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Categories: Projects and equipment; Commerce and business

Word count/read time: 382 words; 1-1/2 minutes

More adult toys! Get that S & M dungeon in order! Hardly. When does an item cross the line of being a toy to being a tool? Perhaps it's best clarified that the former is for pure enjoyment while the latter accomplishes some task unrelated to emotions, feelings, or non-ethereal things.

Don't get me wrong, getting a new, nifty tool is a thrill. There will always be some playing around to figure it out before the "real" work begins. Trial and error, mistakes, hopefully nothing catastrophic. When you're dealing with lasers, flames, torches, plasma, and other really hot things there is always a risk.

Sometimes one tool impels you to buy another to fully utilize the capacities of one (or both). Laser engravers have caught my fancy for a while; it was time to take the plunge. And where to put it in the increasingly cramped workspace? The rabbit hole was getting deeper by the minute....

I started looking at entry-level versions. It quickly became obvious that the 8" x 12" small-fry tabletop unit, as versatile as it might be, wasn't going to cut it, no pun intended. For $400 plus another $150 plus another this and that for a 40W peon...just not enough to cater to my ever-expanding list of desires. Thinking of all the possibilities is overwhelming.

 
Trial and error, mistakes, hopefully nothing catastrophic.
 
After all the research, it morphed into a 100W beast with a 24" x 40" work area (larger with the pass-through windows) and all the trimmings: a separate cooling unit to prevent the laser from literally exploding, four piece lens kit to do anything from engraving 0.1mm lines or dots to full-out cutting, inline exhaust fan, rotary tool for bottles and cylinders, software. Surely there'll be more to come.

Engraving ceramic tiles, wood, plastic, paper, so much left to the imagination. Any picture can be rendered in black-and-white (i.e., burned) onto any of these substrates. It'll make myriad tools (jigs) since it can slice through 3/8" plexiglass. Wood, leather, and similar soft materials are just as easily incised. While it won't cut metals, it will engrave them with some special paint.

The expense wasn't justified when its immediate and intended needs were considered, I'll be honest, so it might be prudent to explore additional revenue streams. It could be another business venture altogether!


Posted by M: June 1, 2023


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