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(Some Guy)   It's been a couple of weeks due to work and family priorities, so let's catch up and talk laser cutting in this Fark Maker Monday Thread. This week's link goes to the updated 40W desktop engraver/cutter   (omtechlaser.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Engraving, Laser, RED DOT GUIDANCE, Laser engraving, Carbon dioxide laser, USB flash drive, Universal Serial Bus, Etching  
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702 clicks; posted to Discussion » and STEM » on 01 Mar 2021 at 5:20 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



43 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-03-01 5:26:49 PM  
In the 40 watt range?

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2021-03-01 5:28:36 PM  
Do you have a desktop cutter/engraver in the 40 watt range?
Hey, just what you see, pal.
 
2021-03-01 5:30:47 PM  
Dammit, I had to look up the quote to be sure I had it right. Should have known I wouldn't be first.

Too slow.
(._. )
 
2021-03-01 5:34:32 PM  
$500 is a small price to pay for the ability to engrave dickbutt on so may things
 
2021-03-01 5:41:34 PM  
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2021-03-01 5:45:56 PM  
Dang my laser engraver is a little baby compared to that, Send one over here and I'll test it
 
2021-03-01 6:05:52 PM  
I have been vaguely interest in getting a laser engraver, which could also cut through wood.

About a year ago Facebook posted an ad for a very tiny laser engraver you can operate from your phone, but that looked too cheapo.

I'm looking for something semi-professional, meaning one reliable enough I could charge for the service. As an artist, the ability to laser engrave logos and lettering onto things is appealing.

I'm curious if there are inexpensive models to look at, and cheap ones to avoid.
 
2021-03-01 6:06:11 PM  
I have three snapmaker 350s. Two of them have had an issue since the day I got them. Their support is slow and useless. I would like to make but only one of my units works well enough to do anything.

I've been arguing with their support for five months now
 
2021-03-01 6:20:34 PM  
All that link gives me is a page flashing loading....
 
2021-03-01 6:25:42 PM  
Oh, that's timing. I've never used lasers before but wanted a small mill and had the option of adding a laser.

This was the one I was looking at, thoughts?
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/40000​3​2342243.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.573b3c​00wNCsAa&mp=1

$220USD shipped just the mill. Or $350USD shipped with a 15W laser.

Would the laser be worth it?
 
2021-03-01 6:55:49 PM  

dyhchong: Oh, that's timing. I've never used lasers before but wanted a small mill and had the option of adding a laser.

This was the one I was looking at, thoughts?
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/400003​2342243.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.573b3c​00wNCsAa&mp=1

$220USD shipped just the mill. Or $350USD shipped with a 15W laser.

Would the laser be worth it?


Short answer no. None of the solid state laser modules can do much more than mark the surface of some objects. Usually at the expense of safety and short life span.
With 40w dedicated lasers with actual glass tubes coming down in cost to only a few hundred, way safer and FAR more useful to just go that route.
-
The 40w units can just cut 5mm plywood and acrylic sheet, the staples of a lot of laser cut projects. Anything less than that is a dangerous toy - powerful enough to blind but not powerful enough to do any useful work.
 
2021-03-01 7:00:53 PM  
Can these cut through a 0.5mm-thick sheet of nickel?  I'd like to make a glow discharge lamp.
 
2021-03-01 7:09:45 PM  

Spice Must Flow: I'm looking for something semi-professional, meaning one reliable enough I could charge for the service. As an artist, the ability to laser engrave logos and lettering onto things is appealing.

I'm curious if there are inexpensive models to look at, and cheap ones to avoid.


