New laser build

I am thinking about building a new laser using either an atomstack M50 10W diode laser or their soon to be released 20w module I want to go down this route as I deal mainly in vector engravings and these seem to have the smallest laser dot out there (.06x.08mm is what is stated by them) which enable fine details to be engraved. An alternative to this would be a CO2 laser but the ones I have used in the past have had dot sizes far in excess of this. Are there CO2 lasers out there with small laser dots? I am struggling to find a better term than dots… focus point maybe?

A second concern I have…

I have noticed with my current laser that above a certain speed and and acceleration the inertia of the machine causes straight lines to become wavey. Does anyone have experience with vector engraving on the atomstack x7, if so how fast can you vector engrave before this wobble occurs? Is there a particular system (linear rail/gantry belt style) that is best for this application? Thanks in advance.

Difficult to suggest something without enough data to make a good suggestion.

What do you wish to engrave?

I can do about 0.05mm dot with a compound lens on a co2. You can get much smaller ‘dot’ with a fiber laser.


I can’t really comment on the second concern but in terms of your first point, if your single most important criteria is laser spot size then from what I’ve seen the Sculpfun S9 currently boasts the finest focus dot. They claim a .06 mm square dot with engraved lines at .08 mm.

There’s a website/youtube channel that does comparative tests of lasers with laser resolution as one of the measured criteria that currently lists Sculpfun S9 as leading in this particular measurement. I’ve been focused on spot size for different but comparable reasons.

Sorry I should have been more specific. I mostly engrave on Baltic birch laser ply. The main issue I’m having is when I set my acceleration to faster than 140mm/sec I get significant wobbles. My question is: is it possible to do vector engraving at a higher speed/acceleration than this and if so what drive system is likely to have the least play in it? I was thinking linear rails or something to that effect.

I am currently using the sculpfun S9. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The dot is as advertised maybe slightly larger but it’s the power to go faster that I think it is lacking.

My 3018 won’t go that fast, I don’t think… That’s over 5"/second for a screw driven machine… I keep switching back and forth with the speeds, so I’ve probably confused myself…

This can have a wide scope. Are the wobbles at the ends where it changes direction.? Or do they encompass the entire line…? What direction (X | Y) does it wobble?

Sometimes they are in ‘resonance’ and will occur at certain speeds.

A photo is always nice…

James Dean has some good videos on tuning up a 3018…