The Atomstack A5 Pro is a home assembly laser engraver like no other. First, the price of the laser engraver A5 Pro is higher than most other home build kits, followed by quality and power. Whether engraving or cutting 8mm layers, the precision and quality are excellent.
The open extruded aluminum frame design of the laser engraver A5 Pro and other self-build engravers is common among DIY hobbyist machines because they are easy to build and maintain. Protective goggles must be worn, and good ventilation is essential, which also limits where they can be used.
However, this laser engraver A5 Pro is very powerful and it is worth noting that Atomstack invested in high quality parts and a solid design for this machine.
It takes about an hour to assemble, but you might be able to put it together faster with a little concentration. The instructions show you how the machine is assembled, but some areas are a little hard to understand.
The point is to put the belt on the pulley; this requires loosening and tightening the seat belt. While this works for one axle, the other requires removing the pulley, putting it in the belt, and reinstalling the pulley. Likewise, cable guides require careful positioning. Put them in the wrong place and you need to backtrack the build to correct it.
Once all the pieces are put together, the design is very clean and there is no room for parts to be installed incorrectly – everything fits snugly with no gaps in the joints. That’s fine, but it does make initial assembly quite tedious, though not to the point of being impossible.
Once built, it is ready to be tested with laserGRBL for PC or LightBurn for all other systems.
The Atomstack A5 Pro may be a build-your-own laser engraver, but it’s still incredibly capable.
First, it features a 410 x 400mm work area, and the frame’s open design allows you to slide large materials through in stages, up to 450mm wide.
A standout feature is the 10W laser output, which, along with compressed spot technology, enables the A5 Pro to cut 8mm layers at a time. The power of the laser is so high that it can also engrave hard surfaces such as stainless steel.
When you use the A5 Pro, the ultra-fine engraving accuracy of 0.01mm makes the engraving and cutting quality stand out. This precision enables high-quality image transfer to the material.
Due to the precision of the laser, the Atomstack uses a powerful autofocus design for the machine. The material height is adjusted manually via the big red knob on top of the laser, and the machine handles the fine-tuning. This alone can save a lot of time and improve the overall quality of your prints.
One feature of laser engravers that often annoys us is the need to be plugged into a computer all the time. It’s nice to see a machine with an ESP32-DOWD-V3 chip and a 32-bit microprocessor built in to handle the files internally, so it doesn’t need to be connected all the time.
A few professional safety features take this laser engraver to the next level. There’s a large emergency stop button and a flame detector that activates if the material catches fire rather than being engraved or cut. Another safety feature is the internal gyroscope, which automatically activates the kill switch if the machine is tilted 15º or more.
Once the image, vector or cut files are loaded into the software and adjusted, they can be sent to the machine. The initial connection is simple, with the usual manual adjustments to material, initial position and laser height.
Once everything is adjusted, the power can be set and the engraver turned off. The power and precision of this laser engraver is immediately apparent. The initial engraving showed a high degree of detail, and the engraving was fast and precise.
As we’ve found with other self-build machines, it’s important to make sure everything is nice and tight, the machine has good rigidity, and that the belts are tensioned before starting.
Upon closer inspection, the quality of the engraving is as good as that of Glowforge(Opens in a new tab). The only problem is that being an open design, the smell means you need to be in a well ventilated room and you need to wear protective glasses.
This is the first laser engraver we’ve seen to successfully cut thicker materials. In this test, we passed the 6mm layer without issue, producing nice clean edge lines.
Overall, for engraving and cutting, the Atomstack A5 Pro does an excellent job; our only concern is that there is no case for a machine of this power.
The build of some parts of this laser engraver tested me with the initial build, trying to get the belt to fit on the pulley and small screws into the aluminum extrusion. It’s not hard, just tedious, the key is moving from the tight space of the kitchen table to the expansive space of the workshop.
Once built, the construction is solid, far exceeding what we’ve experienced with other laser engravers of this size. All these anodized parts are also more aesthetically pleasing.
It’s all relatively easy to set up, though connecting to Wi-Fi via the iOS app or the machine is a little trickier. We also found that while there was a lot of information in the printed manual, we couldn’t always follow some of the finer prints.
The Atomstack A5 Pro works very well, the structure is excellent, the attention to detail paid off in the quality and accuracy of the engraving and cutting.
The bottom line is that there is no case or extractor, but other than that, the machine is pretty much faultless.
The A5 Pro is the leader in the field, and while it’s more expensive than other laser engravers, it’s not a leap to make it unaffordable. The A5 Pro expandable is also a great option, with an attachment point on the tool head for an air pump to help extract some smoke and extra attachments that allow you to cut round objects like bottles.
The Atomstack A5 Pro is one of the best laser engravers we’ve seen, especially considering the price. If you’re looking for a professional-grade laser engraver at an affordable price, the A5 Pro is the machine. Atomstack Laser Engraver will be your best choice!