The OMTech 60W CO2 laser machine is a bulky cabinet-type laser cutter with a large work area.
OMTech is a well-known brand among hobbyists and businesses for affordable but effective CO2 laser cutters.
This article reviews OMTech's 60W CO2 laser cutter by analyzing each aspect of the machine.
I also compare its variants (manual focus vs auto focus) to highlight their differences.
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OMTech 60W CO2 Laser - Review
After going through the crucial aspects, I reviewed the OMTech 60W CO2 Laser machine (MF2028-60 and AF2028-60 models), from its build quality to its after-sale service quality.
Size & Build
OMTech 60W CO2 laser is a large cabinet type laser cutter and engraver with a footprint of 47.24" x 34.25". It weighs around 331 lbs.
It has a work area of 20" x 28" and can work on materials with a maximum height of 11". The machine has a height of 36.61".
With the honeycomb bed installed and the laser head half retracted, a maximum of 10" Z-travel can be achieved.
Further, by removing the honeycomb bed and fully retracting the laser head, you achieve an 11" Z-travel.
It has an enclosed design and is mobile as it has wheels at the base, making it easy to move around. But never move the machine while performing a job.
The two-way pass-through mechanism of the OMTech 60W laser helps you process materials larger than its workbed size as it is equipped with 29" x 3.75" (W x H) front and rear pass-through doors.
As it is clear from the name, the OMTech 60W laser uses a 60W CO2 laser. It operates at a frequency of 28.3 kHz.
Its CO2 laser tube has a maximum lifetime of 2,000 hours, but this is not exact. As you perform jobs with high power settings, the lifetime will shorten.
For example, with laser output power regularly set as low as 10% - 40%, you can achieve a lifespan of 1,700 - 2,000 hours. But when power is set as high as 70% - 100%, it can significantly reduce to 800 - 1,000 hours.
The lens used to focus the laser beam has a diameter of 18mm with a focal length of 2". The mirrors used to reflect the laser beam have a diameter of 25mm.
Since this CO2 laser operates at a wavelength of 10,640 nm, which is outside the visible spectrum (380 nm - 750 nm), we won't be able to see the laser beam.
To overcome this, OMTech has included red dot guidance to trace the laser beam effectively.
With good process control, OMTech 60W laser can also be used for low-volume industrial applications.
|Matte Board||Matte Board|
List of materials that can be worked on an OMTech 60W CO2 laser machine
You can use plastics like ABS, nylon, PE, HDPE, BoPET, PETG, polyimide, PMMA, POM, PP, styrene, etc.
The machine can engrave at a maximum speed of 1,416 ipm and cut at 942 ipm.
Its engraving depth range is 0.0004" - 0.39", and the maximum resolution supported is 4,500 DPI.
In addition, the machine uses a removable honeycomb bed as its work bed. It helps process workpieces with minimal burns.
|Acrylic (1/16")||Cut||20%||~23.6 ipm|
|Acrylic (1/4")||Cut||37%||~11.8 ipm|
|Leather (natural)||Engrave||17%||~882 ipm|
|Leather (artificial)||Engrave||16%||~942 ipm|
|Leather (1/16")||Cut||20%||~47.2 ipm|
|Leather (1/4")||Cut||35%||~9.4 ipm|
|Stone or Tile||Engrave||19%||~342 ipm|
|Baltic Birch||Engrave||20%||~424.8 ipm|
|Baltic Birch Plywood|
|Baltic Birch Plywood|
Job settings of different materials on OMTech 60W CO2 laser machine.
If you plan to use any other materials, verify that they are not causing any risk of fire, dust, and any corrosive or hazardous fumes.
It is recommended not to use any metal workpieces as they are highly reflective and excellent conductors of heat. It can mark bare metals when anodized or treated.
Materials containing astatine, beryllium oxide, bromine, chlorine, iodine, fluorine, phenolic resins, polycarbonate, and artificial leather having hexavalent chromium, can release toxic fumes when lasered. So it's better not to use them.
