you’re moving beyond the basics of cutting thin wood/acrylic/cardboard or engraving glass, research it.
So what SHOULD you cut? Woods are a excellent go-to (though you’ll desire to limit it to less oily stuff — because, again, fire). Cardboard is enjoyment to cut for things love spray paint stencils.
Leather is excellent, with practice, and you can do every sorts of really tidy stuff with acrylic. You can’t cut glass, but you can engrave it; same goes for rubber, though that’s one you’ll desire to source from a put that sells materials known to be laser safe.
The thickness of the material you can cut tends to be limited by a laser’s wattage, while height/width is generally limited by the size of the work area. At 30W, beamo’s laser can slice its way through wood about 1/8″ thick; its work area, meanwhile, comes in at 11.81″ x 8.27″.
You can make a lot of cool stuff within those bounds, but be aware of them — buying a bunch of material only to get it home and realize you’re a few watts short of a finish cut is a bummer. If you foresee needing deeper cuts or bigger pieces, beefier lasers exist without too massive a leap in price. As examples: Flux’s other laser cutter, the $2,500 Beambox, bumps the laser up to 40W and the work area up to 15.7″ x 14.7″; the $2,500 base model from competitor Glowforge comes in at 40W with a work area of roughly 11″ x 19.5″.
Fire the lasers!
Got everything plugged in, ventilation set up and your materials purchased?
Time to cut! Well, almost.
You’ll mostly be controlling beamo through Beam Studio, a free piece of software provided by Flux for Windows, macOS and Ubuntu. As far as laser cutting software goes, I’m really fairly pleased with it so far.
Beam Studio is super straightforward, but darn powerful for a free companion app. If you’re looking to cut out basic shapes, etch text or lay below some bezier curves, it can do it. Desire to etch a picture of your dog into some wood to make a keychain? Just drop an image onto the work area, scale as desired, then move a slider to tweak the black/white threshold until it looks correct.
You can work in layers, setting up a raster layer to be etched and then a vector layer to cut it out immediately after.
Beamo has a built-in camera system, allowing you to quickly scan the work bed before dragging and dropping your designs wherever you desire them. The first time you join to beamo, you’ll be asked to calibrate the camera — a process that was considerably simpler than I expected.
Put a piece of paper on the work bed, and beamo will fire a quick test pattern into it. Beam Studio will then snap a picture of what it just etched, projecting an overlay of where it thinks the test pattern is versus its scan. Nudge the overlay around until everything is perfectly stacked, and you’re set. You’ll desire to re-run this alignment process every once in a while (it’s quick) if you need precise placement.
The camera system here really is incredibly useful. After about 30 minutes with beamo, I was doing things that are at best annoying on camera-less cutters — things love etching a design, cutting it out, then immediately flipping the cut piece and etching on the other side without worrying about uncertain placement.
I just rescanned the work bed, dragged the image where I wanted it on the freshly cut side B, and fired away.
The camera is quick, but not instant. Scanning the entire work area takes about 30 seconds. If you only need a certain area scanned (like, tell, the top half of the work area, or the rough area around something you’ve already cut), fortunately, that’s an option. Just drag the scanning boundary box accordingly.
If you need to do something beyond what the free software can handle (or if you just prefer working in apps love CorelDraw or Illustrator), Beam Studio can import JPGs, PNGs and SVGs.
While more capable than I expected, the software isn’t without its quirks.
Beam Studio will attempt to hold you updated with a progress ticker, but don’t rely on it too much for predicting timing. I’ve had projects shoot up to 40% in the first 30 seconds, only to take five minutes for the relax to finish. There was an occasion or two where the software threw out an error in Mandarin that I didn’t desire to dismiss without a quick pass through Translate… but for the most part, it was solid, stable and enjoyment to use.
In its base configuration, beamo’s laser is manually focused, meaning you’ll need to focus things by hand each time you put new material inside the machine.
