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View Full Version : Ready to push the button and buy a laser....



Davek0974
09-03-2017, 11:22 AM
Maybe ;)

Looking at getting one of the eBay offerings, all seem the same, probably a 60W model so i end up with about 30-40W at the cut.

Watched loads of videos, realise the machines, as most chinese stuff does, needs a lot of fettling and tuning, realise that they over-drive the tubes to get more out - bad idea, and so-on so hopefully there will not be too many surprises in store.

First question - most vids show them cutting white card/paper, supposedly because it looks good and shows defects well. I have a possible task in mind that uses BLACK card, about 0.25mm thick - will they cut this as easily? My guess is yes but...

I was looking at building one but there is no way to put even the motion together for what these machines are going for so buying and fixing is the way forwards.

komatias
09-03-2017, 01:12 PM
Maybe ;)

Looking at getting one of the eBay offerings, all seem the same, probably a 60W model so i end up with about 30-40W at the cut.

Watched loads of videos, realise the machines, as most chinese stuff does, needs a lot of fettling and tuning, realise that they over-drive the tubes to get more out - bad idea, and so-on so hopefully there will not be too many surprises in store.

First question - most vids show them cutting white card/paper, supposedly because it looks good and shows defects well. I have a possible task in mind that uses BLACK card, about 0.25mm thick - will they cut this as easily? My guess is yes but...

I was looking at building one but there is no way to put even the motion together for what these machines are going for so buying and fixing is the way forwards.

Yeah bought a blue and white one and it has not needed any work since buying it.

Black card will not be an issue.

Davek0974
09-03-2017, 06:45 PM
Looking at this one....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201662752265?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Should be ok, will expect to do some fine tuning but thats half the fun i think ;)

AndrewMawson
09-03-2017, 07:06 PM
Dave,

It looks to be identical to mine.

You are welcome to come and play with my 60 watt Chinese chappie before you part with your dosh. There's a bit about it here:

http://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,10888.msg126523.html#msg126523

and here:

http://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,10883.msg126442.html#msg126442

Davek0974
09-03-2017, 07:53 PM
Thanks for the offer Andrew,

I think i'm fairly certain it will need work and I'm ok with that, i like to go through and fine-tune stuff anyway, its a good way to learn all the dodgy parts and i had already spotted those terrible universal sockets - i've got some IEC ones in the CNC building parts box so they will go in pretty much exactly as your one.

I put in an offer tonight, see if they take it or not :)

Davek0974
10-03-2017, 04:41 PM
Ok, i ordered one this morning, fingers crossed.

Few q's for starters...

Are there any "preferred" sources of acrylic and laser-ply sheet ?

Everyone just use the pump-in-a-bucket cooler, plain water, de-ionised water, any additives?


Two things i will be getting is a 0-50mA meter for tube current and a power measuring probe/device - these seem pretty essential things for starters.

AndrewMawson
10-03-2017, 04:53 PM
Dave you reckless devil !


I used to use a bucket & pump, but it filled up with dead spiders and flies, and I wanted anti freeze in it as mine is close to a roller shutter door. As the dogs often come and visit me I didn't want poisonous antifreeze in an open bucket - so I got one of the cooler units described in this thread:

http://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,11786.0.html

Apart from having to replace the pump as described in that thread it's been very good.

AndrewMawson
10-03-2017, 05:10 PM
I've been buying plywood and acrylic from Hindleys

https://hindleys.com/

Davek0974
10-03-2017, 07:05 PM
Thanks, i'll look out for a chiller type unit, not too bad price on the bay but if it can be got for less then happy days ;)

Hindleys looks good, i seem to recall getting some engraving plastic from them some time ago.

Can't wait.....

John S
11-03-2017, 05:09 PM
Fancy plastics can be got from 908ltd.co.uk

Davek0974
14-03-2017, 08:31 AM
And so it starts...

As suspected, delay tactics from the supplier - they are shipping the rotary attachment separately and the DPD tracking is working on that - currently in Oldham?

