In the realm of laser engraving, the seismic shift from the 1.0 era to the 2.0 era signals a profound transformation from a mere tool to a true partner.
iKier, a distinguished high-end brand under Atomstack, leads this transformation, introducing revolutionary advancements in semiconductor laser technology, fostering a thriving DIY content ecosystem, and crafting a user experience that seamlessly blends intimacy with innovation.
With 200 design patents, a global user community of 20,000, and a dedicated team of 500 employees, iKier is poised to revolutionize the laser engraving landscape. As they continue to expand their presence with overseas warehouses, their commitment to innovation remains unwavering.
Unboxing and Assembly
The iKier K1 Pro Max arrives mostly pre-assembled in the box. The main chassis is already put together, leaving just a few parts like the x-axis and laser head for the user to attach.
Inside the box you’ll find:
- Pre-assembled chassis
- X-axis rails
- 48W laser diode array head
- Air compressor
- Touchscreen control panel
- Assorted wiring and tubing
Assembly is straightforward with the included hardware. Here are the steps:
- Place the x-axis rails onto their mounting points on the chassis.
- Open the top cover of the chassis to access the interior.
- Install 4 screws to secure the x-axis rails.
- Connect the wiring loom from the x-axis to the main PCB.
- Reinstall the top cover.
- Mount the laser diode head and connect its wiring loom.
- Connect the air tubing between the compressor and laser head.
- Finally, attach the touchscreen controller which is held in place magnetically.
The entire assembly process takes only 10-15 minutes. iKier made sure assembly is quick and easy, with minimal work required before you can start using the machine.
The touchscreen controller provides an intuitive way to control the laser cutter and generate cutting/engraving jobs. It includes built-in software called LightBurn for setting up materials, importing artwork, and controlling cutting and engraving settings.
LightBurn offers useful features like:
- One-click auto focus
- Variable Z-axis control to adjust focal depth
- Importing of common vector and bitmap file formats
- Simulation preview
- Estimated job time calculator
Advanced users can even send G-code directly to the K1 Pro Max via USB drive. This opens up possibilities like interfacing with CAD/CAM software to generate optimized toolpaths.
Cutting and Engraving Performance
A key highlight of the K1 Pro Max is the upgraded 48W laser diode array, replacing the 36W array in the previous K1 Ultra model. But how much faster can it cut and engrave compared to the Ultra?
To find out, I first cut squares in 6mm MDF at different speeds to determine the optimal settings:
- K1 Ultra: Clean cuts at 14mm/s, 100% power, 2 passes
- K1 Pro Max: Clean cuts at 17mm/s, 100% power, 2 passes
So we can already see the Pro Max cutting about 20% faster through 6mm material while maintaining the same edge quality.
Engraving performance sees similar improvements thanks to the extra laser power. Deep engraving on MDF was achieved at the Pro Max’s maximum speed of 800mm/sec compared to slower optimal speeds on the Ultra.
The larger air compressor is another big difference between the models. It provides 60% higher airflow volume which helps remove smoke and debris from the cut path. This further improves cutting efficiency.
To demonstrate a real world example, here is a test cutting an 18mm thick pine wood board:
- K1 Ultra: 7 passes at 6mm/sec
- K1 Pro Max: Just 4 passes at 10mm/sec
The Pro Max’s superior laser power and airflow really prove their worth in this tough cutting task.
Overall the Pro Max provides approximately 30% faster cutting and engraving compared the K1 Ultra in most situations. For production environments where job speeds are critical, the upgrade to the Pro Max would easily pay for itself over time.
Cut and Engraving Quality
But while the Pro Max can cut much faster than the Ultra, how does the cut quality compare?
In testing a variety of materials, I found the cut edge quality to be identical between the models. The wider kerf and heat affected zone of the more powerful Pro Max laser was negligible. Slightly charring the edges at higher power settings on certain materials.
Engraving quality is also excellent. Fine details can be engraved because the beam can be focused down to a 0.08mm spot size. This allows precision control when etching or marking the surface of materials.
While results will always depend on material, artwork, and settings – the K1 Pro Max clearly delivers outstanding cut and engraving quality rivaling other professional grade laser systems. The combination of precision optics and steady chassis design pay off here.
Redefining Laser Technology
iKier refuses to settle for the ordinary. Their brilliant optical engineers have masterfully harnessed the potential of multiple diode laser sources, giving birth to a singular, powerful laser source—an achievement that has never been seen before.
With diode blue lasers offering a remarkable range of 10W to 40W, they’ve redefined precision in engraving and cutting. Their pioneering laser spot compression technology, meticulously reducing the spot area to an astonishingly small 0.06×0.04mm, guarantees an unrivaled level of finesse in all your creative endeavors.
