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Lex DeVille's - How I Bought a $4k Laser and Started an Engraving Side Hustle for Free (super easy)

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Kid

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tomzestatlu

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I have a question for somebody, who has knowledge about engravers.
I enjoyed reading this thread and started to research more about engravers. First I found out, that there are much cheaper engravers, that can do the same work as Glowforge. Since I live in poorer country, I would go for cheaper.

I discussed it with my friend and he's big into guns. Is such type of a engraver as (Glowforge) suitable for stippling designs to polymer part of a gun?
He could potentially throw dozens of customers at me, if I could do such work with this 40W CO2 laser.
 
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Lex DeVille

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I have a question for somebody, who has knowledge about engravers.
I enjoyed reading this thread and started to research more about engravers. First I found out, that there are much cheaper engravers, that can do the same work as Glowforge. Since I live in poorer country, I would go for cheaper.

I discussed it with my friend and he's big into guns. Is such type of a engraver as (Glowforge) suitable for stippling designs to polymer part of a gun?
He could potentially throw dozens of customers at me, if I could do such work with this 40W CO2 laser.

I'm not sure what kind of polymer guns you. In general, Glowforge should cut polymer just fine. But the article below would suggest that it might not work for gun material depending on the type of polymer.


I haven't tried anything like this in my GF, but maybe I will soon just to see how it goes. From the article above, it seems like you might need a different (more expensive) kind of laser.
 

tomzestatlu

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Nov 29, 2021
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I'm not sure what kind of polymer guns you. In general, Glowforge should cut polymer just fine. But the article below would suggest that it might not work for gun material depending on the type of polymer.


I haven't tried anything like this in my GF, but maybe I will soon just to see how it goes. From the article above, it seems like you might need a different (more expensive) kind of laser.
I did some research and seems like PMAGs for some reason can't be engraved with CO2 laser.

Fiber lasers are mostly used for stippling (but they are much more expensive). On the other hand, Glowforge should do well with polymer guns as shown here:


But every gun manufacturer use different type of polymer material. The most of the guys have Glock and I didn't find any information, if Glock is okay with Co2 laser.
Anyway I would probably give it a go with K40 Co2 40W laser.
 

Raedrum

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I have a question for somebody, who has knowledge about engravers.
I enjoyed reading this thread and started to research more about engravers. First I found out, that there are much cheaper engravers, that can do the same work as Glowforge. Since I live in poorer country, I would go for cheaper.

I discussed it with my friend and he's big into guns. Is such type of a engraver as (Glowforge) suitable for stippling designs to polymer part of a gun?
He could potentially throw dozens of customers at me, if I could do such work with this 40W CO2 laser.

I wonder if this would work with airsoft replicas... The polymers are softers and there is definitely a pool of customers who are willing to pay to make there replicas uniques.
 
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tomzestatlu

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Today I´ve spent few hours googling about posibility of using GF (or generally CO2 40W engraver) for stippling handguns, especially Glocks.

Conclusion is no.
Glock use very hard polymer. It can by engraved by CO2, but the quality of outcome is very low.
There are some photos in this thread:

I guess airsoft guns could be okay.

Fot this kind of work, it´s preferable to use fiber laser. Which is X times more expensive than chineese CO2 engraver. On the other hand, not so much higher compared to GF. And you can use it also to dig into metal parts.
 

ItsAJackal

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I was just thinking about this thread this morning and wondered how this side business was going. Are you still posting videos and making revenue? Doing custom engraving jobs?
 

Lex DeVille

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I was just thinking about this thread this morning and wondered how this side business was going. Are you still posting videos and making revenue? Doing custom engraving jobs?
I never posted another video after the first 10 or so. Been earning passive income from referrals ever since. With those 10 videos, my laser channel has grown to nearly 1,200 subscribers.

I tried to get my dad to take up this business idea as recently as a month ago because I believe it is still 100% doable.

As far as custom engraving jobs, I've been making and selling items on Etsy, but I usually combine laser-cut items with other woodwork creations I make. Still, there are a million ideas that require nothing but the laser.
 
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Lex DeVille

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Here's a Glowforge Etsy store with a creative idea that seems to be doing well.


They've sold a ton of DIY Kits that were cut on the Glowforge. The one in the image is priced at $79.00.

DIY Kit.jpg
 

BizyDad

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Here's a Glowforge Etsy store with a creative idea that seems to be doing well.


They've sold a ton of DIY Kits that were cut on the Glowforge. The one in the image is priced at $79.00.

