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Increasing 3D printer output with cutting and engraving capabilities from Endurance Lasers

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Laser diodes from Russian-American laser manufacturer Endurance Lasers are giving makers the ability to upgrade their 3D printers with cutting and laser engraving capabilities. 

The firm manufactures and delivers diode and diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser variations which can be installed on any 3D printer or CNC router to maximize its workshop productivity. Capable of engraving on leather, glass, stone, metals, and plastics, the lasers are easy to integrate into the 3D printing systems of makers, hobbyists, workshops, and small businesses. 

Endurance Lasers is currently running a promotion across its laser portfolio, and there are notable discounts on its 10W SE DeLux laser module, 15W Duos laser beam head, and 4W DPSS 1064 nm laser marking head in particular. 

As such, 3D Printing Industry takes a closer look at the company’s varied laser range and how it can bolster the cutting and engraving capabilities of 3D printers.

Laser engraving on glass using the 15W Duos laser. Photo via Endurance Lasers.
Laser engraving on glass using the 15W Duos laser. Photo via Endurance Lasers.

Opening up laser engraving

Diode lasers have become increasingly popular among makers and hobbyists seeking to expand the cutting and engraving capabilities of their 3D printing systems. 3D printers typically have all the necessary features to be used as a frame for laser cutting or engraving, making it a quick and easy task to convert such a system into a powerful laser engraving machine by fitting it with one of Endurance’s lasers. 

Endurance Lasers has been manufacturing its plug-and-play laser systems since 2015, with its specialty lying in solid-state diode lasers capable of engraving and cutting a variety of materials, such as wood, leather and glass. After developing its laser engraving and cutting machines, the company released its range of diode laser attachments, and in 2019 announced the development of its FAP800 range. The potential of the diode laser attachments can be harnessed by anybody with access to CAD software, a G-code developer tool, and a desktop 3D printer.

The technology works by installing a laser beside or in place of a 3D printer’s extruder, after which a design or cutting guideline can be prepared using CAD software then converted into G-code. This, in turn, is put through laser cutting software which prepares the G-code for the necessary operations.

Endurance manufactures diode lasers and DPSS with its own proprietary technology, and installs CO2 tubes on custom frames or as an upgrade pack. Meanwhile, fiber lasers from Raycus are used in the company’s DIY galvo machine.

This instrument, made by Endurance Laser customer David Moyer, was cut from a cigar box and the fretboard engraved with an Endurance 10W laser. Photo via David Moyer/Endurance Lasers.
This instrument, made by Endurance Laser customer David Moyer, was cut from a cigar box and the fretboard engraved with an Endurance 10W laser. Photo via David Moyer/Endurance Lasers.

The 4W DPSS laser module

The 4W DPSS laser module is ideal for hobbyists who are looking to give metal marking a try with their existing 3D printers or CNC routers. The module’s 1064nm YAG laser is particularly suited for jewelry marking and color engraving of metals such as gold, silver, copper, aluminum, iron, and palladium, and also some ceramics, like sapphire glass. The laser is also capable of marking a wide range of plastics, including plastic film, prints, and packaging. 

According to Endurance, the DPSS laser module is compatible with all CNC frames and many popular 3D printers and engraving machines. High peak power enables accurate and deep engraving, while the laser boasts an engraving precision of 57 microns. 

The 10W DeLux laser module

Designed to strike the balance between cost and power, the 10W DeLux model is the company’s top selling laser. Equipped with a Nichia diode laser with a 445nm wavelength, the DeLux is capable of engraving materials such as polished and anodized aluminum and steel without the use of engraving paste, while engraving on copper and brass can be achieved with the paste. 

Regarding its cutting capabilities, the 10W laser is able to cut 3.8mm thick plywood in a single pass, while certain plastics can be accurately cut up to 8mm thick with a couple of passes of the laser. The laser features an air nozzle version 1.0, and is also able to cut and engrave different fabrics, including leather. 

A leather wallet engraved with a Bitcoin symbol made by George Formitchev. Photo via Endurance Lasers.
A leather wallet engraved with a Bitcoin symbol made by George Formitchev. Photo via Endurance Lasers.

The 15W Duos laser

Featuring dual laser beams, the Duos model is one of the most powerful diode lasers currently on the market. Capable of cutting a wide range of materials at speeds of up to 500mm per minute, the Duos is also ultra-precise, with a laser beam spot of between 120-125 microns. 

The Duos is designed to deliver real optical laser power to your 3D printer or CNC machine, and is equipped with two version 1.0 air nozzles for air supply, and is capable of cutting a wider range of materials than Endurance’s 10W model. 

Simplicity of installation

A key benefit of Endurance’s diode lasers is their quick and easy installation into almost any 3D printer or CNC machine. Avoiding soldering or complicated upgrades, the firm’s lasers can be connected via a 3D printer’s FAN 1 and FAN 2 pin outputs, and in many cases the extruder or mill does not need to be removed.

Furthermore, no additional software is needed to enable the lasers’ engraving and cutting capabilities. Instead, Engraving and cutting can be controlled by common 3D printing slicing programs such as Cura, Repetier, Slic3r and Simplify3D. The firm has previously demonstrated the installation of its diode lasers in multiple how-to videos

Endurance Lasers’ goal is to open up the accessibility of laser cutting and engraving to 3D printing makers, hobbyists, and small and medium businesses. Its portfolio of lasers of various types and power levels caters to a range of budgets and requirements, and is able to fulfill a whole host of different applications

As such, the company has continued to grow its community of laser enthusiasts and provide help and support to its customers.

Color engraving on titanium with an endurance laser. Photo via Endurance Lasers.
Color engraving on titanium with an endurance laser. Photo via Endurance Lasers.

Nominations for the 2021 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open, have your say who is leading the industry now.

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Featured image shows color engraving on titanium with an endurance laser. Photo via Endurance Lasers.

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