Just in (as they say in stores) this new laser engraver thanks to Banggood. The full title is “New NEJE Master 2S 30W Powerful Laser Engraver & Cutter 2 In 1 Adjustable Variable Focus Lens and Fixed Focal Laser Support Wireless APP Operation/32-bit MCU Banggood Exclusive World Premiere” – wow, there’s a mouthful – but did I just see WIRELESS? I initially took that to mean WiFi but it means Bluetooth – see below.
The engraver arrived ALMOST fully-built – that is, the gantry and base were separate and the laser not mounted – that’s IT – no assembly other than the above – a total of 4 nuts to fit and a couple of connectors to press on. It’s a lovely day so I decided to put the NEJE together outside.
I noted a red filter on the laser and red safety googles. All that seems a bit odd at first glance as every laser I’ve had to date came with orange filters and green specs. I guess with a blue laser, anything that doesn’t contain blue will do the job?
The unit I have here has a USA-style plug but Banggood supplied a reasonable USA-EU adaptor. The unit arrived with a 12v 4A power supply and after quickly assembling, I noted the unit has an adjustable laser. That again is new to me, previous engravers have pretty much had fixed-focus lasers requiring Z-adjustment (height). Tools are provided as you see in the images.
The act of attaching the gantry to the base with 4 nuts took less than 5 minutes including aligning the two halves using the tools provided.
And finally, the laser head itself. The holder was already pre-attached to the gantry so it was simply a matter of dropping the head in place and tightening up with the provided Allen key.
Unlike other engravers which usually need fine adjustment due to having fixed focus lenses, because the MEJE laser has adjustable focus, head positioning is not so critical.
My unit came complete with laser head referenced “module NE40640”. The module has it’s own red eye shield with a slot in the front for fine adjustment (it helps to have small fingers). The cable on the gantry has an end-connector which simply clips onto the laser head in a second or two.
And there we are, a complete laser engraver, assembled and ready in very short order with a minimum of effort – in the sun.
As you can see from my photos, the whole thing appears quite substancial despite occasional use of acrylic and because of the construction method the MEJE Master 2S will take up minimal space on the bench – handy where space is limited (A3 size engravers are usually a TAD deeper than my workbench).
As well as the red safety glasses, the MEJE does come with a couple of pieces of sample material, both wood and acrylic, though for a first time user, a little more test material would have been nice. As it happens, I’ve no shortage of wood or acrylic having looked at several engravers recently and anyway, Amazon and eBay (UK anyway) have plenty such samples at low cost.
There is also provided a brush and cleaning tool with a sponge on the end and 4 brackets for hard-mounting on a bench – not needed to use those yet.
As for software, well, they mention several packages including Lightburn (my favourite but it isn’t free), NEJE Android and IOS APPS, NEJE Controller, NEJE Mac Controller and of course LaserGRBL.
There are video tutorials and you can download software (by the look of it covering all major platforms – I mainly tend to use LightBurn on PC).
I really must direct you to the Banggood link above as there is a TON of information up there including a claim of 7.5W optical output for one laser option – though I’m sure mine is around 5.5w.
While assemling the engraver in the sun, all of 15 minutes worth, I noted that the belts were well aligned but not perfect. The Allen key provided is too large for wheel adjustment and I figured I might need to find another but on checking it looks like the alignment is good enough – no belt rubbing.
Turning it on for the first time
More interestingly, I took my life into my hands and plugged the MEJE into the mains before connecting to the PC.
Every engraver I’ve had to date does nothing at that point, the MEJE fired up the laser immediately but at a low, safe level.
I tried a quick finger adjustment of the laser and I noted that the adjustment knob is somewhat recessed – not too good for my big hands. I wonder why the knob wasn’t made more accessible.
Next (I like to live dangerously) I pressed the little red button on the front which I figured might be reset – in fact it’s a HOME button. I guess it’s time to break down and read the instructions.
The laser IS blue incidentally, so, off I went to the leaflet/manual that comes with the NEJE which contained a QR code for my phone with a link which thanks to CLIPT, I reproduce here. On that page I selected the latest NEJE PC software just to start the ball rolling.
Firstly, I grabbed and ran the software on my Windows 11 PC, no drivers, it just worked and the laser head decided to home (remember that the laser light defaults to ON at a safe level. The screen said “Model NEJE 2Sm”, “Firmware version 8.2, Laser Temperature 18.7C”. Good start.
Reading off the screen “Burning time 10ms – Laser Power 100%”. Honestly I’m not skipping any steps here… Next to load a picture.
So I loaded a picture and set it running. I should have known better as the laser went straight through the wood and started on my bench – thankfully not having time to do lasting damage 🙂
As I’m impatient, rather than reduce the laser power I reduced the burning time from 10ms to 1ms. Results below – not bad for not yet having read any of the manual… and of course I also know how to change that brown engraving to black thanks to discovering (the somewhat toxic) Borax while reviewing my last laser. But not yet.
Bearing in mind I made the most rudimentary attempt at focussing – the first (way too powerful setting) failure gives an impression of just what this laser is able to do. The second-from-the-left attempt is just me being nervous – the third looks reasonable – perhaps reducing the power a tad further would help but now I need some decent imagery to play with.
Let me think, that sheet (photo on the left), I can hardly feel any indent with my fingers yet there’s a tiny amount of bloom. so perhaps less power again, better attention to focus?
As you can see, the NEJE software above, though very basic, was so easy to get started with. Before doing the engraving, the software drew a bounding rectangle with the laser off – I’d prefer it did that with the laser on minimal. I’d also like to see boundary views before starting the engraving – for positioning purposes – of course – the commercial (cheap) LIGHTBURN does this no problem but I think I’lll give the NEJE software a chance for today. I’d also like to see how the software works on an Android phone (see manual link above for mobile APPS).
