Acrylic Sheet For Laser Cutting

Acrylic Sheet For Laser Cutting

If you use a laser for your side hustle it won’t be long before you begin to dabble with Acrylic Sheet for laser cutting.  From signage to keychains and everything in between, acrylic sheets can produce projects suitable for sales.  One of the major issues with acrylic sheet for laser cutting is sourcing the material.

A quick trip to Lowe’s, Home Depot, or the Craft store won’t get you much, if any selection.  I have been buying clear cast sheets from Home Depot for some time only to see the source dry up.  Additionally, there are different types of acrylic sheets.  Some are best for engraving, and some are best for cutting.

I have also sourced material from several manufacturers but never found the “perfect” acrylic.  I found my sources from laser forum discussions.  Conversely,  I have been around the block a time or two as it relates to acrylic sheet material.  It is tough to find a good source.
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Laser Buying Guide 2024

Laser Buying Guide 2024

Laser Buying Guide

Laser Buying Guide

Welcome to my Laser Buying Guide for 2024.  Selecting a laser engraver is harder than ever before.   There are several types of lasers and more than a few selections within each category.

Over the years I have assembled many lasers and have sold more than a few.  And I seem to get asked the same questions over and over by prospective buyers.

Most new, prospective laser purchasers probably find out too late what their new laser can and cannot do.  It is important to understand the differences in laser types BEFORE you purchase one.
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Harbor Freight Multi Tool

Harbor Freight Multi Tool

Harbor Freight Multitool

Harbor Freight Multi Tool

I am a lover of Multi tools.  For years I have kept various types of Leatherman or Gerber’s nearby.  Currently the most popular Multi tool in the world is the Leatherman Wave+.  I actually own two of those.  Imagine my surprise when the Harbor Freight Multi Tool was released and priced at $39.99!

Can this $40 tool really compare to a $119.95 Wave +?

If so, this is going to be an amazing bargain.  Also, that would make it a perfect addition to your tool bag or center console in your vehicle.

Let’s find out if this thing stacks up to the Wave+.
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Creality Falcon 2 Pro Review

Creality Falcon 2 Pro Review

Creality Falcon 2 Pro

Creality Falcon 2 Pro

I was recently provided a very cool laser to review from the innovators at Creality.  They are the Makers of excellent 3D printers and also desktop laser engravers.  I just got my hands on the Creality Falcon 2 Pro, 22 Watt Desktop Laser Engraver($1099).

I have to say this laser engraver has some very cool features not found in other desktop diode laser machines.  The list is quite substantial.

Buckle up for a cool laser ride.
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Makeblock mBot Ultimate Robot Kit Review

Makeblock mBot Ultimate Robot Kit Review

Makeblock mBot

Makeblock mBot 10-in-1Robot Kit

A little over a month ago, the company Makeblock provided me their Makeblock mBot Ultimate 2.0, 10-in-1 robotics kit ($366.99) to review.  Originally, I was a bit trepidatious since the kit is designed to teach coding to teenagers or young adults.  While I am a techie, I am not a coder.

But I do love a challenge.  I have finally begun making some great progress with this kit.

Before I Begin

Before I dig in to this review I need to state something.  When I was about the age relevant to the kit recommendations I was exposed to electronics kits such as depicted below.
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Astron SS-25M Power Supply Minor Repair

Astron SS-25M Power Supply Minor Repair

Astron SS-25M Power Supply

Astron SS-25M Power Supply

I’m an Amateur Radio operator and have all manner of short wave radios.  Most of these radios require an external power supply to function.  Generally, the voltage requirement is around 13.8 volts DC.   Additionally, some of these power supplies can be pretty pricey.  This quick entry will be about a score I made recently on Facebook Marketplace.  I picked up an Astron SS-25M Power Supply for almost nothing.

Did I get a deal, or did I get taken to the cleaners?  Let’s find out.

When I saw the ad I didn’t hesitate.  I knew even if it were not functional that I could fix it.  So I took a chance.  When I received it, I quickly powered it up and noticed the output power was rock solid at 13.8 volts.  Sweet.

The On/Off Switch LED was flickering and that could be anything from the lamp in the switch itself to a current problem.  But the output power was solid so I figured it was the lamp.

Then I tried to install it and that’s why I realized I was able to score it for so cheap.
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Algolaser Alpha MK2 Laser Engraver Review

Algolaser Alpha MK2 Laser Engraver Review

Algolaser Alpha MK2

Algolaser Alpha MK2

Around July of 2023 a new startup laser company, Algolaser provided me their first offering.  The machine was the  Algolaser Alpha which I subsequently reviewed here.  Algolaser, while technically a new brand, was founded by the originator of Ortur Laser.   Ortur was pretty much the first commercial seller of desktop diode laser engravers starting sales around 2019.  Graciously, they have just provided me one of their pre-release machines, the Algolaser Alpha MK2 ($749) to shake down.  Buyers can use the discount code MAX100 for an additional $100 off making the price $649.

Currently, my readers are also provided a mid year sale coupon code for the month of June for an additional $20 off.  The code is YTB$20 and it can be applied during check out. 

While the machines look very similar, the Alpha MK2 is slightly longer and contains a very nice touch screen on the front console.

Algolaser Alpha MK2

MK2 Touch Screen

And without getting too much into the weeds yet let’s just say that the Alpha MK2 is a much smarter machine with a lot more features. The MK2 runs on embedded software that they refer to as Algo Operating System (AOG).  Power remains the same across both models at 22 watts.  That being said, the laser modules differ somewhat between the Alpha and the Alpha MK2.
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2024 Best Laser Engraver

ACMER P2 33 Watt Laser Engraver Review

ACMER P2 33 Watt

ACMER P2 33 Watt Laser Engraver

I recently reviewed the ACMER P1 S Pro and the ACMER P1 and now have been provided the ACMER P2 33 watt Laser Engraver ($799) to review.   At no time has ACMER attempted to influence the content of my reviews.  What you will read is exactly what I think.

I’d be remiss in not mentioning that ACMER is releasing their P3 IR and Diode Dual Laser soon!
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Laser Engraver Side Hustle Discussion

Laser Engraver Side Hustle Discussion

I’ve spent a lot more time on Laser Engraver forums lately and picked a few flowers out of those fields.  I’ll do my best to keep this brief and fun.

Poison Gas

Go to any laser forum and there is always one mama bear who will gasp with disbelief when some people post photos of the items they laser.  She (it is usually a she) will then post something like this:

“OMG, don’t you know that item releases Hydrochloric gas which will kill you and corrode your machine?”
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LaserPecker 4 vs xTool F1

LaserPecker 4 vs xTool F1

LaserPecker 4

LaserPecker 4

I recently got my hands on a LaserPecker 4 (LP4) and am giving it the old one, two.  Conversely, I already own an xTool F1 and thought it would be fun to do a head to head shootout with them.

Both have similar specifications.  And both contain a 2 watt 1064 nm IR laser, and a 450 nm blue diode 10 watt laser.  The working area is roughly similar on both lasers.  Additionally,  both have an extension conveyor and both can be used with a rotary device.

So you’d think that it would difficult to declare one to be better than other?  Trust me.  It wasn’t difficult to determine which one was better.

But we’ll get to that.
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