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TwoTrees TTS-55 Laser Engraver is a updated version of a Diode Laser kit. This machine includes their 5W output Diode module. Other versions include a weaker 2.5W and newer plus stronger 10W lasers. The TTS-55 is right in the middle for output and overall price range.
Diode Laser Engravers are typically considered entry or hobby level because of their cost, speed and capabilities. Regardless, this machine can be used for a variety of projects and may the first of many types of lasers customer may buy.
TwoTrees TTS-55 is only the second laser engraver I have used. Technically, I am still a beginner and learning how to best use the technology and available software. Check the additional links below to see a prior review that includes more new user information and tips.
TwoTrees TTS-55 Laser Engraver Specifications
|Machine Footprint||570 x 510 x 150 mm (22.4 x 20 x 5.9 inches)|
|Engraving Size||300 x 300 mm (11.8 x 11.8 inches)|
|Material||Plywood, Acrylic, Pine, Paper, Kraft Paper, Cardboard, leather, fabric, cloth, cobblestone, coated metals, MDF – See official website for limitations and suggestions|
|Laser Wave Length||455nm|
|Engraving Accuracy||.08 mm|
|Cutting Platform||Not included|
|Connectivity||microSD card, USB, Wi-Fi, phone-app, built in web interface|
TTS-55 Packaging and Unboxing
The TwoTrees TTS-55 Laser Engraver kit was securely packaged in a branded box. All components arrived encased in their foam and internal boxes. As seen in the slideshow, most pieces are individually wrapped and labeled. Overall, the TTS-55 was shipped in a small and professionally filled container.
TwoTrees Laser Engraver Assembly
The TwoTrees TTS-55 is a DIY kit with multiple sub-assemblies and loose pieces. Yet, it is NOT a hard machine to assemble. With the clear picture filled assembly manual and clearly labeled packages putting the Laser Engraver together is relatively easy. Inserting and routing the X-Axis belt is the only step that requires a little extra effort. Pre-drilled holes, labeled nut and bolt bags and the illustrated manual ensure the TTS-55 is no harder to assemble than an FDM printer like the Ender3 S1 PRO.
Just like 3D printers, this style laser engraver uses aluminum extrusion tubes, V-Roller wheel and eccentric nuts. Take your time; partially tighten all bolts before finishing an assembly step; square the frame as best as possible; adjust belt tension; adjust the eccentric nuts to ensure smooth and wobble free movement following a video like this.
Here is a video directly from Two Trees showing how to assemble the TwoTrees TTS-55. Personally my assembly would have been faster, if I had watched this as well a read the detailed instructions. Their official YouTube channel has many helpful videos for this specific model and other kits.
Setting up Work area for TTS-55 Laser Engraver
Laser engravers like the TwoTrees TTS-55 are literally using a laser to burn material. Regardless what your material you are engraving, adequate ventilation is always recommended! Using your a laser indoors is best done with a full enclosure with an exhaust fan and air filters. I have successfully used my laser engravers in my garage (with the doors open and fans blowing) and on my front porch (open air).
Besides ventilation, you will need a stable table or work surface that is large enough to place the TwoTrees TTS-55 onto. I enjoyed my first laser review and planned on doing mostly thin wood cutting projects. Therefore, I purchased a metal honeycomb bed. Next, I placed on an inexpensive Ikea Lack Table outside in the fresh air. Eventually, I may buy or build some enclosures.
Project Software and Wi-Fi options
TwoTrees TTS-55 is the second Laser Engraver I have acquired for reviewing. At the moment there are still two popular softwares used to create the burning project files: LaserGRBL and LightBurn. Both are capable of their own pros and cons. I initially used Lightburn because I found more online tutorials and it has a free trial period. LaserGRBL is free and fully functional, yet has a different feel when using it.
While testing the TwoTrees TTS-55 Laser Engraver, my trial period for the LightBurn ended on my laptop. At first I started learning the basics of LaserGRBL. I created a few successful test patterns, but preferred LightBurn’s interface and options. So my next step was to start a trial period on my main PC. Unfortunately, this did not allow me to connect directed to the Laser Engraver, as with my laptop. Fortunately, TwoTrees have included a Wi-Fi module and web interface inside of the TTS-55. .
After some fiddling and googling, I got access to the machine and was able to burn via my main PC’s web browser, my phone’s browser, or an Android APP. In order to print via WIFI, all of your machines and devices must be on the same wireless router. Additionally, your router’s password CAN NOT have any symbols. The board system is not setup to accept symbols in text field. Personally, I had to change the password on my router which is rented from my internet provider.
The manual was great in getting the wireless connection process started. Once everything connected, sending files to the TTS-55 worked very nicely. You may need to occasionally power cycle the laser engraver and/or your web browser between projects. Here is the official video to set up and use the wifi module. Once again, I wish I had watched the video first. Haha!
NOTE: My main computer’s trial of LightBurn also expired and glitched the registration. Additional use will require LaserGRBL and/or getting LightBurn install fixed after contacting its creators.
Calibration and Projects
Calibrating a TwoTrees laser engraver or any other laser engraver cutter using LightBurn or LaserGRBL is rather easy, but it may take several tries. The basic settings for using a laser include: Power Level, Speed of Travel and Number of Passes. Names for these settings can vary between programs, but the concepts are the same.
