Designers were immediately delighted and fascinated by Longer’s first entry into laser engraving, given the Chinese company’s success in a competitive desktop 3d field with trustworthy, cost-effective equipment. Longer was kind enough to provide us a factory-fresh edition of the Ray 5, which we were able to try out.
There’s lots to entice here, including a reasonable pricing, Wi-Fi connection, a large 400 by 400 mm work surface, and a small but adaptable 5.5 W diode laser. At theory, it’s not terrible for a first attempt, especially since the outstanding Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro dominates the affordable, budget sector.
Table of Contents
Basic Features Specifications
- Working rate: 40mm/min to 6000mm/min
- Work area: 400 x 400 mm
- Laser: 450-460 Nm 5.5 W diode
- Consistent, accurate embossing and trimming – with the appropriate settings, you may get sharp, crisp results.
- Major work area – enough space for large passion activities as well as light small commercial applications.
- Simplicity – firing and controlling tasks is a breeze with a touchpad, Wi-Fi, and offline embossing.
- Directions on sheet of bad quality.
- Open-concept implies a lot of smoke, fumes, and aromas.
- The laser module’s protecting shield only reaches both front and flanks.
Establishing and Installing The Longer Ray 5
The Longer Ray 5 arrived in a thick-set crate, cocooned in polystyrene with thresholds for each part, on our doorway. The engraver appears to have escaped harm during its journey from Shenzhen, China, to wet England. In the packaging it came in, the Ray 5 laser was longer. It arrives partly constructed, and there is still some work to be done before it can be used.
Ambiguous printed instructions and sloppy translations throughout tainted what was otherwise a very simple assembly procedure. Although putting the Ray 5 together does not need much physical dexterity, understanding what goes when and how isn’t always straightforward. Thankfully, an introductory video came in to rescue the day, placed onto the accompanying USB stick and sound-tracked to a cheerful classical song.
It’s a do-it-yourself kit, which is common in the cheap engraver market, but Longer has kept things simple with only 10 essential pieces. The firm took the wise decision to gather screws for each stage in a single plastic baggie, eliminating the need to rummage through a sea of screws with bolts. Manually fitting the x-axis timing belts was first daunting, but Longer has done an excellent job of making it a breeze. Overall, it took around 45 minutes from peeling off the packaging tape on the shipping box to powering up the printer for the first time, but skilled DIYers should really be able to finish in considerably less time.
Aside from the kit, the box contains Allen keys and tools, a Flash drive (with an SD card), an USB connection, a hardwood brush, a power cord, three test 2 mm plywood sheets, a concentrating pillar, and a pair of pretty stylish safety glasses. Each cut or engraving begins with physically concentrating the light based on the height of the wood, tile, or other material. In between hardwood and the laser head, a hefty metal focusing column glides.
The latter is unfastened and lowered till it reaches the column, owing to a pair of conveniently accessible dowel pins. All you have to do now is tighten the screws. It’s a simple and practical approach that consistently offers pinpoint focusing.
The touch screen works well for the essential functions it covers. The frame option, in particular, proves invaluable for getting a visual sense of where the laser will be traveling to perfectly line up the wood, tile, acrylic, etc. The touch screen performs admirably for the duties it is intended to perform. The frame feature, in particular, is quite useful for visualizing where the light will travel in order to exactly align the lumber, tile, acrylic, and other materials.
Testing Longer Ray 5
Bird and Compass
For our first run, we used the included TF Card to load the bird and compass laser files. The 2 mm hardwood test sheet were employed. Alongside the engraver, there are longer bundles.
The outcomes were solid, adequately deep, and very well, with no obvious burn marks or deterioration, and all the features, particularly the pointed designs on the needle, were really well. This is a solid start.
Secondly, designers used our trusted CNCSourced logo to engrave it into a 15 mm chipboard cut using a laser set to 3000 mm/m at 30% and a delicate negative image effect in mind. The pale, nearly white shading turned out well. The wording and drillbit logo were both crisp and clear. We utilized the same logo for the inscription that followed, and without the negative picture effect, and adjusted the speed and power to 2000 mm/m at 80%. The outcome was a richer, deeper engraving that stood out against the chipboard’s underlying wood tones. The letter/logo was recreated brilliantly once more.
Bear and Bird Stencil
We shifted to a more realistic raster of a growling bear, boosting the size to comprehend how it Longer Ray 5 functions at scale, adjusting the parameters to 3000 mm/m at 70%. The printmaker worked quickly and effectively, creating all of the show’s intricate linework.
We were so pleased with the outcome that we decided to print a similar theme thin layer of two birds waggling around a newly-bloomed plant. Once again, the outcomes were exact and great in general. What strikes out the most is the lack of burn scars or other undesirable aesthetic distortions first from engraved procedure.
After graduating on from fine line work, we used the Ray 5 to engrave a stylised elephant to see how well it could shade and contrast. Considering the quality of the animal embossing, we kept the same strength and accuracy settings. As you’ll see, the Ray 5 generated thick, deep-cut exterior lines and features while producing a deeper shade of black for the filler areas.
To evaluate how the Longer Ray 5 performed with harder material, we set up a sheet of clay for the final of our engraved tests. The same growling bear line vector was etched as before. With only a mild engraving, the very first pass at 1000 mm/m at 80 percent power disappointed us.
Not quite how we had hoped for, but we understood the problem was with the settings. We increased the speed to 500 mm/m at 90% energy for a better eventual outcome that wasn’t too different from what we got with the chipboard. On tiles, decelerating the laser and increasing power to 100% yielded even good outcomes.
3D Cat Puzzle
The Longer Ray 5 is primarily advertised as an engraver, although it has enough laser strength to cut through thin timbers like basswood. As a result, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give it a go. We imported a 3D cat puzzle vector and adjusted the parameters to Longer’s suggested 300 mm/m at 100% power.
To round things off, we scanned and generated a two-layer picture of the unnamed character from the indie computer game smash Hollow Knight, putting the Longer Ray 5’s coloring, carving, and engraving powers to the stand in one fluid motion.
One for cutting, with a speed of 300 mm/s and a power of 90%, and one for engraving, with a speed of 2000 mm/m and a power of 80%. Despite some minor burn marks, the overall effect is excellent, with especially outstanding etched layering and superb shading. Like the cat above, the Ray 5’s cutting was faultless. With a little more good, we’re convinced the Ray 5 can produce even clean and sharper images.
Safety and Odors
The thermal, motion, and urgent stop buttons, as well as a red acrylic cover surrounding the laser component, are all included in the Longer Ray 5. We find the movement protection to be far too sensitive, activating with as little as a gentle touch.
Then again, safety comes first. The Longer Ray 5 creates aromas and fumes that vary in strength and pungent flavour according on the material used, much like all accessible engravers and cutters. Wood engraving emits a mild mist with such a burn scent that stays for a short time. When you cut tile with a circular saw, you get that unmistakable heavy, chalky scent.
Overall, we’re blown away. The Longer Ray 5 is an excellent do-it-yourself machine. A bit more clarification in the assembling and setup procedure would be nice, but we’re having trouble finding any other significant faults. The 5.5 W power of the laser inherently limits what you may engrave and cut. The Ray 5, but at the other hand, does admirably for what Longer sets out doing.
We have no reservations in going to recommend the engraver to DIYers, first-timers, and even beginning to develop smaller companies looking for a low-cost option. The MSRP of the Longer Ray 5 is $500.00, although it has just decreased.