I have a virus. Maybe the Covid shots caused this reaction. Must put the blame somewhere. I am not in my “right” mind. Then, maybe I am? Could be a left-brain right-brain struggle thing.
I ordered a second LASER engraver before receiving and using my first one.
The low cost of these tools influenced and permitted this strange behavior. The first machine was to be a conceptual test and as low cost as I could find. Therefore small. About 150mm x 160mm print area.
The newest machine has a print size 300mm x 300mm, almost four times the area. That’s about a foot square. A feature I really like is it has a two motor Y axis drive rather than the single Y drive with the clunky belt driven axel between the two Y rails. My shop overhead router has the same type Y axis drive and I know how to keep them in sync.
The newest LASER head is 5.5 watts output with a fixed focus beam. Dot size is a claimed 0.08mm sharp focus square and far more precise than the fuzzy rectangle spot of other LASERs. No idea if one machine will perform any differently than the other. Remember, this is a test. Only one sure specification is the newer machine is four times the print surface area permitting larger area projects.
I don’t think I need two LASER engravers. But this will give me the opportunity to make comparisons between the two. A square foot of surface is still not huge. When and if I settle into a “favorite” I will have a “spare” machine to share with anyone interested, without limiting my projects.
The LASER part in these machines is considered a consumable. Meaning it will not last forever. I have seen operating lifetime estimates all over the map. Far too many use factors to guarantee a number. A single miss-use can destroy the diode.
Neither of my machines are a lifetime investment. However, at my age they might be. Ha! Maybe that’s the reason I have purchased two. Trying to be an optimist here.
Last comment for now: These machines produce smoke and fumes. I consider them shop tools not office desktop printers. Smoke control is necessary. Neither of these low-cost machines provide for smoke control. So, it is up to me. I also think an air stream directed to the burn spot is a good idea. These additions are being considered and will be a subject of future posts in KautzCraft LASER blog.
PPS: Some actual project “show and tell” would be nice as well…