The Omtech MF1220-50R 50 Watts CO2 laser engraver and the Glowforge Pro are two great laser engraving/cutting machines with lots of features to offer.
But, if you’re trying to decide which machine is best for your projects, there are some key differences to be aware of. Depending on your priorities – i.e. price, speed, performance – you can use the following Omtech vs Glowforge comparison to decide which one’s right for you.
Omtech vs Glowforge: The Basics
The Omtech MF1220-50R is a 50 watt laser engraver with an engraving/cutting area of 11.5 inches x 19.5 inches (295 x 495mm).
It has a maximum engraving speed of 600 mm/s with a maximum cutting speed of 400 mm/s.
The Glowforge Pro offers a premium and elegant exterior design with a maximum cutting area of 11 inches (279 mm) deep and 19.5 inches (495 mm) wide, which is almost exactly what the Omtech MF1220-50R offers.
However, the Glowforge Pro has a power rating of 45 watts and has a maximum engraving speed of 1600 mm/s, which is insanely fast when compared to the Omtech MF1220-50R.
As far as overall dimensions, the Glowforge Pro is built to 38 inches x 20.75 inches x 8.25 inches (965mm x 527mm x 210mm), while the Omtech MF1220-50R takes up more space and has dimensions of 40 inches x 26 inches x 20 inches (102 x 65 x 50cm).
Here’s a full breakdown of the specs for each laser cutter:
|Omtech MF1220-50R||Glowforge Pro|
|Work Area||11.5” x 19.5” (295 x 495mm)||11″ x 19.5″ (279 x 495 mm)|
|DIMENSIONS||40” x 26” x 20” (102 x 65 x 50cm)||
38″ x 20.75″ x 8.25″ (965mm x 527mm x 210mm)
|Power rating||50 Watts||45 Watts|
|Power consumption||900 Watts||800 Watts|
|Ventilation||pre-installed vent fan||Glowforge Compact Filter|
|Max cutting speed||400mm/s||1600mm/s|
|Camera||Not available||Wide angle & Macro cameras|
|Lighting||Not available||Dual high-efficiency internal LED strips|
|Cooling||Water cooling||Self closed-loop internal cooling|
As you can see, there are a few big differences when it comes to performance and features. But these are different machines, coming in at very different price points.
So let’s dig in a little further and see how these laser cutters compared on other key metrics that might be important to you.
Cutting & Engraving speeds
When it comes to cutting and/or engraving speed, you’ll notice some big differences when comparing the Omtech to the Glowforge.
For example, the recommended cutting speed for the Omtech MF1220-50R is between 1 and 30mm/s, depending on the material being used, while the maximum speed is 400 mm/s. And the recommended engraving speed is between 100 and 500 mm/s, with 600 mm/s being the maximum engraving speed.
For the Glowforge Pro, the device is 3x faster than its basic model and can reach up to 4000 inches per minute of engraving speed which roughly translates to 1600 mm/s, beating the Omtech MF1220-50R by a long shot.
Read our review of the Glowforge
Both Omtech and Glowforge pro are pretty heavy-duty machines with bulky sizes.
The Glowforge however wins this comparison too since it is advertised as a desktop laser cutting machine with exterior dimensions of 38″ x 20.75″ x 8.25″.
It can easily fit on a desk or a workbench and weighs only 22 Kilograms or 48 pounds. The entire design of the Glowforge Pro provides a minimalistic look, which allows it to blend in with the rest of the environment.
The Omtech MF1220-50R has dimensions of 40” x 26” x 20” requiring more space and is pretty heavy too at 75 Kilograms.
It provides more of an industrial look with a boxy and bulky chassis overall. This laser cutter is too heavy to be placed on a desktop, unlike the Glowforge Pro.
They can also etch the following materials: Acrylic, Wood, Leather, Plastics, Fabrics, Glass, Rubber, Cork, Brick, Granite, Marble, Tile, River Rock, Bone, Melamine, Phenolic, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, and Titanium. For reference, both machines can cut up to 6mm thick acrylic sheet.
The Glowforge software has a simple and clean UI.
With the one-button print option, it can automatically determine the type of material being used for cutting or engraving. It supports JPG, PNG, SVG, PDF, and other file formats.
DXF files are compatible with Glowforge Premium which comes at an additional cost.
To arrange designs on the material, the drag-and-drop layout with a live camera preview is incredibly useful. The ‘automatic scan drawings and print without design software’ function speeds up and simplifies the process.
The Glowforge also has an app compatible with your IOS and Android devices to control and monitor the laser cutter remotely.
The Omtech MF1220-50R uses the RDWorks for Windows PC (included), it functions more as a driver than as a CAD/CAM system.
This software rapidly and easily generates G-codes, which are a series of instructions for the laser to tell how much power to use and what to engrave.
It supports vector formats AI, DXF, PLT, DSB, and DST and bitmap types BMP, JPG, GIFT, and PNG.
Unlike Glowforge software, no premium subscription is required to view DXF files.
For controlling the Omtech MF1220-50R the Ruida wireless remote app can be used since this machine uses the Ruida control board.
Because laser engraving can be a complex process, small business owners, hobbyists, and crafters need to use the right laser engraving software to achieve the results they want.
Even the most advanced laser engraving machines will not produce accurate drawings unless the right software is used.
Omtech vs Glowforge: Additional features
Starting with Omtech MF1220-50R, this laser cutter comes with a rotary axis that can easily engrave irregular objects and cylindrical objects such as cups, vases, etc.
It also features a water cooling system and a water flow sensor that will prevent the laser from firing if the water supply to the laser tube is cut off. This machine is CE certified and comes with ISO9001 Quality Certification.
The Glowforge Pro comes with a wide-angle camera mounted on the lid and a macro camera on the head for an extreme close-up, the wide-angle camera has an accuracy of 0.25 inches while the macro has an accuracy of 0.004 inches.
This allows the user to set the correct parameters needed for cutting or engraving through the Glowforge software.
The Glowforge Pro is a Class 4 laser device that includes all the necessary safety training materials. It has been tested and certified according to the UL standards.
When it comes to the price, the Omtech MF1220-50R would be within the affordability range of most hobbyists and home business owners, costing around 2100 USD.
The Glowforge Pro, on the other hand, might be on the more expensive side costing 7000 USD, since it offers high-end software support and faster, better results.
Which one should you choose?
Both machines are remarkable, however, the Glowforge Pro offers more features and support in terms of software and firmware updates.
The Glowforge community also has an active forum page, contributing to and fixing issues that users are facing. There are so many projects you can tackle on a Glowforge, and the community is a great place to source ideas and get feedback.
The Omtech MF1220-50R is also great when it comes to price, it is a very affordable CNC machine for someone getting started in the laser engraving/cutting industry.
In conclusion, for someone looking for something that offers excellent community, support, performance and faster cutting/engraving speeds, the Glowforge Pro is the perfect machine for them.
If you are not looking to spend an extravagant amount of money but still looking for a great machine then, the Omtech MF1220-50R is worth it for its price.