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  • Writer's pictureKelly Bazzle

Intro to Laser Engraving: Everything You Need to Know to Master the OMTech AF2028 60W CO2 Laser Engraver

Updated: Feb 15

"Demystifying Laser Engravers: From Easy Operation to Choosing the Best – Unboxing and Mastering the OMTech AF2028 60W CO2 Laser Engraver"

This is an adventure I've been dying to share - the unboxing and setup of my OMTech laser machine. If you've been following my recent posts on social media, you know I've jumped into the world of laser cutting and engraving with my new OMTech AF2028 60W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutting Machine. So now, I'm here to share everything you need to know if you're interested in doing the same and I'll also share the possibilities this machine offers. But first, let's dive into why I chose this machine from this specific brand and then we can dive into the excitement, ease, and a few lessons learned along the way.

The laser sitting in a garage next to wood that says beaming with possibilities.
OMTech 2028 - 60W CO2 Laser Engraver with Auto Focus

Why I Chose OMTech vs. Other Laser Engraving Brands

When I started my search for a laser engraver to bring my creative ideas to life, the things that influenced my decision were affordability, ease of connection, sturdiness, large working area, community support, no major material restrictions, and longevity.

Affordability was a big deal to me, but I also didn't want to be cheap and let that show in my products. I read reviews and found that I could save money by going with OMTech but it wouldn't limit my performance. SOLD!

While researching, I found out some of the other brands require you to always be connected to the cloud in order to run your projects. My workshop is in my garage, I can get wifi in the garage, but I don't want to be depending on the internet or the cloud to create.

Another thing I researched was cutting speeds and cutting abilities. I found that OMTech machines offer thicker cutting abilities and faster cutting speeds than the trendy Glowforge brand, which will save your business precious time when rushing to fill orders. (Glowforge is the one that requires you to always be connected to the cloud)

The laser engraver that I chose has a 20"x28" working area. I used to create pool signs and sell them on Etsy, and they were 18"x18". I wanted to make sure I could do those projects again, but this time, engrave them instead of using vinyl. This working space gives me so many more options for materials and things I can create.

The OMTech Facebook group has taught me so much. I get notifications on posts and I learn from others and see the possibilities of what these machines can do and that really helped me decide on my model.

The rest of it is history. I was sold on OMTech, and I've been so happy with my machine. Now, let's get into the fun stuff. Let's unbox this thing!

Unboxing Excitement: A DIY Dream Come True

The day my OMTech laser machine arrived, I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. Picture this: a massive wooden box delivered by a friendly freight guy straight into my garage. He was a little confused at my excitement until I told him what was in the box.

Quick tip – choose an open space for the unboxing; I made the mistake of cramming it under a shelf. Learn from me, because this box is not moving once they sit it down!

Let's go over everything from delivery to starting my first design!

Dealing with Initial Nerves: Get The Machine Out of the Box

As I stared at the intimidating box, nerves kicked in. But thanks to the OMTech Facebook group (a laser engraving DIYer's secret weapon), fellow laser owners gave me the motivation and tips I needed to get going. The most helpful tip for unboxing: those bolt screws at the bottom are your golden ticket. Loosen them up, and you're on your way to unboxing it without worrying about every single screw on that box.

My personal tip: just go for it. Your curiosity will trump any anxiety you're feeling.

First Impressions: Where Functionality Meets Professionalism

What caught my eye? The OMTech laser machine is sleek and professional, no flashy nonsense. It's not about a trendy-looking machine; it's about using that machine to create quality creations. The packaging was top-notch, and at 290 lbs., it felt like I was unboxing a beast, so I got some extra muscle help from my husband, Drake.

First Thing's First: Open it Up and Find that Manual

OMTech Laser with accessories bundled up inside of the laser
OMTech Laser Open with Accessories

As soon as you open the box and open up the top of the laser, you'll see everything wrapped up in a blue bucket. That's the water chiller bucket you'll use when you set up your laser to make your first project. I set everything that was inside of the machine aside, grabbed the keys and the manual, and read through the setup steps. Let me tell you, the OMTech manual is your setup BFF. Follow the steps, and you'll be ready to create magic in no time.