The X and the Y-axis of OMTech 60W are motorized, but the Z-axis is not. So, you'll have to adjust the laser focus depending on the material thickness manually.
Unlike other laser machines, in the 60W model, the laser focus is adjusted by moving the workbed up and down using a mechanical control knob.
Along the XY axes, the machine is driven by individual belt drives. It is supported by linear aluminum rails.
Controller and Electronics
OMTech uses an RDC6442G Ruida controller to operate the 60W laser machine. The controller is interfaced with a digital control panel.
Many manufacturers and hobbyists use the Ruida controller as a standard CO2 laser controller in their machine build.
Using the control panel, you can perform most of the machine's functions (jog, power speed, pulse). You can even use this to load files of repeating jobs to run the machine without a computer.
The belt drives on the OMTech 60W laser machine are run using NEMA 57 two-phase stepping motors with a holding torque of 85 oz-in.
The machine has a dedicated electronics enclosure on its right side, where it houses the controller, stepper drivers for the XY axes, and two power supply units.
There are dedicated switches for both power supply units, one unit is for the laser tube, and the other is to power up the Ruida control panel.
On the front part of the machine, there is a laser switch and an E-stop switch.
The laser switch needs to be turned on using the provided key, and the E-switch is for immediate stop of the machine's operation.
A set of input ports, including a USB port, USB line port, and ethernet port, are present on the right-side panel of the machine.
The USB line port interfaces the machine with a PC by connecting them both. The other USB port is the U-Disk port, where you can connect flash drives preloaded with the design for the job.
On the left corner of the back of the machine, there is a grounding wire connector, a main input power port, and a power split plate that powers up the water pump and air pump.
OMTech 60W laser machine has an auto-shutdown feature that uses a magnetic sensor to shut off the laser system upon opening the hood cover. It adds a layer of safety.
Luckily, OMTech provides an official license for LightBurn software with their 60W laser machine.
The license key will be automatically sent to you in your order receipt email when you buy through Amazon.
Other than LightBurn, some supported software is RDWorks, CorelLaser, and LaserDRW.
The supported file formats are AI, BMP, DXF, GIF, HPGL, JPEG, PDF, PLT, PNG, RD, SVG, TIFF, and TGA.
The accessories pack that comes with the machine includes an ethernet chord, power chord, USB cable, CD with has the software and drivers preloaded into it, electrical tape, a set of Allen keys, adhesive sealant, and the instruction manual.
The OMTech 60W laser machine comes with starting keys, a focus piece, a water filter, an air pump, a reservoir tank, a centrifugal blower, and an extraction hose out of the accessory bag.
|Ethernet to Ethernet Cable||1|
|USB Type-A to Type-A Cable||1|
|Venting Exhaust Duct||1|
|USB Drive with Software||1|
|Stainless Steel Clamp||1|
List of accessories that come with OMTech 60W laser
The user manual of the OMTech 60W laser has detailed explanations of the assembly under the head "installation". Its community members have also put videos on YouTube about the assembly process.
OMTech ships the machine in a half-assembled manner. To make a working machine, you have to assemble and connect modules like the water cooling system, exhaust system, etc.
You can assemble everything in an hour. Interfacing with a PC can take additional time, depending on your setup.
A complete working system consists of the laser engraving cabinet, vent, cooling system with reservoir, an air-assist pump, connection cables, the laser, and access keys.
You can upgrade the OMTech 60W laser machine to an 80W CO2 laser system by changing the laser tube and the power supply.
If your work demands are not met with a 60W laser, you can replace it with an 80W laser once the 60W laser tube reaches its lifespan.
The Z-axis can be motorized with an upgrade to add an autofocusing capability to the machine.
OMTech also offers a rotor attachment for the 60W machine. It is belt-driven using a NEMA 23 2-phase stepper motor.
With the rotary attachment, you can work on complex workpieces of cylindrical shape.
