I have an Ortur Laser Master 2. Very, very nice low powered diode laser rig capable of making some great craft items. I also have a larger K40 Laser however sometimes it is like trying to use a sledgehammer to drive a nail. The Ortur has great flexibility because of how open it is and the fact it can be set on any surface or pass materials through it or raise it way up high.
Make no mistake though, the Ortur Laser Master 2 is NOT a production machine. It was not meant to be run full power, all day, every day. It is a hobby device for hobbyists. If you push it beyond that…….well…….good on ya.
There do seem to be some issues with the laser though. Some users report 100% laser power 100% of the time and frequent disconnects, not to mention the fact they can’t connect at all to the computer. So there are issues going in……………
It CAN be a production device though with some pre-planning and regular maintenance.
Let me tell a somewhat unrelated story. I like solar power and solar powered generators such as the company Jackery makes. Every time they release a new one about 50 clowns on the internet say “This is bullshit. This will only run a refrigerator for 14 hours and my heart transplant kit needs to run for 15 hours.”
My response to that is always this: “So buy two of them!”
Do you see where I am going with this?
The discussion forums I hang out around are rife with stories of “I was making da cash and then da laser went Kaput and them parts is from China and I’ll be down 2 weeks and I don’t wanna be down 2 weeks, this is unfair.”
IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO BE DOWN IF YOUR MACHINE BREAKS (and this applies to any machine in any business) then you are a victim of piss poor planning. If your business relies heavily on an operating machine that cannot afford to be down for more than a day or so then your solution is so evident that it isn’t funny…….actually there are a couple of solutions.
- BUY ANOTHER MACHINE. Heck, buy 2 more. They are cheap.
- BUY SPARES. Also cheap. A new laser module (20 watt) is $139. A new motherboard is $50. Those are essentially the two things that will let you down the most.
- Go greet people at Walmart instead.
I have been 3D printing for a number of years and I have rewritten the book on Stupid a few times. Never ever, have I burned up a NEMA-17 stepper motor. And I have tried. And while I have seen plenty of switch brackets crack I’ve also never seen an end stop switch fail. But I have spares of them too.
At a minimum to support yourself and your essential business you need:
- A spare laser module
- A spare motherboard
- Another USB cable
- NEMA 17 stepper motor
- Any maybe, just maybe laser cut or 3D print some acrylic replacement pieces. Whoops I dropped the printer and cracked the Y axis holder. Oh yeah, I have a spare cut in the drawer. The parts are on the “STL Files” tab on the linked page.
UPDATE: I ordered a laser module and motherboard on 22 Feb 2021 from the links above and received them the evening of 26 Feb 2021 via DHL Express from China. Not a bad turnaround time at all. But I maintain my premise that if you cannot afford to be down for a day or more then you need this stuff sitting at the ready so you can effect repairs immediately.
Again if you buy all these things and cut spare materials you may be getting real close to the cost of a new unit. And if you go down you’ll be able to get a support ticket and possible warranty repair from Ortur……..but remember, these machines are new. They won’t always be in warranty.
A PRODUCTION tool that gets heavy use needs to stay clean, soot free, have its laser lens cleaned regularly, belts checked for proper tension, and roller areas clean and soot and dirt free. And by golly…….one more time……..if it is that important to you………you need some spares.
I don’t care who you are, or what you are doing with one of these machines, at some point that diode laser will weaken. If it is out of warranty it will be a paperweight and you’ll have to buy a spare anyway.
I don’t recommend buying oodles of spares because let’s face it. Next year there will be an LM3 or some other company will come out with something sexier and cheaper.
If you are a hobbyist and your new $300 laser drops dead on you, you have my complete sympathy. If you bought one of these for money making and serious production and it drops dead you should anticipate failures in any business and seek to mitigate them.
My blog. My opinion.
thanks for this blog. I once ran a business dependent on a particular machine, and it was very stressful when its capital value was 1-2 year’s profits, so buying a spare was uneconomic.
In contrast, I see many micro businesses buy a K40 and maybe a controller but they have no redundancy despite the low cost. I get that they’re starting humbly, but totally agree with your post that redundancy is a smart option. Hope more people read it.
Many folks gravitate from diode laser to K40 as I did and the same rules apply. I just wrote up another blog on K40 spares.