The machine however is showing fake/unrecognised tracking ref on DHL, I have asked twice for a real ref but they just send the same number and wish me a happy day :(

AndrewMawson
14-03-2017, 09:47 AM
Dave,

I had the same problem with mine. It was supposed to ship from Portsmouth in 3 days. When it didn't show they gave me tracking numbers that didn't work. When I pressed them they said it was 'held up by DHL Strike' but DHL had no knowledge of any strikes. When I threatened to cancel the order they admitted that it was coming from Germany. When it eventually arrived the case was split and there was minor damage to the machine. I would have told them to replace it, but I needed it urgently to make various signs and decorations for my youngest Daughter's wedding.

As you probably saw in that thread on MadModder there were a few things needed to sort it, but it did fundamentally work, but obviously the tube and mirrors needed aligning as they all do after shipping half way round the world.

Davek0974
14-03-2017, 10:12 AM
Yeah, i've suffered before from these types, as long as the frame is not twisted etc, i can put up with slight damage as i'll just put in a request for compo or refund - they will 99.9% of the time just buckle and give cash back as long there are photos etc.

I know the tube will be near the end of its shelf life already and fully expect no more than 50W from the supposed 60W tube - will also be advising them of that too if the tube is the wrong length i.e. wrong power.

You have to stand up and not bend with them and they will generally do something in return - they certainly hate bad feedback and never take the goods back.

Still a PITA though.

John S
14-03-2017, 10:54 AM
I didn't have problems with mine, a blue and white 50w from Portsmouth.
Arrived well packed in three days and it was still all lined up. That bit didn't bother me as i have had quite a few years lining 4Kw + lasers up.

Small son recently, 2 months ago ordered one of the red 60W ones , again from Portsmouth and his took about 5 days to arrive but his again worked out the box.

m_c
14-03-2017, 11:53 AM
I know when I ordered my 3040, the tracking number provided didn't get recognised by the courier's website, yet the machine turned up with said courier and that tracking number.

I think it was DHL, however it's been a few years. Have you tried putting the tracking number into one of the websites that tries to recognise the number format and identify the relevant courier?

AndrewMawson
14-03-2017, 12:25 PM
Dave,

Did you get your power probe - if so can you let me have the details please ?

Davek0974
14-03-2017, 12:39 PM
Dave,

Did you get your power probe - if so can you let me have the details please ?

Not yet - i have one of Russ' DoHICkeys on order - he will be back in the country in the next few days will send when he gets here - The Mahoney probes only seem to be available in 200W range which means most of the scale is wasted on a 50-60W machine, I also have a nice digital meter that i can use with Russ' product.

John S
14-03-2017, 01:24 PM
Any chance of a link to Russ's product please, Google is being a bit vague.

Davek0974
14-03-2017, 01:35 PM
Go in via the YouTube channel - SarbarMultimedia - it's Russ' channel and has some amazingly good videos on lasers etc. Then use the email/contact feature.

He's pretty fast on the reply, just ask if he has any DoHickeys left :)

Davek0974
15-03-2017, 08:09 AM
LOL, rotary attachment is currently in Birmingham and finally got working tracking on the machine which is currently in Bremen, Germany.

So much for "UK Shipment, Portsmouth" :)

Davek0974
15-03-2017, 04:23 PM
Oh well, one down, one to go....

The rotary attachment arrived today - totally wrecked as the chuck had broken the shaft that mounts it and was loose in the box, unusable and a complete waste - the box that should have held the chuck was in there so why was it fitted??

My thoughts were previous customer return item.

emailed supplier with a photo.

John S
15-03-2017, 04:29 PM
Oh dear, not good.
My rotary attachment is still bubble wrapped but mine is the simpler, cheaper unit with no chuck, just a set of stepper driven 3 rollers to hold a glass or bottle by friction.
Can't see it ever getting used.

I did see another one of the type you have on a forum somewhere, where the spindle had pulled out of the upright because the bearing was a loose fit but it looked an easy fix if you could get redress off the seller.

Davek0974
15-03-2017, 04:43 PM
This would be an easy fix - re-weld the plate and true up on the lathe but that's not the point :)

See what they say in the morning.

Davek0974
15-03-2017, 04:51 PM
Broken weld, if you call it a weld...
21108

Put the chuck box in though, thats a nice touch...
21109

Nice wiring....
21110

AndrewMawson
15-03-2017, 05:03 PM
JS probably saw my post here on Madmodder - see reply #23

http://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,10888.msg126523.html#msg126523

Oh, and my cable outer also was stripped too far back to use the clamps like yours, but I found that by friction warming the outer by gripping with a cloth and sliding it, I could ease the outer far enough down the wires to get under the clamps (which are too large a diameter to grip, but a bit of the serrated end of a tywrap makes up the gap sufficiently !

