Author Topic: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun  (Read 4313 times)

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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2019, 02:17:16 am »
Cleaning up a couple of random boxes of 'stuff' today turned up a remnant of 6mm Acrylic so off to the Laser with it to help the cleanup.

Continuing on with a higher speed lower power engraving the 10% @ 300mm/sec is looking really sharp and clean. Maybe some very minor improvements to be made but unless you want to back fill the engraving with paint then this is about the correct setting.

I haven't tried cutting over 3mm Acrylic in the past so this was a quick Google some guesstimates on power and speed and call me amazed it was so easy  :o Several things of note focal range is important on thicker materials so set it toward the middle of the cut (adjustable bed is great!). The 4mm/s @ 70% is a better result than the 5mm but both released clean and you can see the edges are fairly well flame polished by the laser it is possible a reduction to 3mm might help but below is a different option that seems to work better again.

There is a very slight angle to the cuts (the parts still self stand so it is slight) and some visible Striations on the bottom of the cut. From what I have read this is caused in part by to much air from the nozzle causing cooling so I will be fitting a needle valve to the air system to reduce it for Acrylic cutting. This apparently allows the beam for focus the energy and heat with less cooling vertically through the cut.

I am thinking based on this that if needed 8mm Clear would be about the maximum cut for the laser but at that you are really into CNC Router or bandsaw territory with some edge sanding.

EDIT: Tried 2 and 3mm cut speeds of the tiny bit I had left. Cleaner but increased angle across the cut so air reduction is next.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 02:35:58 am by beanflying »
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2019, 05:15:22 am »
Quick job on some 4.5mm Acrylic and something practical to help set the Laser height instead of the single block it came with. Text is viewed through the Acrylic at 2mm high and engraved (might work better as a vector cut). 50% Power @ 6mm/sec seems about the sweet spot and the edges are square and nicely flamed.

As to accuracy I didn't make any allowances for kerf on the design and each of the steps is consistently 0.15 - 0.18 mm under the drawing. It looks like the Laser cuts at this sort of width which depending on the job may or may not need to be accounted for.
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2019, 07:38:12 am »
Needs Back lighting or leave it subtle  :-//

I have Clear, Red and Yellow Translucent in stock but no just no on classic and classy HP and there is only Aluminium inner panel under the sides so apart from the engrave no point in seeing through.

Visible in person and under a flash photo but otherwise fairly invisible. Front side engraving while not to bad cosmetically I would rather not.

3mm Smoke Gray Acrylic. 10% raster engrave @ 300mm/sec. Cut is a conservative 50% power and 8mm/sec a bit faster would be fine too.

https://youtu.be/6wgNL6HqI9Y
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2019, 11:07:52 am »
So I changed my mind after a daylight look. 8% very fine glass type front side engrave and almost no depression from the face.

Other little job tonight was a cheapy RF Generator I got a while ago that arrived with a broken front face.

Measure with Callipers, 30 minutes in Fusion 360 and export as a 2D Cad file, import into Inkscape and add some colours for K40 Whisper software to know what is cut and what is engrave. The file shuffling is a bit of a pain but so much better than attempting to use the junk software provided initially. Quick Cardboard test not really needed as there isn't much plastic in the job then hit the 2mm Acrylic with the Laser peel and screw in place.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 11:14:21 am by beanflying »
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2019, 03:31:15 am »
And some edge lit engraved testing. I designed up a 3D printed lightbox that takes a 100mm strip of LED Tape up to 10mm wide. 3mm Acrylic very lightly engraved with about 0.5W in the attached pics. Zero refinishing of any surfaces off the laser other than a wash to remove the Acrylic engraved dust.

More than enough power available from the 6 5050's even in Daylight so I will do some more playing with a 5V/USB version. The Base is parametrically modelled so changing it up or down in length or width is easy and even a sliced Ply or Acrylic base could be easily made from the model without a lot of changes.
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2019, 06:10:21 am »
I needed a lightweight enclosure for an R/C project. A little playing with correcting for the kerf of the Laser and no screws even needed to keep it together. 1.5mm Acrylic 40x40x10mm internal size just over 10grams and either glue or screws if needed.

Couple of resource things

Russ has a great channel here with some really good Engineering analysis and tweaking of Lasers, not all the software stuff is applicable but the Hardware stuff certainly is. https://www.youtube.com/user/SarbarMultimedia/videos

K40 Whisperer software/inkscape plugin from Scorchworks and some other Laser Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/scorch1974/videos The software is an absolute must have if you are running a K40 in particular as the software Laserdrw blows and sucks all at once.  :horse:
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 06:23:23 am by beanflying »
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2019, 07:30:48 am »
If anyone else gets to owning one of these or a similar one start adjusting the mirrors and lenses with either a bottle of Scotch or a bucket of Coffees at the ready. The main reason I have noticed a possible issue was on the deeper Acrylic cuts that were not even on all sides.

So a Rainy miserable day and after watching a heap of videos on the subject thought I would tackle seeing how far out of Tram and Trim the axis, mirrors and lens were.

How I tackle this sort of job on any of my Printers or my baby CNC router in the past is check for square mechanically adjust then tweak, tweaking first with a machine not squared is doomed to failure. Due to length considerations it isn't practicable to fit a low power laser pointer in the path so 5% power from the main laser with all the covers off but with the  8) fitted firmly on the face for the afternoon!

