First thoughts on the new 24W Jtech Laser

I ordered the 24w about 30 minutes after release back in November, and it arrived today. For reference, I am upgrading from the 7w Pro on a Journeyman.

Holy cow, this thing is powerful! The 1F is my first ever CNC, and I have only had it since March, but sadly have only been really using it for the past few months. I ordered the 24w because I made 340 ornaments for a work Christmas party this year, and 7 passes per ornament at 100% power with a .012 step down meant running my poor 7w for a week straight to get them done.

I got the 24w hooked up and ran a test pattern (BOORG Laser test on Etsy) on some quarter-inch maple plywood, slicing through it like butter. It will take some time to fine-tune the settings on the laser because even the test pattern had a significant amount of scorching. 100% power will probably only be needed for cutting, and by my first look, 60-70% is where I will probably top out for engraving.

The only disappointing thing was the product documentation for the 24w. There was a mixture of 7w and 14w paperwork in the box with my 24w laser. The website referenced on the paperwork took me to an image and instructions for the 7w I already had. The good news is the 24w is very easy to install, and the instructions are close enough to get you where you need to go. Just wasn’t as clean of an experience as I had when I originally got my machine and laser back in March last year. It felt like Jtech rushed to get the 24w out to customers (which I truly appreciate) at the cost of some of the finer details.

Anticipating the arrival of my laser (thank you UPS tracking), I spent more time than I care to admit at work today combing the web for a 24w library to use in lightburn. If anyone knows where to find such a library I would greatly appreciate the link.

I forgot to take pictures of the test pattern results, but can snap some and upload them tomorrow if anyone is interested.

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Awesome feedback! Helps us old timers to decide down the road if we want something like this.

Thanks again!
Bill C.

Cut test pattern

Gradient test pattern

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Do you have air assist, if not it really helps with burning
Pat

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I do have the air assist. My original plan was to run the gradient test twice, once without the air on, and then once with it on. However, the charring was so bad on the first run I turned the air on about halfway through (somewhere on the 40 in/min column on the gradient). It seemed to help. I am going to play with the settings a little bit when I get home and try it again.

Hard to tell in the photo, but the 100% power at 20in/min nearly cut all the way through the board. Also, in the middle right side the 20in/min crosshatch patterns fell apart and flaked out almost completely.

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I ordered mine on the same day as you.
Nothing yet.
As for a good library, check out:

He is really good and has some free libraries.
He also sells them on his website.

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Thanks @CDNBob !! I will check it out when I get home.

For reference, I was order number 34551. Not sure if that is at all helpful for you to estimate your arrival.

So I got home and tweaked the BOORG test pattern to try and find the sweet spot for the 24w.

Here are the results:

I expanded the gradient, and made some changes to the max power. All of the text was reduced to 80% vice 100%. I think I could drop it another 5-10% and the lines would still come out clean. All of the outlines of the shaded areas were also done at 80% vice 100%. You can see that there are four missing test regions on the right side. Turns out two of them were not selected for output in lightburn, and two were in the wrong order of operation and didn’t happen until after the cutout of the profile was complete. Once the piece fell out cleanly I stopped the program to keep it from ruining the piece.

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Interesting results. I was strongly considering the jtech laser but went a different route with a 20w laser. They cut through 1/4 material fast at 100% but i found running 2 passes a little faster at 70-80% gives me a nicer finished product. I’ll find a picture of a box i cut out.

One other thought is to offset your focal point to be in the middle of your material. My laser has an adjuster for that so you may have to do some digging to learn what that would take on the jtech.

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@Wes_Jac_79 I’m interested by your offset comment. Are you saying make the focal point the center of the thickness of the material? So for a .2 inch thick piece of wood, make the focal point at .1 inches into the material?? I would be interested in seeing what the results of that look like. Wouldn’t be too hard on the 1F with the jtech. I could just set the Z zero with the included feeler gauge, move the gauge, manually jog Z down the required amount ( a little bit of math but not hard) and then reset the Z 0.

In my continuing saga of trying to maximize the new 24w laser … I ran another test.

This was the result fresh off the laser.

And this was the result after I hit it very lightly with some 220 sandpaper.

The top left corner at 100% power and 100 in/min engrave ~0.03 in deep. Moving down to the right, the next five squares are 0.02 in deep, and the rest are nearly level and just the color is there.