Davek0974
16-03-2017, 08:15 AM
Supplier reply - can i get it fixed locally and how much?

I guess 50 will cover it :) See what they say.

AndrewMawson
16-03-2017, 09:07 AM
Mine ended up 40 under asking price. They've just this morning sent me an eBay message asking if it's arrived and am I happy with it! Considering I told them it arrived broken, sent photos, got a discount, and left them neutral feedback you'd think that they were aware of my opinion by now!

Davek0974
16-03-2017, 09:42 AM
As this was a package deal, i think the rotary added about 100 over the price of the basic machine so 50 seems reasonable i think.

They certainly don't keep track of orders very closely it seems in your case ;)

Davek0974
16-03-2017, 06:44 PM
More like it...
21117

Ground the bird-sh1t off, turned a bevel on the stub so there was somewhere for the weld to fill, nice heavy fillet, turned the flange true to the shaft, refitted it.

Also drilled a couple of divots for the pulley screws to locate into.

I'll also replace the crap allen screws which appear to be M6 but have a socket that fits nothing with some proper M6 ones !

routercnc
16-03-2017, 07:27 PM
More like it...
21117

Ground the bird-sh1t off, turned a bevel on the stub so there was somewhere for the weld to fill, nice heavy fillet, turned the flange true to the shaft, refitted it.

Also drilled a couple of divots for the pulley screws to locate into.

I'll also replace the crap allen screws which appear to be M6 but have a socket that fits nothing with some proper M6 ones !

Good recovery Dave
It has been said before that this Chinese stuff has to be considered a kit of bits

Davek0974
16-03-2017, 08:27 PM
I just hate the wastage of materials etc.

I was doing some mental sums on the way home, I figured price of machine was 1650 so eBay/paypal fees @ 15% is 247, shipping from Bremen in Germany to UK via DHL maybe 200??, UK import duty @20% maybe 330, shipping from China to Bremen possibly free if company container etc so ignore that step, we are now down to 873.

They will probably throw in the 50 i asked for to repair the rotary so now we have 823

Next, figure they will get a hit when i query the tube length/power not as advertised, any physical damage etc - they always offer up a compo payment just to shut the customer up, no idea how that will play out yet.

So we have what, 700 left to pay for assembly, making the cabinet, supplying the (usually) reasonable quality parts and whats left? Maybe they see 100-150 on each machine?

The logistics of China manufacturing baffle me every time.

Anyway, I digress.....

AndrewMawson
16-03-2017, 08:58 PM
I have to say that you do get a lot for your money, and if they'd only spend just a little more time on those final steps tidying up the silly mistakes they would be supreme value. Beware - that is the future !

Davek0974
16-03-2017, 09:12 PM
If this is the future then there is not much to look forward to i feel ;)

I'm on the side of good quality workmanship, taking pride in your work etc, that's what grates my nuts when things like the rotary get shipped with a 4lb chuck fitted on a weak flange - it took some chinese person some small amount of time to make that unit - simply shipping with the chuck in the box and it would probably have lasted forever.

Ah well...

Davek0974
17-03-2017, 04:34 PM
Chiller arrived today, not really a chiller more an active radiator but far better than a pump in a bucket:)

I was pleasantly surprised with this bit of far eastern engineering for a change...

21141

21142

21143

Nice, tidy wiring, earth connected to chassis, no more bare pipe matrix - now we have a nice finned radiator unit, wall-wart psu - nothing wrong with that, flow switch and audible alarm function nicely if you squeeze the pipe shut, thermometer reads ok, even has a liquid level display on the front.

I might even get another for the 2kw spindle on my mini-mill.

This put a grin on my face...

21144

"Forbidden to anhydrous boot" - I guess it's a long way of saying "Do not run dry" :)

John S
17-03-2017, 04:47 PM
Where did you get the chiller from Dave ?
Could do with one for my TiG

Davek0974
17-03-2017, 04:56 PM
eBay - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172405286174?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Don't forget - its not an active chiller - just a pump and radiator :)

The CW5000 model is active but costs more of course

Davek0974
20-03-2017, 11:56 AM
Machine is "out for delivery..."