Personally, I tend to be impatient and hate doing full calibration testing. Partial testing will get you burning, but doing multiple tests will give you the best results. Additionally, changing project types (different wood, base layer paint, temperatures, etc.) will typically require new testing and calibration.
For some great tutorials about Lightburn and laser engraver calibration files, check out The Louisiana Hobby Guy channel and his forum. As one might expect, YouTube also has many great laser engraving calibration videos regardless of machine or software used.
In regards to the TwoTrees TTS-55 , I found I needed to go a little slower with additional passes while cutting through wood. Engraving wood and paint burning onto ceramic tiles was similar to the other Diode Laser I have used. Minor variations in Diode modules, power output and materials will result in different setting requirements. Once again, calibration and testing are the key to success!
Two Trees TTS-55 Laser Projects
Below are some of my basic calibration and initial usage projects. Setting up outline cutting is easier in LightBurn. Since my software installation got messed up, I limited my attempt to cut wood during my review process. Engraving wood is not difficult, but it does require finding the sweet spot of speed and power level. With enough time (and spare material), we can all make incredible pieces of art!
Once I get my computer and software fixed, I can try to upload more successful project images.
Here are some more wood engraving test projects. They were all prepared with LaserGRBL. The general settings on Basswood were 3000-3500 speed with 70-75% power level. Only the larger angel scene was burnt twice to darken the picture.
TwoTrees TTS-55 Upgrade Options and Ideas
The TTS-55 is a complete kit that is fully functional. However, like most DIY or hobby machines, there is always room for upgrades. Complex modifications like changing the size, adding a screen or end stop switches are possible. Whether they are worth, the investment is a personal choice. None of those changes will improve print or air quality. Since not everyone has a garage or fresh air workspace, some improvements may allow you to use the TTS-55 indoors near a window. Here are some projects to attempt after you have gotten used to your laser engraver.
- Exhaust – building or buying an exhaust system will remove most of the smoke and smell while using the laser. Keep in mind, some smoke may be harmful to your lungs and eyes. Placing your laser near a window and using a simple fan, will help push most of the fumes outside.
- Enclosure – Placing a physical box or tent around the TTS-55 is another way to control the smoke – The addition of an exhaust fan and vent tube (like for a clothes dryer machine) will remove almost all the smoke from your workspace. Enclosures can be simple homemade or purchased boxes or tents with places for exhaust fans and hoses.
- Air Assist – Using an air nozzle near the laser burn location, will push the smoke and debris away from the active laser. This will improve the quality and reduce charring. Some kits can be purchased and added to basic laser engravers. Custom versions can be made at home with aquarium pumps, some tubing and some creativity. A 3D printer will be helpful in making your own air assist, but is not always necessary.
- Cutting Grid – As mentioned above, a honeycomb bed is ideal for cutting through materials. They reduce smoke, charring and give the laser an exit path once your cut through your material. If a dedicated honeycomb bed is not in your budget, try a stainless steel cooling rack from the baking department.
- Re-Sizing Kit – At the moment, I have no desire to retrofit my TT-55S. Meanwhile, TwoTrees has in fact created a resize kit for an installation video. Installing the parts requires replacement of most of the frame pieces and will take a little of time. Yet the size increase is quite impressive. Kit availability may vary.
- Rotary Kit – Another addon for laser engravers are rotary packages. This allows you to engrave bottles, cups, and various other circular objects. Check out this video showcasing burning on round objects and a print area comparison after installing the re-sizing kit.
- Additional Kits – Continue to check out YouTube and the internet as hobbyists and companies make even more addons for TwoTrees TT-55S laser engravers.
Where To Buy TTS-55 Laser Engraver
You can buy the TwoTrees TTS-55 laser engraver cutter from many different websites the cheapest i have found is on aliexpress for £129.27.
TwoTrees TTS-55 Laser Engraver Final Thoughts
TwoTrees TT-55S is a nice entry level Laser Engraver. It is easy to assemble and use. Although it uses a slower DIODE based Laser, do not let that stop your imagination. Out of the box, wood burning, wood engraving, permanent tile engraving, paint etching on title as well as wood cutting is possible after some basic calibration and testing.
The inclusion of the TTS-55’s focusing block tool combined with its simple height adjustment mechanism, make focusing the laser a snap! Beside the typical SD card and USB port, WiFi and app integration with this machine ensures connect-ability regardless of where your workshop and computers are located.
Besides all the typical projects made with the default kit, there are many other creative possibilities using upgrades and/or different materials. Adding a rotary kit allows for engraving insulated tumblers (i.e. Yeti cup) as well as other cylindrical objects. Retro fitting TwoTrees re-sizing kit allows for larger projects without the need for buying a brand new machine.
If you have room to use and ventilate a laser engraver, consider the TwoTrees TT-55S model as your first or newest machine. I look forward to having free time to use mine again!
As mentioned above, check out the official TwoTrees YouTube channel for great assembly, usage and upgrade videos.
My previous review of the longer ray 5 laser engraver for a different brand laser includes additional new user information and insight.
Here is a short video using the TT-55S to burn through a top layer of paint for etched pictures on plain glass! I will need to try this, eventually.
Incredible! Here is another project showing the same idea used on a stretched canvas. Note: This method should work on several materials. Please be cautious about burning the base material and toxic fumes!!!