Fortunately, focusing it is super straightforward: put material in, rotate a piece of acrylic attached to the laser head, lower the laser head until the acrylic is just barely touching the material, then lock the laser head back in put and lift the acrylic out of the way.
Flux says that it’ll ship a $250 add-on module that introduces autofocus to the stir, but I didn’t get to test that. They’re also working on a $499 rotary add-on that will let you etch designs onto cylindrical items (think shot/pint glasses), but out of the box, it’s flat stuff only.
As with every single laser I’ve ever worked with, working with a new material — or even, sometimes, the same material from a diverse source — requires some fiddling.
You’ll be tweaking the speed at which the laser moves, the power of the laser and how numerous passes it makes over the same path; you desire to hold the power low enough to minimize scorching and maximize the life of the laser, while making certain you’ve done enough repeat passes to cut completely through. Beam Studio comes with a bunch of presets for diverse materials that can get you beautiful shut (and you can save your own favorites, once you’ve found them), but expect to experiment a little when you’re working with a new material for the first time.
Purchase additional material.
As for noise: operating with fans running full force, it’s not what I’d call “quiet,” but it’s not so noisy that it’s uncomfortable to sit next to. The company’s specs pin it at around 65 db — louder than your average conversation, but a bit quieter than, tell, a vacuum. The fans do whir endlessly when the machine is idling, so you’ll probably desire to cut the power between cutting sessions.
If for some reason you need to open the lid while the laser is operating, beamo’s built-in automatic kill switch will cut power to the laser to protect your eyes.
Shut the lid again and the occupation can be resumed correct from where you left off. While the company says that the acrylic lid provides sufficient eye protection for beamo’s 30W Class 1 laser (though they note that you shouldn’t stare correct at the laser beam, lid or not), I absolutely recommend picking up and wearing a pair of CO2 laser safety goggles, especially when it comes time to pop the machine open and do any maintenance. Speaking of…
All About 3D Printers
A 3D printer is an additive process.
Essentially, you are adding material to create something. When you design for a 3D printer, you can create something from scratch. Even if you’re creating an accessory for something else, the piece is «printed» separately from nothing, and you must attach it later. 3D printers own created prosthetic bones, jewelry, coasters, and even parts of houses!
How is this possible? 3D printers rely on a thin cord known as filament. Filaments come in diverse materials and colors including translucent. Manufacturers offer filament from PLA (the most favorite filament material), PETG, nylon, and Eco-ABS.
They’re every plastic-like materials with some being stronger or more flexible than others.
However, you may be capable to purchase filament mixed with wood fibers or metal dust for a diverse appearance. You can even use biodegradable, magnetic, ceramic, color changing, and conductive materials with some 3D printers. To ensure your filament is compatible, it must be wound onto a spool that fits your machine and the correct size. Filaments are often 1.75mm or 3mm thick.
Think of a 3D printer love a pen except the ink is replaced with the filament, which is heated by the printer to deposit some of the material in put according to your design. You can understand this easier by watching videos of 3D printers.
The printer deposits more filament material, typically starting from the bottom and moving up until the object is complete.
To create a complicated object, users may own to 3D print multiple objects and assemble them at later points. It may be necessary to switch filaments when they run out or to incorporate diverse colors. Finally, objects created with 3D printers can appear rough and require sanding or other finishing touches to remove the traces of the printing process.
All About Laser Cutters
On the other hand, laser cutters rely on subtracting. As the name suggests, users make cutouts with lasers to achieve their desired shape.
A home laser cutter can be used to create jewelry, decor, and art or to engrave various objects. Laser cutters can be compatible with a variety of materials: wood, acrylic, cardboard, glass, leather, metal, and rock, among others. Depending on how powerful the laser cutter is (and how thick the material), it may only be capable to etch a specific material and not cut every the way through.
Laser cutters are safe when the laser is encased. Although, you own to consider the fumes, which can be dangerous. Airflow is definitely necessary when using a laser cutter.