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Old 05-26-2016, 02:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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I'm currently working with someone who has a 3D printer and a design for a different style of targeting laser. This one will allow a single dot laser to fire into the secondary mirror and paint an accurate target through the laser head while the lid of the machine is open. When you close the lid it will pivot the targeting laser out of the path of the main laser.

I'm finding that I don't like the way my targeting laser is setup as it can vary if your not targeted right at the focal length of the work piece and it's skewed since it sits off to the side of the laser head.

The new one should remove all of that guess work.

You can see a version of it on Thingiverse here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1002341
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Fisher View Post
I'm currently working with someone who has a 3D printer and a design for a different style of targeting laser. This one will allow a single dot laser to fire into the secondary mirror and paint an accurate target through the laser head while the lid of the machine is open. When you close the lid it will pivot the targeting laser out of the path of the main laser.

I'm finding that I don't like the way my targeting laser is setup as it can vary if your not targeted right at the focal length of the work piece and it's skewed since it sits off to the side of the laser head.

The new one should remove all of that guess work.

You can see a version of it on Thingiverse here: Laser pointer for K40 Chinese CO2 Laser by ThorMJ - Thingiverse
Very cool, and I have access to a 3D printer. Now I want a 40 watt unit! Sadly, the wallet is a bit flat ATM.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:02 AM   #23 (permalink)
 
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Hey Carl,
Thanks for creating this thread. I couldn't see it yesterday hence why I started one - have since asked for it to be deleted

Just food for thought, but an anodised metal pen can have the anodising removed by laser. We may not be able to etch metal at these powers, but I would think stripping anodising would be a better approach than using the marking compounds which as you said, may wear off with time. Anodising is pretty permanent as you know. Needless to say I'm looking into this so I can put names on my pens professionally, but id like to experiment with graphic effects too.


I've been eyeing up this one. Quite a price jump for the one you're using. Would you mind having a read to see what you think?

PRO 50W CO2 Desktop USB Laser Engraving Cutting Machine Cutter Engraver | eBay

This one comes with a Rotary attachment.


Could I ask what you do with regards to the water cooling?

Last edited by BradG; 06-03-2016 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:21 AM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Fisher View Post
I'm currently working with someone who has a 3D printer and a design for a different style of targeting laser. This one will allow a single dot laser to fire into the secondary mirror and paint an accurate target through the laser head while the lid of the machine is open. When you close the lid it will pivot the targeting laser out of the path of the main laser.

I'm finding that I don't like the way my targeting laser is setup as it can vary if your not targeted right at the focal length of the work piece and it's skewed since it sits off to the side of the laser head.

The new one should remove all of that guess work.

You can see a version of it on Thingiverse here: Laser pointer for K40 Chinese CO2 Laser by ThorMJ - Thingiverse
I would be concerned about 2 things off the bat.
1. The width of a focusing laser may not match the diameter of the laser from the tube and therefore you may not get an accurate focus on your Z axis.
2. The laser and pivot arm would have to be mounted to the case and not the lid as the lid may have too much play in the hinges over time and not rest in exactly the same place. That would mean a mechanical lift arm in the way of my gantry, but you might have more room than me.

For these reasons I'm more a fan of two dot lasers on either side of my laser head (3D printing a mount is easy) placed at a calculated angle so that the dots overlap at a fixed focal point. I have a motorized bed for Z axis, so I would simply raise or lower the piece until my red dots join. Then I have not only my focal point but also my virtual zero if I'm trying to hit a specific point on a piece of material.

Just my preferences as food for thought.

edit*
Here are the focusing lasers i picked up. They work quite well and the individual focus on them helps with macro adjustments in the 2 laser setup.
http://www.lightobject.com/5mW-650nm...oint-P585.aspx

The mod you mentioned is a simple version of a beam combiner. Like this http://www.lightobject.com/Laser-mac...ter-P1000.aspx

Certainly not a bad way to go, I just liked this option better... something like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:558587
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Last edited by Maverick KB; 06-03-2016 at 08:53 AM. Reason: added links
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:37 AM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Here are some of the upgrades i used on mine:

New brains! No more Moshi. That board and software was so bad on mine it was this or the dump.
X7 DSP upgrade kit for D/K40 small CO2 laser machine

I put the motorized bed in. This was a game changer!!!
Power table/ bed kit for K40 small laser machine

In the end, I probably over spent and could have built a better bigger one from scratch, but I learned a lot. I also upgraded the water pump with a pond pump from Lowes, upgraded the exhaust fan, replaced the mirrors & the focusing head, added air assist and zero stop switches... basically, I only kept the case, the laser tube and the X, Y gantry (which I had to modify so it ran true).

I may build a new frame and gantry system and transplant my guts for a larger work area. Then, when my tube dies, i can replace it with an 80W tube or better.

See... it never ends...
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:40 AM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradG View Post
Just food for thought, but an anodised metal pen can have the anodising removed by laser. We may not be able to etch metal at these powers, but I would think stripping anodising would be a better approach than using the marking compounds which as you said, may wear off with time.
Be aware that laser-engraving anodized metal does not simply remove the anodizing. I've engraved a variety of anodized aluminum items (dog tags, flashlights, pocket knives, etc.). The laser leaves a white mark, not silver. Also, the mark tends to flow a little, so don't expect the same resolution you can get on other materials.

I hope that helps,
Eric
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:43 AM   #27 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvanite View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradG View Post
Just food for thought, but an anodised metal pen can have the anodising removed by laser. We may not be able to etch metal at these powers, but I would think stripping anodising would be a better approach than using the marking compounds which as you said, may wear off with time.
Be aware that laser-engraving anodized metal does not simply remove the anodizing. I've engraved a variety of anodized aluminum items (dog tags, flashlights, pocket knives, etc.). The laser leaves a white mark, not silver. Also, the mark tends to flow a little, so don't expect the same resolution you can get on other materials.

I hope that helps,
Eric
Hi Eric. what wattage laser do you have?

I am aiming for this level.
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Carl,

What do you think of this version of the 40W CO2 laser:

40W CO2 Laser Engraving Cutting Cutter Machine ENGRAVER USB Port High Precise | eBay

Do you feel that the upgraded controls included are worth the extra money as a starting point?
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:30 PM   #29 (permalink)
 
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that seems like a reasonable price. wonder how that one performs. didn't see any examples on the page.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:56 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Carl,

What do you think of this version of the 40W CO2 laser:

40W CO2 Laser Engraving Cutting Cutter Machine ENGRAVER USB Port High Precise | eBay

Do you feel that the upgraded controls included are worth the extra money as a starting point?

I've been following a bit of talk on the newest version on the market, but so far nobody has owned up to buying one.

It has some neat upgrades but I have to wonder if they are quality upgrades or just something thrown in cheaply to try to get a leg up in a very competitive market.
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