This is all looking so easy up to now. Rather than show further weakness by reading instructions I picked up my handy ruler and checked – working area is just shy of 17cm square. I’m not going to be making any huge street signs with this one but then its footprint means it will fit in the corner of a typical desk.
RIGHT – I just found SETTINGS icon- the default IDLE laser power is perfectly SAFE but just a tad bright for focussing IMHO so I knocked it down a little. I have to say it didn’t seem to make any difference. I’ve just sent an email off to NEJE to ask if I missed something.
Engraving from a mobile phone
Meanwhile I was wondering how you could use an Android APP with this Bluetooth-capable version of the engraver – when I spotted something about a blue light on the control panel – well, the NEJE 2S has both red and blue lights… Hmm… so from the download QR code on my PC I pointed my phone to the code so as to grab the APK, installed on the phone… and seconds later.. one NEJE APP (v2.5) on my phone.
I turned off the engraver, disconnected power, reconnected power, started the APP and… I could see the blue light on the engraver light up momentarily – but the APP kept crashing on my phone. So, I rebooted the phone (Mi 10 Pro, fully up to date).
I started the APP, the blue light came alight on the engraver, the APP closed (after spotting the MAC address of the engraver momentarily – and yes my Bluetooth WAS on). I should clarify at this point (with a photo, left) – the very same Android APP is installed and running no problem on my wife’s REDME Note 8 phone – so it’s a compatibility thing between the Mi Note 10 Pro and NEJE. Other APK installs are fine on the Note 10 Pro.
Oh, the fly (a library image – online cloud library – above) from the APP on the phone – for reference that’s 10ms carving time, 50% power (a TAD lower power next time I think).
I suspect the APP is going to be limiting – it handles text but no FONT control that I can see. No editing except for image scale – but it will pull in a finished job from Lightburn or Powerpoint as an image – but if you need outlining that would have to be done in one of the above, not the APP. It seems quite basic.
Preview works fine and is continuous which I like (shows the frame using a weak beam) – HOWEVER, on a nice day what could be better than taking the engraver outside and let it pollute the atmosphere rather than messing around with extractors etc.
Finally, a horse – 5ms carving time, 27% power… looking good… check out the line detail and note I really have NOT put any serious effort into focussing or height adjustment. The image has engraved quite deeply – parts are 1mm deep and it is sharper than it looks in the photo above right. Again note I am engraving without any special preparation or chemical here – just the laser on the sample wood.
Engraving from Windows
Back to the Windows PC – NOW after importing the relevant profile – I have the NEJE Master 2S working with LIGHTBURN. It turns out that the focal distance is really not that critical – and it’s easy to tell when the beam is out of focus as it elongates. A little test piece on rubbish thin plywood first (30mm long text – left image) and then a first stab on some decent wood below…
The above outline text – 1200mm/min, 100% – is lovely and sharp. If I switched from line to fill mode I’d have a nice, useful sign there. I still can’t seem to get good control of the minimum intensity for alignment but framing works a treat.
And here we are (below), edging nearer to a usable end result…. complete with a spot of oil for outside use, after engraving. It isn’t immediately obvious but the engraving on this last sign for the day is a good 1mm+ deep and sharp-edged as you could want (I can see and feel the depth of engraving but it simply will not show up well in a photo). I’m sure that wasn’t the best choice of wood but it’s the only wood I have right now that is 5mm thick and hence good enough for a small outdoor sign.
NOW all I REALLY need is to get the Android APP working on MY phone so I can put this neat little device outside to engrave via Bluetooth – I like my lungs as they are. I bought a blower (fish tank) for air assist but only this afternoon twigged to simply putting our HENRY vaccuum hose within hand’s reach of the centre of action. I have to say it works to save me getting gassed, more or less.
Granted the NEJE Master 2S will not handle the same jobs as A3 monsters like the Ortur, but for many uses (most of my engravings to date) it is big enough. It also has a solid feel, works well (at least on the PC) and I could already see it easily cutting through 3mm material.
Meanwhile I grabbed my two material samples (green acrylic and black coated metal) – BRILLIANT results. I need more material samples.
Here’s a thing: The clear green acrylic tag above made almost no smell at all and was not that deep (but looks lovely- I’ve deliberately masked the actual address in the photos above left), I’ve now just done a black opaque engraving, it made quite a pong, doesn’t have the grey engraving effect, instead at the same power it has made a much deeper engraving.
I’m learning rapidly – just need more material – much more. I like this little engraver.
And now – Cutting!
What did I say about cutting through material? I found one each of sheets of RED and BLACK 3mm acrylic which I’d forgotten all about.
SO… I grabbed my sheets and started experimenting with cutting as I’m having difficulty finding acrylic blanks here in Southern Spain, so I thought I’d have a go at cutting my own – with great success as you can see above – both of the tags were cut out from larger acrylic sheets.
See above, the small black piece (my first) has a 2mm hole, the larger black has a 5mm hole, the red rounded rectangle has a 4mm hole – and checkout the piece I cut out – so little loss it’s a good example. The red hole is exactly 4mm dia, the round piece is around 3.7mm dia. I just left the line width settings as standard. See the imprefections in the red hole – that’s at the back, the front is even better.
Blown up (right), you can see that the hole cut isn’t perfect, but to the naked eye it looks excellent. I did all of this with Lightburn.
And that’s about it for now. I have a much larger engraver to write about.