The Atomstack A5 Pro Laser Engraver is equipped with a laser diode that can output about 5.5W of optical power. A laser diode is a great fixed focus diode. The laser diode is said to have a square beam spot shape.
A fixed focus means there are no moving parts in the beam, which means the focus can be narrower and the focusing process is much faster than with adjustable focus.
There's a shield around the head as an extra layer of protection, but wearing the included safety goggles is still a must. I also recommend buying more good quality goggles with OD6+ protection. You only have one pair of eyes. protect them! These lasers work in the visible spectrum, and even reflections can be very harmful to your eyes!
Save your eyes! The included security google is not the best. Do yourself a favor and get a premium OD6+ safe Google Glass for better protection for your eyes!
The focusing process is the same as the Atomstack A5 20W we tested earlier. For best cutting results, the head needs to be 2mm above the engraved surface. Focusing is done by placing the acrylic plate/spacer under the laser head and lowering the laser head onto the spacer. The spacer is 2mm thick and the head remains 2mm above the surface after tightening the z-axis screw with a hex wrench.
Cut and engrave different materials
Engraving: wood, leather, cotton (clothing), rubber, paper, fruit, foam, acrylic, black anodized aluminum, blackened metal.
Cutting: wood, paper, tape, cloth, acrylic, cardboard.
With this machine, you can cut paper and tape once and cardboard or wood many times. The machine can cut wood, especially poplar plywood, which has a soft texture and is the wood of choice for all laser cutters.
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 A5 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, PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, TGA and GIF for image formats.