Talk to me about adding a laser to my Shapeko

That is a lot…I didn’t have to deal with the importing thing.

I have a simple question, that I suspect has a complicated answer…

Is Carbide 3D considering selling their own laser option?

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Now there’s a thing. I’d be interested in that for sure.

I’ve been looking at the JTech option for a while, and it would be nice to have laser capabilities without having to find room in the garage for a separate machine. The cost of the JTech is comparable to two stand-alone options that I’ve considered.

The first is a “K40” style laser–this would be a stand-alone option, but it has CO2 laser that can actually do some cutting, and these units seem to start around $400 or so. Youtube suggests that by the time you’ve tweaked the unit, you might be in the $600-$800 range. Cutting area seems to be about 11" by 17" or so.

The second is a machine I’ve seen called the Ortur Master 2–they range from about $200-$300, depending on the power of the laser module you get. The highest they call a 20W laser, but that’s input–output I think is around 7W. It’s a diode laser, not CO2, seems comparable to the JTech options. It’s a stand-alone machine with no enclosure, it works with Lightburn (not included) and there is even a rotary attachment you can get for $80 that will engrave your Yeti mugs.

So I haven’t decided yet, but my decision points are:

JTECH: Advantage, no additional machine footprint–adds on to my existing XXL. Cutting area equivalent to the XXL. Works with Lightburn.

K40: More powerful, cheaper than other options. Downside–defnitely NOT plug and play. Cutting area not as big as JTech.

Ortur Master 2: Cheapest. I think similar if not the same power level as the JTech at less than half the cost. But stand alone unit that will need real estate in the garage.

Here’s some additional weight, Vectric just added laser toolpaths to its software, so lasering toolpaths are supposedly go right along with the normal toolpaths (assuming XYZ is synced.)

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Nope (not that I know of, and this:)

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I think there’s always the fact that having a stand alone machine will allow you to run both machines at the same time as well as not having to tear down setups for different operations (laser vs milling).

The biggest pro I can think of for the Jtech/SO3 setup is the large work area (if you have an XL or XXL). When compared to the Ortur Master 2, a standard SO3 has about the same work space. I’m not sure about other companies, but Jay with Jtech Photonics is on the ball when it comes to support.

With the low cost of entry, the Ortur seems pretty attractive especially since people have been having success with them so far.

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I’ll second that. He’s fantastically responsive and knowledgeable.

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Yes, as much as I like the idea of the JTech I can’t justify the cost of importing to the UK so it looks like the Ortur is a much better bet for me at present. Also in terms of space it will fit inside the area of an XXL when needed and store vertically on the wall when not.

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I have the Jtech 4.2W kit on my XXL and really like it, the big selling point was it not taking up more space in our small basement. I got the version with the magnetic shroud, focusing is easy and the more safety the better. It works well for engraving, I haven’t tried cutting anything yet. Faster would be nice but not worth the extra space for getting a CO2 laser. I also like that the Jtech does seem to be built with safety in mind and isn’t just the cheapest laser that could be shipped from China.

I plan on making an enclosure for the Shapeoko with the windows made from laser safety acrylic, but haven’t gotten that done yet. Instead my first laser project was making a door knob hanger for the second pair of laser safety glasses. If it is hanging on the basement door knob my wife knows the laser is in use and to wear the glasses when coming down to the basement:

The laser does make a bit of smoke. I have a fan/air filter that will be installed on the enclosure but for now I just hang the 4" fan intake hose from the dust boot and it seems to take care of 90% of the smoke. Venting outside would be better, but is not trivial to do with our basement construction/layout.

I made a bunch of cedar plant name stakes for our backyard with it. You can get good detail on the lettering without the risk of chipping that comes from a Vbit. Each one takes about 10 minutes to engrave (60ipm, 100% power).

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So, I’ve been looking into the Ortur Master 2 and it claims to support PWM. I wonder if it would be possible to remove the laser and relevant bits and mount/ connect it up to a Shapeoko and the CM board?
Edit: There is also this: https://www.banggood.com/New-NEJE-Master-2-Desktop-CNC-Wood-Router-20W-Laser-Engraver-Cutter-Laser-Engraving-Machine-APP-Control-for-Windows-or-Mac-or-Android-p-1678509.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

It has some unique protection built in such as “In NEJE mode, NEJE has intelligent detection protection to prevent accidental touch of household pets.” Which is always good to have! :rofl:

Edit 2: OMG I was messing with the Gearbest site on the Ortur page and my hand slipped and it went into my basket without me knowing and when I hit return, I don’t know but I think I just bought it! :wink:
So I guess we’ll have to see.

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Wait, I have been looking at J Tech’s stuff for years…(thought it was too pricy), and you saying that Ortur makes an ENTIRE machine (with a cough cough 20W Laser) delivered to my door for under $300 doll hairs?

SOLD!

PS $296.04 Total

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Well, its cheap for a reason so buyer beware.
That said check this out; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HicoeqAgMck&list=UUKeRRN0BZzWrmamVAQUME2Q&index=7&t=1699s

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Do you really think they (laser) is made by different little hands in China? (99.999 the same as J Tech’s Chinese Laser IMO)

True, it’s Chinese quality…that I understand…but for as much as I’m going to use it…like my Chinesium 3D Printer…it’s be more then fine…

One other thing on laser safety: fume extraction. When you cut something with a laser, it can give off some really nasty byproducts. ABS plastic for example produces hydrogen cyanide when cut, which can kill you by shutting down your respiratory system and it can cause explosions.

You should look at materials lists like this one to get an idea of which materials to cut but keep in mind that even these lists are made for laser cutters that operate inside a sealed enclosure with a filtered fume extractor taking care of the exhaust.

I’d strongly recommend that for any laser cutting, even of safe materials, you build an enclosure and direct the exhaust somewhere other than your lungs.

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For the record, I get no commission on what looks like the TWO Orturs I just sold… MarkLince, RichCournoyer, would like to hear your experiences, though

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You mean, you own the company - so there’s no commission involved? :slight_smile:

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I just got a “7W” NEJE. Need to make an easy way to connect everything, but I made a mount a couple nights ago.


I’ll try to remember to post back here if I ever get a chance to play with it.

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That looks really cool, so that’s just the laser. I was thinking about that. In the end I opted for the Ortur Master 2 complete. My thinking is to have some sort of dual mount on and off the Shapeoko … maybe. I may need to pick your brains.

I’m not an engineer…so maybe one of you engineers will comment on the feasibility…but I wonder why no one has created a laser that mounts in the collet. The guts and diode could be external and piped into the stem on a fiber optic line…then the lens would be at the bottom of the stem. Chuck it in the collet and go. Feasible?