Many years ago when they first started to emerge on the market, I made a video using a laser etcher. I liked the idea of what they could do but I was disappointed with the power, which of course limits what they can do. I have been passively watching this market as the power and capabilities of these machines has increased and it's time for me to have another closer look ...
When Ikier Laser first contacted me, I had already been looking at their line-up of laser machines so I had a pretty good idea what advancements they had implemented, and is was enough for me to want to learn more. What I found were powerful Laser Machines with far more advanced capabilities and Apps to drive them, and so I decided to see first hand what had changed and try one out.
Based on what I had learned, I was pretty sure that the power and capablilities of this new laser were going to be just what I was looking for, and I also wanted to test out a few of the accessories, like the Working Panel that sits flat on the workbench (what the materials we are etching or cutting sit on), I also wanted the shroud or what Ikier they call the "Enclosure" that covers the laser and provides exhahust venting and it's fireproof, I also wanted to try out a Rotary tool for eching wooden bowls or even making special mugs for my merch page, plus the camera for when I want to save material and make more accurate cuttings. Lots of cool things to try out.
When the laser arrived, I was super happy to see that it was almost fully assembled, I think it took me about 30 or 45 minutes to finish up attaching the gantry, connecting the Air Assist and generally setting up the machine ... and most of this time was just used in reading about what to do.
one of the main features I like about this laser is the how powerful it is, with a 24 / 48 power switch right on the laser head.
The other big plus for me is the "Air Assist" feature. As you can see in the picture below the unit comes with an air pump that pushes air over the area that is being lasered. The purpose of this is to help clear the smoke that the laser creates as it "burns" the area, but also to cool down the lasering surface which can make a huge difference in the quality of the cut my cutting down the ambient heat from around where the laser light is working, and making a much cleaner and sharper image.
Once the machine was ready to go I needed to download Lightburn, the computer App that you can use to create and modify laser plans, run the laser etcher, make material test patters to help figure out power settings and much more. You can even download a trial version which I did ahead of time to try and learn something about the software before the machine even arrived.
After first doing a few cuts and burns, I was pretty convinced that this machine is powerful and fast enough for me to consider it as a new woodworking tool for my workshop. With the Dust cover which also includes the tited viewing windows and the exhaust port, this machine can sit in the corner of my shop and happily work away at cutting and etching while I do other things in the shop and keep an eye on it at the same time.
I also wanted to check out a couple of extra accessories ...
The rotary tool for etching drinking cups and tumblers ... in case I want to etch some wooden bowls or even make some tumblers for my merch page.
Then there is the camera that I can use for saving on material by maximizing space which will save me money on material, because some of it can add up $$$s quite quickly.
For more information, here are some of the links to Ikier Products