Laser Cutter Review

Hello all,

I was looking for information on Laser Cutters mainly on how to avoid using our current control software which is a bit underwhelming.

I have found links to some Hackspaces 1 , 2

And I came a cross an excellent review from @Issus 3

So I thought it would be nice to merge all the different concepts from buying a laser cutter to adapting them to your spaces needs including control software.

If it is links from existing places that would help.

I would like that contributions made here be released so that they can be merged with the current Hackspace Resources/owners manual. So it would be good if you only post if you are OK with me taking your IP and pasting into the manual. Of course we will have a list of contributors, so if you want a formal link to yourself please add it. TL;DR Check out licence.

It’s worth mentioning Smoothieware as an open source alternative to the commercial laser cutter controllers. I’ve always wanted to try it but haven’t found the time.

You’re unlikely to be able to buy a Chinese cutter without the controller, though. So you will probably have to waste money on one.

The Leetro controllers get a lot of criticism but they do ultimately work.

At Teesside we’re using LaserWeb which we’re quite happy with. We swapped out the electronics in our K40 for an Arduino and CNC shield (and are currently replacing it with Gerbil which is a similar setup but a bit less hacky), and it works nicely with LaserWeb 3 & 4. One of the benefits is that since it’s web based, you can bring your own laptop to the space and control the cutter from that (although we haven’t set it up that way yet). It also has a few useful features like saving profiles for different machines and materials.