Perfecting Design and Efficiency
iKier Smart Laser Engraver and Cutting Machines firmly believes that laser engraving machines should be both productivity tools and showcases of technology, hence their commitment to excellence extends to design. They’ve abandoned traditional frame-type bodies in favor of an innovative enclosed design and modular assembly approach. Setting up your equipment takes just 10 minutes. By adopting high-end linear slide rails, they’ve enhanced laser module alignment precision.
iKier’s 2.0-era products embody cutting-edge technology and modularity, designed for ease of installation and use. They cater to a diverse range of enthusiasts, from DIY hobbyists and craftsmen to educators and professionals. iKier’s impact extends to schools, where STEM experiences come to life, and the world of architecture, where creativity flourishes. Even at home, their products redefine daily life, making creativity accessible to all generations.
Cutting and Engraving Materials
A wide variety of materials can be processed with the K1 Pro Max including:
- Anodized aluminum
- Painted/coated metals
- Glass (with optional rotary attachment)
It’s best to avoid highly reflective metals as the laser beam will not absorb well. Chlorine based materials like PVC should also be avoided because they will produce corrosive fumes.
I tested the Pro Max successfully on materials up to 18mm thickness including plywood and MDF. For acrylics, it can handle up to 8mm clear or 15mm colored acrylic with ease.
Having the extra laser power headroom of the Pro Max allows you to cut thicker materials faster compared to lower powered models. This extra cutting capability will really expand the range of projects you can take on.
Intelligent Engraving for Creative Freedom
iKier’s motion algorithm engineers have redefined speed in the industry, achieving an astounding 48,000mm/min—four times faster than competitors. This maximizes productivity and streamlines engraving and cutting processes. With increased laser energy and cutting-edge technologies like the 1064nm wavelength infrared laser, they’ve made engraving on various surfaces, even metals, effortlessly satisfying.
IKIER K1 Pro Max: Where Precision Meets Innovation in Laser Engraving
Talking about a paradigm shift in laser engraving technology, the IKIER K1 Pro Max Laser Engraver is a perfect representation of that. In this comprehensive section, we explore the extraordinary capabilities of the iKier K1 Pro Max 48W/24W laser engraver and cutter, unveiling how it revolutionizes the world of laser engraving and cutting with a profound commitment to precision and innovation.
Switchable Laser Power
iKier adopts a user-friendly switching button design on the laser module, giving you convenient control over the laser output power. In cutting mode, you can harness the strongest 48W for clean, deep cuts. Conversely, when you require finesse in engraving, seamlessly switch to the 24W gear, delivering a smaller, more delicate spot for intricate detailing. This flexibility empowers you to work on a diverse range of projects with precision and control.
Effortless Precision with Auto Focus
iKier’s intelligent Z-axis introduces effortless precision by automatically measuring the distance to your target object and making real-time focus adjustments. This technology guarantees optimal focus throughout the engraving or cutting process. Bid goodbye to the time-consuming task of manual focus adjustments, and say hello to consistently sharp, detailed results.
Moreover, The iKier K1 Pro incorporates a sophisticated X-axis linear slide design and Y-axis screw design. This design ensures that the movement trajectory is exceptionally stable, allowing for smoother and more precise operations. In fact, the running speed is four times that of ordinary roller-based systems, further enhancing the machine’s precision and efficiency
iKier proudly introduces the world’s first power-off resume engraving feature. This innovative capability acts as a safeguard against unexpected power outages, eliminating the fear of work interruptions and material wastage. Your creative flow remains uninterrupted, and your projects remain on track, regardless of external disruptions.
Smart Air Assist System
Switching between engraving and cutting has never been smoother. iKier’s smart air assist system automatically adjusts the airflow through LightBurn. It utilizes strong airflow during cutting and weak airflow during engraving to maintain the quality and precision of your work. This intelligent feature ensures that transitions between different processes are smooth and seamless, resulting in flawless results. When you need to bring your designs to life, the machine is ready to assist, maintaining the quality and precision of your work.
Auto Sinking Cutting
It increases the maximum cutting depth by a remarkable 25% compared to machines with similar power. This enhancement not only allows you to tackle a wider spectrum of materials but also ensures better-cutting results. Achieving your desired cut depth has never been more accessible, and precision is guaranteed.
Enhanced Data Processing Efficiency
The inclusion of a 32-bit smart motherboard significantly boosts the machine’s data processing capacity, enhancing overall efficiency. This upgrade ensures that your projects are processed quickly and accurately, making the iKier K1 Pro a formidable tool for all your engraving and cutting needs.
Convenient USB Drive Operation
iKier simplifies your workflow with offline working capabilities. You can easily copy your engraving or cutting files to a USB drive and work directly through the 4.3-inch touch screen. This feature offers flexibility and convenience, allowing you to operate the machine independently of a computer.
