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Ortur Aufero Laser 1 Review Cantilever 48W Laser Engraver

 

An entry level laser engraving machine is all you need for endless hours of fun away from video games! This one by Ortur, it's the Aufero Laser 1 - a 48 watt diode laser engraving machine with interchangeable laser modules and a maximum luminous power of 5500mW! The hot swappable laser modules include the LU2-2 (7W) laser, which has a small laser dot of 0.07mm x 0.06mm - perfect for really fine engravings.



The other two lasers are the 20W LU2-4 SF (Short Focus) laser and a 20W LU2-4-LF (Long Focus), which are more powerful and are designed for larger engravings and cutting. The long focus laser module does a quicker cutting job and faster engraving too because of the larger beam dot (0.17 x 0.2mm). The short focus laser dot is 0.12 x 0.15mm) so, it's better than the long focus laser at doing more detailed engravings


The short focus can cut through 5mm thick plywood when running it at 100mm/m speed (75% or 100% power), while the long focus can cut at faster speed (200mm/second) at 100% power. The Ortur Aufero Laser 1 supports air assist, which helps put out flames that can occur during cutting and also helps minimize burnt marks, giving a cleaner cut. Ortur includes an an air assist kit with the Aufero Laser 1 laser which includes a flow restrictor and a 2 meter long PU hose with 4mm / 0.16" outside diameter and 2.5mm / 0.1" inside diameter. An air pump is not included so, you will need to buy one.


You can also use a hair drier or computer dust blower too as air assist, although having it built-in to the laser is more convenient for blowing air into the work area and clearing smoke and soot away from the material, as well as prevent the material from catching fire. Blowing air also helps keep the lens clean. When buying an air assist pump, get an air piston pump/compressor with enough power. Ortur recommends using an air source with an flow of >40ml/min. A 600 GPH (gallons per hour) aquarium fish tank would work well for the air assist.



Aufero Laser 1 is very compact so, it's perfect for home use but you should really look into making or buying a safety enclosure for the laser machine. You will need also to buy a fumes extractor or keep windows open, which isn't ideal in winter. When engraving and cutting, the laser burns through the material which generates smoke and toxic fumes when working with plastic material. The longer the engraving job, the more smoke is generated. The type of material used and settings (e.g. power, speed) also makes a different on how much smoke gets generated. Something else to think about before buying the Aufero Laser 1 (or any other laser engraver) is placement.




If there are children and/or pets living at home, this can be an issue because of the laser beam. The laser modules do come with a removable laser protection cover, which partially blocks the laser beam and light scatter. The laser protection cover is regular acrylic plastic, which naturally blocks infrared light (IR) but not the visible-light of a laser diode. This is why the acrylic has been colored in orange to increase its opacity and reduce the transmission of the harmful blue laser diode rays to a non-harmful level. Orange-colored acrylic is best for laser shielding because it cuts down the most visible light (~655nm).



All three included Aufero laser modules are visible light lasers, which are dangerous even from reflections, although not as dangerous as infrared lasers (above 780nm), which produce no visible light. The Aufero laser modules have a 450nm (nanometer) wavelength so, they operate in the blue light spectrum; hence they're blue lasers. Using safety goggles is super important. That said, there is no mention whether the included safety goggles are 450nm safety glasses and whether the optical density of the included safety goggles matches the intensity of the Aufero lasers. Having a proper OD rated safety goggles is very crucial, especially with very powerful lasers. Ideally, you want laser safety goggles with OD rating between OD 4+ and OD 6+, which will protect against laser wavelength up to 490nm.


The included green safety glasses have adjustable temples to accommodate large heads' so, you may be able to wear them on top of prescription glasses. If they don't fit, you will need to buy a laser face shield. You can also use "shade 5 welding goggles". They work great for any blue or UV laser even a 2W Class 4 blue laser, which is super strong and super bright laser capable of 2000 milliwatts of power and 50-mile beam range. Shade/grade 5 welding goggles also work great with with green lasers, although you can still see the laser beam dot.


The included Aufero lasers can engrave and cut through non-woven fabrics, leather, paper (e.g. kraft, printing paper), cardboard box (up to 3mm), pineboard (up to 9mm), cobblestone, ceramic and plywood (up to 4mm). They can also engrave particle board. The Aufero Laser 1 laser modules are not powerful enough to cut through metal of any thickness. The lasers can only engrave some metals such as anodized aluminum and stainless steel. The lasers cannot engrave any type of glossy/shiny metal. If you want to engrave into aluminum alloy metal you'll need a fiber laser.


