Opening Comments

The intention of this blog is to follow my (mis)adventures with taking a Chinese built 40W CO2 laser and turning it into something that is actually useable.

The Chinese laser cutter/engraver machines come with some pretty nasty software, Moshi Draw, which for some unknown reason (I cannot believe anyone would actually choose to pirate this software) they feel needs protecting with a USB key, and uses a parallel port connector to connect the machine to a PC.

In the short term, I will most likely replace the electronics with a Sanguinololu board and run the festlv modified version of GRBL.

In stock form the Chinese unit has a cutting area of about A4 – 300mm x 210mm (15″ x 8.4″) and no Z axis for fine tuning on different material thicknesses.

The longer term plan is to build a 2.x laser using the Chinese one as a parts donor, since this will be cheaper than buying all the required parts separately and having to import them from China.

The unit does not have a much bigger footprint 1000 x 600 x 310mm (39 x 23.6 x 12.2″) vs 800 x 500 x 250mm (31.4 x 19.6 x 9.8″) but has a cutting area of 510 x 300 x 101mm (20 x 12 x 4″) which is more than double that of the Chinese unit and a Z axis that has enough travel to be useful with a rotary engraving platform as well.

The supplier I have bought from has several different names on ebay, but has a warehouse in Portsmouth and is over £100.00 cheaper than his nearest rival.

Initially he was out of stock and so was listing the unit at £5278.99 in order to deter people from buying, once back in stock, this dropped to £278.99, and then a week later to £275.99, then to £270.99, the next closest price is £380.00.

The seller had a ‘make offer’ option, so I thought I would chance my arm and offer £240.00, this was rejected, so I followed up with a £250.00 offer which was countered with an offer of £270.00 – so much for the ‘make offer’ option :o) still a 99p saving is still a saving and so I decided to go ahead and order my Christmas present from my wife for this year  – it always makes sense to ensure you receive the present you were actually hoping for.

In all I am aiming for a total end cost of under £900.00 (about $1400.00) – let’s see how we do.

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