US made units are in the thousands, for bulletproof reliability if you are not technical, something like an Epilog is a professional standard.
There are Chinese commercial lasers with the same size and output for maybe one eighth the cost, but you are pretty well on your own for support. That said, there is little that can go wrong with them and they are easy to troubleshoot IF you are a reasonably serious tech-head/maker type.
-
I bought a Chinese unit for my business, and even with ordering a spare of basically every major component that might be prone to failure to have on the shelf in case, it was still only one-tenth the cost of a professional US unit/decent warranty/bundled tech support.
The base design is solid as a rock, but the assembly left much to be desired - It arrived glitchy, and I had to replace crappy proximity sensors, shield some poorly shielded wiring, replace an ineffective fan with a more powerful German one, and generally spend 2+ hours tuning and calibrating it to get it to do what my old Epilog did right out of the box.
But, it has also run for 4 years in a commercial environment without a single hiccup since, doing the same work.
-
So, cost really has to do with your tolerance for modding and maintenance. You need an appliance, best to go to Epilog.
 
2021-03-01 7:17:29 PM  
BTW - if any of you buy one of the larger units shown in the link (50-80w), save yourself $500+ on a chiller unit. Don't buy one of those.
The Chinese chiller units do not have active cooling. Its a radiator, a fan, and a water pump that look like they are from a computer gaming rig, all in a fancy industrial looking case.
My first laser had a junkyard heater core from a car, two server fans screwed to its face moving air through it, and a fountain pump sitting in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket.
I am using an aircraft heat exchanger unit now and it looks far more professional, but it doesn't work any better than just a car heater core did.
 
2021-03-01 7:18:26 PM  
I just got a xenetech 2436 off of craigs list for free.

Unfortunately it is at my storage unit where I don't have power.

Supposedly there is a problem with the tube or power supply.

If it is the tube, I'll user the power supply for a ham amp or something. Maybe turn the rest into a 3D printer.

If it is the power supply, I can fix that.

What I have not figures out yet is if it is wired for 110 or 220. It has a 100W tube and spec say it should be 220 for that tube, but is uses the same kind of socket as a computer power supply.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-01 7:26:59 PM  

Dryad: dyhchong: Oh, that's timing. I've never used lasers before but wanted a small mill and had the option of adding a laser.

This was the one I was looking at, thoughts?
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/400003​2342243.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.573b3c​00wNCsAa&mp=1

$220USD shipped just the mill. Or $350USD shipped with a 15W laser.

Would the laser be worth it?

Short answer no. None of the solid state laser modules can do much more than mark the surface of some objects. Usually at the expense of safety and short life span.
With 40w dedicated lasers with actual glass tubes coming down in cost to only a few hundred, way safer and FAR more useful to just go that route.
-
The 40w units can just cut 5mm plywood and acrylic sheet, the staples of a lot of laser cut projects. Anything less than that is a dangerous toy - powerful enough to blind but not powerful enough to do any useful work.


Cool, that's good to know. I was thinking, "I guess I might as well if it can add more functionality without major modification" but the price increase proportion was enough that I was hesitant. Sounds like it will be effectively useless.

The listing simultaneously says it can and can't work on metal, and I was wanting to draw a picture on some stainless. The mill should be able to do that, though.
 
2021-03-01 7:29:48 PM  

devine: I just got a xenetech 2436 off of craigs list for free.

Unfortunately it is at my storage unit where I don't have power.

Supposedly there is a problem with the tube or power supply.

If it is the tube, I'll user the power supply for a ham amp or something. Maybe turn the rest into a 3D printer.

If it is the power supply, I can fix that.

What I have not figures out yet is if it is wired for 110 or 220. It has a 100W tube and spec say it should be 220 for that tube, but is uses the same kind of socket as a computer power supply.
[Fark user image 850x1133]


Tubes are not expensive. They are generic, as long as you get the size right.
There are two power supplies. One is a standard 24v DC to run the PLC, no big deal. The other is a specialty extreme high voltage unit usually 25kv+.
Both are also cheap and usually generic.
Only major caveat is to adjust the high voltage current before using it! EVERY Chinese laser needs this done.
The feed current to the tube defines its output power, also its life span. Just 2-3 mw makes a big difference in output, and running a 40w rated tube at 50w will kill it dead in hours. Running it at 40w will give it hundreds of hours. Derating it to 35W and it will effectively run for a forever. The Chinese have a habit of putting in smaller tubes and cranking the output up to the next level (ie, putting a 50w tube in a 60w unit) and leaving the owner wondering why tubes burn out rapidly.
I paid a little extra for an 80w rated replacement tube for my 60w machine, been running it at 60w for years and I will likely never need to replace it again.
 
