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Forum topic by Jordan123 posted 08-07-2018 01:13 PM 1213 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jordan123

55 posts in 521 days


08-07-2018 01:13 PM

Hello,

I have the opportunity to take a course at a local maker space. I am trying to decide between the laser course or cnc course.

I mostly want to be able to make designs in cutting boards and surface slabs. Obviously I get that i can only surface on the cnc. But for cutting board stuff which offers room to do more things. The tech at the space suggested laser but I am not sure.

They have the following available:

4’x8’ Laguna Swift with vacuum bed hold-down
2 4’x8’ bed ShopBot PRS Alpha CNC routers
Tormach Personal CNC 1100 mill
2 laser cutters, 18” x 24” bed
1 laser cutter, 28” x 40 bed


4 replies so far

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1864 posts in 2735 days


#1 posted 08-07-2018 08:01 PM

CNC is much more complicated so I’d recommend taking that class to help you get started. I figured out most of the laser stuff by reading and watching videos online.

Laser cutters are like printers and running them is the easy part. Most of the work is in creating designs in your drawing software.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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ArtMann

1396 posts in 1235 days


#2 posted 08-08-2018 02:18 AM

what do you mean when you say “I get that i can only surface on the cnc”? It sounds like you are underestimating the machine’s capabilities but i may be misunderstanding what you are saying.

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Jordan123

55 posts in 521 days


#3 posted 08-08-2018 12:47 PM



what do you mean when you say “I get that i can only surface on the cnc”? It sounds like you are underestimating the machine s capabilities but i may be misunderstanding what you are saying.

- ArtMann

One of the things I’d like to do at the makerspace is surface large slabs. What I was saying was that I know between a CNC and laser, of those two, the only one that is capable of doing that is the cnc. I understand it has more capabilities.

View OG51's profile

OG51

153 posts in 530 days


#4 posted 08-12-2018 03:48 AM

It really depends on what type of projects you want to do. They both engrave but the end results are very different.

I have a small hobby cnc router and a small Chinese 40W (really about 30W) laser engraver. My laser engraver has not been turned on in about 2 years.

The cnc is way more challenging and for me a lot more fun. It is a magnitude harder to learn though, especially if you want to create your own patterns. Training your brain to think in 3d (2.5d) versus 2d is challenging.

The laser engraver is just a plotter with a laser beam instead of an ink head. The detail it can engrave is spectacular but it’s almost like just printing a picture. Instead of colors you have to set the intensity and speed of the laser. With my laser I can cut 1/8 lumber in one pass at a slow speed. I can cut deeper with multiple passes.

I use my cnc almost exclusively for engravings. I can cut most of the projects out on my band saw, which for smaller projects, is just as fast if not faster if you throw in setup time.

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