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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Tasmania
    Age
    53
    Posts
    150

    Default Small hobby CNC Router Laser engraver

    I am a total newbie with this type of thing but what I am trying to achieve is a way of either engraving and/or etching small alloy and stainless plates for branding. And of course itll come in handy for other things as well.

    So being a tight that I am, I will be entering this world at the bottom end of the market!! Its not high volume stuff, its just hobby work really.

    What are peoples thoughts on something like this??

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004891726126.html

    Again, I do not know a lot about this type of thing but the way I read it, this unit appears to be able to etch stainless if I use the right laser??

    It also looks like I can engrave things using little mill bits?

    And I am unsure of its power but I think I can also cut out shapes in 3-4mm alloy using mill bits as well?

    I wonder what the software is like and can I simply import my own vector images from photoshop to etch patterns and graphics.

    Thanks for any advice on this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    574

    Default

    My thoughts are - if you can't get any info direct from an owner of one of these engravers then the next best thing would be a youtube search, there are many owner reviews of these type of cnc machines on youtube, just search for 3020 CNC. Don't just stop at one video make sure to watch at least 4 or 5, different owners have different expectations and watching a bunch of videos will give you better idea of what to expect from one of these machines.


    If I was just wanting a machine for engraving Al, plastic, wood or making electronics PCB's then I might consider one, depending on the XY travel of the table - however I also machine components from metal (steel and Al) and I don't think one of these machines would cut it for that type of work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Tasmania
    Age
    53
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by familyguy View Post
    My thoughts are - if you can't get any info direct from an owner of one of these engravers then the next best thing would be a youtube search, there are many owner reviews of these type of cnc machines on youtube, just search for 3020 CNC. Don't just stop at one video make sure to watch at least 4 or 5, different owners have different expectations and watching a bunch of videos will give you better idea of what to expect from one of these machines.


    If I was just wanting a machine for engraving Al, plastic, wood or making electronics PCB's then I might consider one, depending on the XY travel of the table - however I also machine components from metal (steel and Al) and I don't think one of these machines would cut it for that type of work.

    Thanks yeh Im doing exactly that. Its pretty confusing because there are so many different spec machines. None of them look to be too rigid to be honest. I feel like I could do a better job improving the rigidity of most of them. So the finish they are providing is not great. Maybe messing around with the speeds and feeds would give better results, who knows.

    The supplier of the one I showed in the link is very responsive and of course claims itll do everything Ive asked but he is also very vague. By the time I spec it up to do what I expect of it, its actually getting up there in price which is now making me look at other machines in that price range.

    I wont rush into it, even though in the scheme of things its not a big investment. But I still dont want to waste a grand on something that is useless to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    1,216

    Default

    Walk away from this idea.

    This subject has been bashed to death online several times. What they are selling you is like a 3d printer with a spindle motor or a laser mounted to it.

    If you work with softwood or plastics or wax then it will work

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    York, North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    6,469

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    JMTPW,
    For a Laser, the frame I think would it be quite adequate ! Definitely not for a motor head. Vibration would be a killer of any precision !
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Narrabeen, Sydney NSW Australia
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Fascinating gadget as a laser engraver, no actual experience with any engravers, however from numerous youtube videos, even on softer metal materials, vibration is the enemy.

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