2021-03-01 7:49:50 PM  
I masturbated six times in 24 hours.

I also edited resumes for 18 friends.
 
2021-03-01 8:04:54 PM  

Ragin' Asian: I masturbated six times in 24 hours.

I also edited resumes for 18 friends.


media.tenor.comView Full Size
 
2021-03-01 8:36:15 PM  
Xerocraft, the maker space in Tucson has (or at least had 4 years ago) a Trotrec model with a wonderfully large bed, I seem to recall it gave the guys in charge of it plenty of headaches as it misaligned fairly easily, although I expect that is true of most CO2 lasers.
Area 515 - the Des Moines maker space, had a 40 watt CO2 that was part kickstarter & part home brew. It was a constant PITA though because it misaligned every time the table moved.
Now we have a pair of Full Spectrum lasers and they work pretty well. They too require realigning every few months or so. The Stewards upgraded them to water cooling systems. They're 40W CO2 as well, but 4mm plywood is about the thickest it can reliably cut through.
They can make some beautiful stuff though. The last thing I cut on them was the template for an ice arch. You can see a few pics here. https://www.instructables.com/I​ce-Arch​-6-Freestanding/
 
2021-03-01 8:37:05 PM  
I had just bought a cool Maker cnc cutter machine and had great plans for routing plastics with it.  Then it burned down with my house.
Two weeks later, the plastic material showed up via UPS.  It's still sitting on my shelf.
 
2021-03-01 8:38:05 PM  

Dryad: Spice Must Flow: I'm looking for something semi-professional, meaning one reliable enough I could charge for the service. As an artist, the ability to laser engrave logos and lettering onto things is appealing.

I'm curious if there are inexpensive models to look at, and cheap ones to avoid.

US made units are in the thousands, for bulletproof reliability if you are not technical, something like an Epilog is a professional standard.
There are Chinese commercial lasers with the same size and output for maybe one eighth the cost, but you are pretty well on your own for support. That said, there is little that can go wrong with them and they are easy to troubleshoot IF you are a reasonably serious tech-head/maker type.
-
I bought a Chinese unit for my business, and even with ordering a spare of basically every major component that might be prone to failure to have on the shelf in case, it was still only one-tenth the cost of a professional US unit/decent warranty/bundled tech support.
The base design is solid as a rock, but the assembly left much to be desired - It arrived glitchy, and I had to replace crappy proximity sensors, shield some poorly shielded wiring, replace an ineffective fan with a more powerful German one, and generally spend 2+ hours tuning and calibrating it to get it to do what my old Epilog did right out of the box.
But, it has also run for 4 years in a commercial environment without a single hiccup since, doing the same work.
-
So, cost really has to do with your tolerance for modding and maintenance. You need an appliance, best to go to Epilog.


Thanks for the feedback.

I had also been looking at an animation laser for a cover band, and your answer applies there as well. There are inexpensive options available, but "cheap" isn't always the solution.

I'm not buying one in the near future, but I am trying to acquire a fixer-upper and saw some amazing woodwork trim cut by a laser, so if I got some renovation funding, it might be a realistic investment.

A hobby type investment. Mostly art projects. But if there were demand, or lots of side projects, I would want to upgrade to bigger and faster equipment. Some day.
 
2021-03-01 8:38:13 PM  

bizzwire: Can these cut through a 0.5mm-thick sheet of nickel?  I'd like to make a glow discharge lamp.


No, nothing metal I'm afraid.
 
2021-03-01 9:08:24 PM  
I keep looking at those chinese machines in about the 80-100w 24x36 range. The pandemic sort of wiped out funds for new equipment though. (currently refurbishing an embroidery machine that will hopefully sell for enough to get a laser.)

