This is about the Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro laser engraver with fixed focus 20W (input) laser, shipped to me by madethebest.com – important specs include the ability to engrave wood board, paper board, black acrylic, leather, food, stainless steel, powder coated metal and more with claimed cutting ability including the above and felt cloth. I must stress that at the time of writing I’ve only tested wood engraving. For those, like me still grasping the subject, note the specs include engraving speed of 40-10,000mm a minute. I need to check that.
So – what’s the first thing you notice about the Ortur? The box is substancial. On opening, everything is well packed. In the photos you’ll first see the parts minus the plastic protection packs. I’d have liked to show all theparts “fully jacketed” but the camera wasn’t so keen on the reflections. Here are the contents of the box, minus the user manual, CE certificate and various other forms.
I’ve assembled several semiconductor laser engravers over the years and this is the most substancial I’ve seen so far. Let’s lookand see what everything appears like, laid out on the bench… at the back, the power supply (EU plug in my case) then in the bag – wood and plastic samples (a nice touch) and belts, then cables and on the right – the green protective goggles. (The laser ALSO has a yellow guard – handy as I keep forgetting the goggles).
Moving forwards, a pretty substancial cable cover, the main laser gantry already pre-assembled minus the laser. Further forward some brackets, the laser, a VERY impressive-looking Ortur fully-boxed control panel and then at the front, 4 lengths of aluminium section (pretty much identical to other engravers I’ve put together but with ruler markings printed on 2 sides – not seen that before.
Front right, a collection of fittings including bolts – all very intimidating but no-where near as bad as it looks! The important thing to note here is that the manual is printed in several languages with QR codes leading to Ortur technical support. I suggest looking at the “madeTheBest” links at the end of this article as a starting point. I’ve not included technical specs here because they are well covered on both sites – this entry is more about my initial experience of opening, constructing and initial using of the product.
I was quite horrified at the size of the manual until I opened it and realised only 6 pages are in English, the first page being devoted to safety warnings, the second clearly showing all the parts. The LAST side is a “thank you” with more contact info which leaves a mere 3 pages devoted to actual assembly.
Pretty much every other laser I’ve built up to now has had an unmounted PCB and most have left you to figure out how to mount it – often with a fairly basic cover over the electronics – not the Ortur. I LIKE the big red emergency STOP button – and as for the FLAME ALARM – I’m impressed.
I did notice something on the Ortur site suggesting 15 minutes construction time – time must move at a different rate in China compared to here in Spain as I spent from Teatime until 1:30am at which point the construction was largely done but no wiring or bands attached at which point I gave up for the night. It’s possible I misread the construction time of course.
Next morning I got out of bed, popped to the gymn for an hour of Yoga followed by coffee. At the end of all that I was ready for more challenges. At this point the laser was simply sitting on my desk, and you can see on the left above the armoured-looking cable loom – well, actually things got better from that point and the whole lot went together quite smoothly.
There are only 2 belts to fit as the X-belt is already fitted to the overhead pre-assembled laser/x-motor gantry though I did have to tighten up the top belt. Laser engraver kits are never trivial to put together but clear instructions help a lot.
On occasion where the photos in the manual were less than ideal, the Ortur site had additional photos which helped, the key points here being that the belts must be fitted smooth side up and should be finger-tight so there is no flexing in operation.
At first sight, fitting the belts seems complicated but there is actually plenty of room to get around – and my hands are not small by ANY definition. Having a small standard flat screwdriver around helps.
Back to that top gantry for a moment, although it looks completely pre-assembed, because I’d totally assembled the bottom frame earlier, I found I had to take off the bottom rollers to get the gantry fitted, a great time to ensure everything fits together tightly.
As you can see above, I kept that manual close to hand all the time and also had my PC across the room with a browser open on the Ortur and MadeTheBest sites.
Belts in place, fitted through the end-slots (see slot on the photo on the left below) and held in place by dual-purpose bolts (only 2 sizes used so impossible to get wrong) and trightened up I began to work on the wiring – simple enough as I found it impossible to put the wrong plug into the wrong socket. Comparing this to my other large engraver (the Eleksmaker A3 Pro Engraver) I found the belt fastening on the Ortur to be better – and of course the Ortur has (in my case) a 5500mw output laser as against the 3500mW on the Eleksmaker.
When it came to wiring, it was mostly case of pushing non-reversable plugs into sockets, a couple of ground wires and 2 sets of contacts for limit switches. See the red and black wires in the photo below.
All pretty much straight-forward, but now of course I had to make sure it works – there are a ton of links available on the MadeTheBest site and of course Ortur’s own site – including software, one option being LightBurn (trial) – I already have a registered Lightburn from my experiences with the Eleksmaker and other engravers – and I plan to use that. Lasergrbl is another option. I gave that a try as well.
The laser module incidentally was really easy to fit – 2 long screws, one simple connector and an earth wire. This is one of the more powerful semiconductor lasers at 5500mW (the headline claim of 20w is of course the input power, not output).