Fingers crossed.

Davek0974
20-03-2017, 02:04 PM
It's here :)

Uncrated, no signs of severe damage, the only two things i have spotted so far are the table up/down buttons smashed and the safety switch on the table cover broken.

The tube as suspected is NOT the 60W one i ordered but a 50W overdriven. It's only 1000mm long and a 60W should be 1150mm approx.
21178

The wiring seems well done...
21179

I can't see any loose wires or trapped ones etc, the safety reset button was loose, I have wound the head back/fwd by hand and it seems easy to move to so no jams there. Couple of scuffs on the paint but not worth worrying about.

The universal sockets on the back will be coming off and replaced with IEC ones.

Now to get a claim in with the supplier for the wrong tube etc......

AndrewMawson
20-03-2017, 05:19 PM
Beware - there was a little rocker switch on mine that over rode the cover safety interlock switch - it got disconnected very quickly - I'd like to keep the one eye that I have left !

Obscurely labelled 'Open Cover for Protection' what it actually does is remove the protection of the cover safety switch !


21180

Davek0974
20-03-2017, 07:38 PM
Yeah i have that one too, i am ok with safety, got goggles etc.

The cover safety switch was smashed on my one anyway - its all in an email to the supplier tonight along with the fact that its a 50W not 60W etc

Found a couple of switches to fix the up/down buttons ;)

Davek0974
21-03-2017, 11:10 AM
Well, that was fun :)

The one thing i did not check was the run of the cooling pipes :)

I fitted the water chiller and filled it up, waited for leaks, waited a bit more, looked round the tube-ok, wen't to get a coffee - come back and the alarm is screaming and water is now over the workshop floor and streaming out the bottom of the cabinet :)

After mopping up, it turns out there are no ty-wraps or clamps on any pipes and it had blown off of the flow switch inside.

I've fitted ties everywhere now and refilled, the bottom of the cabinet is surprising water-tight and also full of very sharp corners :(

Since then it has burnt its first hole in card and i'm now running up some test shapes in RD.

The mirrors are filthy and the first check i did at mirror 3 shows the beam not to be very well aligned but i'll leave for a while and do some playing about.

I have also fixed the table up/down buttons.

AndrewMawson
21-03-2017, 07:58 PM
It begs the question how they checked it at the factory - lucky that water didn't kill any electronics !

Davek0974
21-03-2017, 08:23 PM
Yeah i'm using a Cw3000 circulator/cooler and its got a pretty good little pump on it.

Stupid not to put clips or ties on though, would have been far worse if it was a tube pipe as that sits above the electronics and the cabinet has plenty of holes there, close call i think.

Its been on all day and no more leaks though so i think i caught it.

Made a few cuts, turned the lens over the right way, will be fitting current meter tomorrow so i can check max safe power level to use - limit is 20mA for my tube.

Its fascinating to watch, great fun.

AndrewMawson
21-03-2017, 09:16 PM
I think that yours also came with the big snail extractor fan didn't it? Even with that extracting directly outside, the corrosive fumes given off by some of the plastics have rusted the table lift screws on mine - well worth getting some lubricant on them before it happens to yours.

Davek0974
21-03-2017, 09:25 PM
Yeah thats the one, i have gone over it all with the lube ;)

just got to get used to it now, considering i have not adjusted anything yet it seems reasonably well aligned.

Davek0974
22-03-2017, 10:37 AM
Ok i have one specific issue i am battling with no luck...

As it came, the machine cuts the work reversed in the X axis so words read backwards but it reads correctly on the machine display.

I have tried switching axis direction in the settings file and that worked BUT it then homed in the wrong direction and crashed, there is no homing direction setting.

I tried using the "mirror X axis" in the RDWorks software and that cuts correctly BUT now it reads backwards on the machine display.

Surely there is a way to get the machine display to actually show what is going to be cut??

Any ideas here??

Davek0974
22-03-2017, 11:27 AM
Sorted - Russ Sadler from RDWorks video fame got it covered,

Control panel -> Screen Origin -> Top Right

:)

AndrewMawson
22-03-2017, 01:16 PM
Glad you are sorted.

