We have had our Muse 3D for almost a year now and have had plenty of time to get to know it. Overall, we are satisfied with the machine. It has definitely been a workhorse, as we run it almost every day for most of the day. The biggest question that we get about our machine is about cost. Is the laser worth the high cost, especially when there’s cheaper alternatives out there such as a K40? We think yes, it is worth it. There’s a caveat though; we think it’s worth it more for some people versus others.
Here are the kind of people that we think would benefit by spending the extra money on it versus a cheaper K40 laser:
You have the money to buy a nice laser, but you don’t have the time to deal with a lot of technical issues
You have a business and want something that works out of the box and can get you started quickly and easily
Here are the kind of people that would probably benefit more by saving their money and looking for a cheaper alternative:
You’re a hobbyist and can deal with having your laser down for longer periods of time for repairs
Laser engraving isn’t a core feature of your business or vital to your income
Ultimately, we recommend the Muse 3D for someone that is willing to spend a little more money to deal with less problems. With that in mind, what makes this laser better to other similar lasers on the market (like the Glowforge)? Here is what we love about our Muse 3D and why we think it’s a good buy:
Unlike other comparable lasers that use an internal cooling system, the Muse 3D has an external cooling system. This is great because it allows you to make upgrades to your cooling system as needed. For example, when we bought our second engraver we updated our external cooling system to a CW-5200 that actually run both of our lasers off of at the same time. This is a very nice unit that we wouldn’t have been able to upgrade to if the cooling system was internal.
The Muse 3D comes with Retina Engrave 3 (RE3) installed on the actual engraver itself. What this means is that you can use your software without internet connection and never have to worry about the unit being useless if a browser-based software is no longer hosted. We like Retina Engrave 3 because it’s fairly straightforward and easy to learn and use. We do not, however, use RE3 to create or modify designs – we make everything in Adobe Illustrator. Although you can create designs in RE3, it’s better to use more advanced software such as Adobe Illustrator as you’ll find it much easier to create and manipulate designs.
Here at Busy Bee Laser and Design, we have always been pretty limited by the weight of the laser. Due to various circumstances, we have had to keep the weight of the machine under 100lbs in order to work for our needs. The Muse 3D knocks this requirement out of the park, weighing in at only 54lbs. Additionally, the Muse 3D is only about 32” x 20”, truly making it a desktop laser.
The standard work area on the Muse 3D is 20" x 12" x 2.5," but you’re not actually limited to this space. For the height, you’re able to add the riser to the bottom which enables you to engrave objects up to 7.25" thick. If that’s not enough or if you’re looking to engrave something like a tabletop, you can actually remove the bottom of the laser and engrave beneath it. If you’re looking to engra
ve a long object, the riser also has a passthrough which allows you to engrave an object with unlimited length. Some notably large objects that we’ve done are large signs and large pieces of wood.