Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun



Moderators: PumpkinPieces, Gunner Recall, metalmariachi

Forum rules
The DIY forum is for personal projects (things that are not for sale, not in production), info sharing, peer to peer assistance. No backdoor spamming (DIY posts that are actually advertisements for your business). No clones of in-production pedals. If you have concerns or questions, feel free to PM admin. Thanks so much!

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Dr. Sherman Sticks M.D. » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:58 am

ah spoke too soon, just googled it.

so they provide the software and then its a usb connection?
Dr. Sherman Sticks M.D.

User avatar
IAMILFFAMOUS
IAMILFFAMOUS
 
Posts: 3682
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: rochester, ny

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Pepe » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:23 am

This is awesome! Looks really great. :eek:
Pepe

User avatar
FAMOUS
FAMOUS
 
Posts: 1135
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:41 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby jwar » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:43 pm

A couple things. You should not need an air assist while engraving a raster image. If you are vector cutting however, you will. The frequencies are quite different and you need it to prevent fires. I'd also keep an extinguisher handy just in case. Though I've never had any paint start fire yet. Almost but not there. :)

Chinese set ups can be fun but be careful. If they aren't properly sealed they can give off radiation.

You need some sort of exhaust if you don't have one. Use this instead of the air assist. Trust me. I've been using a laser for around 4 years now. You can get a load but good enough one at Harbor Freight for pretty cheap. I use an airbrush compressor for air assisting too. So both items can be purchased there.

Powder coating is a bitch to cut through unless you have a fiber laser. So, look into that if you ever want a new laser. You should not have to do anything to the powder coating after engraving other than clear coating it. I mean, clean it up with some alcohol or even water, then dry it and clear coat it. That will protect the finish for years.

For removing residue, use Goof Off. It works like a fucking charm man. The denatured alcohol works too but it takes more elbow grease.

Looks good man! If you have any questions and I can help, let me know!!
"My boner"

-Jwar

"You may caress my harem of large velvety hammers any time".

- The Velvet Hammer

"#I'mwithJwar"

-D.O.S.

"Also this thread is now on page 2399, and the pt2399 is the most used delay chip for most dirty delays. Coincidence? therefore 9/11".

-multi_s
jwar

User avatar
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 14736
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: Inside your mother

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:31 am

jwar wrote:Chinese set ups can be fun but be careful. If they aren't properly sealed they can give off radiation.

You need some sort of exhaust if you don't have one. Use this instead of the air assist.

This thing ain't boxed in at all, so there's no way to seal it or have an exhaust (unless I make enclosure for it). I typically etch powdercoating outside on the back deck and use a fan blowing across the whole setup as my "exhaust". Here's what they look like assembled:
Image

I'm not gonna pay fiber laser money to cut these boxes when I can use a diode laser @ 2.5W for $175. $10k+ for a hobby pedal tool is a bit much for my bank account. :lol:

For Function f(x), we use a 30W CO2 Eiplog (and I'm not the guy operating as I know very little about how lasers work, as you can tell by these posts). This little dinker is just me fucking around in my garage to see how much utility I can squeeze out of the cheapest possible machine.

A lot of people told me that anything sub-20W wouldn't be enough to etch powdercoated boxes. My reaction: Challenge Accepted! :poke:
Disclaimer #1: Co-Founder, Product Developer at Function f(x).
Disclaimer #2: Partner at 424 Studios
Disclaimer #3: I do sporadic, infrequent contract work for Black Arts Toneworks
culturejam

User avatar
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 2333
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:25 pm
Location: Nueva Yersey

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Chankgeez » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:22 am

phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?
Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me
"You can't copyright circuits really." - Ed Sanner …………….0.............
"The effects market was really nothing more than a bunch of beggars and theives, all building off one another's work." - Dan Armstrong…...........................…
Sweet dealin's: here

I don't have a pedalboard. If I did, it'd be worth approximately 666 Metal Zones.
Chankgeez

User avatar
IAMILFFAMOUS
IAMILFFAMOUS
 
Posts: 29807
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:40 am

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:49 am

Chankgeez wrote:phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?

