The Atomstack A5 Pro laser cutter machine is an LED based laser where most of the others are CO2 laser based. Those have far more cutting capacity and speed. Lets call the Atomstack A5 Pro a LED desktop laser engraver.
The unit arrived extremely well packed. All the parts and accessories were tucked neatly into a foam enclosure with double stacked pieces like the side rails separated with additional foam. A desiccant pack and extra sturdy corner protectors were also found, adding to the already substantial packaging.
Assembly was a breeze with all the needed tools being included with the laser. It took me less than 30 minutes to have the unit fully assembled. That number would have been closer to 20 if I hadn’t been setting up taking pictures at the same time. The X axis (bridge) comes pre-assembled, so only the front, back and side rails have to be assemble with a total of 16 small bolts (4 per corner) connected to the feet. The back left foot is actually the controller. I though that was a great use of space. the unit fits nicely into a 26x26x12 inch (660x660x304mm) area not including any enclosure for fume extraction. The assembly guide is very easy to follow, The only thing I noticed was that the early pages show the laser head installed even though you’ve not been instructed to do so yet. Not a big deal seeing that the laser head attaches to the X axis with 2 screws but I thought I’d mention the lack of continuity in the guide. Once I finished the hardware assembly I found myself having a “what now” moment. I turned to the Atomstack website for answers and found the user manual. It pointed me towards installing software to be able to use the A5 Pro.
The manual also cover the very important aspects of safety and they can’t be repeated enough. Though small, this is a laser that can cause serious damage. Read and follow all the safety warnings. Use the included laser safety glasses, insure that the plastic guards at the end of the laser head are installed as instructed, make sure what you’re cutting won’t give off toxic fumes (like PVC, ABS, Epoxies, etc.), Use only in an extremely well ventilated space and don’t stare at the beam.
I setup a basic fume extraction system with an inline 6″ fan, some 6″ ducting and a 6″ blast gate. I created a simple enclosure with some 24×36 inch sheets of corrugated plastic. I was pleased with how well it works. The fan pulls from the enclosure and vents to the outside. the blast gate is allowing fresh air in from the outside (well away from the exhaust) so that the fan has the ability to pull freely.