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Newbie Looking for Laser Cutter Recommendation

Hi. I own an event & wedding rental company. I am looking to expand my services and get into offering/selling items that I could make with a laser cutter. I am very new to laser cutting and am beginning to search for what laser cutter would best suit my needs. I foresee this as starting out on a smaller scale first to see what kind of feedback I receive. Hoping it will be well received.

I would like to be able to cut 1/4" plywood and possibly do some simple etching on acrylic as well. The wood pieces would probably be 20-24" in length at the most. To give you an idea of what I’d like to do, I have a picture below. Cutter needs to be user friendly! :slight_smile: Thank you for your time. Any advice and/or suggestions are appreciated!


You can find a lot of info here

Don’t even look at the Laser diodes. They won’t cut it.

Look at the CO2 lasers starting at about 40 watts and up to 150 watts.

Check to see how many passes over the cut line are needed to cut through the material to determine the speed with which you can make a cut and if that will fit into your work flow.

Thanks! I will look into those options.

Would an X-Carve achieve the look above (see picture)? I understand I would be able to do any etching and the X-Carve is not a laser cutter. I’m just curious.

The X-Carve is not the right choice for the job (laser cutting). Those that have added a laser added a laser diode, and as @LarryM stated, that won’t cut it.
The X-carve can easily cut through 1/4" ply and acrylic. You can even etch on acrylic with X-carve, depending on what you want to do.
A CO2 laser is the way to go, I’d say at least 40W, for production work.
A laser will get you more detail and polished edges on acrylic. You’ll have a burnt edge on plywood. Gravity takes care of most workholding too.

Not sure what your price range is but I have been extremely pleased with my Glowforge Pro.

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I have one of these and have been very happy with it. 100w is a bit high for good engraving though - if you want a balance between cutting and engraving, I’d suggest a 60w. Be warned, this is about 70% plug & play and 30% DIY. I haven’t had any major issues with it, but the manual is poorly translated from Chinese, and there’s no after-purchase support from the company. Lots of support groups for these on FB and elsewhere though, so it’s not terribly hard to get going, and you can get a 60W in this size range for $1800 to $2k. So, buy two of them for the price a GlowForge. :slight_smile:

This is the one I have now