Yep, and for <$500: http://amzn.to/2gs8hLj
Disclaimer #1: Co-Founder, Product Developer at Function f(x).
Disclaimer #2: Partner at 424 Studios
Disclaimer #3: I do sporadic, infrequent contract work for Black Arts Toneworks
culturejam

User avatar
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 2333
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:25 pm
Location: Nueva Yersey

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Chankgeez » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:50 am

:lol:
Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me
"You can't copyright circuits really." - Ed Sanner …………….0.............
"The effects market was really nothing more than a bunch of beggars and theives, all building off one another's work." - Dan Armstrong…...........................…
Sweet dealin's: here

I don't have a pedalboard. If I did, it'd be worth approximately 666 Metal Zones.
Chankgeez

User avatar
IAMILFFAMOUS
IAMILFFAMOUS
 
Posts: 29807
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:40 am

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby jwar » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:15 pm

I get what you're saying. What I'm saying however is to be careful. :) I didn't pay 10k for my newest laser and it's a 30 Watt Epilog. It was more like 7k. haha.

The only problem with the Chinese stuff is there's no support if the stuff breaks, which it will eventually. So, I guess for most folks, hobbyist or not, they just weigh the overall costs of replacing a machine versus buying one that has US support. If I have an issue with my Epilog, I can literally phone up and get support or my rep can come out and fix shit.

I guess if you're just trying to get your feet wet and fuck around, it doesn't matter though. I've often thought about trying something like this in leu of what I'm using now. I just don't have anywhere to set up anything else.
"My boner"

-Jwar

"You may caress my harem of large velvety hammers any time".

- The Velvet Hammer

"#I'mwithJwar"

-D.O.S.

"Also this thread is now on page 2399, and the pt2399 is the most used delay chip for most dirty delays. Coincidence? therefore 9/11".

-multi_s
jwar

User avatar
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 14736
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: Inside your mother

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby multi_s » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:13 pm

jwar wrote:I get what you're saying. What I'm saying however is to be careful. :) I didn't pay 10k for my newest laser and it's a 30 Watt Epilog. It was more like 7k. haha.

The only problem with the Chinese stuff is there's no support if the stuff breaks, which it will eventually. So, I guess for most folks, hobbyist or not, they just weigh the overall costs of replacing a machine versus buying one that has US support. If I have an issue with my Epilog, I can literally phone up and get support or my rep can come out and fix shit.

I guess if you're just trying to get your feet wet and fuck around, it doesn't matter though. I've often thought about trying something like this in leu of what I'm using now. I just don't have anywhere to set up anything else.


Buying literally the cheapest you can get and seeing what it can do is always very intriguing to me (chinese or not). Sometimes this has turned out to be foolish but sometimes you get some pretty usable stuff for not much money. I don;t want to speak for the OP but i totally get having something like this to play with. Night of heavy drinking vs having a laser. (:

A few weeks ago I bought the cheapest 80w Co2 laser i could find. its still in shipping via canoe but was ~1K USD so im not expecting much. Even on aliexpress most 80w machines are 2k + so... i'll report back in if it ever shows up. ALso i dont mean to imply a night of heavy drinking costs me 1k.

I agree with the support for stuff from china, although some support i have received from some places has been quite good, it helps to know how to fix your own problems with most of these machines. The worst support however i have had with machine problems/the biggest screw you in the last few years was a company from Florida ,so there you go. Buying form USA does not always solve this problem/ensures nothing. It varies company by company, not country by country id say.

S
multi_s

User avatar
FAMOUS
FAMOUS
 
Posts: 1704
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:00 pm

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby jwar » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:41 pm

Oh I agree with you for sure.

For laser however, I've found that Epilog's support is amazing and it's nice to be able to get parts fast when you need them. For instance, if my tube goes out in my laser, I can have one in 3 days time from them. Or a mother board or if I need another lens...etc. I ordered a rotary device from them (it cost most than your whole laser LOL! WTF!) and it took 2 days to get here.

I've always been curious about those high wattage cheap guys. Let me know what you think. The more power, the faster you can run. My dream is to have a Galvo laser that's stupid fast so I can just pump shit out left and right. Even though I know I don't need it. hahaha
"My boner"

-Jwar

"You may caress my harem of large velvety hammers any time".