So I tried the free LaserGRBL (not for the first time) but wasn’t impressed. I now have the Ortur working with Lightburn with an initial issue with the limit switches for homing- but I wrote to Ortur tech support (ticket) and had a response in hours – while waiting to hear back, I went on the web, lots of others have/had the same issue and there are lots of solutions out there, I eventually closed my browsers and decided to use come common sense: were the limit witches wired securely? Yes. Was the connector at the control panel wired securely? Yes. Could the limit switches be wired incorrectly?
With 3 connections on each limit switch, with only 2 of them used, of course there’s a chance of getting it wrong. I read the wiring in the manual for one of them and guessed the other. I disconnected the wires to the limit switches and got my trusty multimeter out and checked which TWO connectors short out when you depress the limit switch – in both cases I had them wired INCORRECTLY – to the N.O. and N.C. contacts (which when used as a pair do NOTHING). I reconnected both properly and VOILA – all works a TREAT. I’ve added photos here of the CORRECT wiring (red/black – doesn’t matter which way around, it’s a SWITCH for heaven’s sake.)
Ensure when wiring to the limit switches you connect to the C (common) and N.O. (normally open) connectors. These are typically marked in tiny letters on the limit switches.
And now we’re cooking… in Lightburn, to test the limit switches, move the laser to the middle of the working area. Add a little text, In Cuts/Layers select your text and set Spd/Pwr to , say 5000mm/1.0 (i.e. 1% power so you can’t so any harm), set the text printing and if you manually close either of those limit switches, everything should stop and the engraver will go into alarm/jog state (see console above)… That’s it, all is well. Press STOP and you are good to go.
I went from a state of complete fear to complete mastery in minutes as all of this started to sink into my brain. Feel free to comment in the blog comments area – anything I’ve learned, you are welcome to. Oh, STOP PRESS: in that MOVE tab below, hides the FIRE button for testing focus (at low power – say, 1%). That can be made available (or not) in the main LIGHTBURN top menu – EDIT – DEVICE SETTINGS)
My first tentative steps with a piece of thin chipboard below. Attempt 2 would be a lot more ambitious. I like it already.
Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro Links and info below – from MadeTheBest.com who have both US and EU warehouses – shipping time is apparently around one week (two methods – standard and express)
If you decide to buy this engraver – here’s the Ortur group which I’ve joined and have commented in – sounds like it will be a good resource for the OLM2PRO as well as their official support. Also, here’s the online manual (part is apparently a work in progress) in English – which does a FAR better job of showing construction than my efforts AND now shows the correct wiring for the limit switches (I didn’t discover this until I was all done). Beware though, it is already 62 pages long 🙂
Having gotten the OLM2PRO up and running – and having learned how better to use the impressive Lightburn software in the process (see the Lightburn forum), I figured now was as good a time as any to upgrade the adequate (but only just) manual Z control on the Ortur.
Enter Thingiverse: 6 hours later, my Anycubic Mono 3D resin printer had finished this transparent green 9-part masterpiece – it turns out I jumped in too quickly as the z-adjuster is for the PREVIOUS engraver model – and even then I only needed 3 parts.
Oh, well it was fun trying and would probably work a treat in the right engraver – might have been better if I’d read the notes FIRST. Nothing like a spot of home-brew engineering gone wrong 🙂
I really hate to throw this model in the bin but by the time I ship it from Spain to some lucky OLM1 or 2 owner and they source the needed metal nuts and bolts, it would be more practical to simply order the lot from China.
Still, a great opportunity to remind myself how 3D printers and laser engravers can help each other. Next time, RTFM FIRST.
Back to the engraver, this Sunday morning after recovering from the shock of realising I’d just turned a load of resin into land-fill, I re-fitted the 5500mW laser to the Ortur and had my first attempt at engraving my one and only 3mm thick black acrylic sample.
I have to say I’m still completely novice at laser engraving (and 3D printing for that matter) I just took the black acrylic, set the laser to 100%, 5000mm/min and printed some decent outline text on the acrylic, but WAY more importantly (having learned from my friend Aidan not to try too deep a cut at once) I then set the laser to 100%, 1000mm/min and 15 passes – that was SHEER guesswork – and guess what…
3mm black glossy acrylic, 27mm round hole – PERFECT, no problem, no slope, smooth edges. I’m quite chuffed. 27mm RED hole, not quite so good and all else being equal, needed 25 passes.
I need more materals to play with – I’m not even going to TRY my clear acrylic sample. To be fair I DID focus the laser to the TOP of the acrylic, maybe the centre would have made more sense – this is where a better Z-adjuster would come in handy I guess. The black – I’m very happy with. Next stop, maybe my very own DIY case for RPi + PSU + twin SSD board… but first, some time in the lake…
OLM2 Pro Information, pricing and links from MadeTheBest – below:
Coupon over $400 save $20: MA20
Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro
Below is a link to an older model Laser 2 – I have NOT built or tested this one.
Ortur 7w/15w/20w Laser Master 2 laser engraving machine for wood