Printing components and laser selection

Two questions please:
Someone at the library (Makerspace) has mentioned the possibility of a high failure rate when printing the parts. They use a Makerbot Re[plicator+ and PLA filament but I don’t know the brand. Has anyone else had any problems?

I see the recommended Laser module is EleksMaker EL01-2500 445nm 2500mW Blue Laser Module PWM Modulation 2.54-3P . Can someone confirm that this is powerful enough for engraving a logo onto turned wooden products, e.e. bowls. I really don’t want to buy one that is too weak.

Thank you.

Sorry, hit Enter too fast.

I’ll invite the mods to move this question and reply to a different thread if they see fit.

I tried my Engravinator with the EleksMaker module on several woods over the holidays, and didn’t run into any particular issues, aside from needing the adjust the power and speed appropriately. My uncle is a turner and we looked at how it might work on some of his pieces. The main thing I’d suggest is to go ahead and doing the etch before you do any final polish on the work; several of his pieces were so shined and reflective, they’d likely not do well with any laser.

Run a test with any wood you’re using, but especially anything with a pronounced grain pattern. I found vectors (like initials, I assume) were fine on “stripey” pieces, but rasters (like printing an image) were just too variable across pronounced grains to look good.

Re: failure rate, granted I’ve only run my Engravinator for about a month, but I haven’t run into any signs of stress or failure of any printed pieces. I do try to follow the recommended max speeds for movement to decrease any unnecessary stress on any pieces, though. My biggest concern right now is that since one of the motors is mounted externally that I’m accidentally going to bump it too hard when moving the Engravinator around, but honestly you need to be careful with any moving any piece of precision equipment around. Just because it looks fairly rugged doesn’t mean I should treat it that way.

I had assumed that @FemmesoleNZ meant that there was concern that the printer would fail when printing the parts? Or am I wrong? In terms of printing… I’ve printed over a dozen full sets with zero problems. They are very much designed to be 3D printed with no trouble.
In terms of wear and tear: as long as you follow the recommended print settings you should be fine. I’ve run mine for at least a couple hundred hours since I created it and there’s be no issues with wear on the parts.

@FemmesoleNZ - I’ve moved all of this to its own post. Please only add to an existing topic if it relates to that discussion :slight_smile:

I did mean that the Makerspace person was bothered about a potential failure rate when they printed the parts. Thanks for the answers.

Thank you. I am new to the forum and unsure about new topics.

Laser Component Question

Given the results of the test (another topic) just a couple of final questions about the laser module. Can the Engravinator unit with the Platypus board be fitted with a higher mW level laser module, e.g. 3500 mW or 5000 mW?

If so, is there any point in doing so?


In theory, yes. As long as it uses the same M3 hole patter that is 16mm x 40mm AND as long as it uses 12V PWM control.
That being said, most 5W modules are too big to fit (or don’t use that hole pattern) and any that are actually worth having will cost nearly as much as the whole machine.
And a 3W module doesn’t really offer any advantage over the 2.5W
I wouldn’t bother until you are comfortable with what the recommended laser can do.