Advice on purchase of diode laser

Well it’s come to this. Unless someone can give me a good reason to do something different, and if I wasn’t open to all manner of advice I wouldn’t have started this thread.

I think I’ve decided to buy a ready made 20/22w diode laser to get me by until I know what I really want and can decide whether I’ll live long enough to finish building a CO2 version. :grin:

As of today, pre black Friday the realistic choices in Aus as far as I can tell are:-

Creality CR Laser Falcon 2 which looks like an xTool copy for the princely sum of $1059 AUD.

SCULPFUN S30 Ultra-22W which kind of looks like an Ender Clone but has a linear rail on X and I haven’t seen a bad review. (I’m not sure if “influencers” are making bad reviews, but it tests well against the other two mentioned here) It will end up costing around $1500 AUD by the time it gets here, but it does have a 600 x 600 work area which the others do not.

xTool D1 Pro: 20W which looks very well built but seriously, $2100.00?

For reasons I can’t explain my instinct says go with the Sculpfun, but there’s no logic to that and the Creality does look inexpensive.

I am about to retire for the night, and may not be able to check in here till well into the afternoon tomorrow, but I’d be grateful if you could reach some sort of consensus in your recommendation by then.

I await your responses with eager anticipation.

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I just got one of these…

Still getting it mounted up. Will try and let everyone know how it goes. Hoping this will be a stop gap until we can build the CO2 laser lol

With shipping and taxes that works out about $200,00 less than the Creality machine. I just can’t see the value for me, and I could probably get the CO2 built in less time than it would take to get it sorted on the LR3! :rofl: :rofl:

For a full laser machine, I’m intrigued by the Longer brand. All I know about them comes from YouTube and reading the specs, but it looks like you get a lot more laser for your buck.

If you just wanted to put a laser module on your LR3, then I’d consider the NEJE modules. They now have a 24W module.

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Something that is REALLY interesting to me in that Longer web page is that they now have a ruby pumped infrared laser module (1064nm, not 450nm like the UV lasers.). That should make it MUCH more capable of cutting acrylic and many types of plywood. It makes my day to see that, but I fear it’s now going to send me down the rabbit hole of investigating that module…

I’ve helped several people add NEJEs to their machines. They’re great. I think you meant to link here, though:


@bitingmidge , my NEJE has been pretty good so far. The NEJE Max 4 looks really interesting.

Has a motorized Z, 20W laser (the E80 MakerJim references above), pretty good size area (with the option to increase it I believe) and pen/drag knife attachment.

But that Longer also looks very interesting as well.

Too many options. Good luck!


Yes, there are a few round here who’ve been using them as I recall. I am really not interested in adding to the machine - mostly because I don’t want to build an enclosure just yet, but also because I’m pretty sure that I’d go nuts swapping stuff over.

Sadly, to get an idea of how far things go, mulitply by 1.6, add 15% duty and taxes, and $80 or so US for delivery and the field suddenly levels out. I’ll look a bit harder, but currently the Neje is rising on my list!

Yes it does!

I really get the feeling that development in the diode laser space is happening at a great rate of knots.

The glaring negative things to me thus far are - no safety stuff that I can see (e-stop or shield around the diode) and I’m not sure how to hook up air assist - instructions are quite vague - I think there’s a relay that can be controlled through lightburn. Oh and add all that together and it’s close to the “well should I buy a cheap CO2?” time.

But - I can build an enclosure that will take care of the first two, and it will sit neatly on my tablesaw with a vent hooked into my dust extraction system to duct stuff outside.

Oh, and I can copy their flat cutting panel for not much money at all. A couple of lengths of 12mm angle and we’re away! - Love it!

I’m going to have to pee or get off the pot aren’t I?

I believe it has an e-stop included. The control board has a plug for it as well as air assist and door (if you have an enclosure).

Looks like the air assist solenoid is included in some packages but it’s $26 if you need to purchase it separately.

I know they have had some pretty good Black Friday deals in the past so you may want to keep that in mind.

Not included, but you are correct, there’s a plug for the “door” circuit which it can be plugged into.

There’s no switch on the machine, which seems odd, particularly given that many other brands have key-switches.

