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Newbie drowning in DIY information

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by ybl84f1, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. ybl84f1

    ybl84f1 New

    Dec 20, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Hey all, I'm new here and I'm looking to build my first simple laser engraver. As much as the testosterone level in me is screaming to build something that can cut through an inch of stainless instead I'm simply looking to laser engrave some wood and get the experience of doing a build. I'm not a pro but I have some experience as a maker - I just assembled my second 3D printer, I design/print 3D parts, I program Adruino/Pi/etc. so I'm hoping I have a fair chance at this.

    My first impression after researching laser engravers is that I've seen lots of $200-$300 kits but they almost all seem to come from China and have really mixed reviews and support seems to potentially be a problem if you have any serious issues. I've read a lot of reviews and often there's complaints of the PC software as well as issues upgrading the firmware on the controller, or quality of the bearings or whatever. I'd rather select my own parts to control the components and quality.

    There's a lot of places that sell all the parts (down to nuts and bolts) but it seems it's left to the user to piece everything together and make sure its all compatible, as opposed to have some build lists or templates or suggested (compatible) parts lists or build guides or something. For instance a build template that says buy one of these three rail kits with this set of motors with one of these wheel kits with this power supply knowing they all work together. This site does provide a DIY bundle via the ACRO kit, although it's a bit more money (almost $500 for everything) than what I was expecting.

    My second concern is I'd like a controller board that is flexible/open enough that if I want to upgrade it to new firmware or different types firmware. There's CNC xPRO on this site, TinyG boards, etc. and firmware like GRBL-Laser, LaserWeb and others.

    Any thoughts/suggestions/links from the experts on this forum are greatly appreciated!
  2. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder Resident Builder

    Mar 1, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Acro with an Xpro - you won't be sorry (;

    Grbl 1.1's laser mode outperforms most other firmwares and has Dynamic Laser Power Mode which makes for awesome grayscale engravings! The XPro runs Grbl..
    Rick 2.0 likes this.

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