Mini laser newbie

Just purchased a small desktop etching blue laser from Amazon. It’s from TopDirect. Anyone out there have the same unit and have any suggestions for a newbie? It came with it’s own design/burning software and is very similar to LaserBRBL.
Pop Ryan

Greetings and welcome to the forum. Is this a CO2 laser or a UV diode laser? Could provide a link so people can see which model you have?
Ned

Looks like it’s probably this unit since this is the only amazon result for “topdirect blue laser” product search:

@Pappy2020 — This means it’s not a K40; the K40 family are nominally 40 watt CO2 lasers. It’s a solid-state diode laser. Discussion of diode lasers also welcome here! :slight_smile: I edited the post to remove “K40” and put it in the right category. Welcome to makerforums! Even if no one has exactly that model, there are plenty of people here with laser experience, so go ahead and ask specific questions; there’s a lot of commonality.

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I don’t have that one, but I bought a similar 500mw blue diode laser for just under $100 shortly before I bought my K40. It also came with its own software (“mini larser” [sic]). I have not tried it with anything else as I did not bother much with it because it’s working area was so tiny it wasn’t really useful. But I did notice that it seemed to use an Arduino Nano (probably a clone) which makes me think it could controlled by some kind of g-code sender, like UGS or GRBL, but I haven’t tried it. Or perhaps Chilipeppr? I don’t know.

But I’ve got to say, this 3 watt laser for $160 seems like a pretty damn good deal, and its working area seems larger, and virtually infinite, given that you can just put it on top of whatever and move it. Heck, you could probably make a simple XY motion system for the whole thing to get a bigger working area but still have fine control.

But if you really want to actually cut bigger things, then you may want to buy an actual K40 40-watt CO2 laser.

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