Thanks Russel for helping to get the modification of the Taz 4 complete including the new mount and sharing! The entire community thanks you!
The laser in our kit is a diode laser, which is very easy to put on a 3D printer. I assume the Chinese lasers being discussed on Ebay are the ~40W CO2 lasers, which require water cooling, turning mirrors and special focusing lens that is large. It would not be advisable to put on a 3D printer. Much easier to build or buy a separate machine for it.
I agree the 2.8W is not as high power as the CO2 lasers, but you can’t compare them apples to apples. The wavelength of our diode laser is 445nm versus 10,600nm for the CO2 laser. This allows for the focus on the diode laser to be much smaller at ~0.006" (152um or the size of a human hair). With the smaller spot size you also have higher power density at the work surface than the CO2 laser. This puts the “cutting ability” closer together than you would think. It is kinda like saying that my car does 321 km/hr and your car only does 200 miles per hour. Your car must be slower! Of course it is not, you need just to convert into the same reference to do comparisons.
There are uses for both CO2 lasers and these smaller diode lasers. Benefits of the diode laser over the CO2 are:
- No need for water cooling = no mess
Less optics = no alignment issues
smaller spot size = finer detail engravings
instantaneous power changing = engrave greyscale pictures
small package = fits on a 3D printer
solid state device = 10,000 hours operation with no maininence
I would suggest for people who are interested in lasers to get both the diode kit and a CO2 laser. They both have things that they are better at and it doesn’t have to be just one or the other. Personally I like the idea of having a 3D printer that is also a laser engraver because you get two machines for just a little more of an investment. All of the electronics and motors are already done, just add the laser!
Anyway- you can check out the Lulzbot upgrade here: http://jtechphotonics.com/?page_id=2438