LightBurn - From Setup to Project Launch

In order to create with your laser, you'll need the right software on your computer. In this case, it's LightBurn. (OMTech sells the download on their website. Here's the software you'll need for a CO2 laser).

You can connect your laptop with LightBurn to your OMTech machine with the supplied USB connection. You could also design on LightBurn and then save to a usb thumb drive and plug that into the machine to send your design to the machine.

Transitioning to LightBurn was a breeze for me, having some software experience with my vinyl cutter. If I can do it, you can too! And oh, the moment I hit start on my first project – nerves and excitement took over, but it was so worth it! Watching the lines cut and shapes take form, I was on cloud nine.

Feeling nervous? Don't be! I've been there. My advice? Just jump in. Research, read blogs (like this one!), watch videos. The more you know, the less daunting it becomes. You got this!

Reflections: From Setup to My First Projects

Balancing mom life, being a military spouse, and setting up this laser machine – it took a few days for me to get up and running. But guess what? I'm now the proud operator of one of my favorite tools.

There are some must-haves for your workspace that helped me with my setup. I created a list on my Amazon storefront. Check it out here.

But, what if this laser is too much for you? Maybe you just want a laser to fuel your hobby or create things without the footprint of the laser I chose. OMTech just released a great option for you. It's called the Polar. It looks like some other lasers you'll see out there. They're probably all over your Facebook ads.

Upgrades that Make a Difference

Throughout my research I came across a lot of posts talking about upgrades for my laser. And looking back, that's something else I really like about OMTech. There's options for upgrades. You don't just get what you get and you're limited to that.

The water chiller and the fan upgrade were the two most common upgrades that people made with their laser in the first few weeks or months of owning their machines.

I went ahead and upgraded both of them.

Here's the step-by-step process of upgrading the stock fan to a faster and more powerful fan to keep your workspace less smokey and push that nasty air away from you!

Connecting with You: Tips, Excitement, and Reviews

I can already see you getting tips on opening and setting up your laser machine. The thrill of the laser's arrival and the first project? I'm here to help because I know when I was searching for tips and tricks about this machine, I needed something and someone like this to make it easier to understand. Some of the other blogs out there can get so technical. But I'm here to put it in a language you'll understand and be your go-to guide for all things laser engraving and cutting.

What's Next: Follow Along as I Share More

In upcoming posts, I'm going to share tips for functional workspace setups, machine upgrades that will help optimize your machine's performance, and how I create gifts and manage my Etsy shop. Plus, throughout all of this, you'll get a genuine review of the OMTech Laser Engraver and the other products they offer. Be sure to check out my Amazon storefront for products that can help make your setup more functional. Shop Here.

Thanks for joining me on this DIY adventure. Stay tuned for more!

Keep creating, Kelly Bazzle ✨🛠️

PS: Don't forget to use code KBAZZLE for 5% off your OMTech purchases! Happy DIYing!

I want to be completely transparent with you about some of the links included in my blog posts. To bring you the best content and share the incredible experiences I have with my OMTech laser machine, I've partnered with OMTech as an affiliate.

This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links I provide. These affiliate links are specifically tailored to my partnership with OMTech, and they help support the creation of more exciting and informative content for you.

I'm thrilled to offer you an exclusive 5% discount on your OMTech purchases by using the code KBAZZLE at checkout. It's a little way of saying thank you for joining me on this creative journey.

Please note that my intention is to provide valuable insights and inspiration, and I only recommend products and services that I genuinely believe in and have personally used. Your trust is incredibly important to me, and I appreciate you being part of the DIY and laser engraving community.

If you have any questions about the affiliate links or the products mentioned, feel free to reach out. Thank you for supporting my work and for being an integral part of this creative community.

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