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Cnc laser and power questions

Ty12203

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I'm building a cnc laser engraver and have a few questions. I bought a 2w 445nm laser with x drive and lens from dtr shop. The first question I have is about the duty cycle, I believe it states run it for 90 seconds then off for 30. Some of the projects I'll be engraving could last up to an hour. Can I run it any length of time with a heat sink and fan? It seems other people are doing it without problems. My other question is about a power supply. It says it needs between 6-8v, I have plenty if 12 and 24v supplies but nothing in that range. Do I need to buy one or is there a circuit with resistors I can build and use the 12v without limiting the current to much. Its a 12v 2.5 amp power supply. Thanks
 

diachi

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https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home/laser-cnc-engraving

Yes, you can add a heatsink for increased duty cycle. DTR has heatsinks listed at the link above - the Z-Bolt heatsinks seem to be a good choice. If it needs 6-8V then you'll probably need to give it 6-8V - really those drivers are designed to run off of batteries it seems so they'll take a voltage which is common with batteries. Someone else may be able to confirm if it is safe to run off of 12V - DTR may even chime in. If not - you could either dig out another power supply, buy another power supply or use an LM338 (higher current cousin of the LM317) to step the voltage down to the correct voltage.
 
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wmgeorge

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I own a ULS 50 watt CO2 laser but I am revamping a 6 watt diode CNC purchased off eBay for portable use. The eBay vender laser control system was C R A P so redoing with one I have detailed above. After getting another non working Chinese driver board from a vender who is on here I have two more ordered. Two that should work and both will take 12 vdc. One from J Tech rated at 2.5 amp and another from eBay vender in Russia x-wossee that will output up to 5 amps. Both are adjustable.

What limited work I did with the OEM system showed the potential of a ultra portable light weight CNC laser. I use my ULS machine but this will be very handy to have working.
 

DTR

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Yes the Z-Bolt heatsink is a great option for the module.

For the driver if you remove it from the diode wiring it via leads external of the module and sink it to your main laser heatsink via the 8 pin regulator with thermal adhesive the 120 on 30 off duty cycle will be removed and the driver can run continuously and you will also be able to use 12V for it when sinked. Going above 9V unsinked will lower the 120 on 30 off but sinked no problem. See how I sinked the driver in this thread. It is a portable build but the idea is the same for any.
http://laserpointerforums.com/f52/3w-menace-80985.html#post1163341


Also check out this thread. Tons of great info and common setups.
https://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/showthread.php/20162-CNC-Laser-Engraving-8bit-Shades-of-Grey-445nm

If you want to switch to a more full featured driver with modulation there are a few community recommended options.
Flexmod P3. Used to be the standard but not available currently.

Ebay seller X-Wossee
x-wossee | eBay

Lasertack drivers
https://www.lasertack.com/en/laser-diode-drivers

Optlasers.com
Laser Diode Driver - Opt Lasers
Sale 5A Laser Diode Driver with 15A Tec Driver 445nm 635nm 808nm Analog TTL | eBay

J Tech
High Current Laser Drivers | Product Categories | J Tech Photonics, Inc.

Lasershowparts drivers
Lasershow Parts - 2 channel analogue diode driver

Also check out this thread with some other options.
Are FlexMod P3's still available or is there an equivalent that is ready to ship?
 

wmgeorge

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DTR, as soon as I get this compact CNC project done I think I am going to do a much larger one.
What is the largest practical LD available as far as power goes in a 445? What do you see in the future like a year down the road? I am not a kid building a star wars laser but someone who sees the potential for a perhaps door sized portable or not, diode laser engraver.

I am in the laser engraving business right now and been working with and building CNC stuff since the early 90's.
 

wmgeorge

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Yes, I saw that elsewhere. I purchased PicSender and since the last upgrade its been great. Also have a driver coming from both J Tech and X-Wossie. I have been to your website and was very impressed.
I just hate to spend a couple hundred right now and three months from now there is a 8 or 9 watt one on the market, if you know what I mean :thinking: Thanks for taking the time to reply.
 

DTR

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Yep that is the nature of everything in tech. Sooner or later(lot of times sooner) something newer better comes along. You can keep waiting out for the end all be all but that never comes. At some point you just need to ask will it do what I need it to and if so is the cost worth the ends. If you are waiting on a ball lens diode to hit like the NUBM08 for an engraving application I would not bother. The ball lenses are longer focal length which can give them an advantage in the spot size at distance but the light is collected further away so it comes out of the aperture larger than with a single element G type lens. So you would probably end up tearing off the ball lens/can anyway which if this is for a long term/long duty cycle application I am currently not recommending. Had a few of the projector guys that did some long term testing with biulds using the NUBM07E with the ball lens/can removed say they seem to degrade too quickly.
 
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wmgeorge

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Thanks DTR so from what I am now understanding the source of the 6 watt or so LD is pull outs from projectors. So unless someone is tossing or selling surplus projectors with say a 8 or 10 watt LD then there will be nothing offered for sale.

Is a higher power laser diode made just for a laser engraver even feasible? Or cost effective.

When 50 or 60 watt metal tube RF CO2 air cooled laser (tube only) costs say $5000 to $10000 USD new.
 

diachi

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Thanks DTR so from what I am now understanding the source of the 6 watt or so LD is pull outs from projectors. So unless someone is tossing or selling surplus projectors with say a 8 or 10 watt LD then there will be nothing offered for sale.

Is a higher power laser diode made just for a laser engraver even feasible? Or cost effective.

When 50 or 60 watt metal tube RF CO2 air cooled laser (tube only) costs say $5000 to $10000 USD new.

There are no visible diodes more powerful than the NUBM44 that I'm aware of. Even the 8-10W diodes are just speculated at the moment.

There are fibre coupled IR diodes at higher powers though.
 

wmgeorge

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Thanks for all the help, I generally find searching and reading is more productive that getting on a new forum and asking a bunch of stupid questions. I known that commercial fiber lasers are very expensive, more than I can justify. Anyway I will continue on with my currant 6 watt CNC project.
 




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