For the “test” text, I think both the 100 and 120 in/min look good, and both had minimal charring. The label text was all done at 80% power 80in/min, and I don’t think that cam out as cleanly as the 100/100.

I have a project for some custom engraved picture frames that I will be working on this weekend, and I think I am going to do a test run with 180/100 for the fill, and 120/100 for the outline after fill. I will post up some photos when I get the sample done.

Bottom line, I am very happy with the 24w purchase. I think the increased speed is going to be a game changer on bigger projects or production runs. I will probably also do a single run of the ornaments that I made prior to Christmas. I know that a single ornament took 22 minutes with the 7w laser, and I am interested what the time difference will be with the 24w.

Sorry to keep bombarding everyone with these posts, but I am very curious about how to maximize this thing, so I assume there is at least one other person out there that is wondering the same things that I am.

One additional thing. I am relatively new to the CNC world. So just to be sure, @OnefinityCNC, is there any risk in running the motors at these speeds on long laser burns? I am assuming there isn’t, because the load is negligible since the laser isn’t actually in contact with the material like a router or spindle. I know this may seem obvious to some of the old hats on here, but I just want to ask to be certain.

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Yes, it’s my understanding that focusing to the center of the material is a more efficient cut and leaves less soot to clean up.

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Overall, as a Glowforge owner since initial crowdfunding proofgrade material always comes with masking on it. I use Transfer material for all my non-Proofgrade material that I throw into the machine. It makes dealing with burnout a ZERO issue. Just slap a piece of this on the area you are going to be lasering and peal it off when you are done… No Sanding, No Mess, just crisp clean lines as it should be. If you are going to be cutting through material all the way, I stick a piece on both front and back so both sides are clean.

Hope that helps the Laser crowd. :slight_smile:
-Alex

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So here are some shots of the picture frames I am working on.





I am very happy with the 24w laser. I think it definitely engraves better than the 7w, which would seem pretty obvious. In my opinion, the 7w really only etched the surface, where as the 24w gets a consistent depth across the entire piece. Fill was 125 lpi, 180ips , at 100% power. The lines after we’re 120ips at 100%. I did lightly sand with 220 to clean off the soot that was left, but it was minimal.

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Interesting PSA:

The new 24w has a sensor in it that prevents it from firing if it falls over for some reason. This is great. I am all about safety. And in the early stages of my CNC adventure, I may have knocked my 7w laser off of the mount while a burn was running, once or twice.

HOWEVER. I have my shop compressor on the shelf underneath my CNC. I am working on these picture frames, running them one after another, and every once in awhile some of the letters were not coming out on the burn. I thought it was a loose connection. IT WAS MY COMPRESSOR. The vibrations from the compressor kicking on caused the safety sensor to stop the laser from firing. Not sure if anyone else would potentially have this problem, but I thought it was worth sharing. I have a 10x12 shed that acts as my shop, so space is at a premium, hence the compressor under the CNC. It will stay in the off position from now on anytime the laser running.

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The frame looks awesome!

I’ve been wondering which laser to buy since the 24w announcement.

Thank you for posting.

Dan

Thanks, Dan!

I would say if the price isn’t a determining factor, go with the 24W. The learning curve is going to be the same, and I image with the smaller ones you will quickly find yourself wishing you could do more. That is where i found myself. I got my first laser shortly before the 14w was released, and was strongly considering upgrading after only two months of having my machine. Luckily time got away from me and I was able to get in on the 24w when it came out.

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I noticed this with even my vacuum pump that I am using as my air assist pump. It’s quite quiet compared to a compressor but I noticed micro-wiggles in the lines drawn on my laser (XTool D1) that went away when I moved the pump to a different location (a tool cart). It might be worthwhile looking for a smaller dedicated pump for air assist that is silent.

I have an aquarium pump that I am using for air assist. The compressor just happened to kick on because I was using it to blow off a a finished frame after sanding and I happened to look at the laser while it was running. I missed it the other two times it happened.

Interesting that the smaller pump was enough to cause squiggles in the engraving though. I will definitely move the pump to a separate bench just to be sure. Thanks for the heads up!

Thank you for the extra feedback!

The ability to cut 1/4" plywood quickly with a minimal kerf is certainly appealing.

Dan

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