When I bought the 3018 (on a whim) I had planned to use it for woodworking, and it came with a laser, which was nice. Now, 3 weeks into my Lightburn trial I realize that the 3018 is not going work out as a laser engraver, and I need a dedicated machine. I will be buying Lightburn at the end of the trial, so the question I put to you seasoned veterans of this hobby (nay, obsession) is what to replace it with. I would like to stick with Amazon for the fast, free shipping and there are some discounts being offered on one or two of the brands they carry. I’m considering the Ortur LM 2 (LU2-4) with the 5.5W laser and a good sized working area. My question, is it worth considering for me as a beginner hobbyist, it’s in the $400 to $500 range of my budget. I’ve had fun with the limited abilities of the 3018 using Lightburn but I need something better.
The 3018 is very slow when using the laser. If I run the X axis any faster then 500 or 600 I start losing steps (as you may know it uses a lead screw not a belt), so anything of any size takes 4 or 5 hours. I would like to cut out 3D puzzles and animal kits for my grandson to put together. I want to engrave on tile and wood (like the lids on wooden cigar box’s) for gifts to family and friends. I’m a hobbyist who can no longer do the woodworking projects I used to (custom furniture and such) because of a back injury. I know I need a belt driven machine, I know I want to cut out projects from thin plywood, and engrave images & pictures on various materials. I watched a video of a guy assemble an ORTUR LM 2 and then do a lot of really neat things with it on tile, wood, leather and plastic. I’m not going to go into business with it, I just want something that I can enjoy using and not have to spend a good part of the day babysitting it (and possibly getting half way through and it starts losing steps and ruining a project). I was hoping someone who had some experience with these machines could chime in and let me know what they thought about their Ortur.
Sorry for the long post,