Dryad:
The Chinese chiller units do not have active cooling. Its a radiator, a fan, and a water pump

I thought the CW5000 series was an actual cooler. They even list compressor HP in the specs. I know everyone complains that the CW3000 is just a radiator.
 
2021-03-01 9:52:29 PM  
If it's compact cooling you want....
Refrigerated circulating water bath

I use one of these for a small compression molding machine...
 
2021-03-01 10:03:52 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Now you know...

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-01 10:06:34 PM  

bizzwire: Can these cut through a 0.5mm-thick sheet of nickel?  I'd like to make a glow discharge lamp.


GrumpyPotato: I keep looking at those chinese machines in about the 80-100w 24x36 range. The pandemic sort of wiped out funds for new equipment though. (currently refurbishing an embroidery machine that will hopefully sell for enough to get a laser.)

Dryad:
The Chinese chiller units do not have active cooling. Its a radiator, a fan, and a water pump

I thought the CW5000 series was an actual cooler. They even list compressor HP in the specs. I know everyone complains that the CW3000 is just a radiator.


There are a lot of counterfeit CW5000 and CW3000 chillers on the market. Only the real one has an actual chiller in it. If you search on line, you can find articles that tell you how to tell if it's real.
 
2021-03-02 1:24:38 AM  

I just lurk here: bizzwire: Can these cut through a 0.5mm-thick sheet of nickel?  I'd like to make a glow discharge lamp.

No, nothing metal I'm afraid.


thanks for the reality check.
 
2021-03-02 9:16:57 AM  

bizzwire: I just lurk here: bizzwire: Can these cut through a 0.5mm-thick sheet of nickel?  I'd like to make a glow discharge lamp.

No, nothing metal I'm afraid.

thanks for the reality check.


A fibre laser will do what you want. Around 2k.
 
2021-03-02 9:26:31 AM  
Been running lasers for around 20 years.
The chinese co2 lasers are just fine as long as you understand that it will not be ready out of the box.
Mirrors will need to be aligned, the bed leveled and an ammeter added at a minimum. One thing a lot of people shortchange themselves on is not adding the ammeter and running their power too high for the tube. The tube will have marked on it the max milliamps that it should be run at. When you tell a laser to run at 100% power it is the power supply that you are telling to run that high. The supply could be rated for many tens of ma. higher than the tube is designed for. Running too high significantly shortens the life of the tube.
Recently bought an ebay special preenix 16x24 table co2 laser and rotary attachment for Yeti mugs. Works great.
 
2021-03-02 10:31:39 AM  

DMDmarty: Recently bought an ebay special preenix 16x24 table co2 laser and rotary attachment for Yeti mugs.


I was looking at something like that.  Could you post a link?
 
