Scratch and Kit Built Aircraft Discuss and share your scratch built or kit built aircraft as well as building techniques, methods, mediums and resources.

My Laser is Smoken!

Old 09-24-2022, 01:07 AM
  #1  
Wildflyer
Past President of PSSF
Thread Starter
 
Wildflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lacey WA, 1 mile E of Mushroom Corner
Posts: 2,258
Talking My Laser is Smoken!

I finally did it, I bought a laser cutter. I bought a Sculpfun S9 it is a diode laser with a VERY tight focus.
I just cut out 16 parts out of 1/8" balsa in one pass. I can not believe how narrow the cut is, it looks like a black hair laying on the wood.
I added an air assist nozzle and then bought an air pump for it. The air blows right down the laser light blowing smoke and everything else out of the way, it is very important to get the best cutting
I ended up at about $350 in it.
Now they came out with the Sculpfun S30 that comes with the nozzle and an automatically controlled air pump plus other upgrades I don't have. Dang if I had only known.
I have seen those for $299 with the same laser I have, they also have two higher-powered laser heads but they are expensive. The 5.5-watt output laser (optical power) is fine for 90% of people.
I am very happy with this unit, but the new one is nicer and cheaper. Make a broad search, don't buy it from AM--Zon they want $200 more
Wildflyer is offline  
Old 09-24-2022, 11:56 AM
  #2  
solentlife
Super Contributor
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,887
Default

Welcome to the Laser world .....

My K40 Laser has air assist to clear the work and it also reduces 'flame' ... if I switch it off - I can easily cause a flame to ignite.

My Laser tube is cooled by a bucket of water with Aquarium pump in it ... water flows to Laser tube and back to bucket. 5 litres of water will give me about 4hours cutting before temp rises enough for me to suspend work and change water.
solentlife is offline  
Old 09-24-2022, 07:59 PM
  #3  
Wildflyer
Past President of PSSF
Thread Starter
 
Wildflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lacey WA, 1 mile E of Mushroom Corner
Posts: 2,258
Default

Wow, I didn't know the K40 was water-cooled.
I looked at the K40 for a while but I have nowhere to put something that size. I can just pick up my laser off the base and put it away, and my base is just 3/4" plywood and a sheet of Hardie panel (fireproof concrete siding, no asbestos) so it is just under 1 1/8" thick.

When I was a contractor, I built a housing shed for a huge hydraulic pump used to test building sections and huge glulam beams.
It generated so much heat at full power that it need a 1" water line flowing through the pump and then into the drain. The water was so hot after one trip through the pump it was steaming like real hot coffee.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Laser cuts  1-8.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	949.2 KB
ID:	188830  
Wildflyer is offline  
Old 09-25-2022, 05:56 PM
  #4  
solentlife
Super Contributor
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,887
Default

Yep K40 needs water cooling ....

The Air Assist is optional ... but good to have as the 40W can ignite the material being cut if care not taken about settings. Plus of course it blows any smoke away.

There's an Extractor fan system as well - with telescopic vent pipe that I throw out the window / door .... essential when cutting Vinyl / Foam .... plus it reduces the cut wood aroma in the 'shop' ...
solentlife is offline  
Old 09-26-2022, 10:17 AM
  #5  
ddlawrence
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 23
Default

do you think it can cut poplar ply or mahogany ply, 1/8" thick, fine like that? how about 1/4"?
ddlawrence is offline  
Old 09-26-2022, 10:40 AM
  #6  
ddlawrence
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 23
Default

i just had a look at the specs. man that is cheap! do you need to sand away the burnt edges when gluing parts together?
ddlawrence is offline  
Old 09-29-2022, 01:00 AM
  #7  
Wildflyer
Past President of PSSF
Thread Starter
 
Wildflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lacey WA, 1 mile E of Mushroom Corner
Posts: 2,258
Default

I have cut parts out of 3mm baltic birch just fine even before I got the air assist. I am going to cut some pieces tonight with air.

The one to get now is the Sculpfun S30 the 5.5-watt laser is fine for hobby use I have seen it for $299
It has things included as standards that would cost me about $400 -$450 to add now to mine.
I wish I had known.
They offer more powerful S30s but they get expensive, more for production use.

I don't worry about the dark edges unless they will show later.
When you get the right power and speed for your material, all I get is a toast color on the edge with NO soot left behind. I use air assist which is air from a pump blowing down along the laser beam, it blows dust out of the cut. My cuts in balsa now are astonishing, I have not seen a laser cut kit with this narrow of cut, and neither has the owner of my local hobby shop.
The cut is supposed to be 0.08mm wide! Less than 1/10 of a mm, WOW! The pieces don't even fall out until you push a little.
Wildflyer is offline  
Old 09-29-2022, 09:36 AM
  #8  
ddlawrence
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 23
Default

wow that is so cheap! i have a small cnc that i built for about $1000 2 years ago.
i will consider getting a laser when my financial situation improves.

i build bigger models so the ability to cut hardwood ply is a big factor.

thanks for the feedback.
ddlawrence is offline  
Old 10-29-2022, 08:01 AM
  #9  
CHELLIE
Super Contributor
 
CHELLIE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hesperia, So. Calif
Posts: 19,323
Default

Thats awesome Wildflyer, I think i could put the laser together, but I would not be able to program the computer to operate it, I am a Computer Dummie
CHELLIE is offline  
Old 11-07-2022, 04:36 PM
  #10  
ddlawrence
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 23
Default

another question if i may. how many passes does it take to cut through something like 3mm poplar ply?
ddlawrence is offline  
Old 11-08-2022, 07:31 PM
  #11  
Wildflyer
Past President of PSSF
Thread Starter
 
Wildflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lacey WA, 1 mile E of Mushroom Corner
Posts: 2,258
Default

ddlawrence,
Most of the time I get good cuts at 100mm per minute and 85% power on the laser, and 2 passes.
A lot depends on the density of the material, I have had 3mm cut clear through with 1 pass in some areas of the sheet yet not even close to cutting in others. Maybe more glue inside or something. The excellent 1/8" aircraft plywood from Finland with 7 plys might take 4 passes. I would love to get more of that.

This is not a Co2 laser, the 90watt and above ones cut at 100mm per second, 60 times as fast.
But this is my hobby, not my business. Many of my designs will take an hour or more, one was 4 hours.
The best thing is that the cuts are precisely to your design. You can not cut close to as accurately even with a good scroll saw. I have one in the shop that at one time was a $2000 saw.

In the pictures, I designed and made the servo mounts to fit in the tail of my 35cc Smoothie XL. The double mount is so strong, I have placed it on the floor and stood on it!
The tree is a design I downloaded but have not cut yet, this is just one of 4 layers, fully cut and painted it is a beautiful gift for someone. Can you imagine cutting that on a scroll saw?
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Double servo mount.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	937.3 KB
ID:	188871   Click image for larger version

Name:	Back of servo mounts.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	1.07 MB
ID:	188872   Click image for larger version

Name:	Tree leaves.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	320.9 KB
ID:	188873  
Wildflyer is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.

Page generated in 0.10267 seconds with 17 queries