I’ve partnered with Thunder Laser USA to feature their new desktop laser, the 30W RF Bolt…
Thunder recently launched its newest laser-cutting machine, the Bolt!
The Bolt from Thunder Laser USA is a desktop laser and is not a CO2 laser, but a RW Laser. This means there is no glass tube present, as well as no chiller.
This laser is changing the desktop laser game entirely!
I know for us, dropping $10,000+ on a new laser machine that had a big footprint was not in the cards for us. It seemed like such a huge investment in both space and money for something we weren’t sure we would love.
When Thunder released their Bolt, it seemed like the perfect way to bridge the gap between crafters like me and the laser world.
For less than the price of a Glowforge, the Bolt offers superior performance, US-based support, Lightburn compatibility, and so much more.
I’m excited to start crafting, cutting, and engraving with this machine, and will be featuring craft posts here on the blog as well as on my social media accounts!
Read more about the delivery, setup, and specs on the Thunder Bolt…
Preparing for the Thunder Bolt Laser
While this desktop laser doesn’t have a super large footprint to worry about, there are some things we did to prepare my office space and our home.
Here are some things we did to get ready for the Thunder Bolt delivery:
- cleared a space in my office
- ordered a table that could hold the weight (with some storage for wood and acrylic sheets)
- had an electrician install a dedicated circuit*
- purchased some wood and acrylic sheets
*Regarding a circuit, Thunder recommends a dedicated circuit for your Bolt. When running, the Bolt pulls 6 amps, so a 15 amp dedicated circuit is suitable.
Our electrician installed a 20 amp dedicated circuit as there was no additional charge.
Waiting for delivery gave us time to purchase what we needed, do our research, and reach the manual, which I highly recommend you do while you wait for delivery day!
Thunder Bolt Features
Since the release, I have been excited to work with Thunder Laser USA because this machine can help crafters expand their hobbies and skills, and potentially earn money working from home as a full-time job or side hustle.
Before owning the Bolt, I was exclusively into Cricut crafting, sewing, and small engraving projects with my diode laser, but the diode laser took an extremely long amount of time to complete a project and it took away the fun in crafting for me, personally.
For the price as well, in its category, the Bolt features a lot of capabilities that other lasers either do not have or have limitations on.
- easy-to-use touch screen
- light/lamp power adjustment
- Lightburn or RDWorks software (LightBurn license purchase additional)
- built-in exhaust and air pump
- 1 GB memory
- 20″x12″ working area
- rotary connection available (rotary attachment purchased separately)
- high-resolution camera
- equipped with a standard 1.5″ lens
- free US-based lifetime support
- cutting materials: wood, acrylic, leather, fabric, MDF, rubber, and many more
- engraving materials: wood, acrylic, leather, glass, tumblers, MDF, rubber, plastics, anodized aluminum, and many more!
- 2-year warranty
Thunder Laser Bolt Delivery
The delivery went great!
From the time our order was placed to the delivery date was a little less than 2 months time.
About a week before arrival, I received a text message to confirm our delivery – with it being around the holidays, I wanted to ensure the text was meant for my Thunder Bolt, and was able to get an answer quickly by emailing the Thunder Support team that same day.
They are quick about getting an answer back to you, which I really appreciate!
We did not receive a phone call to confirm when the machine would be delivered the day we confirmed, but I was anxiously stalking my window that morning anyway!
We were stop #1 on the delivery route, and the machine arrived at about 11:00 a.m. EST. I believe our delivery window was from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST.
The driver wheeled the laser up the driveway for us and set the pallet and box down in the garage.
You can see the entire delivery process in the Instagram reel I shared below:
We tipped our driver, inspected the box for any damage, and signed for it.
I also made sure to take a video of the entire unloading process in case something happened, like if it fell off the truck. Luckily, nothing happened, but with a more expensive delivery, I always try to document it to make a claim if I need to.
The weight of the laser-cutting machine is approximately 170 lbs. While I thought my husband and I would be able to lift and move it from the garage to my office (all on the same floor, with just a two-step stair into the house) by ourselves, we found we weren’t able to.
I’m a fairly petite person, but my husband is a lot stronger than I am. Unfortunately, we needed at least two strong people to lift and move it, so I wasn’t a very good helper for this particular job.
We also did not attempt to use moving straps to lift it and move the machine, which could have greatly improved our chances of transporting it.
We ended up asking a male neighbor for help, and he and my husband were able to move it successfully.
Here is the brand-new laser machine on our table…
If you’re curious about the size in comparison to another desktop laser, I have the xTool M1 10W diode laser machine on the bottom shelf of this table.
Here is what the backside of the machine looks like…
The Thunder Bolt laser fits great on this table, though I wouldn’t go any higher with the table height ;).
You’ll find a high-resolution camera here on the top of the glass lid.
This is what the laser bed looks like when it is lowered completely. This is helpful for when you need to engrave something that is thicker, or when using a rotary attachment.
(Don’t mind the residue on the honeycomb bed – I’ve been testing out and cutting a bunch already!)
One thing I didn’t expect but was a really nice surprise is that the glass lid is on gas struts, so it stays open and you don’t have to worry about the lid falling or slamming down on your head or fingers.
There are several lens options for the Bolt laser, but it comes fitted with the 1.5″ lens.
If you plan on doing tumbler engraving projects in the future, the Thunder Bolt is set up to accommodate a rotary on the right side of the machine interior.
We would love to dive into engraving on tumblers one day, so getting a RotoBolt is at the top of our list for next accessories to get for the Bolt!
Thunder Bolt Crumb Tray
Ever cut a tiny piece out and have it fall down past the honeycomb?
Open the front panel door on your Thunder Bolt machine to access a special roll-out crumb tray below the honeycomb and you’ll find any small cut-outs or pieces that might have fallen!
Thunder Bolt Laser Dimensions
If you want to know the footprint of the Thunder Bolt, I have the complete dimensions below.
The feet of the Thunder Bolt (6 total, but measuring from all corners to account for table accommodations) are 32.9” x 22” on center.
We grabbed this table from the Webstaurant online store. I originally had my Create Room DreamCart table here for the xTool, but it would not be able to accommodate the weight or dimensions of this laser machine.
The table we purchased is here, with the top being capable of holding up to 900 lb. of evenly distributed weight, and the bottom capable of holding up to 700 lb. I also liked that it has caster wheels (the front two can lock in place) so we’re able to efficiently move it around my office or access the back exhaust system if needed.
When buying or building a table, I would recommend these features:
- sturdy table that can support the weight of the machine, plus some for materials, computer, etc.
- work surface that can hold both your computer and your laser
- shelf underneath for storing cutting materials
- caster wheels for easy access and maneuverability
*Note: after using our table while engraving at higher speeds, we noticed there is a tiny bit of movement on the table – this will probably change once we add more weight on the bottom shelf with materials.
Thunder Bolt Accessories Purchased
Here are some helpful accessories we purchased to help set up the Thunder Bolt and operate it:
- in-line fan (if there’s one thing you purchase, this should be it! This helps further clear the smoke and odor from your project!)
- exhaust window vent
- magnetic hooks
- weld-on and plastic syringes (for adhering acrylic to acrylic)
- window fan
- wood and acrylic sheets
I purchased acrylic from CMB Acrylic and Peach Street Acrylic. I also bought baltic birch wood from a local supplier, The Crafty Knights – they deliver fast and have quality materials! I’ve purchased MDF from them before as well and was very pleased with their fast shipping.
What questions do you have about the Thunder Bolt that I can answer? Let me know below!