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justin1985

"Ortur" Diode Laser Cutters? replacement for Silhouette machine?

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Hi all,

 

I've noticed quite a few YouTube videos recently using a range of diode based Chinese laser cutters branded as "Ortur", and very similar clones. They seem to be (optimistically) rated by input wattages of 7w, 15w, or 20w, and most have a neat (but presumably not so robust) format with an arm projecting into space, rather than a rigid rectangular frame. This video seems particularly interesting in terms of reviewing one for cutting capability, whereas most seem to just focus on engraving:

 

 

It doesn't seem surprising that a basic diode laser can't cut MDF or clear acrylic, which a CO2 laser could. However, the fact it can cut card, foamboard, foam, thin ply, and black acrylic does give me some interesting thoughts about one of these making a more flexible replacement for the kind of jobs I'd currently use a Silhouette cutter for - i.e. buildings, or perhaps things like coaches or wagons built up from overlays. It might not be able to cut plasticard, but I find the Silhouette quite limited when it comes to cutting out very intricate shapes in even 0.5mm plasticard. 

 

Has anyone tried one of these, or anything similar? 

 

Justin

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Posted (edited)

The principle of a diode is a good one. I have an Emblazer 4W, and my regular materials are 2mm MDF, 1mm ply and black acrylic sheet (Trotec, mostly 0.8mm). It performs very well,band has put very many hoursvservice in.

However, it is also reasonably rigid, it is accurate, and it has very good software that enables me to actually use it!

 

I dont know this particular machine, but for it to be useful, it should have the above listed qualities, otherwise it will fail to live up to its promise..

 

You can't cut normal plastikard with a laser, as it gives off toxic gases when heated. Trotec/Rowmark is a decent alternative though.

Best

Giles

Edited by Giles
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Being interested, I read up on the machine Justin pointed out but was disappointed in the 150mm X 160mm cutting area, just so small as to limit the scale of projects. I did see however that there is a Mk2 of the machine with a full rigid frame and work area of 400mm X 430mm which is more sensible - anyone any experience of this or similar? 

 

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6 hours ago, JimFin said:

Being interested, I read up on the machine Justin pointed out but was disappointed in the 150mm X 160mm cutting area, just so small as to limit the scale of projects. I did see however that there is a Mk2 of the machine with a full rigid frame and work area of 400mm X 430mm which is more sensible - anyone any experience of this or similar? 

 

 

I've just been looking at those too. There don't seem to be many reviews or anything of those yet - at least not in English (several on YouTube in French ...) although one I did see mentioned the laser module looking "not quite the same" - hopefully in a good way! 

 

8 hours ago, Giles said:

The principle of a diode is a good one. I have an Emblazer 4W, and my regular materials are 2mm MDF, 1mm ply and black acrylic sheet (Trotec, mostly 0.8mm). It performs very well,band has put very many hoursvservice in.

 

It is interesting that the Emblazer's laser is 4W - presumably directly equivalent to the "15w" laser on these units (supposedly actually 4.4w light output). I'm sure the Emblazer has a much better manufactured unit, and better optics. But if they're at least comparable in output and cutting capacity, that is encouraging! 

 

I wonder whether the "20w" version of the Ortur Master 2 is worth the difference? £220 versus £160 on GearBest. 

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Well, I went for it and got the 15w (4.5w) version of the smaller original "Master" machine. It cost £150 including delivery from Gearbest. I followed some advice NOT to use the DHL shipping option, and it arrived within just about 10 days via "SprintPack" - strangely using a Royal Mail tracking number throughout. No customs charge was applied - perhaps a lighter touch during the pandemic?

 

After some initial confusion from speed settings being quoted in mm/minute but the LightBurn software defaulting to input in mm/second (!) I've got some pretty good results on various types of card and thin ply.

 

IMG_20200519_195049.jpg.80aad47980d17650d75ff266c4f8dbcb.jpg

 

160gsm card cuts nice and cleanly with a relatively slow speed. As expected with a diode laser, the black cuts in one pass, whereas white requires about 3 (because much of the light is reflected).

 

I've also had good results cutting greyboard (back of notepad) and oiled manilla (which I'd seen recommended in another laser cutting thread). They do all need several passes at low speeds though - upto 7 or 8 passes.

 

Clearly there is no getting away from the fact it is a low powered machine. I don't know how much difference the 20w version would be - I doubt much. However when I was talking to Ortur customer service (very helpful - they helped me realise I was mistaking mm/min and mm/sec speeds!) they mentioned they are planning to "release a LU2-1 laser module in July, which it's specialized in paper cut". This sounds promising - I don't know if it will just be more powerful, or perhaps a different wavelength? Hopefully it will work as an upgrade for the existing machines.

 

At the end of the day, I had in mind to buy this machine as a replacement for the Silhouette cutter without all the issues of trying to prise card off the carrier without ripping, and with sharper corners to small shapes. It definitely seems to fill that bill!

 

The cutting area of this original "Master" model is definitely limiting too - around 150*160mm, but is generally OK for me working in 2mm scale. The physically larger Master 2 might be much more useful for modellers working in 4mm or above.

 

I need to carry on experimenting with different materials, and I need to tackle combining engraving (brick courses and maybe score lines) on the same job as cutting. This seems simple with the LightBurn software - just a matter of getting the right combination of speed/power/passes values.

 

J

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