[hackerspaces] Laser cutter vs CNC router

Sam Ley sam.ley at gmail.com
Tue Feb 8 07:26:08 CET 2011

Inside corners is definitely a big one, I have to do a lot of trickery on
the CNC router - dogbone fillets, curved miter lock joints, etc., all to
avoid the inside corner problem.

Good point on the "L-word" thing, however I still get plenty of interest
when I call the CNC a "self-replicating robotic death saw". ;)


On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 9:27 PM, Nate Bezanson <myself at telcodata.us> wrote:

> > While we're talking about laser cutters--
> > what can you do with a laser that you can't do with a CNC router?
> Inside corners. It's like having a 1/64"-dia cutter that never goes dull.
> Look at the notches on Makerbot parts for an example.
> You can also cut stuff like fabric and paper that just wouldn't be
> possible with a mechanical mill. Intricate papercraft just got a lot less
> tedious, as long as you don't mind mild charring around the edges. :)
> > Obviously, the laser is better for thin materials, and the router is
> > better for thick materials. But there's a lot of overlap there.
> And the mill cuts metal, which most CO2 lasers are loathe to do.
> Controlling depth on the router is a more deterministic thing; you're not
> gonna do PCB milling with a laser, for instance.
> The big thing though, is the L-word. Classes draw more of the general
> public when you say "laser" than when you say "CNC router", and for many
> spaces, that's a boon by itself.
> -Nate-
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