This isn’t anything new, the trend started years ago, but every time I walk through a Michaels or Joann Crafts, I feel like half the decor sections are the previous year’s popular Glowforge projects.
It’s like 50% laser cut stuff, 50% UV printed wood signs at this point. If you ever see a Kickstarter for a home small form factor UV-LED flatbed printer from a US manufacturer, put your money on that because that’ll be the next level of crafting equipment after vinyl cutters and laser cutters.
There are not many (none I am aware of) materials that allow only passage of the light you can see. Iron green might get several places, but it would not in the range of a CO2 laser. I have not seen any specific graphs, but the information I received from someone I knew had the chops (taught college physics) was there was enough holes that she wore both Didymium, and Iron when working furnace glass that covered the CO2 range and all others in the infrared not as focused as a laser but you could locate it with your hand at 50 yards.
The uv of course is a whole nother area of the spectrum .
It depends a lot in what you are looking for. It is my rough guess that half of them are either sitting in a closet never made operational or one of many as the owner moved up in quality and sits in a closet never to be used again. more than a few (at least in the past) built by another 3D printer.
Spend a bit of time in that rabbit hole or even searching this group and you will be better prepared than I was when I expected the one I bought to be as easy as the Glowforge.
The Roland benchtop models that would be able to print on a Glowforge size piece of wood start at $30,000… I would love to see someone step in and bring down the price point on this tech. There are small UV-LED printers from China that use repurposed Epson inkjet heads for a couple grand. I just want someone in the US to package something up like that and take responsibility for parts/support like Glowforge did for lasers. The fact that nobody’s done that yet (I think) makes me wonder if there’s a big patent moat or something preventing competition in the US.
I’ve been looking at them pretty hard and that is about the going starting rate for the flatbed… maybe down to $25k or so. I’m surprised we aren’t seeing any disruption in that market yet… I know as soon as I buy, it’ll be disrupted though
I’ve been looking at the Logojet. Heard the Compress is pretty finicky and unreliable, but they’ll pull up at the top of your search results thanks to ad spend.
Probably not regular puzzles (chipboard), but maybe wood, and then acrylic is a possibility. But I have another product I’m working on that would benefit greatly from the technology. I have a lower cost workaround for now, but the UV printing would be better for use as an outdoor application.
I think covid threw us all a loop. any company not already with deep pockets that manufactured anything complicated has gone belly up, and those that are left are trying to recoup those losses as fast as possible giving us high prices and low availability. That is why I was thinking those with white elephants would be most eager to liquidate them.
I would very much like a UV printer. I’ve wanted one for awhile. I went with dye sublimation instead because I can’t even begin to justify the cost. I’m not alone (although I did get “in” before the rush!) I think that was the “next thing” for home-based business/crafting.
Fingers crossed someone tackles that UV printing hurdle soon.