- The Velvet Hammer

"#I'mwithJwar"

-D.O.S.

"Also this thread is now on page 2399, and the pt2399 is the most used delay chip for most dirty delays. Coincidence? therefore 9/11".

-multi_s
jwar

User avatar
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 14736
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: Inside your mother

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:16 am

jwar wrote:I get what you're saying. What I'm saying however is to be careful. :) I didn't pay 10k for my newest laser and it's a 30 Watt Epilog. It was more like 7k. haha.

I meant a fiber laser. Those are usually pretty pricey, and there aren't many (if any) cheap Chinese options.

jwar wrote:The only problem with the Chinese stuff is there's no support if the stuff breaks, which it will eventually. So, I guess for most folks, hobbyist or not, they just weigh the overall costs of replacing a machine versus buying one that has US support. If I have an issue with my Epilog, I can literally phone up and get support or my rep can come out and fix shit.

Apples and oranges, really. My little dinky laser was $150. Any part on it is commodity junk I can get cheap online, or I could just buy a whole new kit and have a full set of replacement parts for next to nothing. It's all stepper motors, controller board, LED laser head, and v-rails. Way less complicated than a CO2 laser. No need for support.

jwar wrote:I guess if you're just trying to get your feet wet and fuck around, it doesn't matter though.

Yeah, that's the whole point. If I didn't make clear from my previous posts that I was just trying to see what the cheapest possible hardware can do, well...I guess I really blew it. :lol:

I know when you have really nice gear, you always want to recommend it to others, even if they are clearly not looking for that. I do it all the time with camera gear. Somebody asks what is the best point and shoot, I say: Canon 1Dx. If you can't get Canon Professional Services to answers your calls and send you replacement gear, what's the point in even having a camera? :lol:
Disclaimer #1: Co-Founder, Product Developer at Function f(x).
Disclaimer #2: Partner at 424 Studios
Disclaimer #3: I do sporadic, infrequent contract work for Black Arts Toneworks
culturejam

User avatar
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 2333
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:25 pm
Location: Nueva Yersey

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Gone Fission » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:51 pm

Would this be any use for etching bare aluminum, or just something softer like the finish CJ etched off?
D.o.S. wrote:Broadly speaking, if we at ILF are dropping 300 bucks on a pedal it probably sounds like an SNES holocaust.
friendship wrote:death to false bleep-blop
D.o.S. wrote:
Chankgeez wrote:No idea what the Spacemen 3 were using
Drugs. All of the drugs.
Gone Fission

User avatar
IAMILF
IAMILF
 
Posts: 2881
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:50 pm
Location: DC/MD

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby multi_s » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:18 am

Gone Fission wrote:Would this be any use for etching bare aluminum, or just something softer like the finish CJ etched off?


i really doubt it
multi_s

User avatar
FAMOUS
FAMOUS
 
Posts: 1704
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:00 pm

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:45 pm

Gone Fission wrote:Would this be any use for etching bare aluminum, or just something softer like the finish CJ etched off?

No, I'm afraid not. You need to spend a lot on a laser than can etch metal. It would be cheaper to get a CnC kit and mill the art into your enclosure. A LOT cheaper. And then you could do a ton else with it.
Disclaimer #1: Co-Founder, Product Developer at Function f(x).
Disclaimer #2: Partner at 424 Studios
Disclaimer #3: I do sporadic, infrequent contract work for Black Arts Toneworks
culturejam

User avatar
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 2333
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:25 pm
Location: Nueva Yersey

Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby multi_s » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:41 pm

if you use marking compound/cream it seems like you can use a modest laser to "etch" things on to metal. or you can anodize your case and then do a process similar to cj, from you tube it looks like this can be done with the 40-60watt range co2 lasers.

i have absolutely no experience doing this. i just looked on youtube. aka now i know everything.
multi_s

User avatar
FAMOUS
FAMOUS
 
Posts: 1704
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:00 pm

PreviousNext

Return to DIY Effects



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Gigahearts_FX and 4 guests


Sponsored Ad. (Please no inflated/repetitive clicking. Thanks!)

Advertisements help support ILF


ilovefuzz.com is not responsible for user-submitted content. Users participate at their own discretion and risk.