Laser engraver

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Joined
Dec 22, 2017
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722
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I've been asked by a customer to etch the handles with the coffee shop name. I know I've seen a conversation in the past about laser engravers but for the life of me I can't find the thread(s). So I'm asking for suggestions on small, inexpensive lasers that won't break the bank but do a good job for small projects. Thanks in advance for you help. Oh, and these have to be dumbed down as I've seen a few that require an engineering degree to use. I need it simple.
 
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gtriever

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Joined
Apr 23, 2017
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1,129
Location
Paducah, Kentucky
The NEJE (and its clones) are the ones that are most talked about here. You can search the Forums for NEJE or for Chinese Lasers. There are also several Facebook groups set up to discuss them.

There's a new 3500mW rail-type that NEJE has introduced, called the Master 3500. Max engraving area is around 5.9 inches square, and Mike Shortness has just developed a Rotary Jig for it that will be available through T. Shadow.
 

sbwertz

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Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,895
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I have the NEJE and use it almost every day. Works fine. Go with at least the 1500, not the 1000 watt, however. The 1000 burns fine, but you can burn on thicker materials with the 1500 because it has a greater distance between the laser and the bed. The 1000 won't focus on anything much thicker than 3/4 inch.
 

JRK

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Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
79
Location
Bridgeton, Missouri
I have the 1500. When I first tried to use it, I couldn't get it to power up. Finally found a small three-position switch which was set to off. It needs to be in the middle position. Once you set the three position switch, you will not need to mess with it any more.

There is a yellow sticker near the switch which I somehow overlooked. Once it is hooked up, the red on/off button on the top should be lit when it is on.

Jerry
 

sbwertz

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Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,895
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Yes, you have to move the switch...it is to protect it from being turned on in shipping, since it has a battery it can run on without external power. The first thing I do is take some double faced tape and tape a piece of graph paper to the bed. It helps with keeping things aligned. Use four rubber bands, two going each direction. The software is pretty much self explanatory...drag and drop. There is also a power button on the top. Be sure to turn it OFF when you are not using it or it will run down the internal battery, and it won't work, even if plugged in, if the internal battery is down. You have to wait for it to recharge. I carry a 110 usb charger for such a situation, because it charges much faster than the computer usb port. Frustrating if you try to use it and it just gives you a "charge the battery" error. It has no separate power cord...the usb cord that comes with it is both a data cord and a power cord. It runs off the computer battery, but you can plug it into a 110 usb charger for a faster battery charge.

I carry mine back and forth to the blind center every day, running it off a little netbook running windows 10. I just put the box it was shipped in into a big canvas bag. The computer slides down between the box and the bag for transporting. Works great. I bought a little usb fan at the dollar store to run beside it to blow away the smoke so the smoke doesn't distort the laser. Any little desk fan would work if you aren't carrying it around. My brother takes his to shows and craft fairs and burns names on pens "while you wait" at the shows. He uses a full sized laptop with a big battery and it will run the laser and the little fan all day if he turns it off between burns.
 
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