(Russ is back from his travels, and just emailed me that he's awaiting more Dohickeys from the anodiser)

Davek0974
22-03-2017, 01:39 PM
Yeah, got that message too :)

Messing about with acrylic now, good so far but i think it needs tuning properly as not cutting as thick material as i hoped so probably losing what power it has somewhere, mirrors need cleaning too - is Iso Propyl Alcohol ok on them?

AndrewMawson
22-03-2017, 01:42 PM
Yes IPA on a cotton bud

I bet that your mirrors need tweaking after shipment

Davek0974
22-03-2017, 02:27 PM
Yep, they are not terrible as it does cut pretty well but a quick test showed alignment to be off centre so i'll clean up and go through following Russ' Tube, M1, M2, Head, setup pattern.

No doubt it will get worse before it gets better :)

I did flip the lens over the right way though.

Once thats done i'll do a focus ramp test.

AndrewMawson
22-03-2017, 04:10 PM
Yes I noticed your mention of the lens before - are they asymmetrical then ?

Davek0974
22-03-2017, 04:14 PM
yeah, flat one side and convex the other, from what i have read so far the flat side should face the work but they always put them in upside down in China :)

AndrewMawson
22-03-2017, 04:26 PM
Presumably that shifts the effective place that the lens is sitting in the optic path by a bit ? Did you do before and after spot size comparisons on test burst, and if so what were the results?

Davek0974
22-03-2017, 04:38 PM
Nah, should have probably ;)

I'm going through the whole lot now anyway so i'll finish with a focus ramp test.

Davek0974
23-03-2017, 04:36 PM
Sorted out a few issues :)

Cutting ok now, just waiting for my power meter to see just how little there really is.

Test job :)
21221

AndrewMawson
23-03-2017, 09:26 PM
Didn't you have fun !

Davek0974
23-03-2017, 09:43 PM
Damn right :)

I know a lot more now too.

I need to modify the head mirror mount as the tension screws are binding in their holes so the angle adjusters do not work properly, the tube mounts need slotting.

Tomorrow i'll be replacing the death-trap 'universal' sockets on the back with IEC ones - milled out a nice aluminium plate tonight to mount them in the original holes ;)

Hopefully my power meter will arrive soon and i can prepare to be disappointed with just how little power this tube is pushing ;)

Davek0974
24-03-2017, 11:25 AM
Nice neat socket plate with decent sockets....

21245

Also fitted a relay to the top socket so i can turn the extract on and off from the front panel :)

pinballdave
06-04-2017, 03:17 PM
I've been lurking around these forums for a while now, and following this thread with interest. I have a project in mind that would require the use of a laser cutter. My initial investigations have lead me to believe that the same model of 60W cutter would be best suited to my requirements, and meagre budget!

My main issue is that to get to my workshop, it will have to pass through a fairly narrow gate and negotiate a tight turn between two brick walls 900mm apart. The machine will have to be un-crated outside, and tipped on it's side to get it through the gap.

To make this easier, is it possible to remove the legs under the machine, and if so what would be the dimensions with the legs removed?

If it's not possible to remove the legs, I'll probably need to get the builders in to make some modifications to the corner, or choose a smaller model instead.

Davek0974
06-04-2017, 07:11 PM
I have my one at work at present while i extend my workshop to fit it in :)

To get it home i will have to put it in the back of my ford Mondeo so will have to do the same as will anyone that wants to get it through a standard door.

Aparrently there are a lot of screws holding the legs to the cabinet but it does come off eventually, not investigated this yet but read up on it so it does seem possible if a bit fiddly.

Don't forget the 60W will be a 50W, no arguments, it will be 50W.

I am fully expecting to need a new tube anytime between now and some time soon, they have a limited life and my one was labelled as being made last December, worth bearing in mind.

Overall its a good machine, I have ordered some new mirrors as the ones in it were stained - 18 from China for 3 :) I dont mind the fiddling and tweaking needed - for me this is part of the fun, I need to remove my tube mounts and mill some slots in the bases so i can better align the beam.

AndrewMawson
06-04-2017, 10:08 PM
Dave,

I got my Dohickey the other day but events have conspired not to give me time to use it yet (lambing !) have you used yours yet?

