Among creators and makers, there are certain machines that are coveted, such as 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and laser engravers. In the past, we’ve covered 3D printers like the Sunlu T3 I reviewed for the site, and today, we have the LP2 Laser Engraver sent to us from LaserPecker.
For the uninitiated, laser engravers, like the LP2, use a laser to burn or etch designs into a variety of materials. The LP2 is capable of transferring designs to wood, leather, stone, glass, and metal. Be aware that some of these materials may require some prep work. For example, you’ll need to apply Sharpie or paint to glass or metal to allow the laser can etch the design unless you are removing the finish from a metal object. In that case, there is no prep required.
While the LaserPecker LP 2 can be used to engrave wood, it’s also worth noting that it’s powerful enough to cut through wood, paper, and leather. Although, the LaserPecker team suggests not cutting anything thicker than 0.2 inches.
Now that we’ve covered the materials that the LP2 works on, here are some of the other key features. For starters, unlike many other laser engravers on the market, the LP2 uses a mirror to aim the laser instead of moving it along a gantry similar to a 3D printer. This allows the LP2 to move at lightning-fast speeds of up to 36000mm/min, although, it also limits the working area of the laser to approximately four inches by four inches.
That works perfectly for many items such as coasters, glasses, tumblers, and more. However, fret not if you want to engrave larger. LaserPecker makes an electric roller accessory that makes it easy to engrave cylindrical objects and also allows it to transform the LP2 into an engraver on wheels.
You’ll still be limited to four inches in width, but the rollers can be used to move an object side to side under the laser, or in trolley mode, where it will drive across larger items to cover more area. It’s an ingenious solution, and one that I give LaserPecker a lot of credit for implementing.
Besides offering a flexible way to engrave on a variety of materials, the LP2 has support for many popular imaging formats. You can load several different popular image files when using the app, including JPG, PNG, SVG, BMP, CAD, CDR, G-code, and more. This is another way that LaserPecker makes it convenient to print what you want how you want.
The LP2 also includes safety features that will halt engraving for vibrations, tilting, and if it begins to overheat ensuring a safe working environment when using the device.
One of the most notable features of the LaserPecker LP2 is its small footprint. With its compact and lightweight design, the LP2 can be set up almost anywhere. It can even be used handheld or set at an angle to engrave. Combine that with the battery accessory, and this makes the LaserPecker a unique laser engraver that works on the go. Thanks to this, many users have had success using it at arts and crafts fairs to engrave items on demand for customers.
The LaserPecker LP2 comes with everything you need in the box to get started, including the engraving head, platform with adjustable stand, a ruler, safety glasses, the cone protector, power cable, and the screws and Allen wrench for assembly.
I am a complete novice when it comes to laser engraving, and the LP2 is my first experience using anything beyond a laser pointer. Regardless, the LP2 was so easy to set up that I had it put together and engraving within minutes.
There are two screws to attach the base to the moving stand, and then one screw to attach the laser unit to the moving stand. LaserPecker even included an Allen wrench so no need to worry about having any tools on hand.
Laser engravers are nothing new. People have been using them to create for many years now, however, what LaserPecker has done is make it compact and user-friendly for consumers. It has done this by using a mirror to move the laser to cut down on the working area, and by creating an app to simplify the process of engraving.
LaserPecker deserves a lot of credit for its Design Space app. Making an app with so many features while also being easy to use is a herculean feat, and yet, LaserPecker pulled it off. Sure, there are some minor issues, such as a grammar error here and there. Additionally, if you get more than 10 feet away from the LP2 the app will lose connection and refuse to reconnect most of the time.
The app can also get closed in the background if you are multitasking on your phone and might not reconnect, but that’s more of a phone issue than one with the app. Regardless, as long as you keep your device near the LP2 and don’t open too many other apps, then the Design Space app is phenomenal.
I was impressed by how easy it was to load up images from my phone and make minor adjustments, as well as by how easy it is to create projects from within the app itself. You can enter any text you wish, load up a series of shapes or custom images you’ve found online into layers, and play with the orientation and size. It’s even possible to download and install new fonts, crop images, or remove distractions with a smart eraser tool.
While I admit I designed most of my custom creations on my computer first and transferred them over to my phone, I did create the pet collar entirely within the app. I also tried loading custom fonts to create some items for myself and my friends.
Don’t worry if you have no idea where to get started, though; LaserPecker has a library of images within the app that you can engrave until you begin creating or finding additional ones online. To my surprise, many of the designs are quite intricate and not generic-looking clipart files.
Most everything that I created using the LaserPecker LP2 went smoothly and everything worked great with the sample materials they provided for this review. The additional battery accessory made it easy to use the LP2 outside on the deck to prevent the house from filling up with smoke while engraving wood.
This is a great accessory to pick up, as is the cutting plate. I refrained from attempting to cut any wood while testing because without the cutting plate, it would have left marks all over the base plate.
Another accessory I would recommend is the protective magnetic shield. The included glasses did not fit well and were constantly slipping off of my head. Having the magnetic protective shield would have made it much easier, because while it comes with a protective cone, I found that it often got in the way of trying to line up objects for engraving.
Speaking of lining items up, the LP2 features a square or rectangle outline to preview the size and align it to the object before each engraving. This was a nice way to ensure your design will go where you want it to on the subject, but it would be great if the base allowed you to secure items in place as well.
As I mentioned above, LaserPecker makes an ingenious electric roller accessory to increase the size of its engraving area or for engraving cylinders such as drinking glasses or tumblers. I tried it out with a glass jar and some cardboard since I didn’t have any wood large enough to practice with. While it does a good job at increasing the working area, it’s important to remember you’ll still be limited to four inches in width.
For example, I would have loved to print these Star Wars designs at a larger size on a cutting board in the future, but this is as large as the LP2 can engrave. It would still work fine centered on a cutting board or serving board, but I’d love to go a few inches larger.
Text is a different story though. Four inches in width is plenty for the text on many signs, but you’ll have to be careful when using the trolley mode. That’s because if you want it centered you have to consider that the LP2 will roll off of the side of your platform and cannot go edge to edge.
This limited me to the size I used here for the LaserPecker logo. If I had gone any larger it wouldn’t have been centered because the LP2 would have rolled right off of the platform.
Another issue is that some users have reported that the LP2 doesn’t always roll straight in trolley mode. I experienced this myself on a couple, but not all of my tests. In some cases users have resorted to making a guide with wood or books to keep it straight.
What LaserPecker has done with the LP2 is nothing short of remarkable. It has engineered a versatile laser engraver that works on a variety of materials, doesn’t take up much space, and has made it easy to use for beginners with a powerful and well-designed app. It would be perfect for any creator or maker out there looking to start an Etsy store, brand products for their company, or just to have fun creating unique gifts for friends and family.
I used the LaserPecker LP2 with a variety of materials over the past couple of weeks, including some I bought with my own money, such as these slate coasters or dog tags I bought from Amazon. I had an absolute blast engraving everything in sight for the past two weeks and creating some gifts for friends. One thing to note, if you want to use it with glass there is a lot of prep and some post work to be done. Wood, stone, leather, and anodized aluminum are much easier to work with.
The LaserPecker LP2 starts at $1,000 and can be purchased from Amazon or LaserPecker’s website. However, there is currently a $200 off coupon on Amazon dropping the price down to $769 if you’re looking to save a little money.
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