Check this thread - everything is very clear
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=107514 (Where did you purchase your laser??)
My advice - buy from Ray Scott
I've been trying to search through the old posts, the last one had 89 pages. I just can't seem to find what I'm looking for-
(yes, another dude looking for an affordable cheap laser)
but I'm looking for desktop size. No bigger than 10" x 10" working area or even smaller, household size able to run off 110, no cutting ability required, only engraving.
Also if someone could provide info or point me to the correct post about the differences in lasers-
-Different types and consumable parts
P.S.- I have more time than money, so speed isn't important!
Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,
Last edited by aka.apprentice; 07-13-2010 at 02:06 AM. Reason: forgot to put unit of measure
I agree 100%...
Rabbit RL-40-40A Mini Laser Engraver / Cutter
Here are some alternatives:
Full Spectrum Engineering
I have found the Artsign and Rabbit systems to be better than most, but there are certainly other assemblers out there which have comparable quality and use the same components.
The 40W desktop models are excellent for engraving (depending on the materials you plan to use). If you want to discuss the applications I can better inform you of the expected results.
The only consumable item is the laser tube itself, if you get a good one (which at least 90% are) it can last several years with care but it is also possible to get a 'dud' that may only last 6-12 months. Adequate cooling is essential, you need to be careful of hot spots (air bubbles, flow issues etc) as these can cause the tube to fail prematurely. Clean the mirrors and lens occasionally depending on the materials being engraved/cut and they will last for many years.
A replacement tube is easy to install if you have basic skills and shouldn't cost more that $250-300 delivered.
110V standard circuit is fine for these machines, some come with a step up transformer as the machine itself runs on 220V but you just plug that into the wall and the laser to it.
also do you have any idea what this guy coulda been doing wrong?
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105901 (rabbit laser useless machine)
Hmm...I just read that the co2 laser can't engrave metals without the use of LMMs, does anyone have any experience with that?
You are exactly right, low power CO2 lasers are not suitable for engraving metals. The LMM additive process allows you to MARK certain metals but it is still not an engraving.
The correct laser would be Nd:YAG or Yb:YAG (similar wavelength, the Ytterbium laser is becoming more common now and may be cheaper). These are not going to be in the same price range as the CO2 tubes, think at least 10X.
A better low cost alternative would be a rotary CNC engraver which will work on almost all materials and has a similar cost to the cheap CO2 desktop lasers. If you get a floating or depth control Z-head it will provide great results on uneven surfaces.
How permanent is the LMM? Or can you sand it off like other light laser etchings?
If that's the case, do you have a recommended desktop engraver? Hmm...those must have consumable tips right? (dumb question)
It is abrasion resistant but yes you can remove it with grinding, it is similar to other light etchings.
Take a look at the manufacturers sites to see if it's suitable:
A CNC system does require engraving cutters (consumable) but the cost would be much less than using LMM.
There are several desktop engravers available, I personally have a K2CNC machine (I built my own floating Z-head). They are an advertiser on cnczone and make a good product. I also own several GSP systems which are fantastic but not cheap.
Thanks for the info, I was just checking out the thermark site. I also just found out that my wife's cricket does engraving too, but only up to .015" lol.
Hello to all,
When it comes to mass marking metals, the proper method is to use a YAG laser. The problem is that the mark is generally a dull brown - blackish color. The LMM material that is applied by CO2 presents a darker result. The color is nearly black. The shine depends on the amount of laser power applied, but it is pretty hard to screw it up. The Sprayed LMM from Thermark worked great on Stainless. Yes, I would need to grind it off to remove it. I could barely cut the surface with a dental pick.
Thanks to everyone who recommends a rabbit laser from www.rabbitlaserusa.com .. It makes me proud.. . and we are working hard to continue to deserve the recommendations. Part of our work is that we refuse to sell the smallish tabletop models. They are so low price that they must use a cheap motion controller and software. Our manufacturer markets the product, but I won't sell it. I highly recommend that the bottom of the laser world should start at the RL-40-6040. This model can use any rotary attachment, has a work area of 600x400mm, pass-thru capable, USB, good software, ... and I have been testing the same systems for 2 years... Works just great.