If I buy the Laser

@Zach_Kaplan If I buy The Jtec laser kit and all the other hardware will you guys pitch in on the makerslide and whatnot to build a dedicated makerslide laser rig. Ill do a full on write up and everything full designs plates that can be cut with your xcarve the works. I see about 400 in components coming from you guys. I have the concept it will be doable in any size. I see this as being achievable with a 2.8 or 3.5 w solid state laser kit for under 1000 dollars.


That’s a great idea! In the past, these kind of projects are “proposed” in the Tip Jar or $100 for 100 Projects categories. There have been some epic projects funded up to $500 for such in depth documentations as SeanKeplinger’s Crysis Typhoon Prop. The challenge of course is how to pay for the materials to complete the project to win a gift card when you’ve already spent the money. Your question may be better sent via PM so that Zach isn’t put in a position to set a precedent that is difficult to sustain. Also, if you have other successfully documented projects, that helps Zach and Co. get a feel for the production value of what they’re going to get (i.e. Warren Downes, Bob Clagett, Travis Lucia, etc.).

My $0.02. I in no way am speaking for Inventables. I’m just very active in the categories mentioned above.

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FWIW, there was a bit on this sort of thing for the X-Carve’s predecessor, the Shapeoko, which still applies: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Laser_Cutter

Appreciate the feedback Chris. I thought about just sending him a message but I thought if I insighted a little intrest first I may have a good chance. And in regards to the shapeoko laser rig. Where as there would be some similarities we have learned ALOT since the x carve so I feel like it deserves a second look. Also if like to do the write up and designs in the spirit of inventables. Step by step so anyone can grab the parts and make one.

@JoeBerman Whats the difference between your design and just bolting one onto the X-Carve. If you want a ‘dedicated laser rig’ just don’t put a spindle on it.

I would think more people would like both Spindle & Laser… JTec already sells an X-Carve kit with all the instructions…

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Well I guess we will just have to see :slight_smile:. For starters though removing the z axis and completely redesigning the base will allow this to go much faster than a shapeoko or x carve. Plus tell me who wouldn’t like to laser on one machine while your x carve is cutting. Oh and don’t forget while parts will need to be bought most of the parts will be easily made with your x carve making this a bit of a fun project.

Oh and just putting it out there but have you ever seen what a laser does to wood dust. Keep an extinguisher handy. :smile:

We can raster laser engrave photos at a 200IPM feedrate now with our 6W 450nm LD mounted on our stock Shapeoko 2, so why would removing the Z axis be necessary? We use the Z axis to precisely set the focal height from our material to engrave, which is very convenient.

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what laser unit do you use?

We have both the 6W laser & Flexmod driver mounted to a very efficient heat sink we made that screws to the lower spindle mount on the Shapeoko 2.



Prior to the 6W build, we were using the 2.8W J-Tech laser.



Well Damn I just know they like supporting user done projects using their stuff in different ways. Just thought I’d try and reinvent the wheel and maybe create something new that stood out to the community.

As soon as the community hears something new, we will gladly listen.
So far your idea sounds like an X-Carve chassis with no Z axis and a laser strapped to it.
As already pointed our, the laser still needs focusing, and that is easy to do with the Z axis. Additionally, to do any serious cutting, the laser needs to be lowered to refocus the beam onto fresh material.

But that is only one of many details, don’t let that discourage you.
What else were your thoughts on making the machine move faster?
Maybe an Z-axis redesign (smaller, lighter)?

Yea the z was getting a redesign I was just being secretive in till I knew I could do it and,the whole chassis was diffrent

What would be the gain of having a dedicated rig for the laser vs using with the X-Carve? I upgraded my X-Carve with the J-Tech laser and use both all the time but never wanted them to be separate. I am guessing that most people that purchase a laser add on kit are constrained by budget and size of their shop. Here is the video that I made of upgrading my X-Carve. Adding a Laser Engraver to my X-Carve


If you don’t require a Z axis, you could use one of these instead.


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@joeberman I’m sorry but due to safety concerns adding a laser to the X-Carve isn’t something we can financially support.

Safety or liability? I’ve added the JTech 2.8w laser to my X-Carve and I can say that it is very safe and makes a great tool even better. https://youtu.be/V61Qp0pCAVI

I can understand the reasoning for not wanting to do the Laser project. These X Carve units are a great tool, Lasers however can be very dangerous in a shop, the laser alone could blind someone, almost any shop has chemicals and sawdust that could catch fire. I know some guys have done a successful job of adding the laser but it does get into the area of maybe not every shop should have one in an open carriage system like the X Carve.

Any CNC machine can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not followed. Even when using a spindle, safety glasses should be worn just like when using a laser. A breaking tool bit, or flying wood chips could blind you also.

The likelihood of a fire starting from a laser diode is slim to none in my many years of experience with them. Chemical fumes could ignite with just a static electricity arc, or the arcing of brushes on the commutator in a spindle, so chemicals should not be near a running CNC machine anyway. Besides, if the fumes are that concentrated to be ignited in any way, good ventilation to the outside would be recommended. Breathing those fumes are very harmful to your health

If the user has a good dust shoe on there machine, or vacuums up good after using there spindle, there should not be any saw dust that could ignite from using a laser diode. Who would spread saw dust on there material before starting to laser engrave or to cut something anyway?

A laser diode’s burning power is concentrated to a small focal point which is controlled very precisely. It’s not flamethrower.

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It is awesome that there are people that realize safety concerns within a shop it is good to know I am not the only one. A laser is still a controlled burn, a source of ignition and as weak as the unit that is referred to in this debated article is, still an ignition point. I understand it is not a flamethrower but it is still using principles of burning and in my shop the cnc is not the only tool that makes sawdust, I may not be able to eat off of my tools and last I checked it is just a manufacturers suggestion that a laser is operated in a controlled environment and proper ventilation is also a factor. I was just saying there are concerns and I feel it ok Inventables does not want to get into this modification EVEN if some of these guys ( I know more than a few) have managed a successful set up. There are some things that not every person should try in this world I may do it personally in the future as well but there are still risks.