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Old 05-25-2016, 07:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Carl:
This is very, very useful, I was waiting for the other thread to dye down to ask this question, but this topic is trending at the moment.

I want a laser for engraving pens, cutting parts, inserts and maybe try to make inlay blanks, and the NEJE will serve one purpose, engraving pens.

After verifying you list it goes up to $580 + shipping witch is very good when you compare to a $10,000

Do you have a link for instructions on how to make these upgrades?
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I had a blast a couple years ago when I got my K40. The old Moshi software was junk and the control board was horrible. The thing would routinely just take off cutting a line at a 45 degree angle, destroying any piece I had positioned in the bed.

I upgraded the control board and software, installed a motorized lift bed and all new wiring and guts. I must say, I certainly learned a lot with this project. Even though it cost me almost twice as much in the end, the results were fantastic and the lessons learned were very useful when I ventured into a Parana CNC router for small signs and pen box engraving. The only issue I have with a 30-40W CO2 is the number of passes it takes to cut 1/8" ply, but as long as you can avoid a fire... it will do the job. Crazy scorch marks and you'll get an appreciation for the focus of the laser when you examine the angle of the cuts.

If you don't mind tinkering, know or are willing to learn basic electronics, and have some patience this can be a very rewarding project and a valuable tool. Once you gut and rebuild one of these, the mystery is removed and you'll be wanting to build larger lasers and CNC machines. This can start an addiction... you've been warned.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Carl -- Thanks for the time you've put into gathering all this information and sharing it -- at some point I know that I'll outgrow the toy that I just bought (the 1000mW Neje) and want to get something like this.

Do you think it can be used to cut thin Kevlar sheets? I have some that I'm using to make templates for airbrushing -- right now I'm limited to my skill with an X-acto blade, this would open up new possibilities.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Ken isn't kidding. This is an addiction and a disease :) It started with me building my own CNC, now the laser. Now I'm looking at 3D printers...it just never ends.

As for instructions, nothing formal and just takes a small degree of tinkering. These machines aren't that complex and once you understand the basics they are really easy to work with. The longest/hardest process is making sure all of the mirrors are properly aligned and then dealing with focal length issues for deep cuts as Ken mentioned above. Some of that can be mediated by upgrading to a powered Z-axis and a new control board, but now you're adding on about another $400 when all is said and done. It's not a requirement, but you'll understand when your cut is on a slight angle because the beam widens out as it passes it's focal point.

The NEJE is a great machine if you only want to engrave wood pens or small items. However as soon as you want to do other materials such as plastics or do any cutting you'll need to move up.

And the new M2 board is an improvement over the old moshidraw board. I'm planning to stick with it for a while and use the heck out of it until I'm really ready for my stage 2 upgrades.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncsuss View Post
Do you think it can be used to cut thin Kevlar sheets? I have some that I'm using to make templates for airbrushing -- right now I'm limited to my skill with an X-acto blade, this would open up new possibilities.
My understanding is that you can't get through real carbon fiber, so I'm guessing Kevlar is out of the question. The resin burns fine but the cloth laughs at the 40W laser. Based on my research anyway.

I have a sheet of composite carbon material here I was going to try to cut but I don't have high hopes.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Fisher View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncsuss View Post
Do you think it can be used to cut thin Kevlar sheets? I have some that I'm using to make templates for airbrushing -- right now I'm limited to my skill with an X-acto blade, this would open up new possibilities.
My understanding is that you can't get through real carbon fiber, so I'm guessing Kevlar is out of the question. The resin burns fine but the cloth laughs at the 40W laser. Based on my research anyway.

I have a sheet of composite carbon material here I was going to try to cut but I don't have high hopes.
I just checked -- the stuff I've got isn't Kevlar, it's Mylar, I believe 0.01" thickness (10 mil).

Sorry for the misleading question, my brain gets stuck in neutral this time of the day
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Yes a CO2 laser will cut through Mylar. It slices right through it like butter. I've used my CO2 laser to cut through Mylar to make templates and mock up flexible circuit boards for work.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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yeah, mylar would be cake.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Ken isn't kidding. This is an addiction and a disease :)
Yeah but we're all pen turners, we already know about addictions and diseases.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Carl,
Your response to my question and thoroughness of the answers and links to information is impressive and appreciated. People like you are why the IAP continues to be a great place to go and be part of!
Thank you.
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