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HomeCNC Laser Cutting MachineShould You Buy a CNC or a Laser?

Should You Buy a CNC or a Laser?


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Should You Get a CNC or a Laser? | I Like To Make Stuff

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  1. 3M makes an adhesive sheet that I attach to the back of my material before I cut it in the laser when I am making signs. The laser will cut through the material and the adhesive, and when I am ready to attach the letters I just peel the backing off the adhesive and stick it down. It's much easier than CA glue. The adhesive is called 3M 467MP Clear Adhesive Transfer Tape.

  2. "Today we are going to talk about a comparison popularized on youtube but utterly impractical and never even considered by the actual industry"
    Lasers are for 2D straight cuts and etching of virtually any material. CNC routers are for semi 3D/layered cuts and ability to select router bits for undercuts on wood and composite only. Not even same class of machinery or use, totally different.
    If youre making furniture, youd buy a cnc router. If youre etching or just need to cut complex shapes out of many different materials, youd buy a laser. Very little overlap. No woodworker worth his salt uses laser cutters – its cnc routers, band saws, table saws. No person etching wood or stone or cutting acrylic would buy a cnc router. I seriously do not understand this comparison. From what I can tell, its a made up comparison that got a lot of clicks on youtube, and every channel in this genre decided to copycat these videos for views.

  3. easy answer, get both, heck get all the tools?
    but lasers and cnc routers are kinda similar, if you start looking into alu /steel / titanium or brass parts ,you need a cnc mill, but even a tormach pcnc 440 is VERRY expensive compared to a glowforge or similar laser

  4. Correction: You said the ColorCore is ABS, and it is not. It's HDPE. HDPE is a low surface energy plastic, so the point about the adhesive is correct…stuff does not like to stick to HDPE. ABS however is much easier to adhere to.

  5. OG Maker route: DIY CNC machine, there are sooo many great follow-alongs and 3d printed versions. Great video, i had that question in mind 2 years ago and build the mpcnc. I think you did a good job by putting these parts to the different machines, good to understand for newbies. Also: nice tip with colorcore, sadly i did not found such a material in europe, maybe in the future.

  6. Do you have a link to that air scrubber you showed in the video? The XL-300? Do you have a video about how effective it is and stuff? I've been in the process of building one, but that thing looked tiny and way better than the thing that I'm making. If it's more effective, then maybe I'll go that route instead.

  7. Doesn't someone make a CNC that allows the use of either a mechanical cutting head and/or a laser engraving/cutting head? Seems like you could just swap out the heads and use one CNC machine for both!

  8. I love your channel mainly because of the diversity of your projects and how they directly impact what I am looking to do myself. Everything from table saws to helmet making applies to me. I am a subcriber and would really like your feedback on my channel/projects as I get started making and sharing my stuff. So please, if you could, take a look, subscribe and I'd appreciate any thoughts on my eclectic projects/videos. TIA! Jer

  9. Shellac, plain old clear shellac, or the white shellac big box stores like to sell, is the best thing to seal MDF with a quick time drying and sealing properties

  10. at 8:40 when you prep for paint after removing dust shouldn't you use gloves or do a degreaser wash so you dont get any hand oils on the piece before painting? (i usually tend to worry more about oils then dust when prepping and i dont know if i'm wrong there)

  11. You could have used the CNC or Laser to create recesses for the letters as well that would help with alignment and for better glue options. You could cut for example an extra set of letters, put them in the recess when you paint and then cut the paint, pull them out. And you would have the back of the good letters not painted, so you have 2 good surfaces.

  12. CNC over laser for sure. Besides what was already stated you can also add a drag bit and a diamond drag bit. These two will add the ability to cut cardboard and leather. And the diamond drag bit will allow you to engrave/etch into glass, aluminum, brass and acrylic. Fantastic sign either way.

  13. A big factor would be your workspace layout. Due to the way that a laser works, you would need it to be in a dust free environment. (Both for performance and to prevent fire hazards). So if you have a generally open shop area, a laser would not be an ideal choice. Even with a good dust collection system, the chances of having fouled mirrors and lenses is going to be a significant factor in your overall performance. With a CNC router, while you still want to clean excess dust off the machine, the device will not be quickly ruined by the fine dust that might remain in an otherwise well maintained area.

    With both options, you have available choices at several price points. However, a decent workhorse of a laser can be acquired for considerably cheaper than an equally reliable CNC router setup. The trade off though is that you need to know a whole host of different skills to work on and maintain your equipment at that point. With a CNC router there will be a number of skills which you would need to develop in a similar vein, albeit with significantly lower risk. (The inexpensive workhorse lasers may require you to change the bulbs yourself, handle focusing, etc….all of which is much more tedious than simply tramming the CNC).

    This isn't to short sell the value of the laser. I own one and actually take it over a CNC if made to choose. It just really depends on you and what skills you want to develop as a maker.

  14. I wasn't go to say anything until you mentioned this project on the podcast twice, but this kind of comes full circle for me. I grew up with my dad watching the New Yanky Workshop and being very (in a not too mean way) jealous. He would often say things at the TV like, "Cut it again Norm!" or "Oh just make a perfect joint why don't you?!", and that is how Sunday Morning TV was in the house. . . I started watching your cannel when you were building the Tie Fighter firepit and then binge watched a lot of your catalog…. Afterwards, I called my sister and told her "I think I found my Norm Abram" We both laughed for awhile over it. I to am jealous of the cool things that you build, But I do appreciate that you do talk through the issues you run into and troubleshooting of the problems. I think that is way I don't yell at my laptop screen. I do try to keep up in my own way, I have a fair few of my own projects, some even turn out pretty good.

  15. Just for clarity CNC stands for "computer numerical control" so the rig that's moving x, y, z is the CNC, doesn't really matter what's attached to it. So basically both of these are technically CNC whether its a laser, water jet, router etc. Great vid!

  16. Absolutely loved this build. I've seen the sign in person (I'll skip the storytelling here, did that on the Making It ep. 340 comment on Patreon), used to run The New Yankee Workshop website, and got to hang with Russ and Norm for about a decade as their web guy. They'd be proud of this (although I am not sure they would get the reference).

  17. The answer to your title of the video "Should you buy a CNC or laser?" the answer is yes to both. Get a CNC and add a laser. Buying a laser you cannot add a cnc.

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