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Thread: Laser engraving machine?

  1. #11
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    A night out can cost around 50, so (IMHO) taking a chance on a something that could potentially save a lot of time, money and effort in the long run is worth risking 100 even if it ends up being a waste of money.

    However, in regard to the NEJE laser cutter, I read that the laser head life is "about 3 months to 1 year, but it's also closely related to how you use it. Main factors include: temperature, time intensity, current, voltage, anti static treatment, etc."

    So my first questions would be: How expensive is a new laser head and are spares easily available?

    Maintenance & spares are two important factors you cannot afford to overlook if you are going to buy equipment that you hope will save cost and effort.

    Have you considered using bespoke laser cutting services instead? Someone like this? http://www.bespokelaseruk.co.uk/

  2. #12
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    One of the reasons those are so cheap is the complete lack of safety. Personally, I wouldn't touch those with a bargepole. At a guess, they're Bluray-type laser diodes being overdriven (with some heatsinking, but not much) coupled to a cheap XY rig. There's no extraction, so if you're burning anything that's toxic there's no way to safely duct it (DO NOT use with PVC).

    In short, these are bloody dangerous toys.

    https://hackaday.com/2018/03/01/revi...aser-engraver/

  3. #13
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    Thanks Peter and handmadeblanks

    Perhaps I should just persevere with the cricut - it must be an age-thing but I just don't find it intuative at all when it comes to designing your own patterns (not interested in using their images) and getting it to cut how I design. The number of times I've started and then wanted to take my rubber mallet to it...
    Sally

  4. #14
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    If its to cut out shapes to roll onto metal maybe look at a vinyl cutter you could cut a decal and stick it not sure how well it will work.

  5. #15
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    Mar 2016
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    I have one of the NEJE models, bought it out of interest to see what was possible re: laser cut rolling mill texture papers.

    With practice you can get them calibrated to cut thin card part through, which rolls successfully.

    However, and it's a BIG however, you are limited by the area it will cut being about 1.5" square, far smaller than any of the 'commercial' laser cut textures that you can obtain online, and depending on the intricacy of even a small design it takes a long long long time. (Though as they are continually releasing upgraded/higher powered models, cutting time reduces)

    How long do they last in use... I don't know, apart from half a dozen test pieces I haven't used it extensively. Spares... I doubt if any will be available, especially as they seem to make an upgraded version of the device every few months (weeks!).

    Safety aspects... All of Peter's caveats hold true.

    Your best bet, if you have a design you want produced as laser cut paper, is to contact one or more of the on-line retailers, I'm sure one of them even advertises a bespoke service.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kay View Post
    Safety aspects... All of Peter's caveats hold true.
    I remember a sign at UCal Davis - "Do not look at LASER with remaining eye".
    It seems not even the K40 lasers beloved of hackspaces have safety interlocks as standard.

    Speaking of Hackspaces - I can't see from their web page if they have a cutter, but if they do it may make for an inexpensive solution: https://prestonhackspace.org.uk/

  7. #17
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    Truly touched you took the time to find a solution local to me!
    Thank you Peter.
    Sally

  8. #18
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    There seemed little point suggesting it as an option without making sure there was one relatively nearby first.

  9. #19
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    you can't afford the "top 3", then you're back to Chinese machines. You don't say what size you need, but anything larger than the desktop units sold on eBay will likely do you fine. 40W would be a minimum, but I'd expect the next size up from the desktop units probably use a 60W for starters and go up from there.

    If you want to save some money and import yourself, plenty of threads here that detail the process. If you want to throw a little more money at the problem for a more simple transaction, you need to find a domestic reseller... I recommend Rabbit Laser as the owner has a very good track record here, but there are other shops that might be just as useful. I have a shop or two that I highly recommend staying away from, but you can PM me for those as any thread I mention them in starts a fight and it eventually gets locked.

  10. #20
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    Mar 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps_bond View Post
    One of the reasons those are so cheap is the complete lack of safety...

    In short, these are bloody dangerous toys.
    Peter, check this one out for lack of safety features!!! https://www.surprise.shopping/index....product_id=128

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