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I am embarking on a new 0 gauge layout and would like to draw and detail my own buildings and laser cut them in MDF, are there any DIY level laser cutting machines worth looking at.

 

Regards,

 

StephenA

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You might want to consider the Emblaser Core which is the updated version of the Emblaser 1.  

 

https://darklylabs.com/emblaser_core/

 

There is a long thread on RMWEB about the Emblaser 1 and several of us members have used the Emblaser 1 with success.

 

 

The basic model costs about £760 but you have to add he shipping charges from Australia and then the import duty which I believe is 4.5% on the item cost plus shipping charge and then plus VAT.

 

Jim

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The emblaser will engrave very nicely but if you want to cut anything thicker than 2mm the emblaster is not he best option, you would be better with a C02 laser cutter.

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Be aware that fumes given off from burning MDF not only smell abominable but might also be hazardous to health.

Edited by AdamsRadial
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I'm sat next to an Emblaser Core at the moment that is slowly engraving a garden sign into slate. I upgraded from Emblaser 1 at the end of last year, and I must admit it's been one of my better decisions. I can cut through the 3mm mdf from 4D Model shops, and thin ply, thicker ply doesn't seem to work for me. I'm incredibly happy indeed Darkly Lab's support - they replaced a part on the Emblaser 1 for free even though the machine was out of warranty - I had to just pay postage.

 

There are a couple of people on here with CO2 laser cutters that love them, but build quality seems to vary, so it's worth talking to CO2 owners about their machines before making a decision.

 

Good luck!

 

-- and with that, 8 1/2 hours of engraving has just finished.

Edited by JCL
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I'm a member of a Makerspace that has a pretty industrial quality Trotec laser, which happily cuts ply up to 12mm thick, and has a truly industrial extraction and filtering setup (multiple large carbon canisters combined with outdoor extraction) but cutting MDF is still totally banned for safety reasons (fumes).

 

If, even with all that extraction and safety kit, the pro's have decided lasered MDF fumes are still too dangerous, I wouldn't fancy risking it at home!

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I put my Emblaser 1 in a large Really Useful Box,  added a small bathroom extractor fan to the lid with a piece of flexible pipe leading out of the window and also drilled a few holes in the body of the box to let air in.  I think it cost me about £50 and it keeps the smoke from the laser cutting out of the room.   I'm still alive and I haven't been aware of any strong warnings against using MDF with a laser cutter if you get rid of the smoke.

 

[Later]  Just remembered that I showed it in the Emblaser thread a few years ago

 

 

Jim.

Edited by flubrush

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I'm professional laser cutter and I cut 90% MDF without issue. I extract to atmosphere via a filter and a baffle (to reduce noise).

 

If you decide not to get your own laser, I'll happily cut your plans for you.

 

 

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