You can also upgrade the air pump, water cooling system, and exhaust depending on your needs, but if you connect them to the power split plate on the machine, make sure they match the machine's power ratings.
Two drive wheels and two adjustable support wheels.
It uses a 4-pin connection and is driven by a NEMA 23 stepper motor.
A machine like OMTech 60W CO2 operates using machine parts and modules.
You'll have to regularly perform maintenance activities on all these components, depending on their need.
The air-assist tube can get choked with dust if they are not cleaned. If your working environment has a lot of dust, you have to clean it weekly or at least monthly.
Each day you'll have to check the focus lens and the mirror on the laser head for any fume stains and clean them regularly. Else the intensity of laser coming out of the laser head can reduce.
Other mirror optics have to be cleaned weekly. Alcohol-based solutions are the best for cleaning the optics, and they dissipate quickly.
The water stored in the water reservoir needs to be cool and clean distilled water. It dramatically reduces the filtering pressure put on the water filter.
It is better to always have some excess water in the water reservoir as some water evaporates.
If you are running jobs continuously, the water temperature can rise considerably. The recommended water temperature threshold is 75°F (24°C). Also, it should not go beyond 50°F (10°C).
When low-temperature water below 50°F (10°C) is pumped through the laser tube, it can cause in laser tube's shatter.
You should check the wirings and beam alignment weekly. The guide rails need to be lubricated once every 15 days if you run jobs every day.
You have to check the machine as a whole every month to track and maintain it properly.
OMTech has a dedicated community page on its website, which has links to its private Facebook group and social network handles.
It has an active community. You can find answers to most of your doubts about the machine from the community itself.
Some community participation is there on Reddit, YouTube, CNC Zone, and Amazon Q&A sections.
OMTech provides a two-year parts warranty for the 60W laser machine and a six-month warranty for its laser tubes and power supplies.
They provide excellent after-sales support. You can contact OMTech through phone, email, or the contact form on their website.
Dedicated emails are provided to contact the support team, technical team, and Amazon/eBay support team.
OMTech also offers a demo room program through which you can visit and see the machine in person before making a purchase.
OMTech 60W (MF2028-60) vs OMTech 60W (AF2028-60)
The AF2028-60 and MF2028-60 models of the OMTech 60W laser machine have only one difference. The AF2028-60 model comes with an upgraded Z-axis with an autofocus feature.
With this upgrade, the AF2028-60 model is priced slightly higher than MF2028-60.
The price difference between them is lower than separately buying the autofocus kit.
Considering the higher price of the autofocus kit, getting the 60W machine with an integrated autofocus feature is the best bet.
OMTech is widely seen as a Glowforge alternative as it provides machines with broader capabilities at an affordable price range.
The OMTech 60W laser machine offers excellent value for money in terms of build quality, material capability, software, upgradability, and support.
You have two options in the OMTech 60W CO2 laser machine, AF2028-60, and MF2028-60. One comes with autofocus while the other doesn't.
These machines are available in a variety of colors. You can contact OMTech for more information on that.
Exposure to laser beams poses various risks. You need to follow appropriate laser safety guidelines and wear a laser safety glass that blocks 10,640 nm of wavelength to work with the OMTech 60W CO2 laser machine safely.
Comes with RDWorks and LightBurn Software.
Comes with RDWorks and LightBurn Software.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does OMTech provide replacement parts for their laser machines?
Yes, OMTech does provide replacement parts for laser tubes, power supply, mirrors, and lenses of their laser machines.
What's the best layout for cutting multiple parts at once?
For cutting multiple parts at once, the best layout will be one that has a minimal number of changes in the direction of the laser head and total travel distance. Nesting software can help rearrange the cutout shapes in such a way as to minimize the travel distance, reduce the number of path changes, and material wastage.
What type of lubricant can be used on a laser machine?
You can use Grease-based lubricants on a laser machine to lubricate the linear rails, lead screws, and ball screw drives. White lithium-based grease is the best option.