Etcher Laser

Well this looks interesting.

In that it’s another desktop model. But I suspect this is going to be one of those 2W diode lasers in a fancy box with fancy software. Not saying it won’t be legit for some households to play with… but… they seem to be really upselling the passthrough, and that just doesn’t seem practical. I haven’t gotten a response yet regarding the wattage. The thing is tiny.

Just thought I’d toss it out there. Not wanting to start a bash thread. We’ve all seen plenty of GF bashing on other forums.


Well suppose of course there would be versions taking what makes a GF so convenient and trying to do it better… maybe, maybe not. The price point is sure appealing, though–but you get what you pay for! Harbor Freight tools vs. DeWalt. OK for infrequent use, but not what a person who’s job relies on the tool would get.

Hmm no tech specs that I could find. I sent them a message on their facebook page, let’s see what they say.

Judging by the pictures (which to be fair might be renders), it looks like there’s no tube visible inside, so I think your guess about it being diode-based is probably accurate.


Yeah, High Power Laser is so vague I am surprised they even mentioned it.

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Hmmm…how is that thing vented? Curious what those tech specs say for sure. 499…another hmmm

That looks similar to Mr. Beam machine

Straight into the room and your lungs judging by the pics. Of course GF also didn’t show vent hoses in the promo materials so…

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I heard back:

Hey David, thanks for reaching out. We will be offering two different power options of 1.6w and 3.5w and features a 445nm Laser diode. Hope this helps!


This looks interesting, but not much different than a JTech Photonics laser in a plastic shell. Without a video or something other than static pictures, it’s hard to tell if there’s anything real here.

“High powered laser” gigglesnert


Oooooh! Great word! :smile:

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It is for an LED laser. The different wavelength means you can’t compare it directly to the CO2 wavelength. 3.5W is probably not too far off a K40 CO2 laser in terms of performance.

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Several years ago when I ordered a Glowforge, I was excited about the possibility of a usable laser at what I thought was a reasonable price. I went to a couple of “go-to” laser sites - Sawmill Creek and CNC Zone - to get more info on this great new product. The derision of GF was long, loud and unanimous. “Vapor ware”, “plastic laser” “you’ll shoot your eye out”. This was pretty much all from Chinese laser owners, not Epilog, Universal, etc. It seemed to me that the K40 owners felt threatened by this new technology application.

I don’t have any idea of whether the Etcher-Laser is/will be the real thing, but they are advertising some interesting features that I wish my GF had. I don’t really care if anyone on this board is critical of the Etcher-Laser since I’m not a part of their company. I do find it somewhat humorous that the same atmosphere I found earlier seems to be repeating itself here.

On a different but related note, this may be the first of several new diode lasers of this type. Next Wave Automation, maker of the Shark and Piranha CNC machines and very credible outfit, is supposed to announce a model very similar to the Etcher Laser early next month. The price will probably be closer to $1500, but on the plus side, it’s supposed to use gcode for control which might make mixed cnc-laser projects a little easier.


I think I !mentioned very early that it would be a good thing to empower the Glowforge to reach more than two inches. I had not realized the limits of focusing accurately but I like the idea.

What they are talking is more pass-over than pass through which is very interesting.

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I’m signed up. The $500 (probably $700) is close to throwaway money. The technology isn’t difficult – the software is what they’ll like have to spend the money on.

If it works, it would be a good travel/mobile device. All the fair people could customize things they’ve created in other machine’s like the GF without having to haul around a lot of other heavy equipment.

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Good luck!

i didn’t think there was a lot of bashing going on here.

there were a couple of questions about them not specifying output (which were answered in a message), a little snark about “high powered laser,” and a comment about no visible venting or any information about venting requirements. and there was a harbor freight comparison, which might be considered bashing? but considering the price difference being part of it, i’m not sure that’s a hardcore bashing. lots of us here buy things from harbor freight. nothing wrong with “getting what you paid for.” it’s 10-20% of the cost of the GF, wouldn’t expect it to be straight up comparable.

but there was no outright trashing of the machine here. and certainly nothing along the lines of the kind of abuse the GF took (and still takes).


My only caution is the same as with all the low power diode engravers/cutters: they are slow as hell. There may be a use case but to me slow is the worst sin and it’s just not for me.

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I think that’s definitely an individual case. The GF is much slower than the Redsail (both raw speed & power difference since the Redsail is 60W) but I use the GF for 95% of my laser projects.

A 3.5W diode laser may should have enough power to allow much faster speeds than the usual 1W ones you see on Banggoods and such. I’m waiting to see whether they’ll use the extra power to enable faster speeds or if they just try to cut/engrave thicker materials.

For customizing otherwise pre-made products with customer specific personalizations at a craft show or MakerFaire the speed is likely to be fine. People are remarkably patient while watching their thing get lasered - I see that every time I bring it to a fair and do custom tags & such. People with 5 second attention spans are mesmerized for 5 minutes :slightly_smiling_face: