Lasers - general chat.

A forum for the Arduino based Mach4/Darwin Laser Control Panel
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ArtF
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by ArtF »

Kirk:

Ill keep my fingers crossed for you. :)

  Let us know how it works out. :)

Art
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Mooselake
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by Mooselake »

ArtF wrote: Ill keep my fingers crossed for you. :)
Thanks!  Mine are crossed too.   I've got a few celtic knot laser patterns ready for testing.

It'll help fill the wait time until I can balance my checkbook with Auggie :)   Well, if ignore the honeydo list, that is.

FedEx says it's coming tomorrow.  I'm taking a break from building a workbench to put it on (ignoring that honeydo list again...), simple steel frame with a 2x (as in 2x6/2x8, must be 50x for you metric guys) top.

I'm sure it won't be as good as tweakie's (the only laser I've ever seen working) but hopefully it won't become a new fish reef in the lake down the road.

Kirk
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by Mooselake »

The laser has landed!  After unpacking, fixing a couple loose screws, a quick alignment test (almost, not quite, needed a bit of adjusting), and installing the included LaserDRW I fired it up and engraved a Celtic knot pattern on cardboard.  Not the best looking results, but it proved it's working!  No outside venting, the window I was planning to use was caulked shut so I need some driver vent hose to reach an unsealed one, so I didn't get very adventurous.  Still, it'll engrave or cut cardboard on very low power, and I did a little practice Plexiglas engraving with some of the kid's drawings.  I'll try Gearotic DXFs with the included sw next.

It came double boxed, almost 2" of foam sheet around it, and the tube had (synthetic) foam rubber pads to protect it.  Using about a 4 gallon drywall style bucket for the cooling water (no leaks), and our soft tap water.

Couple pics attached.  I took some unboxing pictures that I'll post somewhere, too.  I'll seek out some dryer vent hose, distilled water, some RV antifreeze, and a bigger water reservoir tomorrow.  Flow switch and other goodies ordered, need to 3D print an air assist nozzle.

Kirk

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John T
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by John T »

Thanks for pics  I had no idea how big a laser unit was - I probably can't afford it anyway but it looks pretty compact.  Lots of smoke?

John
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

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Kirk:

Excellent. I see the software actually varies the power over the run based on greyscale, I wish mine did.
Ill be interested in comparing cut power and depths with you. Let me know when you figure out speed
at 100% power to cut say 4mm acrylic or so.. Id be interested in your results.

In my experience, with a 40 watt even running a lot, a buck of water is fine, even it will not heat up.
Id just feel the water occasionally to be sure. I find it a lot more forgiving that youd think. I added
a full litre of windshield antifreeze to my bucket...I found that worked great last season..didnt use water
at all. 

Art
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by Mooselake »

John T wrote: Thanks for pics  I had no idea how big a laser unit was - I probably can't afford it anyway but it looks pretty compact.  Lots of smoke?

John
It's 32 x 20 x 10".

You'd be surprised (I was) at the price, $365 US delivered.  The eBay prices vary quite a bit, I ordered it on Friday with free shipping, and on Monday it was an additional $35 to ship.  There's a large number of sellers that ship from a US warehouse, but I hear they are mostly the same two Hong Kong based companies.  The machine was made by the Liaocheng Shenhui Laser Equipment Co., Ltd., which I read makes most of the K40s.

Wife complained about how smoky the basement was.  I really need to get some dryer vent hose, rather buy some more than unseal the formerly leaky window.  It's now under a porch and doesn't let any light in.

Art, the software docs are essentially non-existent, can't even find any in Chinese to translate.  There's a dpi setting, so maybe they control grayscale that way.  It could be interesting to set it to something like 10 dpi (default is 1000, not sure why they have dpi when everything else is in mm) and see if I can see the individual dots.

LaserDRW won't import DXFs, but they also include a copy of CorelDraw 12 (from 2003) with a plugin.  I did a quick eccentric gear and it did the top half of the gear; didn't get a big enough piece of scrap cardboard to fit the whole thing.  It was very slow doing so, but there were different board numbers configured.  With the Moshidraw board/driver it'll do that if the board type is wrong, so I'll be trying it with the same board number as the non-plug in version.

The software includes a run-in test that will run it back and forth over the same axis.  I get 310mm X and 210 Y (300x200 was the claim) without hitting the stops.  I'm going to lube it with the "dry" bike lube I use on the 3D printer and if that makes any difference.  Max speed is 500mm/sec, set it any higher and the software sets it back.

There's a spring loaded clamp for smaller pieces, not quite sure what to do with bigger stuff yet.  Lots to experiment with and learn about.

I'll try some squirter juice instead of antifreeze/distilled water.  Is the cheap blue stuff is good enough, or do I need to go with the premium RainX premix?

Kirk
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by ArtF »

Kirk:

  I used blue. I dont find its picky at all, but I think my 50watt is too low a power to care. I go about 6mm/sec
at 100% to cut 1/4" plywood cleanly.  Make sure you add air assist, it really helps, I use my shop compressor
at around 5psi or so..

Art
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by Alanb6448 »

Hello everyone,

I am keen to fit a laser cutter head to my newly built ox (gantry based) xy router (700 x 500 mm size). However I cannot fix a large tube on my cutter head or on the so I wonder if can I fix it stationary somewhere else and use optic fibre to connect to my machine head? Has anyone done this? Would there be enough flex in the fibre?

If using fibre is not possible then my only option I think is to use a blue led.

Alan
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Re: Lasers - general chat.

Post by ArtF »

Can be done. Various lasers need differing fibre types...

Ive seen CO2 fibres on ebay from medical devices..

Art


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