View attachment 41183
Man, the creativity of some people, and the ability to execute on that creativity just blows my mind.
 

matduans

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Sure, here's some different things in wood and acrylic. I prefer working with acrylic since it's more clean and I can make lights out of it. Wood is fun too, but more challenging.

View attachment 24380View attachment 24381 View attachment 24382 View attachment 24383 View attachment 24384 View attachment 24385 View attachment 24386
wow
 
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Andy Black

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Man, the creativity of some people, and the ability to execute on that creativity just blows my mind.
Yeah. I feel very “linear” sometimes.
 

Lex DeVille

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Hey @Lex DeVille would you mind sharing your affiliate link

I think it's this one to get the discount.
Glowforge Discount Link

According to my videos it gives you one of the following:
$500 off Glowforge Pro
$250 off Glowforge Plus
$100 off Glowforge Basic
 
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BulkPaintings

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Earlier this year I bought a brand new $4,000 laser engraver. Then I started a laser engraving side hustle business. I did all of this without paying anything out of pocket. Here's how...

View attachment 24379

Step 1 - Choose a Laser (I chose Glowforge)

Step 2 - Get Financing (I used a USAA personal loan)

Step 3 - Order Laser

Step 4 - Learn the Fundamentals of Engraving (practice on free materials they send)

Step 5 - Find Niche Forums/FB Groups and create products they will love

Step 6 - Offer those people the product

Step 7 - Create a YouTube channel

Step 8 - Post some videos about laser engraving as a business (I have 10 I think)

Step 9 - Add laser affiliate link in video description


That's it. My whole process. My monthly laser payment is like $136 and I make anywhere from $120 to $600 in sales per month (I only have one product for sale and only listed on one private forum).

Each month I also make affiliate sales. Last month I made somewhere around $700 in affiliate sales through my YT link and this month I've earned at least $200 in affiliates. I haven't paid anything out of pocket for the laser and my affiliate link is only listed on YT.

I run this as a super low-maintenance side hustle for now. It's not a priority. This exact process could be repeated in the laser market, or with other maker market tools.

You can take this much much further than I've gone and you can do it without a website, without any experience, without a degree, and without any money.

K go do it. No excuses, thanks.
impressive i like the idea and your motivation, currently i am doing digital fabric paintings and have my own equipment for printing, its a good business, already delivering in bulk to clients in four countries, clients happy i am happy.
 

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Anyone has any information on 3d printing glass? By quick google search it appears technology is not there yet, but maybe I am missing something.
 

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Thanks, @Lex DeVille for this valuable walk-through. Really interesting!
I've been looking into starting something similar for the past couple of weeks. Thinking about getting engraver and also uv-printer. Was planning to use my own money but getting funding.. hmm not a bad idea!
 

Lex DeVille

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Thanks, @Lex DeVille for this valuable walk-through. Really interesting!
I've been looking into starting something similar for the past couple of weeks. Thinking about getting engraver and also uv-printer. Was planning to use my own money but getting funding.. hmm not a bad idea!

I think it's awesome owning a laser engraver. I create small-batch custom-branded projects all the time. Tried to get my dad to buy one a few months ago and follow the exact process from this thread. He never did, but I still think it's worth it enough to recommend doing this.

There are a bazillion niches to serve. Especially on Etsy. I'm using the laser right now to create branded ecom products. I don't just use the laser anymore when it comes to products. I combine it with other maker space stuff to come up with really unique things that nobody else has.

For instance, most of my efforts lately have combined laser cutting/engraving pieces, attaching those pieces to my woodwork creations, and now I've added the Cricut Explore Air 2 to the line up so I can add vinyl and stickers to my products and create custom labels. I create my own packaging out of pallet wood too.
 

Boogie

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Thanks for bringing your use of the cricut in your business.

The beauty of these machines, glowforge, cricut, or silhouette, is that they are very inexpensive for what you get if you can incorporate them into your business. The ability to prototype iteratively and deliver easily outweighs the cost.

If I'm thinking this through correctly, smaller mock-ups for larger things that will eventually be made of wood or metal could easily be done with the glow forge. Furniture models could probably be made from plans with the glow forge to be able to see and feel what you've sketched out, before you go into production and use more materials for a full size mock-up. Actually, paper models could probably be made with the cricut, as well.

I do like the idea of being in a physical product space as well as what I'm working on. Printing while I'm working on something else is the kind of double dipping that I like.

I need to think through more ideas where these might be valuable for someone with little graphical ability like me and go grab them.

Thanks for the thread.
 
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