In another thread @pZq introduced Opt Lasers. As I was in the market for a laser, I took advantage of the (then) summer sales on the high-pressure nozzle and ordered the Onefinity laser kit. Here’s the feedback I had promised for the forum.
The kit is easy to setup, although the instructions are sketchy. The 1F-specific parts in the kit include a plate for the router mount and a cable from the 1F controller to the laser controller. There’s another cable from the laser controller to the laser head. Plug everything in and voilà. The connectors are very different from each other so there’s no risk of incorrect wiring.
This is not a comparison because I have no other laser to compare it with. Still I wanted to complement the Makita router to cut (1) thin material (e.g. paper, cardboard, mylar or fabric) or (2) small parts with sharp inner angles in wood. So that’s what I have tested so far.
First cutting paper and fabric (the bow-tie was fresh out of the laser):
I also turned Amazon boxes into free prototyping material. Since the first prototype did not fit well, I have saved on wood. This was done directly in Fusion 360 with the grbl laser post-processor. I also engraved toasts for a laugh (the burnt taste is not pleasant):
Today I installed the µSpot lens with the air-assist nozzle to cut plywood. That’s a more involving procedure… but after a couple of hours, referencing the calibration chart I had engraved from the factory-installed lens, I was able to cut 3mm birch plywood in 3 passes at 300mm/min.
I would definitively recommend to gain experience with the factory-installed lens before installing new ones or the air-assist nozzle!
On the negatives, be warned that support is through Opt Lasers exclusively:
And indeed, I tested their support because the cable they shipped initially was faulty. They promptly sent a replacement. This brings me to one of the reasons I decided to buy this laser over the alternative:
- the company is Polish, I’m in Belgium so I don’t need to import the laser (or the replacement cable), less costs, less hassle
- the mostly metal construction (laser head, bracket, etc.) fits my preferences better than plastic parts
- the magnetic docking station is clever because the cable can remain on the 1F vacuum boom permanently
- there were good reports on the benefits of the high-pressure air nozzle
I was concerned with 1F compatibility (the whole kit is not cheap) but it turns out that the 1F/buildbotics laser port is a plain-vanilla PWM signal.
I bought the laser with my own money and I have no relationship with Opt Lasers but I’m glad to see third-party offering accessories for the 1F. It gives me confidence that I choose a good CNC platform for the future.