One of the most exciting technologies available for DIY enthusiasts, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs is laser engraving machine. This machine allows its users to transfer their lettering, art, or designs onto a versatile range of materials, giving its users limitless possibilities for what they can create. When buying a laser engraving machine, it is important to note that it is not all machines that are created equal; this is why it is good to invest wisely in a high quality machine. This article looks at how cheap laser engraving machines are different from industrial quality units, whether they are worth the investment, and the common problems with these machines.
The Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Laser Engraving Machines
Laser engravers are available in a range of prices but what is responsible for these huge gaps in prices? High end laser engravers are compatible with different types of design files and software, use powerful lasers that can cut through different materials, have durable parts that won’t break easily, comes with many useful and convenient features that makes operating them easier, and include warranties and service packages that protect users from expensive repair cost in the event of a malfunction.
Low End Engravers
In contrast, low end engravers are most times imported from foreign factories where a working engraver is cobbled together from cheap plastic materials by low-skill workers. The key components of these machines are often printed from weaker laser and low-cost plastics to save on costs. There is usually no warranty from the manufacturer and replacements are not easy to come by in the case of malfunction or breakdown.
The Most Common Issues With Cheap Laser Engraving Machines
Here are some of the common complaints associated with cheap laser engraving machines.
Naturally, every artist is usually limited by their medium and if you are producing incredible designs in Adobe Illustrator or CAD, it may surprise you to find your cheap laser engraver has their own simpler software design. This situation leaves you with either learning to use the simpler and less feature rich software design version or importing your existing designs into the application. You are jumping through hoops and
Laser Does Not Cut Some Materials
Cheaper laser engravers use cheaper and smaller lasers which is usually less effective at engraving. Also, many of these cheap machines don’t live up to their advertised standards and because a company says their machines can cut through a 1/2 inch thick material does not mean it can really do so. Soft lumber and acrylic materials may work great but materials like plywood and MDF that contain glue can be tasking for a weak laser to cut.
Laser Produces Excessive Scorching
Laser engraving involves burning the surface of the material. This produces a lot of debris and heat which can leave the surface of the materials with unsightly and undesirable scorch marks. Quality laser engraves achieve a smoother cut by focusing a stream of compressed air where the laser meets the material and this is absent in cheap laser engravers. This makes getting quality engraving done on acrylic, wood, or paper with a cheap machine difficult. Choosing between a cheap and expensive laser engraving machine is a choice between cost and quality or price and value.