For a couple years now, I’ve been interested in laser cutter/engravers. I joined the local FabLab just to get some time on the Epilog, which as it turns out is a popular machine. At reasonable hours, its schedule is generally booked. Since I cannot justify the price tag, purchasing my own Epilog is out of the question. Every so often I’d find myself peeking at hobby grade lasers, or even digging into some DIY laser engravers. While I still would like to build my own machine some day, I recently decided to just take the plunge with one of the ultra cheap lasers on Ebay. The K40.
At $488 shipped, I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. Everything was included to get up and running, less the PC to drive it and a water bucket. It included an exhaust fan with exhaust tube, a water pump with tubing, power and USB cables, and software. After unboxing, it was literally cutting acrylic within 20 minutes. Software is decent, but not awesome. The options are LaserDRW and CorelLaser (A CorelDraw plugin).
At this point, I’m pleased. Of course I want a more powerful laser now. Maybe a home build machine is still in my future, and the K40 makes a great starter.
There are a couple modifications that you should definitely look into for the K40 laser. Number 1 is to throw away the useless work bed, and replace it with a honeycomb bed. Second, get an air assist to keep wooden work pieces from burning.
I’ve got a lot of plans for the K40 laser, and hope to post my progress along the way.