Super Cooling System
An innovative dual air duct design equipped with four high-quality copper tubes for heat conduction, along with double rows of large fins on both sides and a high-power fan on top, constitutes iKier’s super cooling system. This system ensures maximum heat dissipation for the laser module, guaranteeing consistent and cool performance during your engraving and cutting tasks.
The iKier K1 Pro comes equipped with three working modes, including High-Speed mode (with the fastest speed of up to 900mm/s), High-Precision mode (for the best accuracy), and the Default Mode for general tasks. This versatility ensures that you can adapt the machine’s performance to suit your specific project requirements.
With laser positioning, iKier ensures pinpoint accuracy in your engraving and cutting projects. This advanced technology uses laser rays to precisely locate the position of the material to be engraved. By projecting visible light onto the material’s surface, it facilitates impeccable alignment between the engraving area and your design. This level of precision opens up limitless possibilities for intricate and perfectly aligned engravings.
Unprecedented Engraving Speed
The iKier K1 Pro Max reaches an engraving speed of up to an astounding 900 mm/s. This velocity is four times faster than many competing machines, setting a new industry standard. Whether you’re seeking maximum output or aiming for perfection in your projects, this engraving speed empowers you to work with unparalleled efficiency.
Compatibility and Versatility
iKier offers a rich interface, making it compatible with a variety of systems, including Windows and macOS. It also supports popular software like LaserGRBL and LightBurn. Additionally, the iKier app can be conveniently installed from the Apple Store, ensuring that you can seamlessly integrate this powerful machine into your workflow.
Safety is paramount in iKier’s design philosophy. In the event of flame detection, the machine responds with immediate action. It triggers an alarm to alert you and sends notifications to your linked mobile devices. Simultaneously, the laser module returns to its original position, effectively mitigating potential safety hazards.
Additionally, it takes the safety of your household seriously. The inclusion of a child safety lock ensures that accidental machine activation is prevented. Your peace of mind regarding the well-being of your loved ones is paramount, and iKier delivers on this commitment.
iKier K1 Pro Max Laser Power Switching Cutter and Engraver: Technical Specification
|iKier K1 Pro Max Laser Power Switching Cutter and Engraver
|0.08mm*0.1mm (24W) 0.1mm*0.15mm (48W)
|Laser Focal Length
|0.01mm Engraving Accuracy
To give you an idea of real-world uses, here are some example laser cutting and engraving projects made with the K1 Pro Max:
- Leather wallet – Cut from 3mm leather and engraved with a floral pattern. Leather up to 5mm can be cut.
- Custom acrylic signs and decorations – With the ability to cut up to 15mm acrylic, the Pro Max excels at acrylic crafts and sign making. Edge polishing takes the finished look to the next level.
- Paper/cardstock invitations – Precisely cut paper edges and etch beautiful designs for weddings, events, and other occasions. Delicate materials are no problem for the laser.
- Phone cases – Custom engrave and cut stylish phone cases out of wood, acrylic, or other materials.
- Model pieces – Architects, designers, and hobbyists can create detailed scale models and miniatures. The laser precision is perfect for small parts.
- Custom PCBs – With the optional rotary attachment, the K1 Pro Max can be used to isolate copper traces for homemade PCB fabrication.
- Stencils – Lifting the laser head slightly above focus creates a wider beam ideal for cutting paint or etching stencils.
The possibilities are truly endless! The K1 Pro Max gives you a powerful, versatile, and precise cutting and engraving tool to bring your ideas to life.
Pros and Cons
To summarize the key positives and negatives of the K1 Pro Max:
- Up to 30% faster cutting than previous model
- Excellent cut and engrave quality
- Sturdy all-metal construction
- Large 305 x 510mm work area
- Auto-focus for ease of use
- Works with wide range of materials
- Quality components and optics
- Great value for price
- No rotary attachment included
- No built-in camera for alignment
- Limited wireless connectivity features
- Chiller not included for laser tube cooling
While not perfect, the Pro Max still represents an excellent value in its price range while delivering outstanding performance and results. The extra laser power and airflow make it stand out from underpowered budget competitors.
The iKier K1 Pro Max: 48W/24W Laser Power Switching Cutter and Engraver succeeds in taking an already great machine in the K1 Ultra and pushing its cutting and engraving potential even further.
A redesigned high-power laser paired with higher airflow results in up to 30% faster job completion times, while maintaining the same cut and engrave quality. It still retains the same compact, durable metal chassis too.
Factor in the intuitive touchscreen controls and wide material support, and you have an incredibly capable laser machine perfect for everything from home crafts up to producing consumer products.
For the price, you would be hard pressed to find another cutter/engraver that can match the Pro Max in terms of power, build quality, cutting speed, and reliability. iKier has another winner with the K1 Pro Max that is easy to recommend for almost any application.
So, if you are considering a laser for your school, small business, or hobby work, be sure to have a close look at the game changing iKier K1 Pro Max.