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HomeCNC Laser Cutting MachineCNC vs Laser. Which Should You Get First?

CNC vs Laser. Which Should You Get First?


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Comparing the pros and cons of CNC routers and laser cutters Brought to you by Squarespace. For 10% off your first purchase, go to: http://squarespace.com/makesomething

Tools and Supplies (affiliate links)
Stepcraft CNC Router: https://www.stepcraft.us/m
Glowforge Laser Cutter: https://glowforge.us/fycBT8
Composite Nailer: https://amzn.to/3unuCPH

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  1. Darn you! Now I'm thinking a stepcraft is the only way to go! It does both!!! LOL. And much more! Imagine if they had a router to laser automated tool head switcher. OMG! Ok, saving for the Stepcraft! Think I'll just buy a cheapy laser engraver in the meanwhile. Stepcraft setup I want will run into 5k by the time I'm done with the laser head and other accessories! GREAT VIDEO! Very good comparison. THank you!

  2. If you are using a vacuum table, then you should use foam gasket to hold your parts down. Route your part into the mdf table and gasket the inside of the cut lines. You can then drill vacuum holes into the board. When finished you can use cork to plug the holes and move onto the next job. Use at least a 7,000 spindle speed to 12,000 max spindle speed for acrylic and polycarbonate. Mdf cuts good at about 6,500 spindle speed. If it’s 1/2 inch thick you’ll need multiple passes for a cleaner edge.

  3. small or big waste of money mon small yes i did do shopsabre23 there smallest cnc but just right what i need when i make the money from it ill buy there bigger one nevr buy the smallest thing cause you have hrs to put together its a kit not mine

  4. From ur experience, What is the power required to cut through 4mm Gasket paper and ability to etch Aluminium if we are going for fiber laser ? Thanks

  5. The short answer to "should I get the CNC Router or CNC Laser Cutter?" is both… allow me to explain. The Stepcraft M-1000 pictured at 0:23 can do both… you can have a nice 2 x 4 desktop CNC with an ATC and awesome gantry clearance AAAND Stepcraft also sells the Laser module, the 3D printer module, the tangential knife module, the drawing/pen module… etc for the same machine.

  6. Is this really even a comparison? The two tools are so different. Its like asking do you get a plasma cutter or lathe, I mean, wtf, its not even same category.
    Any mechanical engineer would laugh their heads off if you asked them to compare the two. Why not instead do a video on water jet, laser, plasma and wire cutters? All of these are 2D cutting technologies with actual comparable metrics and applications. A CNC router is used to create 3D/semi-3D topography (say like a cavity for a bracket or hinge), a laser cutter is for cutting or surface etching only.
    No one in the industry would ever be actually deciding between the two. No one.

  7. My interests involve engineering more than art. As such, the laser cutter comes in handy more often. You get sharp internal corners, less wasted material due to very thib cuts, and you don't have to worry about leaving tabs.

  8. I agree with most of your comments. However, I disagree with your opinion regarding Laser usefulness. If you were to upgrade from that glow forge laser you would see that there are much better options. In my opinion glow forge is overrated, overpriced, and much better options out there for slightly more money. I own a thunder laser 130 watt CO2 system which will run rings around glow forge. I can routinely get cutting depths of at least 3/4 of an inch with straight curve and minimal burning. I also find that my laser provides more options and profitability in my business.

  9. You can do very much better and detailed 3D carving with a Glowforge that you can even get a bit small enough to use a CNC. I left a link to demonstrate but apparently it got wiped off.

  10. Hey man… about this library app which would have your bits…. I think this is a great idea. Let's get in touch. Maybe we can collab on something that other hobbyists would find useful 🙂 I can only do it outside of my work but Im really exited to try.

  11. I heard those co2 laser tubes and their PSUs live for many years, when you stay below their maximum power ratings. I first had a diode laser cutter and decided to extend its oomph with an 80 watt co2 tube which I never run at more than round about 60 watts. That is more than enough in most cases. For fine engravings I can switch back to the diode head. My machine is still quite new, so I will see if YouTube was right about that "stay below max power" thing….

  12. Burnt edges are inevitable, but the surface scorches can be prevented by simply applying masking tape all over your material. It's a tedious process but it's worth it. And if only the cross-section is burnt, it could be an aesthetic XD

  13. Hi, I cut by hand gold and silver plates (1 mm and 2 mm thickness) making names as pendants. What do you recommend cnc or laser? And please recommend the brand. Thanks

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