New CNC laser Build

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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby roby101 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:23 pm

Ok thanks for the info: a water cooled spindle is a must!
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby bush flyer » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:56 am

I really should update this more often . Since the last update I have machined the stepper motor mounts and the X axis belt bearing mount, I have also started on the table and Z axis height adjusters, so not much done but I will soon be machining the three belt grips and the tube mount, these will be made out of engineering nylon but I still have to read up on the setting for machining as if I go too slow, or too fast it will melt and break the end mill. Here are some more photos to keep it going, please excuse the mess!
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby bush flyer » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:35 pm

I'm waiting on parts, So have started to do some of the small jobs like fit limit switch's etc. I have the laser head and mirror mounts ordered but I'm not sure about the mirrors and lens. I will be looking for 25mm mirrors and a 20mm lens. As far as I can make out the (K9) mirror is worthless. The (Si) Silicon glass gold is good for low power lasers but not for anything above 80 watts, and it has a service life of about one year. Since I will be using a 40 watt tube it should be OK. The (Mo) Molybdenum is better if you have a 80watt laser and last about three years. The (Cu) mirror is tough but is lower reflective index than the Si mirror, and last just over a year. This is what I think after reading many forums, but I would appreciate your input before ordering as I may have gotten this wrong.
Anyway I have posted some more pictures for you all to see.
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby bush flyer » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:36 pm

Today I cut out some engineering nylon for the laser tube and for the limit switch mounts for the X axis and door switch. This is the first time I have cut Nylon and it came out not to bad, here is a picture straight form the router before clean up.
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby bush flyer » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:43 pm

While I'm waiting for some reply about the type of mirrors to order, I have another question about coolant, from what I have been reading is that you should use distilled water for coolant, but I was going to use De-Ionised Water with Anti-freeze but not sure if I should OAT anti-freeze or the ETHYLENE GLYCOL anti-freeze I know that the OAT anti-freeze should only be used in new cars and must not be used in old cars as it can strip various alloys out of the lead solder, lead bushes but what about in a laser tube? as a foot note I use OAT anti-freeze in the coolant for my router for the last year with no problem.
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby sshwarts » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:30 pm

I used the SI mirrors. My research showed:

Si Mirror: Silicon Glass Gold coated, great reflective index, not good for anything 80 watts or over (not too hot on 60 watts either)
Mo Mirror: ​Molybdenum, very tough but the lowest reflective index, great if you miss cleaning or have a habit of dropping mirrors or if you have over 80 watt sources.
Cu Mirror: Copper, Below gold Si for reflective index but tough and better index than Mo

As for coolant, I use distilled water and add some propylene glycol (not ethylene glycol - I have animals and they are less likely to drink in case of a spill). DI water can be very aggressive towards some materials. For example, I have a cooler on my laser that has copper pipes that carry the water. DI water will corrode copper. to quote: "Care must be exercised when using DI water. The very lack of ions also makes this coolant unusually corrosive. Called the "universal solvent," DI water is one of the most aggressive solvents known. In fact, to a varying degree, it will dissolve everything to which it is exposed. Therefore, all materials in the cooling loop must be corrosion-resistant." - source: http://www.lytron.com/Tools-and-Technic ... ized-Water

Scott
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby bush flyer » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:12 pm

Thanks sshwarts, You have confirmed what I have learnt about mirrors and I have just sent a order for Si mirrors.

As for coolant I did not know that about Deionized Water and since I will be using a 40 watt laser with a coolant radiator, I had better not use deionized water just in case. My problem is to find some distilled water at a reasonable price, it's not the price of the water it's the shipping as I stay in the north of Scotland, They charge a lot more for the shipping I phoned this company ( no names ) and even when shipping is free, I would have to pay £16 for delivery, another said they would only deliver to the UK mainland and when I said I stay on the mainland they said anything 12miles North of Edinburgh is not on the mainland. Sorry for venting but that last company I phoned really annoyed me with his attitude. I will let you know how I get on.
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby bush flyer » Sun May 24, 2015 6:55 pm

It's been a while since I have posted any progress, but I have been busy making some plaques and other things so my CNC router has had a lot of work this last month or so. I have been ordering a lot of parts for the laser and they have been piling up on the bench so now that I'm clear I will get back to building. Anyway I got the belt grips machined today and fitted along with the laser head and mirror mounts, tomorrow I will finish the limit switches and cable tracks. Here are some more photos for the album.
I have started to look at Corel draw, Corel paint or Photoshop elements, but there are many types which should I buy to run with the AWC708c which has arrived. What I want to do is engrave photos on to wood, cast acrylic etc. I would like to try to keep the cost to under £100 if possible for this software.
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Belt Grips
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Belt Grip fitted
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Laser head fitted along with belt grip and cable track.
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby bush flyer » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:56 am

I'm not doing well keeping this build up to date but I have made some more progress with the build. It is now sitting on its own bench with wheels so it can be easily moved about the garage, I also built my book case in to the bench to save some room, but I also had to clear some of my models in the loft to get more room. The laser has now a temporary power panel with extra switches so that I can easy control the airpump etc as well as the control unit. I also fitted gauges to keep a eye on temperature of coolant and the temperature of the air in the unit. I fitted an hour clock on the laser tube as well as an hour clock for the machine. The only thing I need now is proper sheet covering and the co2 laser tube and coolant which is being harder to get than I thought. Many will not post to the north of Scotland and the ones that will post to me, only supply small bottles and the cost is about four times the normal cost if I could get a 25litre container of distilled water.
I'm wondering if it would be OK to use house hold water here as the water is softer and dose not scale up pipes or kettles, I have been using house hold water and OAT antifreeze in my water cooled spindle for over a year now and I checked it last week when I did a service on the cnc router and found no deterioration on any parts, but I'm not sure about running it through the laser as the water would have chlorine in it as will as the OAT antifreeze I would like your opinion on this?
Here are some more photos I will get some better pictures soon.
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Temporary power panel
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Sitting on bench waiting for covering
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Re: New CNC laser Build

Postby sshwarts » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:59 pm

Personally, I'd be ok to use household water. I would though make it a habit of changing it once a week. I think the real issue can be the minerals in the water.

Scott
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