Manufacturer: Wainlux K8
Price: $399 Kickstarter price
- 130 x 130 mm laser operating size
- Fully enclosed
- 10 Watt laser
- adjustable Z-bed
- built in air assist
- built in camera
The Wainlux K8 is an interesting approach to the desktop hobby laser market. At 10Watts, fully enclosed, and retailing at roughly $400, it is firmly aimed at those who want the use of a laser without tons of space or a big budget.
Unboxing and setup
This thing is a fully finished commercial product. The packaging and packing are all great, as you’d expect from a company that has put out commercial products before. It is packed quite well, I doubt anyone will be having issues with shipping damage.
Inside the box are some supplies to test out the laser on, which is great. However, I didn’t find any software for windows on the memory stick, though the manual references CutLabX a few times. There is a driver for windows, and possibly some mac software as well as the generic user manuals for lightburn and another laser software.
After I tinkered a bit with lightburn, I emailed them inquiring about the missing software. They emailed me a link to download, so I did test it eventually.
I hooked it up to lightburn, which is the software I’d recommend for pretty much everyone. Without any real tweaks, I was up and running, engraving and cutting without issue.
I like how the bed raises and lowers easily, and the focusing is a simple drop-down piece from the laser head. I’ve had previous lasers that use a piece of plastic that is the exact length of the focal distance, but it is something I’ll typically lose pretty quickly. In this case, simply having it attached to the laser head itself is a nice touch.
The air filtration system worked surprisingly well. You’ll still smell burnt material as there are gaps in the enclosure, but I had less than I would have from my k40, even with it’s bigger exhaust.
After emailing and getting the software from them, I tried it out. It is fairly limited, but can get the job done. The only big issue I found is that there’s no “undo”. I found that bizarre. I also couldn’t get the internal camera to work.
pros and cons
On the pro side, there are some great things. The enclosure and air filter are very nice, especially if you’re in an environment like a classroom or apartment. You can tell they put some thought into how you’d actually use this, as it is fairly easy to clean out, and easy to focus. The built in air assist is nice too. I really dislike having to add an external air source.
On the con side, the small operating area is a bit limiting. It would also be nice if it shipped with pre-configured software. Maybe it did, but I didn’t see it on the card. update: I got the software from them via email. It works, and is a bare minimum. I couldn’t get the camera to work from their software or lightburn.
I really like this approach. The fact that it is fully enclosed and fairly portable means I can store it away in between uses and even travel with it. The 10Watt laser is powerful enough for most tasks I need at this scale. I could see this fitting perfectly in libraries and classrooms.