The Y axis mirror assembly was set nearly 3mm high on a mirror of about 16mm in diameter and the laser spot is getting close to the sides.  :palm: and the final mirror and lense holder was set about 2mm to far away from the X axis. While the Laser works fine as is getting everything more square mechanically makes setting the optics easier. with the trim screws on the mirrors. Both the intermediate Mirror and Lense holder and mirror were a few degrees skewed from the frame as well.

With everything mechanically now as close as possible time to breakout the masking tape to 'correct' the now incorrect mirrors that were covering up the misalignment to a degree. So it seemed like 1/2 a roll of masking tape later and everything is now fairly close and time for a final  :-/O

The SVG Target file is in a zip for anyone it might help and suits 16mm apertures. These are what I am now using instead of the tape which tends to catch fire  :o
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 07:47:10 am by beanflying »
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2019, 08:09:33 am »
All four corners and the centre with test spots. Time for dinner but it is now very close.  :)

Fairly normal for the Laser to be slightly fuzzy here as it hasn't been through any collimating lenses yet just the mirrors.

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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2019, 04:07:55 am »
Back to some mods to fix the airflow across the bed which will help with fume extraction and also help with debris when engraving.

The unit as stock has a bunch of seemingly random 'speed holes' in strange places meaning the air comes in and swirls with little airflow over the job being cut so first job is block them up. I chose some Acrylic panels with simple magnetic catches, not that important to make them air tight just heavily restrict any air being drawn from them.

Next job is open up the front removable section and fit a shroud as shown. This opening will see most airflow being drawn evenly over the bed to the fan at the rear with no restriction or twisting paths. First serious go at using the Laser to mark out a job for manual work, 10% power at 20mm/s made short work of the powdercoat and far more accurate than I could mark it out. The shroud is a multi piece 3D Printed one. Now for the Drilling and the Nibbling while the printer does it's thing.  :phew:
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2019, 09:17:16 am »
Time to get back to some Electronics again this beasty has absorbed to much time over the last week or so ::) Tomorrows job metal nibbling and some wiring then it is about where it needs to be for on going easy use. Until the next upgrade that is  :palm:
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2019, 07:33:02 am »
Buying a Laser has a down and an up side. People want jobs done  :-- People also sometimes pay with a box of BEER. 8 dozen Labels in exchange for 2 dozen :-+ :popcorn:

While this is OT people will try and throw work at you that may not be what you want. Cutting timber in particular oily or glue bonded stuff is messy and smelly. Quick cleanup after with Acetone is highly recommended or you next jobs will also be messy.

Also while I had some ply on the go I have been playing with a Living hinge design on Fusion 360 mainly for gifts but also maybe to sell some items based on it. This 8 section hinge is designed to go around a 12mm Radius corner but would easily go tighter if needed. Amazing taking it out of the blank and seeing it go floppy with no additional work. It could easily be adapted for a dressy Electronics enclosure without much work.
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2019, 11:14:37 am »
Learned a new skill today in Fusion 360. The sheetmetal section. There is a few good youtube videos (Brad Tallis in particular) on it but I hadn't bothered before.

Limited run packaging with Laser cut boxes might be a good use but also if you need to get a folded metal enclosure made by someone else it works well and takes into account offsets with corner radius bends and material. I have local Water, Plasma and Big Boy Laser cutters available for $ if needed nearby but the setup costs were always the killer for low volumes.

These were only made with cereal packet card so the Raster etched fold lines were a bit deep so there is a little delamination. Better card would sort this out.
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2019, 09:59:03 am »
The stock Nano M2 board has been working really well when teamed with Inkscape and K40 Whisperer compared with the more or less abandoned and useless LaserDRW. But to get some extra control over it in particular for engraving time for a controller change.

The board I settled on is a 5 channel Chinese version of the open source one normally available here http://smoothieware.org/getting-smoothieboard in the case of Oz we don't have a local seller and some of the others had no stock. So off to Evilbay Link for a board to have a look at. For those of you without the up to $50 USD postage deal in my case buy from who you feel appropriate.

I had no definite plans for the board when I ordered it but I have three 3D printers and a small CNC router plus the Laser that are worthy candidates for an upgrade as a plaything. I decided to have a glance at Lightburn and see if it would speak to the board for a start so I downloaded the trial version and installed the Smoothieboard drivers and seems they like each other.

So over the next few weeks/month depending on life the plan is to swap the controller in my Laser over to the Smoothieboard. Nothing more for now but it's going to be a work in progress with details as it gets played with.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 10:01:28 am by beanflying »
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Re: 40W 300x200mm Laser Cutter Engraver - Vollerun
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2019, 06:33:49 am »
Long overdue job out of the way this afternoon. The Honeycomb table is a bit of a PITA to keep clean in particular when running Ply so a pin table is the solution.

Quick to make, the 2mm pin holes were Lasered to circa 1.9mm then reamed out in 10-15 minutes with a sharp 2mm in a cordless drill. The pin bed will be sacrificial over time but the Laser is well out of focus before it will get hit so it should last fairly well. The rest providing I don't run the Laser over it is a one off.

Other project that some of you will have seen is my Woody PC Case which is the reason to get the pin bed done.

Edit just added the final shot with the simple 3 point bed adjustment. Works a treat  :)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 07:27:08 am by beanflying »
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