well if you have had it 2 years, it's got 1500 hours on it & still going strong then that doesn't sound like to bad an investment for Robin, especially as he has 2 tubes for it.
What do you use it for if you don't mind me asking, was looking at laser machines & routers at the same time but went with the router as I thought it would probably be of more use to me.
Acrylic cutting/engraving and leather engraving. I made a small modification to it that lets me slow down the laser, speed adjustment is great, I never run it over 80-90% power either. Take care of it and it will work well. My next job is to change the bed to an adjustable one.
Tubes deteriorate with use and age so it's not a good idea unless you use it in anger and need spares to buy a tube when you buy a machine.
In 2 - 3 years time when the tube goes your spare will be half ? used by age.
CNC Zone has some good post on these machines.
General Laser Engraving & Cutting Machine Discussion - CNCzone.com-The Largest Machinist Community on the net!
Look for Chinese 40w laser or Moshidraw which is the software they come with.John S -
I was going to post that John when I got a chance. There have been a few discussions about them on the zone.
Thanks for that John, read on a few occasions what a good site cnczone is but keep forgetting to check it when I'm looking for answers. Must be an old age thing
Do they cut 1mm and 2mm polycarbonate with out any discolouration?
Basically it is a big box formed from 1mm steel sheet with aluminium extrusions inside to hold everything together. The steel is powder coat over the occasional rusty bit.
The X axis is an upside down lacquered aluminium channel trying to look like a solid bar. The belt goes end to end inside it. The cutting head carriage has nylon rollers running in grooves on either sides of this channel. The head is ultra light and moves very freely without noticeable play, which is just as well because this is where the vigorous engraving movement happens.
The Y axis runs on linear ball bushings along a single 12mm round rail on the left . It has a driving belt at either end so it runs square. The belts have a common axle at the front which goes through a double shafted stepper motor. The right hand end of the "gantry" bar rests on a single nylon roller. Y is nearly as easy to move as the X but is much noisier, I assume because it is closer connected to the steel case.
The "bed" is a 2mm aluminium sheet supported by five 75mm standoffs screwed to the case base. The aluminium has a sort of frosted look, I think it has been shot blasted to make it non-reflective.
Physical limits on the laser head allow about 32.5 x 20 cm movement. It could probably do 25 cm in the Y but there is a piece of hose around the linear rail which stops it. I can't see anything that would hit if I grabbed the extra 5 cm although the #2 mirror adjustment screws might get a bit close to the case.
The bed has a strange, spring loaded holding frame in the middle which I am assuming is a copy of something a lot cleverer that might actually have been useful. It will hold objects up to 21 x 8 cm. Unfortunately the smoke extraction nozzle only cover the 21 cm clamp rather than the 32.5 cm max. The extraction fan is a chunky centripetal job which slots on to the back of the case. It has a hose on the exhaust so you can pipe it out the window. You have to wonder where all this air they are hoping to extract from the case is supposed to come from because it is seriously short of venting.
I am dubious about the Moshi software that comes with it. It seems that it cannot work with anything else. If there is a protocol it is a secret, the blogosphere is rife with rumours of encryption. I am not so sure about that, but I can see that the CPU is a 40 pin DIP with no name or ID on it. The original board in these things used a pair of 8502's. Now call me Mr Suspicious, but I think they may have now crammed it into one chip, something similar and ashamed to admit it. Now I am not saying the MoshiWare/hardware combo is bound to be naff, but I do seem to have ordered a couple of Leadshine stepper drivers before even trying it.
I could ramble on all day, but right now I am going to ebay to try and find a laser hazard label. It has to have a laser label because I think it would look cool.
More if you want it
I'm glad it has arrived safely and in one piece. Shiney aluminium isnt good for a laser and your right it can cause dangerous/destructive reflections.
I probably have some laser starburst stickers at work. I can check tomorrow and mail you some if you like.
Robin, were you a dressmaker or an ex BBC man? cm-ugh.
Brilliant descsription and sounds like good value. G.
Last edited by GEOFFREY; 06-02-2013 at 11:44 PM. Reason: clarity
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