Laser/Router Suggestions

Please move this wherever it needs to be or direct me where I need to be if I’m in the wrong area.

I have an atomstack laser now. It’s been addicting and fun but I’m at the point to move up to something more serious. I have an upholstery business and am wanting to start making my door panels, kick panels, just panels in general. The materials I use are aluminum, PVC sheets, and wood. All very thin as they are for panels.

I am looking at purchasing a router table with the ability to also run a laser when needed. I am not by far educated enough to know what a good purchase would be. How strong/type of laser. If you all are able to suggest routers. Will your software work with a router.

Please feel free to ask whatever to best help you help me and thanks so much in advance!

@TMDmisty Misty;

  • First off, LightBurn can operate CNC (routers), but is much better suited to laser.
  • Second, CO2 lasers do a much better job at cutting than diode lasers do.
  • Third, PVC creates a very dangerous gas when you vaporize it with a laser, so you need to be very careful what you select here, and make sure you have adequate ventilation, respiratory protection, and the proper eyewear for your laser. (yeah, I know… the manufacturer will give you a ‘gift’ of some eye protection … but it won’t be adequate).

The gasses released when you vaporize PVC is also very corrosive, and will damage your bearings, and laser frame.

Thank you for that! I was definitely wonder which was better between the diode and co2…

I am aware of the dangers of heating from plastic but thank you!

Do you think a cnc router would be better than a laser? Do you know anywhere I could really probe about router options? They are really expensive and I’ve come across one that looks good and videos, pictures everything looks good but it seems cheaply priced.

Q: How big are these panels you plan on making?

I would go over to YouTube and check out some of the videos James Dean has made. He reviews several different types of machines, and even walks you through how to upgrade the spindle to a DeWalt or even a Makita router.

Certainly worth your time to have a look.

Thank you. I think I watched a couple by him. I will definitely check it.

The panels are about the size of the inside panel of your car/truck door. 4x4 at the max and smaller. I tried to upload a picture but it wouldn’t let me.

That’s going to be a bigger machine than James Dean has been reviewing — and going to set you back a few $$.