Hey guys, I know this isn't really the most appropriate place to ask,

Hey guys,

I know this isn’t really the most appropriate place to ask, but I have been trolling through the laserweb and decided you guys are pretty cool kids :-P. Now I need a laser set up. Problem is, I have NO idea where to buy a laser, or what to buy, or what extra electronics I would need. I have a couple working cnc’s, am familiar with 3d printing, cnc milling, and cad programs so I’m not a complete noober.

All I have found is a Chinese ebay laser setup, or jtech “kit” but it’s pretty spendy. I appreciate all your help. You guys all kinda seem like programming wizards compared the cnc Google groups.


@Mark_Leino ​ Welcome, and yes we are cool kids. By saying jtech is expensive then you need to go with either a K40 CO2 laser for about $300 or bellow that a Chinese diode I beleive those are at bellow $200. For upgrades to the K40 lol at my profile and find a collection dedicated to it. You are going to enjoy a laser and will complete the Triple Play by also having a 3DP and CNC

Yeah I’m not necessarily worried about the cost, just want to be able to cut wood, acrylic, and do some engraving. Up to .25" of course. Where do you buy your k40’s? I would much rather order from a us seller than waiting a month for Chinese junk

@Mark_Leino Most people buy K40 through ebay sellers. Maybe other options exist. I can’t suggest a US seller as I’m AU based.

@Mark_Leino ​ look at best rating sellers on eBay and then pray it arrives in one piece. Most of us have done that if not all

Myself and a few others have had good luck with Globaldirectshipping or global freeshipping sellers on Ebay for our k40 Lasers. Add a smoothieboard to upgrade the controller, an air assist head with air pump and you are good to go for around $500-600 complete, able to cut 6mm or 1/4 ply and acrylic.


So can any of these cut .25"? Why are these only a couple watts, when all the Chinese versions are 40 watts?

@Mark_Leino Diode laser are very good at engraving not so much cutting exactly because of the power. You could cut with a diode ( i have done so ) but requires multiple passes and its better done with a machine that has Z axis. Several month ago before i hada K40, i had a diode mounted on my cnc

@Ariel_Yahni_UniKpty so would co2 or diode be better for general purpose cutting and engraving? I do have a z axis. I plan on ordering one today and figuring out how to use it when it arrives :slight_smile:

@Mark_Leino if you want to do cutting in the least amount of time for 6mm (1/4") i would go with the co2. Just mind that maintaining and setting up a co2 laser is much more work than a diode, is not plug and play, but lets say its similar in its own way to a cnc. I have being putting a blog on some details and stuff related for users who want to start on this http://www.thebetatester.xyz take a look there for a what to expect and need , if you want to

I have a http://Banggood.com diode laser engraver that I upgraded to 2W and have plans to upgrade to a 6W diode, but for your specs I would also suggest a CO2 laser setup. I love my diode setup but it is slow when it comes to cutting 3mm craft plywood.

You guys are a great help, thanks for helping out a laser noob. I still haven’t came to a decision yet.

Here’s pro/con list, feel free to offer some advice.

The jtech 2.8 seems like a great value from a reputable company. Sounds like a lot easier set up and maintenance, but not great for cutting through wood. Less parts to replace.

Co2 laser- better for cutting out parts from wood, more expensive from a maintenance stand point. Needs to be ordered from China and may not come with everything necessary to get it working.

@Mark_Leino ​ I agree on diode, disagree on co2. You order it from the US and its shipped from the US. Also it does come with everything needed to work inmediatly ( just add water). The rest are upgrades to either enhance or maker your life easier.

Thanks. I’m going some more research as we speak.

@Mark_Leino ​ this will be your average K40 shipped from US Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/281748993460

Ok. I have been trying to find just the laser parts to add onto a cnc machine I have and having Little luck. I guess it comes as a whole machine! Awesome thanks for that link. Thanks for all the support laser web gurus!

@Mark_Leino it will be by far cheaper to get the hole thing and then strip it if you want to, but then again a CNC is not where to have a Co2 laser, dust and safety among other factors

Alright @Ariel_Yahni_UniKpty ​, you talked me into it! As far as the 8x12 cutting area, is that usually enough? I suppose I won’t be able to stop myself from upgrading with openbuilds parts like you posted

@Mark_Leino ​ this is no fairytale. You will read stories of users chasing their tales trying to aling the mirrors ( myself included) not being able to cut paper at full power. That’s being said, 8x12 is a good size considering that by removing the metal exhaust you can place a 12x12. Oh and remember you need to send this fumes outside