Davek0974
06-04-2017, 10:13 PM
yes, and it seems to work very well too :)

Had a little issue getting my thermocouple down the tube - had to remove the shrink-tube from the end but it all went together in the end.

John S
07-04-2017, 12:41 AM
I have my one at work at present while i extend my workshop to fit it in :)



Don't forget the 60W will be a 50W, no arguments, it will be 50W.

I am fully expecting to need a new tube anytime between now and some time soon, they have a limited life and my one was labelled as being made last December, worth bearing in mind.



I have one of the blue and white ones rated at 50W. Quite what the power is I'm not certain as I have no way of checking it. In a conversation with small Son the other day we were working out how old this machine is and we make it between 4 and 4 1/2 years old, given that my wife died over 3 years ago and it was used well before this for making things she used to sell.

As a quick test I can still cut 10mm acrylic at the same settings as when it was new as we keep a book of settings when we cut anything new.

I realise that the tubes in these have a finite life based on use and age but so far this one is behaving and now we had the yardstick of settings for 10mm acrylic I'll continue to use it until [a] it stops working or [b] the loss of power causes problems.

This is the second laser I have owned, the first far more expensive model [ now discontinued ] from a well known UK agent, although still a Chinese import was sent back after 5 service calls as totally unsuitable and problematic.

Davek0974
07-04-2017, 08:21 AM
That is excellent tube life, impressed.

Unless you are 'knob twiddler' like myself, measuring power is not important, if it does the job thats what counts.

I like to tweak things so i have a method of measuring output etc.

I think its pot-luck with the Chinese tubes really, one thing that really kills them it seems is running them at 100% power - they over-run the tubes to get more power but at the cost of really short life. My one is rated 20mA power and that is reached at 67% on the machine, which gives me almost exactly 50W output from my supposedly 60W tube.

John S
07-04-2017, 11:02 AM
There are always losses from the tube to the cutting head.
50W from a 60W tube is normal.

Davek0974
07-04-2017, 11:24 AM
Apologies, this was measured at the tube output before mirror 1

pinballdave
26-06-2017, 06:07 AM
I've finally got round to ordering one of these 60W laser cutters, and just been given my tracking number (which of course doesn't work on the DHL website). Did anyone manage to successfully track one of these sent from Germany, or am I destined to stay at home all week waiting for the crate to turn up?

Davek0974
26-06-2017, 08:14 AM
I just badgered the seller to give me the correct tracking ref - it was because they logged it into DHL international and their system is ending soon, it does not show on DHL uk.

When i got the right link it worked ok.

pinballdave
26-06-2017, 05:54 PM
Thanks, I've been sent a link to the tracking page for DHL freight, but the number isn't working there either. The 'Help' for that page says you need to be logged in first, and I don't have a DHL account, so can't log in. :(

I'll keep pestering the seller until it turns up, and then I'll start pestering you lot with all my questions about setting it up properly. ;)

Boyan Silyavski
26-06-2017, 11:39 PM
I am looking at the 100W ones.

One question. Whats really useful size ? I am looking ebay at RECI 100W Co2 1300x2500mm Flatbed Laser Cutter Laser Cutting Engraving USB, which i assume is around 80W. But hey, around 5000 only. Then tax, extra reserve tube, etc. I started already thinking schemes how to obtain it :-)

Davek0974
27-06-2017, 08:35 AM
Don't get a spare tube until your one fails.

They have a shelf-life and you may well find that when you go to use it, your new tube is nearly dead.

Always best to buy new stock.

pinballdave
27-06-2017, 11:30 PM
Got the tracking working in the end. Turns out it hasn't left Bremen in Germany yet, and was only collected from the warehouse today (I got the eBay 'Dispatched' email on Sunday!).

For any one else who's trying to track their laser cutter and finds this thread, you need to select 'Logistics' (instead of the default 'Express') tracking from the DHL homepage and then 'Road and Rail Freight' Tracking and enter the supplied tracking number as a 'Package ID', and it will only show anything after the package has been picked up by DHL.

To answer Boyan's question, for me the most 'useful size' is the biggest one I can afford, and will fit into the workshop. The size and laser power isn't too important to me at this stage, as I'll be cutting small parts from thin plastics which should be fine with even an entry level machine.

