Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 20 of 20

Thread: Hobbyist CNC router/laser uses and opinions

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    1,581
    Quote Originally Posted by John Stankus View Post
    One question for ChrisA-- On that Ortur LM2 which laser did you get the Short focus (better for engraving ) or the long focus (better for cutting)?

    John
    At the time I purchased, there was not an option of lens choice. I changed out the delivered lens (G11 I think) for the G8, which supposedly gives sharper (more concentrated focus). I did get a bluetooth microscope device to fine tune the lens focal length.

    I've found my laser pretty useless for cutting any material. It will get there, but running 10 passes to cut a piece of cardboard don't seem worth the effort.

    If cutting is on you list of priorities, look to a CO2 unit.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    8,260
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Aumiller View Post
    I have been thinking of getting something like the one John Stankus (orig post) is considering... something to just use as a hobbyist... NOT to use in any professional manner. Most of the replies are from folks with production uses... I have made many cutting boards for special occasions in our family and have a place to have designs laser engraved/burned on them... but thought it would be fun to do it myself...

    The Sainsmart 3018 Prover sells for $300.. how much more would it cost to make it usable for hobbyist use?? Software, laser attachment, etc... NOT for making money but for the enjoyment of doing it ??

    Think in terms of a hobbyist, not a business or professional use..
    I think most of the responses have been from hobbiests, like myself. It just depends upon what you want to do as to which CNC you should buy. I wanted to be able to cut nearly any part I would need for furniture/cabinet making so I got a machine with a fairly large footprint. I also wanted one that is stiff enough to keep tight tolerances. It does no good to cut a mortise with a CNC if it can't maintain the same level of tolerance as I can cut by conventional means. If your objectives are laser work, engraving, lettering, etc. on smaller sized parts then a machine like what you mentioned might be perfectly fine.

    John

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    1,581
    I think the majority of us, who responded on this thread, are hobbyists, probably with the exception of Jim and Patrick.

    I am definitely a hobbyist, a retired software developer.

    I've gone through the process of buying entry level woodworking power tools to finally replacing them with almost commercial grade tools to support my hobby.

    As I approached the decision process of buying a CNC, which was just going to be an extension of my hobby with no plans for generating any revenue from using this tool, I soon realized that I was going to spend around $3k (Inventables, Shapeoko, etc.) even on the low entry level units.

    Then I said let's follow the 'Buy Once, Cry Once' methodology, well that lead me to the AVID configuration, which went from about $7K up to $15K and that also put me into the Cammaster product line possibility.

    I'd just sold a $13K motorcycle, so I had this chunk of change burning a hole in my pocket.

    Then I had to slap myself back to reality.

    This was what brought me back to the Onefinity.

    I've only done a few small projects, but all have worked out just as planned.

    Although, I spent the last 20 years of my working life developing Windows based applications, since 2008, I've pretty much been Mac based as far as my computers/laptops go.

    My main computer, being a 4 year old MacBook Pro, for the CNC software I felt I needed a Windows based computer as I wanted a larger display, keyboard and mouse, plus didn't want to try and run the Windows based software in a partition on my Mac. So my cost went up about another $1400 buying an 'All-In-One' computer.
    Last edited by ChrisA Edwards; 06-24-2022 at 3:08 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    61,327
    Although I have done work for others and had a part time business post-retirement, it's pretty much all hobby/avocation here other than one guy that I help with some CNC cutting...he does resin inlay work and doesn't have the time or space for a shop of his own. But I actually enjoy the CNC work...particularly the virtual design which is an art-form for my head.

    On the laser, small, inexpensive units, including those that can be added to a CNC are ok for engraving work, but they are not suitable for cutting. Folks who want to cut out parts, regardless of the material, need to get a much more powerful and dedicated laser unit and those are not inexpensive.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,973
    I've cut 1 1/2" solid hard maple with mine. I did it with a 1/4" endmill making .2" deep passes. I once made the mistake of changing the tool and didn't set the Z axis zero correctly so it made an almost 1/2" deep pass. So the 1F can do it. But the bit will break. Doing multiple passes to make a deep cut gives you a good idea how accurate the machine is. An accurate machine will leave very little for marks between each pass. Also the cut should be nice and square from the bottom surface.


    As for lasers, I see more and more 14w (and larger) diode lasers now. I'm under the impression that CO2 is much better for cutting but I haven't seen anything that's compact enough to fit on a hobbyist machine.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •