I’m interested in getting a laser cutter/engraver for my 5Pro 4x4. I would want something with some umph… so guessing around a ?w laser (also still new & uneducated to lasers). Does any one have a recommendation for this machine?
There is supposed to be one in development for the Shapeoko 5 Pro — please write in to email@example.com to see if they can share anything on the scheduling.
Talked with Carbide support : “it’s something we’re testing, but there’s nothing set in stone yet.”
There are a lot of lasers out there. JTech Photonics is very compatible with Shapeoko machines.
So the real question is what do you want to do? Do you want to just engrave or do you want to cut out parts. That would determine what power you need.
Some people like having a stand alone unit and just put it up on top of the Shapeoko bed. I have a JTech 7W and wish I had just gotten a stand alone one. Because the Shapeoko is the basis of a laser system I can see the allure but seriously look at a stand alone one instead of putting one on your SO5.
I have no doubt suggesting the JTech 7W laser. (I posted a link to my mods for the mounting. Looking to add a laser, questions - #8 by CrookedWoodTex)
As @gdon_2003 implies, anything you put on the Shapeoko is not going to be universally good for major laser cutting projects. It isn’t the right type of laser for that, even though it will cut small part thicknesses in 4 or 8 passes.
So, just plan on using the laser as an engraving tool and to add features to your normal woodworking. I use it to add lettering and accents.
Leave the big laser jobs to a standalone machine designed just for that purpose.
Thanks for the input @gdon_2003 & @CrookedWoodTex . I’m not 100% sure what my needs will be, but I know I will do more engraving for sure so possibly an add on one for the CNC is actually a viable option. If I find that I need a lot of cutting I will have to look into a machine dedicated to that… Not sure where to put it though. I already had to take apart and store the lathe to get the 5Pro in the shop. Please provide links to Mary Poppins workshops that can hold ALL the tools I dream of. Please and thankyou
I have two lathes. A Jet 12-21 VS and a Nova 1624 II. I use both of the all the time. The thing about any shop is you have two choices. Make the foot print of the shop larger or go up. Making the foot print larger is impractical for most people so then you go up. Be sure to utilize ceiling and wall space. I put all my machines on wheels so they can be moved around. I have a large shop but on one side is my tool coral. The machines are on wheels so if I need one of them I pull it out to the center and use it. When finished I move it back to the coral. When I had a 2 car garage I did the same thing. It would be nice to have a dedicated space for tools but my system works for me.
So consider using wall space and overhead storage for seldom used items and supplies. Be sure to take a good hard look at what you have readily available. Things that are seldom used need to be out of the way and only things you use all the time are readily available. Keep your shop clean and neat to avoid the hazards of tripping on things that there is no home for. Everything should have a home and at the end of the day clean up and put things back in their home. The hardest thing for most people is getting rid of good stuff that you do not use. I like Bankers boxes to store things in. They are large enough to get things organized but not so big that they are impossible to lift. They make good storage to keep dust and things out and the tools organized and findable.
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