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EffUnit

First laser cutter

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I am looking for help choosing my first laser cutter.

I want to cut out many cross tie bases in a ladder shape for North American N scale.

I can also use it for RC aero modelling parts and structures.

 

What should I be looking for, do I need to mod anything?

 

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1 minute ago, EffUnit said:

I am looking for help choosing my first laser cutter.

I want to cut out many (plywood) cross tie bases in a ladder shape for North American N scale.

I can also use it for RC aero (balsa) modelling parts and structures.

 

What should I be looking for, do I need to mod anything?

 

 

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Hi there, I can’t give you very much on what to look for, but a lot of people have gone the Darkly Labs route. It’s worth looking on there. Their latest version comes as a kit and you can get a number of different options with it. I have the first version, and it does the job for me. I suppose some things to think about are 1) your budget 2) what you want to cut through 3) what extras you are looking for - examples being air assist, full cabinet, camera, bundles software, etc

 

La

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..... indeed ..... as above, plus the fact that the software aspect is almost as important as the hardware. I bought an Emblazer when they first came out, as they were basically almost plug and play regarding the software, where as some alternative can leave one struggling to get the system running.

I've never regretted my choice.  It takes up very little space, and works very reliably.

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It depends how big you want to cut, I would always go bigger if possible. 

 

The cheap Chinese cutters you see on ebay seem pretty good value for money, but have shortfalls, the k40 (of which I have no personal experience) has a fairly mixed reputation online, with a lot of people pulloing out the original control gear and replacing it.

 

My local makerspace has had one of these https://ebay.us/hfdKGc before moving up to one of these https://ebay.us/QFkzzR both were quite well constructed and give good results, but the software can be a bit hit and miss, so most people draw in something else and then transfer to the supplier software just to cut. The big drawback is that the CE mark stands for Chinese Engineering - there is only one interlock switch on the main door (none on the side panels) and even that can be turned off, and the emergency stop push button, was in fact a push to start, twist to stop!

 

Jon

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Just wonder before deciding on a laser cutter, have you considered all the options?

 

Given the nature of what you are describing cutting, balsa and I assume thin ply for N gauge, have you considered a Cricut Maker or similar which will cut these items (up to 2.4mm) with a bed size up to 12 X 24 inch at a fraction of the cost of a laser? e.g. 

 

 

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