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Author Topic: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance  (Read 3449 times)

f00bard

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Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« on: July 01, 2012, 08:57:28 PM »
Following up on the RFC thread concerning the laser, please move discussion about ongoing maintenance on the laser cutter here.

Thanks! 8)

PockyBum522

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 09:58:01 AM »
Anyone who's interested in watching/helping with laser tube installation, I plan to get working on it Tuesday the 4th, starting at 6 or 7 (unless there are any objections) and ending at around 9/10pm, or possibly 4am. Gifts of gallons of distilled water are welcome, the lab has lots of uses for them if we have too many, any they're cheap.

Simply7

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 11:09:32 AM »
Tuesday (the 5th) is open house. Not sure if you planned it that way. There are 3 ( I think) gallons on the pallet rack closest to the solder station.

PockyBum522

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 12:23:52 PM »
Yeah. We shall say "And this is a good example of us making...the laser better."

Simply7

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 11:47:56 AM »
How did it go?

PockyBum522

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 02:01:28 PM »
It went well :) Laser works, vector cuts work better, If you raster do it on 1000x1000, it has a better chance of working.


Thanks

AtomicProf

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 04:30:46 PM »
I am not so impressed with the Laser  :-\ .


A:  It takes a good 8 passes to get through 1/8 inch piece of plastic.
B:  The laser quickly loses it "Focus" or Laserness -- as it moves to the right on the Bed.
  • There is a paper print out on top of the laser cabinet that shows this. 
  • At 30% power it could cut through the paper for only 3 inches from the left edge.
  • But past that (70 percent of the bed) it had problems.
C:  Pretty much the same goes for  travel away from the wall, and toward the front of the bench.


So does the laser "WORK"
Ans:  NOT TO SPECS


Will it cut small pieces in the upper left corner.  Sure.  As long as they aren't very thick.


===========  ALSO ===============
The software isn't working up to spec either.  (new software) -- I wasn't able to get the old software to connect via USB
A: It cut four (4) passes
B: And was well into the fifth (5th) pass, and just Stopped --  the laser head from moving and ceased firing the laser.
C: It wasn't paused, it was stopped. 


Another time, into a pass, the laser turned off, but the head kept moving.


One word to describe my afternoon working with the Laser
FRUSTRATING
That is All

There is Quality in the Details
That is All

willasaywhat

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 07:45:21 PM »
I ran pricing on a few options over the past month. Happy to discuss if we want to continue to look at our options. I know Pocky wants to look at a new controller board for this one, but at this point its becoming a project and not a tool. Thoughts?

Simply7

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 08:53:38 PM »
What about the power supply for the laser? Is there a chance that is going as well?

PockyBum522

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 08:56:27 PM »
This is very much a project. It's been going downhill for a while, now instead of just minor maintenance, it's gotta be a major overhaul. I don't think this is a startling revelation. It'll be finished in +-2 Weeks, and yes, the need for a new laser is still great. Even when this one is working 100% we'll need a new laser. It's a good little hobby laser, but a larger bed and more power would be so much more capable. I'm sorry if me working on this one took away attention from the need for a better one, because we so do.

PockyBum522

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 08:58:01 PM »
Also, since we put a new focusing lens in it focuses very far away from where it used to. Can someone put a better, but still broken notice on the laser for me? Sorry if I gave the impression it was 100%. It's very much not. Thanks.

P47

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 09:25:08 PM »
Has the beam combiner been installed? If it hasn't been yet, it might be a good idea to leave it out for now. One less variable to deal with while trying to get the laser working close to what it used to.

PockyBum522

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 09:36:06 PM »
The beam combiner has not been installed, and I promise, unless the cooling pump exploded and the laser isn't cooling properly, it's just that the focal length is a lot longer than we're used to. If you must use it, you have to kind of play with it to get it right. I haven't had time to make up new focusing jigs, and didn't really bother since it's not working well yet. It's about 1cm (or a tad more) than we're used to for focal length.


I watched it walk through 1/8 plywood at 100/100/5. It's fine for power.

Waterbury

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Re: Ongoing laser cutter maintenance
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 09:44:37 PM »
Pocky is correct, we did replace the lens, and there is a new focal length. The new length is about 10mm longer than it was before. I considered placing the "broken tool" notice back on the laser Tueday night, but the laser technically functioned, only with an unknown focal length, and it was also very late. Sorry.


I just aligned the laser manually and found a good sweet spot, and made a new ruler. To see how different the new ruler is to the old, refer to the attached image.


Also, refer to the two spirals, in the second image. The spiral on the left was cut using the old ruler, the spiral on the right was cut using the longer focal length.
"The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly." ~ John F. Kennedy

PockyBum522

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