2021-03-02 11:07:21 AM  
Sure, this one is ending soon but it is the same model I bought.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/264586622650​?​_trksid=p2505460.m570.l5999&_trkparms=​gh1g%3DI264586622650.N36.S2.typeWATCH_​ITEM_ENDING_SOON.R1.TR10
The hot dog roller style rotary is not useful for anything but wood really.
This one is great for the mugs with a bit of modification.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rotary-Axis-​f​or-Cylinder-Surface-Rotation-Platform-​for-CO2-Laser-Engraver-Cutter/25480384​4229?epid=2078242705&_trkparms=ispr%3D​1&hash=item3b537e1c85:g:X14AAOSwPsFfLO​7K&amdata=enc%3AAQAFAAACcBaobrjLl8XobR​IiIML1V4Imu%252Fn%252BzU5L90Z278x5ickk​rDx%252B2NLp21dg6hHbHAkGMRGs3plX%252BL​JvJLgxyRs6spRCFutW8X71Iuk%252FqJTiaHvx​XDf79iaZ%252BlpGZp2bPUPuJ3lHTYLUo2ue5U​Zi5Zc7JxAgH8iQa4F16EJpKLHWCxM2HJiza6r4​FTZlxz20HqJOmgvI0LOKu5Jy060e%252FsK6NU​zkzUJULlyPGCL4ZNLKYQVigq1peNcOv5Qb9zyT​nsB5X8OddXIlXXpTD3lLoV4kLRLWQ1bF2yX%25​2B9VONydnZha3AqWd0IX4arbkWktnviiNjw%25​2BbMLKJ3UIhXXjehB9XvOUGdz3FlBVlEs3Q1im​eAYVoShuBwqrUmQ4KW8vEf4asfq1eofGIyPr5E​LqLKQRqdhgpAUdZ3yLRF2kDpa0XNS9LHd%252F​%252FDVrWEcO6fENe8LJw%252BCWhxv3DwE6Z6​ItVTQNwS4Vlh3GjE%252BiVdPefSSp2otQQZig​QcQWlg6By5w2vdsR5Mjqx1Oym60o3tdmRBkVEV​HFk5an6UNxObL40KERFlhjlstd7g2bEHGPrweT​jmCRoIETTL9NJ5eWswCIe7CeNPpXOc4V1TbZJH​HwFMug8vtnYRUkQ32LuZzKg%252Fnl07PQaZIK​nTxkXybaSI7%252Fr%252FUWRTFsEIXvMH53A%​252F%252FbBp3IGsM%252FNejambz3V8UlFqrK​9g1ZRxwemiC9sTWLOE426%252BkN%252BXzfrW​wI1nDJH4cliqrbdc%252BpwOPhy6TO99Slx02H​Sv8stuAZpMbAE96g01KsQJQFJgrpn1hkTY7F6o​Hr8Hb5wZIdDErB0RL5Lj0VLexwSd0aWmwg%253​D%253D%7Ccksum%3A254803844229ee81b886d​4fc4869bb578d16983d8eab%7Campid%3APL_C​LK%7Cclp%3A2334524
 
2021-03-02 11:09:37 AM  
 
2021-03-02 11:15:05 AM  

mjbok: DMDmarty: Recently bought an ebay special preenix 16x24 table co2 laser and rotary attachment for Yeti mugs.

I was looking at something like that.  Could you post a link?


Apparently I didn't hit reply but the info is there. lol
 
2021-03-02 11:28:06 AM  

DMDmarty: mjbok: DMDmarty: Recently bought an ebay special preenix 16x24 table co2 laser and rotary attachment for Yeti mugs.

I was looking at something like that.  Could you post a link?

Apparently I didn't hit reply but the info is there. lol


Thanks.  I came across this thread and did a couple of hours of research on it last night.  Do a lot with 3D printing.  This is the next thing to throw money away on.
 
2021-03-02 11:57:04 AM  

mjbok: DMDmarty: mjbok: DMDmarty: Recently bought an ebay special preenix 16x24 table co2 laser and rotary attachment for Yeti mugs.

I was looking at something like that.  Could you post a link?

Apparently I didn't hit reply but the info is there. lol

Thanks.  I came across this thread and did a couple of hours of research on it last night.  Do a lot with 3D printing.  This is the next thing to throw money away on.


Eh, buying tools and learning new skills is never a waste of money. It's fun, interesting and ensures you will always be able to make money somehow. My 2 cents anyway. Good luck.
 
2021-03-02 12:22:12 PM  

DMDmarty: Eh, buying tools and learning new skills is never a waste of money. It's fun, interesting and ensures you will always be able to make money somehow. My 2 cents anyway. Good luck.


I've learned that when I pick up a hobby it is better for me to skip the starter kit.  With 3D printing, podcasting, drones, etc. I've always gone with the cheaper (not useless cheap, but not what you REALLY want) to see if the hobby sticks.  I pretty much immediately end up buying that next level thing and end up with a cheaper thing that I spent money on that could have been applied to accessories.

