There are many ways to celebrate a special occasion or promote your brand. T-shirts and coffee mugs are always a favorite. If you want something a little more professional, a custom pen or notebook might be a good idea. But T-shirts are a dime a dozen.
For a truly special occasion or an impressive branding campaign, you might want to step up the pace. As for mugs, pens and notebooks, we must have too many. They make great gifts, but no one thinks they’re really special.
Printmaking, on the other hand, has a greater appeal to it. It has a timeless aura that nothing like a T-shirt can bring to the dinner table. An engraved plaque, badge or tumbler feels important while a simple print doesn’t. As for branding, engraving is great for long-term signage. Sturdy engraved signs will last for decades without any noticeable degradation.
When most people think of engraving, they think of metal. But the truth is that you can engrave a wide variety of materials. With the right laser, you can engrave wood, plastic, rubber, acrylic, and other materials. You can also use a laser to make intricate custom cutouts for crafts. But to get high-quality engraving, you need a well-designed engraving machine.
LONGER RAY5 10W Laser Engraving Machine
It’s a powerful 10-watt laser that can etch almost any material, even cutting wood boards in one go. It also works very fast at speeds of up to 10,000 mm per minute. Coupled with a large work area, it was clear we were interested.
That said, a laser engraver is a complex machine with many different functions. To really get our hands on this device, we’re going to have to dig a little deeper.
We’ll discuss the physical design, and how the engraver is built. We’ll discuss the laser module itself and how to operate the controls. Also, we’ll look at the different ways you can print, as well as any noteworthy extras. After we’ve discussed all of these things, we’ll have enough information to make a fair verdict. let’s start!
Frames and Gantry
Like most laser engravers, the Longer RAY5 10W laser engraver has a rectangular metal frame. It’s made of matte black aluminum, which is both lightweight and durable. The frame sits on a set of metal feet a few inches off the ground. Overall dimensions are 23.07 inches wide, 22.95 inches deep, and 6.95 inches high, including laser module.
A gantry spans the top of the frame, extending from side to side. It rides on a set of sturdy wheels that clip into slots in the side rails. This allows it to move freely back and forth in the work area. There is a small motor at one end of the gantry that powers its movement.
The laser module is also housed in a motorized housing that sits on top of the gantry. It moves side to side on the gantry, while auxiliary rods below the gantry keep it stable. Between the gantry and the module housing, there are two axes of motion. The laser module can be easily moved to any position within the working area.
When sculpting, placement is key. If you’re carving something off center, that’s a problem. Luckily, the LONGER RAY5 router has some white markings on the side of the frame in centimeters and millimeters. There are additional markings on top of the gantry so you can precisely place whatever you want to carve.
Laser and Control
When you use your LONGER RAY5 engraving machine, you must first calibrate it. This means adjusting the laser module so that it is just the right distance from the target. This may mean moving it up or down, depending on the thickness of your work material.
Place your circuit board under the head and find the small metal cylinder in the kit. This is your focusing post, and it fits in a small slot in the laser module. Unscrew the module and adjust it so it rests lightly on the focusing post. Then, retighten the screws. This is easy to do, but you have to do it every time you switch between materials. We do have some concerns about the tuning mechanic, as it might fail if you keep tuning it.
There is a 3.5-inch touchscreen on the front left of the housing. This is used to control laser speed, create manual offsets, or make other adjustments. There’s even a small SD card in the slot, where you can access documents and print them directly. No computer or smartphone required!
There are also some security features you should be aware of. In the event of a fire, the fire protection will shut down the laser. If the laser engraving machine is tilted, the anti-tilt protection will be turned off. The motionless protection will turn off the laser if it is frozen in place for more than 15 seconds.
connection and setup
There are several ways to print to the LONGER RAY5 10W Laser Engraver. First, as we discussed, you can use an SD card for offline printing. This is perfect for an industrial setting where you can make multiples of the same thing. It’s also very useful if you’re engraving somewhere without internet. However, this is only an option.
One way to connect is via WiFi. Via WiFi, you can control the printer through a dedicated smartphone app. Print any file to the app and it will be converted into a high-quality engraving.
You can also use your computer’s WiFi connection. Using a computer, you can set up multiple RAY5 routers to run in parallel. Print it once and it will be sent to all engravers. This is the easiest way if you want to sculpt a lot of things quickly.
If you don’t want to mess with WiFi, you can always use a USB connection. The kit includes a USB Type-A to Type-B cable that can be connected to any PC or Mac. It is even compatible with Linux systems where many engravers are not.
As for software compatibility, you’ll have a lot of options. The engraver is compatible with all major engraving software, including LaserGRBL and LightBurn. Considering that over 90% of sculptors use one of these programs, you should be fine.
Plus, you can work with a wide variety of file formats. In addition to older standards like JPG, BMP, PNG, and GIF, you also get support for newer formats. If you need to sculpt SVG, NC or GC files, here you go. You can even engrave images that have been saved as G-code.
The working area of the LONGER RAY5 is 400mm x 400mm. That works out to be 15.75 x 15.75 inches, which is quite a large area. You can engrave large plaques or intricate artwork without the limitations of a small frame.
The laser is capable of engraving at 10,000 millimeters per minute, or about 32 feet. The exact speed will vary depending on how dark the image is. The deeper you try to cut, the slower the laser will move. The design is very stable, so you won’t get any blemishes from working at maximum speed. Lines will remain smooth without any unexpected jagged edges.
The 0.6mm laser diameter is beautiful and compact, allowing you to create beautiful shadow images. Due to the small diameter, you can engrave fine details and they are practically visible. They won’t get lost in the cleaning process like they can with a low-resolution laser engraver.
The 10 watt laser module is surprisingly powerful. A single knife can cut through 8mm thick wood. You can cut thicker materials with multiple passes. When it comes to materials, lasers are great for engraving just about anything. You can engrave wood, metal, acrylic, rubber, and even vinyl or leather.
If you don’t need that much power, consider the LONGER RAY5 5W version. It has a similar work area and speed, so you can make large engravings quickly. It’s also more affordable than the RAY5. That said, it only has a 5-watt laser.
Accessories and Support
In addition to the RAY5 router itself, Longer laser has included some nifty accessories to help you. The most important thing is the second laser module, with a power of only 5 watts. You might think that a weaker laser would be a bad thing, but it’s not. The 5 watt laser module is more suitable for engraving fine materials. For example, you can use it to cut complex shapes on paper, which a 10-watt laser wouldn’t do.
In addition to that, you also get a 77-piece engraving kit. Most of these pieces are small wooden blocks and small metal tags. They are great for making small carvings. If you’ve never used an engraver before, they’re a great way to gain basic experience. However, there are also some larger wood and metal panels. These can be used to create larger, more complex carvings.
If you want a more powerful engraving machine, you can upgrade to Longer RAY5 20W laser.
As you can see, the LONGER RAY5 is one of the better laser engravers on the market. It has a powerful laser and easy-to-use controls, and is even capable of offline printing. It also offers excellent resolution and fast working speeds so you can quickly create detailed engravings.