You can buy the LU2-4 LF (50mm long focus) laser module separately, as well as the LU2-4-SF (30mm short focus) but the LU2-2 module is not sold separately. The Aufero Laser 1 only comes with one laser module, which you can choose when buying the laser machine. It would be more ideal if there was an option to buy two or three laser modules at once. If you want to buy all three modules with the Aufero Laser 1 laser engraver, you have to buy the LU2-2 module and then buy the LU2-4 LF and LU2-4 SF laser modules separately.


The Aufero Laser 1 and accessories come very well packaged inside an unmarked cardboard box and thick protective foam insert. The laser machine comes pre-assembled, which saves a lot of time. The only thing you need to do is manually connect the laser module to the machine, which takes less than 60 seconds. The laser module slides into the black anodized aluminum cradle and, it's secured by screwing in the included metal pin. Then, you plug in the small dupont/molex type connector and secure the ground cable. After that's done, you can plug in the power cable and USB cable into your computer and run the laser software. That's it. You're up and running in less than 5 minutes.


The only hiccup you may experience is setting up the laser software, which may require the "android gadget cdc serial driver" in order for your computer to communicate with the laser machine. The Aufero Laser 1 is compatible with most laser software so, you aren't limited to LightBurn, which is paid software. One of the most popular laser software is LaserGRBL, which was used by Gadget Explained to test the Aufero Laser 1 machine. LaserGRBL supports older Windows OS such as Win 7 and Win XP.



The "bare-bones" construction of Aufero Laser 1 is pretty neat. You get to see the electronic circuitry and mechanical parts such as the motors, belt and wheels. The user friendly design makes it easier to repair and replace parts. The other two major components in the construction of the Aufero Laser 1 are the aluminum rails and the side support panels, which are made of opaque plexiglass and measure 24cm long and 8cm high. The overall design of the Aufero Laser 1 machine resembles a cross/cantilever cnc machine. The aluminum rails, belt and wheels allow the laser module to move vertically and horizontally up to 18cm either way; hence the Aufero Laser 1 has a working area of 18cm x 18cm.


There are a total of 7 roller wheels and a single a rubber belt, which is driven by a motor. The wheels are not motorized. The user control panel and connectivity ports are located on the side panel. Dimensions of the Aufero Laser 1 machine are 33cm wide, 13cm high and 42cm long (cantilever side). Aufero Laser 1 also comes with metal right-angled brackets for securing the laser down onto a wood base plate. You can also use cable ties to secure down the laser and the work material, which is super useful during a long laser job. Depending on the engraving or cutting job you do, it can take literary hours. The last thing you want is accidentally hitting the laser and mis-align the work piece, messing up the job! 


A large 48W power brick is included that weighs 187 grams and measures 1cm long, 5cm wide and 7cm deep, including the EU 2 pin plug, which is non detachable. The power brick is attached to a 1.1 meters long cable with standard DC barrel connector. The included USB data printer cable measures 2 meter long and weighs 70 grams. The LUS2-4 LF laser module weighs 162 grams. The LU2-2 weighs 164 grams. The LU2-4 SF module weighs 206 grams. The orange acrylic cover weighs 30 grams. The green safety glasses weigh 34 grams . The Aufero Laser 1 machine weighs 1.4kg. Thin sheets of plywood are also included but you can buy larger plywood sheets very cheaply from places like eBay.


There is also an automatic power cutoff feature too built-in to Aufero Laser 1. If you accidentally bump into the laser or unplug any of the cables (USB cable or power cable) the laser will automatically power off. The power cutoff feature does work but only with a high impact or very hard shake of the machine. The sensor's impact sensitivity is very low. As far as versatility, the Aufero Laser 1  (and all other Ortur laser machines) are currently only compatible with 48 watt (24V/2A) laser modules.

Most laser engraving machines work via 12V, which means you won't be able to use third party 12V laser modules. That said, Ortur is said to be launching a 24V to 12V voltage conversion module that will allow users who own an Ortur laser machine to use 12V laser modules. The full list of materials and recommended settings can be found here. You can buy the Aufero Laser 1 from Ortur's website. You can get $5 off discount using code AUFEROTOP1 on all Ortur products except OLM-2 Pro.


 

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