The machine has a cool offline controller that allows us to use the machine without a computer. It is very handy for field jobs and projects that require a lot of the same cutting work. You can set up your design in Lightburn or LaserGRBL as usual, but instead of starting sculpting, you export it as gcode to the included SD card using the included SD card reader, then you can use touchreeen to select the file , fine-tune parameters and continue sculpting your designs without using a computer.
This is probably one of the best features I hope all lasers will have one day. Limit switches allow you to automatically home the machine so that it always starts from the same position. This way, if you stop sculpting or add another layer of work (or if the machine crashes on the job), you can be sure that the machine will start working in the exact same spot you want. They decided to use cheap tactile switches instead of proper limit switches, but they worked just fine.
Emergency stop button
It has a solid metal mushroom-style emergency knob that comes in handy when you need to shut down the machine in a hurry.
The machine can be connected via USB or WiFi. You can also control it using a smartphone app on Android or iOS.
Cutting and Engraving Different Materials
Engraving: Wood, Bamboo, Cardboard, Plastic, Leather, PCB Board, Alumina, Non-reflective, Electroplated and Painted Surface Metal, 304 Mirror Stainless Steel, Glass, Ceramic, Cotton, Slate
The Atomstack A5 M50 Pro is also a reasonably capable cutter.
Cutting: cardboard, non-woven fabric, wood board, acrylic, some thin plastic sheets, sponge; cardboard...
warn! I would avoid plastics like PVC and vinyl as it releases hydrogen chloride gas when cutting. This gas is toxic and very corrosive (your machine will rust quickly).
Software and Supported Formats
You can use the Atomstack A5 M50 Pro laser engraver with the free LaserGRBL software, which works fine, but is a bit clunky to use. It's great for some testing, but I went with Lightburn, which is more powerful and very intuitive to use. While it's not free, the license costs $60. However, the software offers a 1-month full-featured free trial, which will help you decide if it's worth it. For me, it's definitely worth it because it saves a lot of time (it's not free).
With LaserGRBL you can import vector files (NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF…) and bitmap image files (bmp, jpg, png and gif),
Lightburn supports more formats: AI, SVG, DXF, PDF, HPGL, PLT, and RD for vector formats and PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, TGA, and GIF for image formats.
The vector format is the preferred format for these machines because it contains the path around the edge of the shape traced by the laser head. Engraving vector files is faster because the laser cuts the path directly instead of scanning like a printer and making dots when engraving a bitmap image (photo).