Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

The Full Spectrum Deluxe Hobby Laser is a small entry-level laser cutter with a attractive pricetag (starting at $2,350). This machine is intended for both hobby level projects and small production work and is capable of very intricate designs. The Deluxe model comes with the Retina Engrave USB processor which allows you easily connect and send files to the machine. There are a number of additional options you can purchase such as a beam combiner for combining the red sight laser and the CO2 beam. This allows you to see exactly where the laser will be cutting. There are also different optics you can purchase for fine engraving and cutting through thick material, and now you can also purchase a rotary attachment for engraving or cutting on cylindrical objects.

This laser system is built on a metal frame with a folded sheet metal body which adds to the durability and strength of the machine. The overall design is compartmentalized which allows for easy maintenance and serviceability as well as protection of the components inside. There is a compartment for the laser tube, one for the controller and power supply, and one for the work area.

This system has several pros such as the low cost, ease of use, thanks to the Retina Engrave USB processor which allows you to easily go from design to the final product, and a small form-factor that doesn’t sacrifice the laser’s work area which is 9.5″x14.5″.

There are also some drawbacks to the Deluxe Hobby Laser, such as the computer must remain connected to the laser cutter during operation and nothing should be running in the background since it may cause the laser to damage the print. This wont be an issue for some, if you have a dedicated computer for the laser cutter, but if you’re like me and like to multitask while making parts, such as prepping the next run or making changes to the current design, this is a drawback.

Overall, if you’re looking to get into laser cutting on a hobby or small business scale, the Full Spectrum Deluxe Hobby Laser is a great place to start.


Related

Comments

  1. Aaron Ramsey says:

    This is not a review. Its just their spec-sheet restated. Is this paid advertising? There is no indication that anyone here has even put their hands on a unit and tested anything about it.

    1. KentD says:

      I agree. It sounds like he has read the manual, but not like he has cut anything. We have this at my makerspace, and we are having trouble getting the driver to work. It says it is connected but there is no response from the cutter. Our next step is to try it on a dedicated XP box.

  2. Can you post up some pics and vids of things you have made with this laser cutter? I’m interested in seeing how well it actually does with the cuts and rasters.

    What is your set up like? Do you have an air assist?

    How many repairs do you have to do? Does it break down often?

    An in-depth review would be nice (not sure if this was paid advertising though), I’m trying to figure out what laser cutter to get! :)

    1. aaronramsey says:

      RobotGrrl : You aren’t very far away from Ottawa. You should stop by PrototypeD (prototyped.org) and check our their lasers. I’m pretty sure that they have at least one Full Spectrum system, if not a couple. You can also ping them on twitter : @pDOttawa That would give you a hands-on with the system before committing.

    2. plasma2002 says:

      I bought this exact model back in April 2012….. I wrote up my own review of it, if anybody is interested.
      http://www.plasma2002.com/blog/2012/04/18/on-buying-and-using-a-laser-cutter/

      The only thing that has changed since that review is that now there is an electrical problem which is causing current to go directly into my water line, and has caused quite a few nasty shocks. I believe it is a small fracture in the tube where the electrodes get close to the water reservoirs but I can’t confirm that.
      Overall, I love having a laser cutter, and would definitely recommend any maker get one.

  3. I’m more curious about what you used for air filtering.

    Good to know I need a mostly dedicated PC for this thing, I assume some sort of netbook would suffice? Thanks.

  4. pburgess says:

    RobotGrrl: I’ve got this exact model and can answer some questions…

    I’d summarize it as “a really, really good $2,500 laser cutter.” But it’s no replacement for an $8,000+ laser cutter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I think they’re being perfectly up-front by calling this their “hobby laser.” The cost made all the difference between owning a basic cutter vs. having none at all…and you can iterate designs so much faster having the thing right there rather than having to repeatedly take a design elsewhere for cutting.

    The good: very affordable. Feature-rich software with top-notch customer support and frequent updates. Cuts and rasters well enough for real product prototypes (e.g. iterated Adafruit’s Pi Box on this, among others, though the final items are produced elsewhere).

    The not-so-good: biggest beef is just trying to get it cutting square-and-level on all three axes…it’s always been just a TINY bit off despite my best efforts at alignment. Realistically, limited to 1/8″ acrylic and wood…you CAN do thicker with more passes, but the cut is progressively less clean. Rastering isn’t quite as uniform as with “pro” lasers. Included ventilation fan is useless, needs to be supplemented with a bilge blower (not expensive, just extra steps).

