Cheap Laser Etcher Trails

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Project by HirscheBar posted 11-03-2017 07:06 PM 1319 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, I decided that since I have a graphics background prior to and after my military life I should try out a cheap laser etcher with some of my wood projects. For my birthday my wife said I could go ahead and buy one. So I found this cheap/fairly well-rated etcher I found on gearbest.

So far…..i almost threw it down the stairs cause the software does not work well. Let me explain first that I work on/with computers all day, and eventually got my IT friend involved. I even had a new (to me) Windows 10 laptop to work with it. Getting the software to run is a process, to say the least. I have to run the Scarve program through the troubleshooting tool, and it will not save the settings so you have to go through this process every time. The instruction manual looks like it was ripped from a bad 70’s karate movie and is nearly zero help. It did have a website in the back that says go “here” for software download… leads me to a Malaysian casino. FYI – gearbest support is almost nonexistent.

So, once we finally figure out how to get the software to work and …........ I am actually kind of happy about this little machine. It etches a 3”x3’ area. I am still working on getting the settings worked out to be able to print better contrast.

Has anyone ever used one of these and have a good setting for the laser and depth to use? As you can see in the pictures i am running it through the paces and documented the settings, and think they are getting there….slowly. It takes anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours (dependent on image/laser power/depth). The best image I believe (my logo) took about 2 hours and 15 minutes. The first few tests were on unfinished oak and the rest are now on sanded poplar.

Please let me know if you have worked with one of these and have ideal settings for the laser and depth settings (I’m guessing it is different for each type of wood).

I will update this post as I learn and play more with this little machine….boy does it make me want a big one!



4 comments so far

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3113 days

#1 posted 11-04-2017 03:07 AM

You might find that talking to fellow LJer Tooch tobe very helpful. He has one and does amazing projects with his.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Festus56's profile


4283 posts in 2448 days

#2 posted 11-04-2017 05:41 AM

Hello, I sent you a PM just now. I have and use a laser quite often and may be able to help.

-- Mark -- Really we're not crazy, just "Limited Editions" -- --

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)


7971 posts in 2041 days

#3 posted 11-04-2017 10:41 AM

H’B’, No idea how your S/W works with this machine, however, from past experience you (I) basically “print” to your (my) laser.

If that is your experience I may be able to help (confuse you more)...

I use SketchUp, to design shapes (but more so to cut on my laser) and CorelDraw for engraving… however any graphics package (like free Inkscape) will suffice.

After that, set up a matrix of speed vs power and print a swag of samples… pick what you prefer (rather than the nose) and stick with that setting… ensure your laser is focused on top of your timber (common mistake).

Contrast is hard (though can be done)... I tend to use different power settings combined with multiple passes… however, to do that you have to design your subject accordingly.

If your laser is powerfull enough, you may find that multiple passes (you need to determine), will etch down to a sufficient depth that you can then wood fill with a good contrasting filler and sand flush… virtually impersonated a good infill.

PM me if you want to pick on the few neurons I have left after a session of vino!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View mikeacg's profile


2028 posts in 2278 days

#4 posted 11-04-2017 06:21 PM

That is the smallest laser engraver I have ever seen. I guess, despite the cost, I’m glad I went with a big one as I have no patience at all… Looks like you are gaining on it though!


-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

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