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Meterk, NeJe, etc. 1500mW Laser Engraver

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Review by Andybb posted 10-17-2018 07:00 PM 1978 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Meterk, NeJe, etc. 1500mW Laser Engraver No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I grabbed this machine off of Amazon using a $100 gift card that I had.

I also did a little research on these. They are inexpensive because they are made using the stripped down laser and transport systems built into a gazillion blu-ray and cd burners with virtually no modification other than the circuit board. They are basically all the same, so Neje, Meterek, Qiilo, Sixdu, Decaker…etc. same guts. This one came with software that says Neje on it, so it’s generic. Here is a vid of someone dismantling one.

I short..It works great once you figure out how to turn it on and how to use the software. As expected, the instructions absolutely suck but that is just a minor inconvenience. Loaded the drivers and the software found the machine without any issues. It seems that 3 things control the quality of your results. Burn time, # of repetitive passes and material you are burning. After a test on cardboard I went right to hard maple. Increase the burn time and the laser slows down and really digs into the material but if you are doing something that requires a lot of detail like a very small butterfly it seems you are better off lowering the burntime and making 2 or 3 passes. Make no mistake about it, you are “burning” the material so you can understand that a longer burn time kinda decreases the “resolution” as it burns the surrounding material. As far as resolution goes, it can print words in sizes too small to even see with incredible detail. It works on pens just fine. (dowels in my test) The software comes with 300-400 images and I was able to grab a jpeg of Muhammad Ail’s eyes off of the web and print that. I’m sure there are other software suites that can do more but for me it gives me what looks like the suite of MS Word fonts so I’m good. I got the 1500mw version since I read somewhere that somebody didn’t see a difference between that and the 2000mw version. I’m thinking that the 1000mw version would work just fine also. Never got the burn time anywhere near maxed out. Took about 10 mins to make that butterfly logo.

Max image that it can burn is 1 1/2” (38mm) seems to be about the limit. Not sure why I had 3” in my head. Using the provided software (which is basic and easy to use) nothing will print larger than the box provided. When the butterfly filled the box the resulting image is still only 1.5” wide. Kinda wondering what the next size up is but I imagine it would be spendy as this seems to be the limit of the blu-ray burner hardware.

The Decaker model that Rich is looking at uses the same laser and transport system and carriages as the others except that both transports are mounted in the top as opposed to the x-axis on top and the y-axis on the bottom. I might just exchange mine for one like Rich is getting as I can see the value in being able to sit the whole machine on top of a workpiece and it’s only $95 on gear best.

Rich, I think you will be happy with your purchase.

It took about 3 mins to print on those dowels and about 20mins for the large butterfly and text under it. It also gives me the ability to orient the printing based on the customer being right or left handed. Most folks don’t realize that off the shelf pens and mugs etc are for righties as the print is upside down if you’re a lefty.

I grabbed it because I have 2 customers who want either name or initials in their pen. I quoted them $20 additional for each pen so I should recoup the expense after not too long.

-- Andy - Seattle USA




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Andybb

1939 posts in 1053 days



7 comments so far

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Andre

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#1 posted 10-18-2018 05:25 AM

Good review, could see some uses in the future.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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JADobson

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#2 posted 10-22-2018 04:24 PM

Thanks for this review Andy.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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cmmyakman

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#3 posted 10-23-2018 06:57 PM

This was a very useful review.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

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Ocelot

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#4 posted 10-23-2018 07:08 PM

===>Christmas list.

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WoodenDreams

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#5 posted 10-25-2018 05:40 AM

Was looking on ebay a week or two ago for a smaller laser engraver, and didn’t pull the trigger to get one. Just wasn’t sure of the surface settings & quality the smaller ones would produce. I appreciate the review you posted. Good info.

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Andybb

1939 posts in 1053 days


#6 posted 11-17-2018 11:39 PM

One quick update. The 2000mW open bottom version is available here for $77 and unlike the closed bottom models it does have a 3” (80mm) print capability which is double the size of the sealed bottom models. Returned my other one.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

1939 posts in 1053 days


#7 posted 01-05-2019 10:13 PM

Well, my new closed bottom unit showed up. Seems to work flawlessly. Learned a few things.

1. All sellers on AliExpress are not created equal. This one came from Levesi. Shipped right away and great communication. The one I got sports the NeJe name and weighs about twice as much as the closed bottom one and seems like it’s made of sturdier stock than the open bottom one, so even though the actual laser may be the same it seems like it is better built. Also had an M3 nut fall out if the open bottom one and have no idea where it came from.

2. You want one that uses the NeJe software, although I don’t know how you’d know beforehand. It is much more seamless and intuitive than what came with the open bottom one.

3. I can see no real difference in results with the 1000mW vs the 1500mW version.

In the process of making my own version of this rotary jig. You can buy it for $45 here but since the NeJe only cost $69 with free shipping from China I can’t bring myself to pay $45 plus $10 shipping from Ohio for plastic and a rubber band.

Important FYI here
In late 2018 the manufacturer of the NEJE style lasers made a few changes. While most of
them had no effect on how our 360 Rotary Jig works, one of them did.
They added a green tinted front cover and increased the thickness of the plastic used for side
frames.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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