    A dedicated Windows PC is recommended. I’ve been using a little Lenovo “nettop” for this, no problem, but would recommend at least a Core 2 Duo system (which have now reached the “hand me down” age, so you can pick up a spare cheaply).

    Overall, it’s been great, I’m 110% satisfied…but have been doing enough laser work to consider an upgrade. The Epilog Zing 16 seems a logical step up, but if Full Spectrum’s new model addresses the aforementioned issues, I’ll give it serious thought.

  5. engineerzero says:

    I calculate that a 14.5 x 9.5 in workspace is the equivalent of only 8.8 million .1 mm cells. Why does it require the full resources of a gigahertz computer with gigabytes of memory to cut that small an area in only 2D?

  6. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Hey folks,

    This review was written by Brian Melani, one of our lab interns. It was not a paid review. We asked Full Spectrum for a review unit.

    RobotGrrl: Thanks for your comments and questions. I’ll see if Brian can share some additional information about their shop experience with the machine.

    Pburgess: Thanks for sharing your experience with the FSL. Will be interesting to see if the interns have the same alignment issues that you do.

  7. Mr Obvious says:

    To me, that looks very little different to the cheap (~800USD) Chinese laser cutters on the big internet auction site. Maybe review how it differs, and whether that’s worth triple the cost?

  8. Gregor says:

    It looks like one of the units you can get from China off ebay for ±$1000 shipped. If it has the same software (moshidraw) I’d be reluctant to advise anyone to get one of these if they’re not familiar with electrical engineering and laser cutting. It took me quite some time to get the machine to work at all… http://www.krekr.nl/content/142/

  9. The chassis and tube are indeed the same as the “auction site” units. FSL updates the weakest elements (optics, driver board and software) with their own U.S.-made replacements and provides tech support.

  10. plasma2002 says:

    (Meant to leave this in the general comments, but accidently put it as a reply to RobotGrrl’s comment. Pardon the repost :P )

    I bought this exact model back in April 2012….. I wrote up my own review of it, if anybody is interested.
    http://www.plasma2002.com/blog/2012/04/18/on-buying-and-using-a-laser-cutter/

    The only thing that has changed since that review is that now there is an electrical problem which is causing current to go directly into my water line, and has caused quite a few nasty shocks. I believe it is a small fracture in the tube where the electrodes get close to the water reservoirs but I can’t confirm that.
    Overall, I love having a laser cutter, and would definitely recommend any maker get one.

  11. Redd says:

    I have one of these Rabbit lasers myself and will say that only If you’re looking for a really basic, basic laser where engraving space isn’t an issue (it almost always is) than this is pretty limiting in terms of XY and Z…no room for a rotary as well.

  12. […] year, we obtained a 40W Hobby Deluxe laser from Full Spectrum Laser. At around $2,000, it cuts and engraves a wide variety of materials using […]

  13. […] year, we obtained a 40W Hobby Deluxe laser from Full Spectrum Laser. At around $2,000, it cuts and engraves a wide variety of materials using […]

  14. joshua says:

    I’ve had many problems with FullSpectrum laser. My laser was pretty horrible damaged – probably during transport. And yet they pretty much don’t care.. After 5 months of waiting on a decent discount, or store credit, i’ve decided to call it quits, and never to buy anything from them again. All I can do is warn others about their practice:
    http://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2013/07/21/fullspectrumlaser-aka-why-you-should-think-twice-on-buying-from-them/

  15. vin says:

    An intern review, but not before putting it through it’s paces? Nice.
    In my world, a review is done AFTER you run something thouroughly, drive it around the track, and push it to it’s spec’d limit.
    FSL simply rebadges Chinese lasers. IMO they do a poor job of it (compared to Rabbit Lasers). I have worked with 2 different FSL, and are all horrible to work with. Poorly aligned, low hours on the laser before it poofs out, and accuracy is pitiful. PLEASE, don’t rely on this dumb intern rehashing of the brochure, just search for “Full Spectrum Laser Problem” and you will get an earful. You wont get this kind of bad user experience from Epilog or ULS.

  16. […] fit principles with no connectors. The cases were made in Ivory’s garage using a 120-watt Full Spectrum laser — a big investment for a company that only launched four months […]