I am tossing up whether it’s smart to run the compressor and use the air solenoid solution or buy their little air pump which might be less noise and a lot neater installation in the end.

The absence of a safety screen around the nozzle is “interesting”.

They seem to have a permanent 30% off kind of pricing - I’m unlikely to have internet access on Black Friday, so fingers crossed they kick off early!

I am completely confused. Currently Black Friday has the Max 4 at $864 plus $60.00 shipping. as soon as I add a Air Assist ($69.99 and Honeycomb Grille $109 but goes to $149 at checkout) the shipping goes to $200.00!!

Now the 920 for the machine and shipping seems OK at first, but landed and taxes paid it will come in around $1800 AUD! Or three hundred more than the sculpfun which has air assist included.

So - is it worth that much more for a movable z axis, a pen and a cutter?? Maybe not, but I do like it a lot.

:thinking: :thinking: :thinking:
What if I make my “honeycomb Grille” out of aluminium angles which will be almost free.
Buy an airpump from eBay - the relays I can get from Neje with free shipping.
The price is almost identical to the xtool pro 20w and I do believe that the Neje laser bits are nicer as is the moving Z.

All for the price of a cheap co2…

Ahhh… thanks for watching the agony.

Damn! Never thought of this…!
Aluminium angles, or even superstruts rails as a laser bed… brilliant!

I’ve seen somewhere you can build an air assist from a fan blower, this may be easier to install and control…

That’s part of the dilemna…

The way I see it:

  • either go “cheap” with a diode laser mounted on the LR3. With an appropriate mount it’s pretty easy to mount/unmount really, and you get a gigantic work area (think giant cardboard cutouts for the kids at halloween ;)). You will need to create some kind of enclosure though (btw, did you see mine ;))
  • or go “all in”, and then, just buy a dedicated CO2 laser… for cutting it will be a lot more appropriate
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I picked up a cheap machine off of banggood. Then I reflashed the firmware with grbl and replaced the cheap diode laser with a better laser later on.

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I really wanted clarity when I started this thread an now look at what a nice mess you’ve gotten me into!!

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I have the 10w version of this one on the LR3
So far it has been great, you just need to accept the “slow” cutting, limited to 10-12mm, and the fact that you won’t cut every material

I still think I got 80% of what I wanted out of this, for 10% of what a similar sized CO2 machine would cost…
Nice way to get you going if you ask me… It just make you wish you could get the CO2 for that extra flare though :wink:


OK here’s today and this MAY be DECISION MADE!! :rofl: :

I greatly appreciate all of the above contributions - you have all done exactly nothing to help!! :smiley:
(That’s very far from the truth - but you know what I mean.)

I have just been in the car for three hours with the Blight of my Life, who, as been her way for the last fifty years, is more than supportive of any decision I make and as usual is pushing for me to take the easiest path!

Only those among us who have been retired for a while will understand what it’s like to be truly time poor, and this time I think I need the tool more than I need the project in the short term. Our calendar for the next twelve months is looking very full to say the least and I can’t see any “build a laser” time slot there.

THEREFORE despite all the kind advice, I’ll buy a ready-built (kit?), most likely the Neje, because there’s a lot to like about that AND I am pretty sure that the plotter and cutter will be a little more suitable for my purposes than the LR3 version. For the same reason I have this suspicion that cheaper models might be more of a hobby than a tool in the short term.

I’ll post my complete logic on my LR3 build thread - because it’s more relevant there I think.

For now, there’s enough to do in rigging air, making a grid and enclosure with exhaust ( I will probably make that a CNC job!) . The entire operation alternatively can sit on the tablesaw or LR3 table with air duct connections accessible.

Getting up and running will give me all the time in the world to think about the Co2 project! :rofl: :rofl:


I am great for that, but I have not said anything, LOL. Just had to do it :slight_smile: :disguised_face:

Not saying anything is to agree with whatever I do! After much wailing and gnashing of teeth I’ve still done nothing, am sitting in an airport lounge wondering where the last week went, and hoping I get time to place an order in the next day or three.

I have two days in early December to fiddle with the Lowrider, a week or two after that Santa comes, and then I suspect we aren’t back until mid January, when we start to get busy!! Hopefully laser will be working sometime then and I can burn and cut simultaneously!!

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