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Author Topic: Laser cutter information request  (Read 795 times)
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benjamin
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« on: January 12, 2018, 10:01:46 AM »

Hi,

Back with another question. I'm thinking to buy a laser cutter. I checked eBay and i was surprised to find so many different models.
I'm a bit lost regarding quality, reliability, etc...
So would you have some experiences with such tools? What would you recommend?

One of my wish would be to have one working with mac software, nut not mandatory.

Thanks
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RalphS
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 11:42:46 AM »

If you look down this list  -  about 20 items,  there is plenty of information.
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glidermaster
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 02:48:12 PM »

Aren't you forgetting something there, Ralph?
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strat-o
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 04:03:33 PM »

This is probably what Ralph meant: http://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_forum/index.php?topic=21580.0
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RalphS
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 04:24:31 PM »

Exactly.
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pedwards2932
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 07:01:58 PM »

Also you will get a lot of info here:  http://benboxlaser.us/index.php
I have a 2.5 watt machine and it will cut up to 1/8 Balsa (might do more I just haven't needed to try anything thicker)  It will also cut 1/8" plywood you just need to make sure you use plywood designed for lasers as the glue in some plywood won't laser cut.  I also found out recently that it will cut tissue so it is great for making tissue graphics.

I got mine from Banggood and you have to assemble them very carefully.  You have to also respect the fact they can burn your eyes so I bought some glasses special for laser as I didn't trust what came with the machine. Definitely check out the site I gave you, lot of info.

Here is mine in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwRuYac3ZVQ I have gotten even better cuts since I got glass lens for the laser and set up a raised cut board so there is air space underneath what I am cutting
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benjamin
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 03:20:29 AM »

thanks for the info! Are you happy with the precision? I checked the banggood links, it seems very cheap. What can I expect about precision?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 03:58:06 AM by benjamin » Logged
pedwards2932
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2018, 08:34:46 AM »

Once you have it adjusted properly it is very accurate.   The biggest problem with mine was getting wheels that it rolls on tight so there is no play and getting the belts precisely tightened.  Once I got the glass lens I was able to cut 3/32 light balsa in a single pass.  If you get the focus correct the kerf is very small. My understanding is the 5 watt units don't focus as tight and are harder to get a thin kerf.  The final part is getting you drawings accurate to compensate for kerf....I found that notches you have to play around to get them to get the proper tightness.
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PaulBrad
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2018, 02:25:21 PM »

pedwards - Based on your photos, it looks like you have achieved a very good balance of cutting speed for the given thickness of balsa being cut. There seems to be minimal edge scorching on the stack of wing ribs. Like just about any tool, there is a learning process involved in getting good results. It sure looks like you have done a very good job of mastering your low cost laser cutter.

Paul Bradley
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SWAT1057
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 07:30:51 PM »

pedwards - Please share which glass lens you retrofitted to your LASER. This information would help others in getting good results with out going through all the trial and error that you have already experienced. Your posts on HP have been very helpful to all modelers that are interested in setting up a LASER cutting machine. Appreciate your efforts.

SWAT1057
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pedwards2932
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2018, 09:03:39 AM »

Here is what I got.  I also got a G7 lens but I was getting such good results with the glass lens I haven't really tried it.  The G7 lens increases the efficiency to 88% with a longer focal length.  The G2 increases efficiency to 95% with a shorter focal length.  That means the G2 gives you the highest efficiency but the material needs to be completely flat and level and focused perfectly to take advantage of the increased efficiency.  The G7 is closer to the Collimating lens.

Where all this comes into play is with plywood and hard balsa.  Since I am trying to make light weight rubberband planes I don't use the harder balsa very often.  If you cut harder materials you have to slow down the cut.....I have found it is better to make multiple passes then to go too slow to keep the kerf small. Also air assist....I use an aquarium pump and a small tube pointed at the cut to blow out ash which makes multiple passes more efficient.  You will get more burn on the harder balsa and plywood so if that is a problem you have to sand the burn a bit to get rid of it.
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