The full title of this engraver on Banggood’s site is the Vigotec VG-L7X 20W Laser Engraver CNC Router Desktop Automatic
Here below is the mandatory box photo complete with thin “manual” which to be fair is generally in decent English.
On first opening the package, I found this initial installation paragraph particularly amusing…
Moving on -this is what you see when first opening the box:
below are all the bits for the engraver minus the manual. Note that pretty green eye protection glasses are included – always best not to lose your eyesight when messing with lasers.
What looked like was going to be a large PCB turned out to be quite tiny, housing an ESP32 by the look of it. Here also are the various sections as I put them together – two ALLEN keys were provided but I needed my own small screwdriver to dismantle the PCB from it’s perspex bracket to remove the backing material.
In case this starts to look complicated, most of it is pre-assembled – there were no more than 8 bolts and 6 nuts – that’s about it – that, attaching two connectors and removing the protective material on the perspex parts.
My engraver came with EU compatible PSU, a USB lead and a small orange USB memory stick. You also get an innocuous looking piece of adhesive foam, use it (in 4 quarters) to put under the base unless your table is utterly flat and solid – best to use this anyway to improve grip.
Before I start, DO wear the green glasses they provide – they fit over existing glasses – very important – this is not a toy laser pointer – it could do you some damage.
There are 3 simple buttons on the left – a black power button then white button A and white button B.
Applying power and turning the unit on with the black button – I started the “low-power” laser option with button A (the first of two white buttons – nearest the black power button). After rotating the laser adjustment ring to get the smallest, round beam, I pressed button B and got THIS on a sample piece of card… trivial but simples….
To get the PC software – I went off to the Vigotec site and grabbed the relevant program – mine is the L7X which means it ~(in theory) has WiFi.
Windows 10 seemed reluctant to run downloaded software from the Vigotec website but it did, as you can see below. Here’s the opening screen shot:
Following instructions, I powered up the engraver with a long press on the black button and that started it’s own access point – I told my PC (WiFi) to hook to that access point. It did. But then the Vigo Works program which by now is seeing the access point:
seemed to refuse to comply, when I hit “Connect” (above left), the connect button momentarily greyed out then went back to “Connect” and at the bottom of the program – the message “WLAN device is close”. What SHOULD have happened is that the CONNECT message should change to offer DISCONNECT.
From there it would be easy to set the engraver to use my local access point instead – but the button would not actually show that it was connected – hence preventing my from firing any commands from the PC. Anyone out there done this already? I can only imagine that “VLAN device is close” means “VLAN device is closed”?
MEANWHILE, not wanting to give up for the night without a result – I plugged in the USB cable to the engraver and my computer and VOILA. We’ll just pretend there is no gaping hole in my desk, obtained while initially playing with the controls.
And there is my first engraving using one of the two extremely thin plywood samples that came with the engraver. Even then I noted how sturdy the whole unit is.
Next I found some proper wood for the job – 18mm thick pallette wood which will end up in our wood burning stove – so it doesn’t matter how badly I mangle it up – I’ve already figured out the need to open the window when using this tool. As the laser power is completely variable you can make deep engraving or actual cuts but I’m counting on needing two or more passes to go through 3mm or 5mm perspex or even wood – as the smoke tends to get in the way. No big deal as multi-passes are automated.
Meanwhile I need to get to grips with the apparently troublesome WiFi connection just because USB isn’t always convenient at the other side of the room. I made an engraving that said “Calle Ceuta 14” for our house and for a first attempt at deep engraving…. check this out…
So many uses for a device that can effectively take up very little bench room.
I am waiting for daylight tomorrow to open the window (it is outside cold tonight and I like my lungs in one piece) to try some perspex cutting and more. Ultimately this laser engraver is limted to running with the Vigo Works (now 3.1) software, there simply isn’t enough information to set it up with other packages. Also I cannot get the WiFi to work even with the 3.1 version of the software – and any attempts to upload firmware fail as the relevant tickbox will not “tick”. Having said all that, there’s nothing wrong with the Vigo Works software and you can import a wide range of images. If the engraver wer not at the opposite side of the room to my PC I’d not be griping about WiFi as the serial connection works perfectly.
I’ve been playing around with focus, speed and laser intensity – with good focus on plywood there is very little effect of burning even with deep engraving. You may or may not think it is better to defocus slightly and get a dark burn effect. Well, you can have either. Focussing is done by turning the ring on the lasre with the “weak on” setting so you get a static, non-cutting beam with which to calibrate the focus. Easy.
See the image above – on the right it says “Hi there” snd I’d completely forgotten to focus the beam. At the top is the same thing properly focussed and just as strong a beam, even deeper into the plywood – but amazingly no sign of burn! Ignoer the vertical centre version, a failed experiment and I’m running out of wood.
Note that if drawing text (as against images) you have the full range of fonts normally available on your PC – and to prove the point, I just grabbed “eagle.ttf” from the wonderful DaFont.com website. Here it is below, not an image – a FONT letter. Maybe not the best kind of wood for this demo but we’re in Southern Inland Spain in January – most of the wood is on the fire keeping us warm!! Images below at 15% laser power (it’s too cold to open windows:-) )
Banggood asked me also to mention this other engraver below – note that I have NOT built or tested the Two Trees model below:
TWO TREES® TOTEM S 40W Laser Engraving Machine — (coupon: BG077AL)