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I am a member of Knox Makers in Knoxville, Tennessee (United States). We have a laser cutter that our group built. We have made a habit of naming all the things, and a very generous donor was awarded the opportunity to name our laser cutter. He chose Goldfinger, for obvious reasons.

Here is what we are working with:

Goldfinger is a 2.x Laser that uses LinuxCNC. It cuts the things, and we are most grateful for this. Currently trying to figure out raster images, but vector works like a charm.


I have recently purchased and built a cheap laser kit (from Banggod ;-)). I bought it without a laser, and added a $60 diode laser to it (supposedly 5W). Since I mixed and matched a few parts, I'm testing wiring configurations for the laser. I am using LaserGRBL for control, since I am wary of the chinese manufacturer software.

I'm pretty excited about it, so I've already published a couple Things - a focusing knob ( and an engravable ruler ( that I am using to position models.

Laser Focusing Knob
Laser Cutter Ruler

I hadn't used a laser cutter before when I pre-ordered a Glowforge in early 2016. Then I took a job with Glowforge as a firmware engineer in mid-March 2016 after browsing their web site and realizing that they were in the same city and looking for folks like me. I'm lucky that I get to use the Glowforges at work until I get mine. I'm not here as a representative of Glowforge, just as an enthusiast. But I'm excited by what we're doing and making.

Hi Nedkonz! I'm a new Glowforge owner. I received our unit the week of Christmas. I am reading all the information on how to work with the Glowforge right now. I have so many ideas of things I want to make with it! I can't wait to get the Pro filter so I can do demos at work (they have a technology group there I have been invited to bring my Glowforge to demo in April).

I also will be attending Maker Faire for the 8th year in a row (all the ones that KC has had). I have demoed PPPRS Power Wheels (I race the lil kids power wheels cars!), 3D printers, and now the Glowforge this year! Hopefully we will be able to use the pass through soon because I want to make some room dividers....a set for home and some for Christmas presents this year!

I just received mine about two weeks ago. I'm no longer at Glowforge, but am proud to have been a part of bringing this machine to market. We're attending Maker Faire again this year in San Mateo (my 8th year as well, I think).

Greetings to All!
My business partner and I have decided to jump into the laser cutting and engraving business. We are currently shopping around for a machine and I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, recommendations, warnings, and other advice! We are looking for a lightweight machine that we can carry around to shows, fairs, and events on the weekends to do while-you-wait custom engraving, and will be cutting and engraving doo-dads during the week to sell online. Because we are just getting started, we don't wanna take a chance with a cheap chinese machine (yet, maybe later). We will need support and hand-holding. So we are looking at Epilog, Universal, and Full Spectrum brands. We like some of the other brands too, but they tend to be too big and heavy. If business is good, we will buy a bigger more powerful machine later to leave at the shop.
We will be engraving all sorts of materials, but probably mostly anodized aluminum, acrylic, and wood. We will be cutting acrylic and wood, mostly 3mm or 1/8"

I look forward to hearing from ya'll!

Ive been in the industry for 15 years and just recently started my own business too. I've used Trotec for years but theyre expensive. Epilouge is probaly your safest bet for support, parts and service. At the end of the day you get what you pay for. If you're looking to engrave more than cut then Epilog. if you looking to cut more than engrave then the Lotus Blu range from the UK is the best in my opinnion.
I woun't touch Full Spectrum, no experiece with them but from my research they were difficult to deal with in sales so I don't think it would get better for service and support. Never looked at Universal.

Have you looked at Glowforge yet?

I am in the process of building a 2x laser cutter. I have the frame, motors and drive belts all assembled now just need to get the electronics, mirrors and laser tube.

I have a glowforge on order and its supposed to ship this quarter. Is there a better option for the same price of $2500?

Could you post images of things you've cut using it?

Sure, here's a summary of a recent Build Night series we did at Instructables. Some pics included in the fray of chaotic media everywhere, but a good chunk of the DIY projects (links included) involve lasercutting:

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I've been meaning to see if I could check that place (Knox Makers) out some time, as I only live about an hour and a half away. There's not any maker spaces in my area and I've been wanting to visit one. I'm really interested in laser cutters and would love to get a little hands on experience. I found out about Knox Makers when I was thinking about moving to Knoxville (well still thinking about it some) as I was planning on getting my PhD at UT (that's on hold for now though). I'd still love to take a trip down sometime and see what it's like, if possible.

So.. you should definitely do that. We have free and open to the public workshops and other events almost every Tuesday night. We'd love to see you out there! We hope to move to downtown Knoxville soon, which would be much closer to UT.

Nice work on the Laser!

I can use a 30Watt Trotec speedy 100/300 laser-cutter at the local fablab Rotterdam (Netherlands).
Came there for the 3d printer, saw the laser cutter and was amazed by the fact that you can bring your own material and just use it for free. I make little things, fun and ‘arty’ (I don’t want to call it art) things. Half the fun is making the design, figuring out how to make a design that will work no big gaps between interlocking parts, making round parts that bend, and making business cards / cut out text on the cover of pocket calendar, note books ext.
One day I want to buy a laser cutter, but it’s a bit too pricy for personal use … maybe someday I’ll make a business out of it :)

I am interested in learning more about the laser cutters and potential business uses. How did your business cards turn out?

Nicely, but not perfect, i will upload a soon a picture so you can see the general idea.
normaly I'll keep the (30Watt) laser at 100% power and play with the speed, but the speed was to fast (there are some spots that shows the on-off cycle of the laserbeam).

I wouldn't be using 100% power on and paper or card in a 30W system. 15 years using a Trotect 30W Dpeedy and 60W 150Pro. Biggest mistake for beginners is 100% power.

Start with 100% power, find you speed setting, then slowly reduce your power by 5% and decrease your speed as required until you get a nice burn free cut

can't wait to see a picture!