1. Size: The Thunder Laser Bolt is just 37″ x 28.5″ x 19.6″ which means it occupies roughly the same tablespace as a Glowforge BUT, it’s more powerful, practical, reliable and a higher quality machine overall.
2. Bed: With the Thunder Bolt, you get a large work area inside the bed (20’’x 12’’), but where you really notice the difference is the depth. The Thunder Bolt allows for materials up to 4.3’’, compared to 2’’ of the glowforge. Not only that, it utilizes an adjustable z axis controlled by 4 ball screw mechanisms like the rest of the Thunder Laser family– I’ve never seen anything like that in other desktop cutters. This means it even has enough room to fit a rotary tool!
(Pssst…stay tuned for a special Canadian announcement on this…)
3. Precision: It is rare to see a desktop cutter with an RF tube, which means you get a higher precision engraving beam. At 2000 DPI, it nearly doubles the capability of the Glowforge. You can’t beat that quality with a diode or CO2 laser.
4. Speed: It’s nearly 8x faster at engraving, with speeds up to 1000mm/s. It’s almost as if Thunder Laser has found a way to shrink a larger laser cutter down for your desktop.
5. Higher Tube Stability: If you’re familiar with cutters, you know two things about glass tube lasers: they’re delicate, and they need to be cooled. The Glowforge uses a closed liquid loop that uses the air in the room to remove the heat – which does not work so well when your workspace starts to heat up. In my experience, this happens quite often, and then you need to wait 10 to 20 minutes as the machine cools off. Not only that, but the placement of the exhaust fan would drag all that hot air over many internal components, coating them with particulates in the process. The Thunder Bolt solved this tube stability issue by using an RF laser tube.
6. Longer machine lifespan: The internal components of the Thunder Bolt are sectioned off in their own compartments for the most part, with a built in exhaust fan. This means this machine does a much better job of removing any smoke and dust while your cutter is in action. This results in the ability to cut over extended periods of time and a longer lifespan for the cutter itself.
7. No internet needed for interface connection: Other products use a web interface to store, access, and even amend their designs before cutting. With the Thunder Bolt, you can connect via the standard USB or Ethernet cables. To me, this was a major selling point. Since I already use Lightburn to design, the process of design to cut is less than a minute….