Many people tell me that co2 laser gravers from Aliexpress a good and reliable.

Many people tell me that co2 laser gravers from Aliexpress a good and reliable.
I never tried one but I know that they are pretty expensive and you cannot buy something cheaper than $500.
Can anyone share with experience in using co2 or diode laser cutting / engraving machine? What was good and what was not?

It it a demand to have a tool for 3d printer, some sort of accessory for cutting or engraving?
For me it is very important to understand since we’re making diode lasers for 3d printers and CNC device.

Will appreciate any comments!

I don’t know what Aliexpress stores you have been looking at, but a quick search just returned 60W lasers for $80-90

@Mike_Thornbury Care to share any links? I’m seeing some components in that price range, but not complete machines.

I’m also seeing some laser pointers that they say are 60W (and they also say 60000mW), but that’s an obviously false claim because they are battery-powered diode lasers, and there are neither laser diodes nor batteries powerful enough to make devices that size with that power (and definitely not efficient enough to do so without huge heatsinks).

@Mike_Thornbury You definitely cannot get a 60w laser cutter, even a terrible one, for $80. You can’t even get a 60w laser tube for under $300.

Ok @Tim_Elmore , there ain’t no such animal. Do some research before you tell me I’m wrong. I won’t be an asshole about accepting your apology.

I’ve done a lot of research, I own a laser cutter. How about linking like Whosa whatsis said?

I own a bread knife. I wouldn’t presume to know all about bread knives. Your logic doesn’t hold water.

Here’s an exercise you can do at home -go to, enter the phrase “60W CO2 laser” and press enter

You’re welcome.

Yup did that. Full machines are starting at $1500. You can get a power supply for $100, but that’s not much good without the rest of the equipment.

And my logic does hold, if you spent over 100 hours researching your purchase, I’d say you do indeed know about bread knives.

Do you own a laser cutter?

Pushing your goalposts far and wide. The statement was made that you can’t buy anything on Aliexpress for under $500. You can.

A PSU for $80, a 60w co2for $80, now even you should be able to make that add up to less than $500.

Sigh. No, the statement was made that you cannot buy a good and reliable laser engraver for under $500.

Ok, lets play that game.

LPSU: $100
Tube: $250 (actual 60w tubes are not “$80”)
Controller/motors/chassis/rails: $150 if you piece it together and don’t fully enclose it, I guess
Mirrors and lens: $100

So no, you can’t make it add up to under $500. Certainly not “$80-90”. If you want to provide links to specific parts we can keep playing this game.

OP asked for someone to post with experience with laser cutters. Do you have said experience?

Is this the part where I won’t be an asshole about accepting your apology?

And fwiw, yes I have owned laser engravers and cutters in the past, since 1997. No, I don’t own one right at this moment. Not that it is of any relevance, but no doubt you were looking for a way to shut down any dissent -sorry to disappoint.

And fwiw2, just found a complete 40w co2 laser based engraving machine for $350, new.

Apology accepted.

Those $350 K40 lasers are terrible. And certainly not “$80-90”, like you said originally.

$80 will get you a 60w tube. Nothing was mentioned about a complete system. And you can buy a complete system for $100 - I wouldn’t, but they are available for those that want them.

@Mike_Thornbury The OP mentioned a co2 laser “graver”, which I took to be short for “engraver”, i.e. the machine that uses a laser to engrave. I also mentioned “complete machines” in my previous comment, and @Tim_Elmore used the word “cutter” in every one of his comments except the last one, so it’s pretty clear that everyone in this thread except you has been talking about complete laser cutting/engraving systems this whole time.

As I was the first to post, I don’t really give a shit what you posted. You do understand the single-threaded nature of Google Plus, don’t you?

The under $500 import laser engravers aren’t of very good quality. Many of them need to be hacked to get them to work well, some to work at all. At 40 watts you aren’t going to be cutting much. The motion components are poor and the electronics problematic. many people replace some of the motion components and controller with something like a Smoothie.

We have a 100 watt 24 x 18 in house and use Epilog and Universal as well in addition to a larger bed production grade Trotec. Most of the low cost machines from China are from a couple of places. For example Rabbit and Full Spectrum use the same OEM and add their own controllers and software.

Glass tube lasers are pretty good for hobbyists and low volume production. We paid about US$10k for ours. A production quality machine costs about 3 times that but offers significant advantages. You can get cheap machines but bottom line is you have to spend about a grand for anything decent in a hobby laser and 4-5 grand for anything approaching pro level.

To actually help the OP, I have a Gweike LG6040. After all the accessories/spare parts, shipping and import tax, you’re probably looking at around $3000, assuming you’re in the US. It has a 24" x 16" workspace.

It works quite nicely, no complaints so far other than getting a bum tube which was replaced under warranty. It did not require additional parts to work well, but there is a learning curve associated with the beam alignment. Also worth noting that these don’t typically come with real chillers, but I got a used aquarium chiller from Craigslist for $100 that keeps the water temperature under 75F. This is critical for long tube life.

In my opinion 60 watts is about the minimum practical, less than that and 1/4" materials will be difficult or impossible.

G.Wieke is the OEM for most of the branded imported to the US machines. It may be a bit more than $3k these days but the base levels are right in that range, sub $5k. Absolutely a 60 watt minimum, more if you cut thicker material or some laminates.

Both Full Spectrum and Rabbit use G. Wieke base machines. You’ll pay more but you get US based service and the software on either machine is much better than what comes stock from China. Both of those vendors also align the machine (though it’s not too difficult) and test the completed assembly. It’s not a Universal or Trotec though for the money it’s a good value.

You absolutely need the chiller. The lower cost chillers are passive radiators and your duty cycle may be limited to a couple of hours before it gets too hot. We’ve got an active type cooling system, chilled coils instead of a radiator. They may be around a grand if you buy new in the US, $400-500 direct from China. You’ll need to ventilate the exhaust outside or get an air purifier. Most include a basic blower and some dryer hose. You’ll also need access to compressed air or a micro air compressor if you get an air assist option. Typcially the air assist option includes a small compressor but not always.

There are a few forums for laser users. cnc zone is one, saw mill creek another with plenty more info from users.

You can buy the 40 watt K40 (worst of the bunch) on eBay for under $370 right now. Pull out their crap electronics and drop in an open replacement for under $75 and you wind up with a pretty good little cutter.

Dear Whosa, thanks for comments. Sorry did not know about proper words to use!