Thinking about the K40.  Fully loaded (upgrades, rotary stuff, software) I probably can come in at about a grand which is okay.  For people that aren't comfortable tinkering you really are stuck going to a glowforge or something like that.  I still don't think there is a consumer ready 3D printer.
 
2021-03-02 1:27:04 PM  

mjbok: DMDmarty: Eh, buying tools and learning new skills is never a waste of money. It's fun, interesting and ensures you will always be able to make money somehow. My 2 cents anyway. Good luck.

I've learned that when I pick up a hobby it is better for me to skip the starter kit.  With 3D printing, podcasting, drones, etc. I've always gone with the cheaper (not useless cheap, but not what you REALLY want) to see if the hobby sticks.  I pretty much immediately end up buying that next level thing and end up with a cheaper thing that I spent money on that could have been applied to accessories.

Thinking about the K40.  Fully loaded (upgrades, rotary stuff, software) I probably can come in at about a grand which is okay.  For people that aren't comfortable tinkering you really are stuck going to a glowforge or something like that.  I still don't think there is a consumer ready 3D printer.



Keep in mind the only rotary that fits the k40 as far as I know is the small hotdog type. You could do pens but that's about it. The larger rotary for mugs will not fit it. Also, lightburn is the way to go.
 
2021-03-02 5:26:24 PM  

Tom Marvolo Bombadil: $500 is a small price to pay for the ability to engrave dickbutt on so may things


Engrave it *onto* dick and butt ...

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-02 5:42:53 PM  

mjbok: DMDmarty: Eh, buying tools and learning new skills is never a waste of money. It's fun, interesting and ensures you will always be able to make money somehow. My 2 cents anyway. Good luck.

I've learned that when I pick up a hobby it is better for me to skip the starter kit.  With 3D printing, podcasting, drones, etc. I've always gone with the cheaper (not useless cheap, but not what you REALLY want) to see if the hobby sticks.  I pretty much immediately end up buying that next level thing and end up with a cheaper thing that I spent money on that could have been applied to accessories.

Thinking about the K40.  Fully loaded (upgrades, rotary stuff, software) I probably can come in at about a grand which is okay.  For people that aren't comfortable tinkering you really are stuck going to a glowforge or something like that.  I still don't think there is a consumer ready 3D printer.


I would almost say go one step further and get a better initial unit, and forego things like the rotary for now. You will find the larger cutting area is desperately needed, and the adjustable depth as well. The rotary can be added later to either.
I find I don't use my rotary as much as I thought, but I -ALWAYS- wish I had more cutting area. My Chinese unit is 300*500, one step up from the K40, but it also allows putting items in that have depth up to 8 inches or so, as opposed to only allowing sheet goods like the K40.
 
2021-03-02 5:45:52 PM  

DMDmarty: Keep in mind the only rotary that fits the k40 as far as I know is the small hotdog type. You could do pens but that's about it. The larger rotary for mugs will not fit it. Also, lightburn is the way to go.


THIS. Watch out for depth adjustments in the machines. The cheaper ones have no adjustable table and are set up for thin sheet goods ONLY.
This also precludes using different focal length lenses. Lenses are cheap, and I use 2", 2.5" and 4" depending on whether I am cutting or engraving. Fixed focus units mean you are stuck with one lens length.
 
2021-03-02 5:55:34 PM  
BTW, there are 50w laser kits that come with with all the accessories including rotary table (and decent controller and software, the K40 stuff sucks)
https://www.amazon.com/Engraving-Cutt​i​ng-Machine-Engraver-Auxiliary/dp/B01AJ​IMCKS
There is one example, sellers of those abound though.
Prices have gone up sadly, likely due to tariffs, but that is still 1800 for a unit that is several times the utility and flexibility value of a K40 kit, which already comes with the same controller model that people usually wind up buying and modding onto a K40 to get it to work right in the first place.
-
You plan on doing it right to begin with, that unit I linked to is about the smallest that you can do a reasonable cross section of types of project, repeatably and consistently.
 
2021-03-02 6:01:38 PM  
 
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