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I'm back and I brought a Co2 Laser with me

Blarg King

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Hello!

Been a long while since I've been on here. Basically a year and a half ago I got a new job as an intern photographer for the Canadian Military and I haven't had that much free time, and I'll admit my passion for lasers dimmed a bit, which is a shame really considering I have more income now than I did before.

But this past week my excitement for lasers has been reignited with the discovery of a 60 Watt Co2 laser thats been sitting unused at my work for 4 years apparently. So asked my boss nicely and he gave me the go ahead to learn how to use it and to basically do whatever I want with it.

Once I figured out the software, I tried cutting some acrylic sheet we had, and at first go it took 3 cutting passes to go through 3 mm plastic which I felt was massively underwhelming for a 60 watt laser. So a quick google gave me the service manual for the laser cutter and I pulled out the optics to find them completely obscured with dust and plastic vapors. I managed to clean them off, but sadly the lens has some pitting and one of the mirrors has become permanently fogged. Good news is I got the go ahead to order a new set of optics, and even with the damage its still about 90% functional.

So without further ado, heres a video compilation of the laser in action:


Definitely going to have to buy myself a Co2 laser cutter now. Quite useful.

Edit: A before and after cleaning shot of the lens. You can see the damaged bit in the middle.

Before:


After:
 
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Cyparagon

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Despite the unusual material, a new lens is only $10. I hope you're not paying much more than that.
 

Alaskan

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And a warm welcome back from me brother, nice to see you posting again. 10 dollars, 20 dollars, small change to the original cost of that unit.
 

BowtieGuy

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Welcome back, Blarg King, thanks for the video of your new CO2 laser in action. (y)
 

Blarg King

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Yeah I was looking at prices for optics on ebay. A lens was around 30$ (But Im in Canada and our dollar is crap) and mirrors were about 15$. I'm just wondering if OEM lens will cost more because "oem" but I still don't think it will cost too much.

I was actually surprised how cheap the optics are, but I guess Co2 laser cutters are pretty common in industrial applications that economy of scale makes them affordable.

I might also see if theres an inexpensive way to add air assist to the laser to help keep the lens clean longer.

The other fun thing is I've now been tasked with writing an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for using the laser cutter so that people aside from me will be able to use it.
 

trussmonkey25

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Nov 12, 2011
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You can get an airbrush compressor and attach a small blower hose to it. Look on Amazon for a nose cone for your laser with an air inlet. This blows away the smoke away from the lens
 




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