Hey everyone I’m looking at getting into this fantastic hobby and have done a lot of YouTube/Forum research but I am confused on this aspect. I’ve seen videos of people just using a regular countertop as their laser bed, others put a honeycomb on top of the countertop or base, others use tile. What is the best option? I have a countertop in the garage I’m not using and tile so probably either will be easy for me to acquire but just curious safety wise. Thank you so much!
If you are learning, I have found Russ Sadler makes a great series. Most are directed at the CO2 lasers but what he explains will work with about any laser. You probably don’t care about mirror alignment as it’s not like ones that have smoke and mirrors
This one on honeycomb beds is informative.
I have a 30 watt (or 40 can’t remember) LED laser for my small cnc machine, it was the ‘stepping stone’ drug for me… Take some time and watch some of his stuff. RDWorks learning lab and his youtube videos.
Hope that answers your questions about honeycomb, at least. For a bed, many prefer to have something that absorbs the radiation instead of reflecting it. My laser came with a bunch of aluminum slats with the edge triangle shaped dispersing it. It was also the support for the honeycomb. Some use scrap acrylic ($$) for a bed to absorb it. This allows the extra power to be dispersed. You get to pick, lucky you…
My honeycomb is laying up against the tool box, It’s pretty useless as far as I’m concerned, but some people like them.
I find that my rolled sheet steel wipes off easily and cost me $12. I drill locating holes in it to ‘locate’ templates so I can ‘register’ materials for engraving.
Were/are you a detective?
Thank you so much for the lengthy and insightful answer. And yes I am currently a detective, I’m surprised how many people pick up on that from my nickname lol.
I’ve looked up the lightburn software requirements and have seen they’re not too demanding but I’ve heard it can be so when you’re doing a preview of an item. Would a better cpu or dedicated gpu do me better for this program? I’ve seen mixed reviews. I have a high tier gaming computer but I can’t have the laser in that room unfortunately so I’m going to buy a laptop.
Retired out of Glendale PD in Arizona… Almost afraid to tell people that anymore
Understand about the laser in the same room, I have the same issue.
My machine is 5 years old, built from parts I bought at Frys Electronics, when they were here. It doesn’t run any video card, in fact I’m using the graphics chip on the motherboard. I don’t seem to have any issues. I run Linux, if that matters.
I sure wouldn’t think you’d need a high end.
The people at Lightburn I’m sure have a suggested configuration… I guess I have to look… Glad I did, try this thread.
Glad you got out alive brother! I feel ya, climate is bad for us now.
I actually read that article earlier but preferred a more first hand experience with it. I’m trying to only spend $200 on a laptop but it’s going to be hard to find one that ticks all of those boxes so I might just work some OT and say screw it and buy a more expensive one lol.
I appreciate all of your help!
Did you watch the video on honeycomb beds?
That’s probably do able with a laptop. I think it was one of the support guys that made a mention of machine requirements. I have 16 g i5 and it runs fine.
I have a Ruida controller so I have a bridge out in the garage and send my files up there. Go out do the setup and run the job. We are moving up north a tad cooler but it’s got a large garage and I can probably set up another machine out there.
I originally had (still do) a little 3018 cnc machine that I converted to a 30 watt led laser. That’s when I found lightburn. I’ve moved up a little more powerful machine but stuck with Lightburn.
Are you a windows person? I dumped windows about the turn of the century… makes me sound old
Good luck, take care. Be careful out there
Yes I have watched the videos. Does your computer have a dedicated gpu? Lightburn and some of the cad systems like Inkscape appear to be pretty easy to run on but I’m worried it’s not going to work and I’ll have to buy a new laptop.
I run freecad, which is pretty graphic intensive no noticeable delays. I use the Intel graphics chip on the motherboard. I’ve also used one of the dual monitor boards for my twin monitors. It runs fine on the stock equipment.
I can tell you need to have the latest and greatest, if you need encouragement to spend some big money. lol…
I think you’re worried about nothing. When I get moved to the new house by the end of the month I’ll drag out one of my decade old laptops and I bet it runs fine…
I think the developers would have advised a more powerful machine if it would make any real difference. You can count on the Lightburn people to give you good advice with no BS…
The simple fact is, it makes the software look bad if they advise it can run on an abacus and it’s a dog. Like going to a ford dealer for a truck to tow 5 tons of stuff and they sell you an escort, just doesn’t make good business sense to mislead customers.