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Laser Cutter Recommendation

MLubin

Hello everyone, 

My office is in the market for a small laser cutter for model-making. We typically use materials such as chipboard, artboard, and Bristol board. We are looking for something in the $1,000 range and that works well with dwg. file formatting. Lastly, a preferable bed size would be nothing smaller than 12x16. I would love to know what the general consensus is and whether or not there is anything within this price range that is both reliable and affordable. Love to know your thoughts!

 
Mar 3, 20 5:56 pm
SneakyPete

A laser cutter for 1,000? Nope. You'll end up with fussy low quality garbage with no manual and the need to constantly troubleshoot.

Mar 4, 20 11:36 am  · 
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MLubin

​Yeah, that was my concern. Do you ​have any recommendations for a laser cutter in the $3,000 range? We have been looking at the Glowforge Plus laser cutter by Glowforge. Do you have any experience with this particular company? On broader terms, our concern is compatibility with AutoCAD and accuracy and precision at various scales. ​

Mar 4, 20 4:31 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

I own a Glowforge, the machine is pretty nice. The process from CAD to machine is klunky, with the need to go through Illustrator to convert to SVG. The Illustrator export process can easily mess up the scale. It's quite frustrating when used infrequently, but with the proper how-to guide and steps always followed, it could become manageable. 

The UI is pretty dreadful with regards to the cloud-based nature of it, and the way you can create a file, then delete everything inside it, then leave the project which then auto-saves an empty file. If you save the files locally and save the settings inside the UI you can probably deal with that.

To be fair, I used a Universal Laser and their software kinda sucked, too. The best part was that it knew what a DWG was.

If you have a way to put the exhaust out the window that's ideal. We have the filter and, while it works, it does fill up quite quickly and costs a couple hundred for new filter media cartridges.

It also requires cleaning from time to time, but I have yet to clean mine, so I cannot say how annoying it is.

If you end up going down that route I can give you a referral code, but if you don't feel comfortable with that it's cool. 

Mar 4, 20 4:40 pm  · 
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MLubin

This is very great information. I believe that we will be going with the Glowforge Pro laser cutter. Before we go through with this, would you be able to share some photographs of past models that were generated by the Glowforge?

Mar 4, 20 6:12 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

I have not made architectural models, just toys and trinkets in my home. The laser burn is indistinguishable from the Universal Systems laser burn, and can be mitigated (somewhat) with setting adjustments or sanding. I don't have any photos of projects on the PC I'm using right now, I apologize.

Mar 4, 20 6:37 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

And like I said, you are under no obligation to use my referral code, I do not want you to think I am somehow scamming you or trying to gain anything from this. The information is more important, anyways.

Mar 4, 20 6:38 pm  · 
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