However, If I need a more powerful laser in the future, then a new tube and power supply could be shoehorned into this machine (with perhaps an optics upgrade at the same time). On the other hand, if I needed a larger cutting area, then I doubt any upgrade would be practical.

pinballdave
12-07-2017, 01:33 PM
The laser cutter turned up just over a week ago. The top of the crate was completely smashed up, and the two separate pieces were laid on top of the cutter and 'fixed' back on with a bit of plastic pallet wrap. The front side of the crate was cracked, but still in one piece. Needless to say the contents of the crate were covered in a fair bit of dust and dirt, and a few minor scratches in the paintwork, but luckily it was all intact, and at this stage everything appears to work.

Removing the legs is quite an involved process. There are a number of sheet metal screws holding the legs onto the machine, but half of them are under the cover for the belt and pulleys that raise and lower the bed. The problem is that all the other parts that are directly fixed to the base of the machine were fitted after the legs, and their screws go straight through into the legs as well. So to get the legs off, you have to remove the bed lifting motor, a couple of the pulleys on it's belt, the stepper motor drives, and one final screw nicely hidden in the cable channeling. Luckily I had a nice sunny day to do it, and it was all reassembled in the 'shed' a few hours later.

The extensive disassembly gave me ample opportunity to clean all the dust and dirt out of the machine, so the proverbial two birds were well and truly dispatched. ;)

I've fired it all up a couple of times, and burned some small patterns into some scrap wood, but haven't got as far as laser alignment or any real cutting yet, as I have a question about the laser cooling.

22218

The tubing for the coolant water is wrapped around the high voltage end of the laser in a fairly haphazard fashion, which makes it pretty much impossible to bleed any trapped air out of it. There seems to still be a decent flow of coolant, but I'm a little concerned about this setup, and was wondering if this is acceptable, or should I refit the tubing without all the twists and turns? I'm not really comfortable running the laser for more than a few seconds until I know whether this is OK or not.

Also I filled the coolant bucket with de-ionised water, and the pump was run for about a minute, and the water immediately smells musty. There was some green liquid in the laser tube when it arrived. Is there anything suitable for flushing the system out, or should a drain and refill with added antifreeze be adequate?

Finally, I only bought the basic machine without the rotary axis. There is wiring and connectors present for one to be connected, but the wiring only goes to a spare connector next to the two stepper drives. I'm just curious, but do the machines that come with the rotary axis have a third stepper driver, or is it just done with a wiring swap on the y-axis?

Davek0974
12-07-2017, 02:05 PM
Looks like you had a narrow escape;)

The third axis is just plug-and-play - my one came with the rotary(busted to buggery) and it just has the loose plug.

My pump was able to flush the bubbles out and the tube is still wrapped like yours but i have the CW3000 "cooler" LOL, and it does have a strong pump, so strong in fact that it blew all the pipes off and flooded the machine with 9L of coolant. I fixed all the pipes with small ty-wraps and its been ok since.

AndrewMawson
12-07-2017, 06:19 PM
It makes you wonder how many of these machines arrive intaact!

Your tale of woe is an almost exact repeat of my experience, and Dave's bust 4th axis issue again is similar to what happened when mine was delivered.

Fred
14-07-2017, 01:09 PM
Definitely don't blow through the coolant tubes to make sure they're not blocked! I did this and contracted a really nasty stomach bug. I can't remember what it was, but my wife's a GP and said they wouldn't normally test for it if you hadn't been somewhere like China on holiday.

Definitely untangle that tubing. Also check the HV wiring isn't flapping around near the metal chassis like mine was. Basically treat the machine as a kit of parts that has been assembled by a 5 year old whilst watching cartoons.

TERRY CORDER
08-09-2017, 12:36 PM
I am looking at the 100W ones.

One question. Whats really useful size ? I am looking ebay at RECI 100W Co2 1300x2500mm Flatbed Laser Cutter Laser Cutting Engraving USB, which i assume is around 80W. But hey, around 5000 only. Then tax, extra reserve tube, etc. I started already thinking schemes how to obtain it :-)


Hi, up to 80w for engraving and cutting, 100w for cutting. AS tube 100w or greater does not engrave that well.