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  1. #1
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    Feb 2004
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    466

    Laser/laser machine basics ?

    Hello all.
    I projecting a laser cnc project and I would like to understand the basics about the subject.
    Most of this forum is about about ready to use laser cutter/engraver.

    First thing I need to get is what wattage should I use.
    My general idea is that I can use a laser to do cutting of some materials, but I dont know how many watts do I need to cut what type of material.

    Can I use a 100Watt CO2 sealed tube laser at 30Watts to engrave?
    The engraving process must take in consideration what type of material I want to engrave? What would be a bad engrave job a hole burned in the piece?

    Are there solid state lasers 25-50Watts range that could be used to cut or engrave?

    My intended projects involve cutting wood veneer maybe up to 3mm in thickness. Can I use the same laser to cut and to engrave?

    The project in my mind looks like a couple of servos, gecko powered to move an XY table, maybe 1m x 1.5m, with a laser tube on the side of the table and mirrors to direct the beam to the work piece.
    This makes me wonder about what software should I take in consideration. Mach3 will aid me in that?
    What does that mean, does it mean that I will have to make my own Gcode I wish to cut/engrave?
    Would I need more software for photo engraving?

    Many of the ready to use laser cutter/engraver in the market (chinesse and others) use some sort of controller MPC03 for example. What does it mean? Is it a PCI card of sort? What kind of software does it uses?

    Should I buy something other than gecko´s to drive my servos, some other type of controller more suited for laser applications?


    Feel free to answer what ever part of this post you want, I apritiate any input.
    Thank you.
    Konstantin.

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    First thing I need to get is what wattage should I use.
    My general idea is that I can use a laser to do cutting of some materials, but I dont know how many watts do I need to cut what type of material. My intended projects involve cutting wood veneer maybe up to 3mm in thickness.
    It fully depends on material you want to cut. But general rule is: the more - the better. For 3mm wood 100W CO2 should be enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    Can I use a 100Watt CO2 sealed tube laser at 30Watts to engrave?
    Shure you can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    The engraving process must take in consideration what type of material I want to engrave?
    Of cource you must make desicions WHAT and HOW you want to cut/engrave it. You will be responcible for the results. And each case is individual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    What would be a bad engrave job a hole burned in the piece?
    Sorry, not understood...

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    Are there solid state lasers 25-50Watts range that could be used to cut or engrave?
    I think yes, they exist. Just search web for info about them. But you should know that not any laser can cut/engrave any material. It depends on laser's wavelength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    Can I use the same laser to cut and to engrave?
    Yes, you can (see above). Actually, there is almost no difference between marking (engraving) and cutting. You use low power - burn some material - and get marks, or use high power - burn more material - and cut thru.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    The project in my mind looks like a couple of servos, gecko powered to move an XY table, maybe 1m x 1.5m, with a laser tube on the side of the table and mirrors to direct the beam to the work piece.
    This makes me wonder about what software should I take in consideration.
    Will not reconnend anything, it all depends on hardware. And I'm not a big specialist in building controls for motion systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    Mach3 will aid me in that?
    What does that mean, does it mean that I will have to make my own Gcode I wish to cut/engrave?
    If you will use Mach2/3, you will need to create G-coded programs for it using special CAM software. For my home-built laser machine Mach2 works pretty fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    Would I need more software for photo engraving?
    There is no straight answer, it all depends on what hardware/software you will use. Generally, it depends on how well (accurate, fast) you can control your laser power/frequency, and how it is implemented in a software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
    Should I buy something other than gecko´s to drive my servos, some other type of controller more suited for laser applications?
    Motion system is almost absolutely independend from what laser hardware you will use.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
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    641
    Konstantin I recomend you, easier to buy a chinnesse cheap machine , and make all changes you want, you 'll get it in less time, less money.125x90 machine with 80 w laser will cost you about $4000 Fob china, and you get laser for 1000 hours.
    Luis

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