Old 09-20-2011, 06:17 PM #1
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Default Advice on laser for CNC applications

So I've got a home built CNC machine that I'm running a router on currently. I've also considered mounting a laser on the gantry and seeing how that works. I've built a 405 100 mw pointer in the past, but I'm interested to know if anyone else has tried different wavelengths or powers and what results have been. I'd like to use it to cut plastic (including decals) and burning wood. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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Old 09-20-2011, 06:35 PM #2
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

Even focused 100mw won't do too much, expect maybe cut some nice designs in insulation tape. However, 405nm focuses really good with an incredibly small spot.
Focused 500mw 405nm would do some nice cutting on thin black plastics. But I believe the actual cutting would still be pretty slow.
If you search around you'd find most commerical laser cnc's use minimum 40Watt CO2.

It does sound like a fun project. Let us know how it goes...with some pictures

Good luck!
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:59 PM #3
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

how much money you willing to spend?
You could use a C@$io projector and with the right tools and optics you could have a 24W laser cutter.
24W laser cutter will cut fast but only engrave most things.
It can cut threw thin wood.
Best bet is to go and get a 50w co2 laser.
They have a good beam and work well
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:40 AM #4
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

I've used a 1W 445nm laser on my laser cutter and it's pretty good cutting thin materials such as paper, as well as marking wood.

A 445 would engrave wood easily, and probably cut thin plastics if you go slow enough.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:15 AM #5
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

that is the perfect info i was looking for
but does somebody know where to get the cheapest possible , i have a budget to buy a laser that can cut under 70 dollars (and sent to france)

what about Infra Red lasers , i thought they were the best for cutting

and why is blue expecially good for cutting ?
(because red or green would be cheaper for my budget i guess)

do you think i should try one on Laser Pointers Store
?
what is the minimum power to cut thought paper and cloth ?

thanks
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:40 AM #6
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

The colour doesn't really mean much, except for the type of materials it'll cut. For example, a CO2 laser is able to cut clear plastic and engrave on glass, whereas visible lasers can't.

You can get a 1W 445nm diode for around $50, throw it into a cheap Aixiz module and you have a burning laser (You can buy them in aixiz modules too). You'll also need a driver, and a way to turn it on and off from your CNC control board (Like TTL).

Red and green lasers are much more expensive that 445nm in high powers.

If you're talking about white paper, 1W 445 will cut through it if you go at a reasonably slow speed. Coloured paper it usually has no problems cutting through. I can't talk about cloth as I've never tried it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:52 AM #7
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

thanks a lot for the info
that will help me a lot ,
could you tell me where to get info about the Aixiz module , or do i just google it?
i was hopping to cut white paper , but if i can cut only black it is still ok
maybe i ll be able to slow down enough to get my machine cut white paper
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can you tell me where to find this kind of laser please
the closet thing i found yet was
5w 135 dollars
3w 99 dollars
1w 87 dollars
and
1/2w 79 dollars

thanks again for the information
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:12 AM #8
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

Have a look here: https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home/diodes

Specifically, at the "445nm A140 Diode In Module With Leads
& Aixiz Glass Lens"

I'm not quite sure what options there are for drivers at the moment. You may be able to use the flexdrive, and just control it's power input to turn the laser on and off from your CNC control board, but it may have a startup delay ( I can't remember).
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:36 AM #9
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Default Re: Advice on laser for CNC applications

thanks , i am thinking that the 445nm A140 Diode In Module With Leads
& Aixiz Glass Lens at $60 is a good option for my budget
but can you advise me about the lens ?
will it be focusable ? can i get a really sharp point with this ?
what about minimal distance between the laser and the paper ,does it depends on the lens ?

i am also not sure that it comes with a driver , but i found the datasheet for the flex drive , but not the datasheet for the laser diode

driving on and off the laser would result in turning the power on and off , wouldn t it damage the driver and/or the diode?
if not it would be quite easy to do from my control board (arduino)
even if there is a small delay (until it gets superior to 50ms-100ms but i can delay the steps with programming)
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