CNC Laser cutter/engraver

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CNC Laser cutter/engraver

Post by ajmadison » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:30 pm

Couple of years ago, there was a proliferation of desktop Pro-sumer CNC Laser cutters available for sale. Most of them were Chinese knockoffs of dubious value and even less compatibility with typical CAD Software formats. I decided I'd like to augment my 3D printing with some form of high-precision 2D materials. Laser cut sheet styrene or potentially going the acid-etched brass route. I noticed the bottom has fallen out on CNC Laser machines, but they appear to NOT be worth the effort to deal with. I thought I'd ask for the experiences of those who have proceeded with high precision 2D printing. Without knowing more, believe I'm brave enough to proceed with a "build your own" kind of solution, modified M3, kit-built 3D printer, or even the "mostly 3D printed CNC machine" from Thingaverse. Or is my best bet is the upload design on the internet, paying the contractor, and getting my designs in the mail? If so, what websites/vendors do you recommend? Thanks in advance...

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Re: CNC Laser cutter/engraver

Post by Phil » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:03 pm

I intermittently belong to a local 'maker space' that has three laser engravers/cutters, ($35/month). They are large, powerful, and accurate. (40-60 Watts, 24"x36"). It was a mild PITA to go to the class to learn how to use the machines, but it is well worth having professional-quality equipment available. Perhaps you have a 'maker space' near you?

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Re: CNC Laser cutter/engraver

Post by willnewton » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:52 pm

I have built an MPCNC and use it as a laser engraver. It does a fairly amazing, but slow job. You can’t engrave metal, but plastic/paper/wood (flammable stuff) are not a problem. Also don’t expect much cutting either. The small laser is not powerful enough.

Don’t be fooled though, it will easily start a fire and blind you just the same as any other laser.

Fun project to build. I also use mine as a large format printer, but it has been in laser mode for a while now. If I did it again, I would build a machine dedicated to each and stack them. Laser on bottom, printer/router on top.
printed frames, lasered panels
I'm finally back to where I started two days ago!

A thread with some stuff in it I update every once in a while. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9
See some of my stuff

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Re: CNC Laser cutter/engraver

Post by sthone » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:23 pm

Those are some pretty cool tap handles.... makes me want to dig out my cheapy Chinese laser cutter/engraver that I bought and only used once. :D
See my projects at

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