The EtcherLaserPro that I had ordered has arrived. I set it up and did some test cutting, so here is how I set it up and some samples I cut.
- Setup of the device side
- Set up the software
- Setting the thickness of the board to be cut
- Setting up the cutout data
- The smell is pretty amazing
- This is fun
This is an all-in-one laser cutter with a built-in dust collector that can do everything from CO2 laser type cutting to engraving, released by smartDIYs, a long-established Japanese laser cutter company.
I placed a pre-order in November and it arrived safely on December 26. Here is an article that compares it to the Beamo, a similar laser cutter.
It's just so big
I had seen it at MakerFaire and was told many times on the official YouTube that it was big, but this was really big.
My work room is on the second floor and I am not sure if I can carry this through the stairs as it is too big. And it's very heavy. We managed to carry it upstairs with two adults. It's going to hurt my back.
It fits perfectly on the shelf I made at DIY store before.
Setup of the device side
Follow the detailed instructions on the official YouTube page to set it up.
Peel off the protective tape and remove the fixing screws
Peel of the protective tape from the case and inside.
Also, in order to prevent malfunction during transportation, there is a fixing mechanism screwed onto the arm, which can be unscrewed and unlocked. Remove the six screws shown in the photo above to remove the fixing clasps.
Add cooling water
Loosen the two screws on the lower part of the unit and remove the cover.
The coolant tank is located on the left side facing you.
Remove the screw on the left side.
Loosen the screw on the upper front side to pull out the pump.
Add tap water. Now, plug it in and turn on the power switch, and the pump will start to work, sucking in more and more water. I think I got about 300ml in there. When it decreases, add more, and when it decreases, add more. After about three minutes of circulation, the water volume stabilized without decreasing. Make sure that the amount of water is roughly 80% of the tank.
Push the tank in and tighten the original screw to finish refilling the water.
All I had to do was tighten the screws on the front cover, but I couldn't tighten the screws at all. Upon closer inspection, I found that the nut that the screw was supposed to hold in place had come off the side of the cover. It seems that the crimp was weak during manufacturing and came off.
I repaired it by attaching it with superglue.
Furthermore, the screw on the right side had come off the nut. This screw is designed to be loosened but not unscrewed from the nut. However, it seems that the crimp was too weak, and the screw had completely come off the nut. Well, it doesn't matter if it's off, because I can just tighten the screws.
I'm glad it's not a fatal defect. Tighten the screws to complete the water supply.
Cover the screw holes with the supplied caps.
Set up the software
Download SmartDIYs Creator from the official website and install it.
Click [Settings] > [User Preferences] to open the window. So we will change the model name to "Etcher Laser Pro".
The software setup is now complete.
When you connect the USB, the software will automatically recognize the laser cutter and set it to "connected".
Setting the thickness of the board to be cut
Photographing the board
First, move the head to the end of the line by "homing".
This time, I would like to cut a 2.5mm MDF board.
With the cover open, click the "Camera" icon in the middle of the top.
Enter the thickness of the board. This time it is 2.5mm.
The image of the board appeared on the screen. This feature is super useful. You know where the board will be cut.
Height adjustment of the head
Click on the "Locate" icon slightly to the right at the top. In the upper left corner of the image, you will see a marker for the laser position, so drag and drop it to the area of the board you want to cut out.
The head will automatically move to the marker's position.
Put the height adjustment jig under the head and loosen the head screws to make the head height the same as the height of the jig. Now tighten the screws to complete the height adjustment.
Press the "Home" button to move the head to the origin.
Setting up the cutout data
Add the design you want to cut by clicking "Add Item" at the top right side. In this case, I loaded an SVG file of the logo "kohacraft.com".
Click on the added item in the right column to set the parameters. Let's try cutting at a speed of 10000 [mm/min] and a power of 100 [%].
Close the lid of the unit and click the START button on the software.
You can see this device baking at a tremendous speed.
The pattern was attached, but unfortunately it was not cut.
I'll try cutting at different speeds.
With the speed value set from 10000 to 2500, the board was not cutting it. At 1250 [mm/min], it was able to penetrate to the back of the board, and at 1000 [mm/min], it was able to cut firmly enough to completely separate each part.
Also, at 10000 [mm/min] or 5000 [mm/min], there are areas where the shape is slightly distorted near sharp corners. It seems that the head speed is too fast and the head is not making the correct trajectory.
I was able to cut it out cleanly.
Speed: 1000 mm/min
Power： 100 %
The smell is pretty amazing
During cutting, the inside of the laser cutter machine was filled with smoke, but there was no smoke coming out of the case. The dust collection system must be working.
However, the smell comes out quite well. The smell of smoke filled the air, as if we were near a bonfire. It also makes my eyes sting. The deodorizing ability does not seem to be that strong.
This is fun
It's wonderful to be able to do laser cutting easily at home. You can take out as many parameters as you want and fail as much as you want, without being bound by time like with hourly rentals.
This time it was 2.5mm thick MDF, but I have bought 4mm and 5.5mm boards as well, so I would like to cut them.
Also, here is a small fire extinguisher that you can keep nearby in case a fire breaks out.
2020.12.28 Added: I cut it with other thicknesses of MDF board.
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2020.12.29 Added: Exhaust duct attached.
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