Note: If this is not appropriate, I’m sorry. I just thought another new user of this laser might appreciate this information
This is an initial review of the Wainlux JL3 Pro engraving machine. I have 3 Atomstack A5 Pro lasers, and I found a good deal on the Wainlux, so I decided to give it a try. I’m a casual user. I use my lasers to create holiday ornaments to sell at a fundraiser for my kids’ school.
Opening the box, everything looked very well organized. The parts were clearly labeled. It looked like it was going to be easy to put together, but unfortunately this was not my experience. There were lots of tiny screws that were difficult to reach. There were some steps in the instructions that were very difficult to understand. For example, you are supposed to tighten the set screws on the right-angle connector, but my device didn’t come with screws in those locations. Some steps were left out: there are physical limit switches that have to be installed using a specific screw. These screws are never called out in the instructions, nor are there steps to tell you where or when to install the switches. (I had to get help here to figure that part out.)
The other drawback was how difficult it was to get the machine working with Lightburn. The default firmware for the board doesn’t work with GRBL. You have to install specific firmware (provided on a USB drive in the box), but then you lose the ability to use some of the features related to cutting from a mobile phone. That is an easy trade off for me. Lightburn is 100x better than the default software from the manufacturer, so I’d much rather use Lightburn than have my phone’s app be able to control the engraver.
Finally, my Atomstack lasers have colored guards to help protect your eyes from the laser. The Wainlux has no such guard, so use of the goggles is mandatory all the time.
The one thing the Wainlux does better than the Atomstack is in adjusting the focus of the laser. With the Atomstack, you have to use a hex wrench every time you want to adjust the distance from the laser to the cutting surface. The Wainlux has knobs you can turn that make this easier. I wish they extended a little bit farther from the bracket, which would have made it easier to turn the knobs, but this is still much better than the Atomstack design.
So, in summary: the Wainlux is inferior to my Atomstack in almost every way. The Atomstack was easier to put together, and easier to use. The Atomstack works with Lightburn out of the box, where the Wainlux’s out-of-box firmware is not compatible. If I were buying another, I’d go with the Atomstack A5 Pro over the Wainlux JL3 Pro.
I hope this helps other Wainlux owners, as well as those trying to decide between the Wainlux or Atomstack platforms.