Air pump recommendations appreciated?

I have to agree with the compressor conversation. Only other comment I have is I find that too much air blows smoke back onto wood when engraving, causing smoke residue stains.
I have a small air tap in the air line at the machine. Using this I can directly control air flow to maximum effect.
Different tasks often require differing air flow rates.

Another one who switched from acuary pump to a higer flow compressor. Mine has 50L tank, and the improvement on cuts are amazing.
I have a 100x60 Ruida 130W CO2 laser, and used the air output of the controller to open a solenoid valve, wich opens a regulated and filtered air flow so I can control it depending on what I’m cutting or engraving.
The real question is 'Why I didn’t do it before", specially because I had the compressor 2 years before my laser.

I’ve been wanting to do that as well with a controlled valve. What did valve you get and how did you connect the circuit and make it active in the controller?

I was amazed at how quiet the compressor was when I got my 8010!

I use Hailea pumps, they are made to run 24/7 very reliable , I have the 328 model which puts out 70 litres a minute, there are much larger models if this is not big enough, I paid about 50 gbp for mine.

on my diodes it works fine as an air assist. I also use it on my CNC to blow dust away and on my 3d printer as additional cooling when printing in PLA.

Works a treat and is nice and quiet.

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You can find info on this post:

My solenoid valve is something like this:

(make sure it has a diode to prevent the inverse current return to the controller. Otherwise you MUST put one)

My air pressure regulator is like this one:,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

You must connect as in this pic (on CN1 -> 5 Wind, the negative. On CN1 ->6 +24V, the positive)

And I used this picture as guide, although it’s not mine.

Hope it helps :wink:

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For those who are running an air compressor (and not just a small air pump), be aware of the impact humidity will have on your air quality.

If you’re not drying your air, then you will most likely find water coming out from the laser nozzle. Now it’s too late. You also have water on your lens now! Uh oh. Get water on your lens, burn a hole in your lens.

Water also collects contamination on the lens. Lesson: use an air dryer and a filter if you are compressing your air.

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Thanks for that share, that’s what I want to do! Question, the valve you show, does that come with a diode and if not, where does this install?

I think this solenoid valve hasn’t a diode, because it’s nothing printed on it that shows is has. Anyway it’s easy and cheap to put one.
The 1N4001 will fit, but I used an 1N4004 of wich I have some.
The way to connect it is on the pict I posted. Here is a closer view:

As you can see, the band of the diode must point the +24v side, in order to virtually nonexist when the RUIDA opens the circuit, and do its job when closes it.

Close view of the 1N4004 and it’s band:

If you want some info about the flyweel diode you can find it here:

among tons of other info googling :wink:

How many PSI do owners of typical 700x500 Chinese lasers pump into the socket at the back of their machines? I have wondered how many psi the internal tubing could take without damage.

I’m running 40psi through mine. Tubing in the Thunder is supposedly good to 80psi.

I modified my air assist years ago so that the air comes out a small aluminum tube right next to the nozzle, like the setup that some mainstream machines use. The tube is on the front side so that the air is is deflected rearwards. The lens stays much cleaner now - any moisture that does come out (which is very rare - and then only for the first couple seconds) is not a problem.

Unless the output of the lens nozzle is very close to the workpiece there is no advantage for the air coming out of the nozzle vs a tube right next to the nozzle. If you use a longer lens then you can’t have the nozzle very close anyway.

With a longer lens you also need a larger hole in the end of the nozzle so that the wider beam does not hit it - which leads to some curious side effects, some sort of vortex is created which will actually suck material up into the nozzle and then onto the lens.

For the best nozzle based air assist some people will put a nipple (baby bottle type) over the nozzle such that it is almost touching the work. This forces all the air to go through the cut, and the nipples are easily replaceable. I am not one of those people.

Can you attach a photo, sounds interesting.



I designed and built a controller for my compressed air system which incorporates a delay panel so when the pressure switch engages, an air dryer and aftercooler fan start. Then 45 seconds later the compressor turns on. This allows the air dryer to chill down for the recovery cycle and prevents me from having to keep the dryer constantly running. Automation. Its everywhere! :blush:

I used the laser cutter to make the mounting panel for the components in the controller box.

The large auxiliary device in the picture is the air dryer which (through refrigeration) chills the compressed air (hot and compressed air holds a greater amount of moisture) and drains the moisture. The added advantage is the way I have the system set up:

Right out of the pump, 200+ degree air is passed through the tube and fin fan powered after cooler. The after cooler alone drops the compressed air temp down to ambient and drops out a significant amount of moisture!

Think of drying compressed air almost like wringing a towel (but with a slight difference).

  • The towel represents air
  • At atmospheric pressure (uncompressed air), the towel is dry
  • As the air is heated and compressed, the towel begins to collect and hold water (wet air)
  • As the compressed air cools (or when going from a high pressure to a low pressure such as in a paint sprayer or blower), this is like wringing the towel out causing the water to drop out of the air.

So the initial after cooler wrings the towel / air out and that is automatically drained with the filter attached directly after. The air then goes to the refrigerated air dryer that takes the air temp down even further to near freezing. This squeezes even more water out from the compressed air. This water is automatically drained as well.

The DRY air is then stored in the receiver (the tank) and therefore I never have any moisture in the tank. And I never have any moisture in the lines. And I never have any moisture going to my tools or laser.

A small addition I made when I installed the system was adding that blue blower (in the picture) just below the compressor. It automatically comes on with the air dryer and pulls in outside air from the vent into the compressor shed (to help keep the heat buildup down). It makes a big difference!

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I can’t take a photo now, everything is packed away during my shop remodel. Here is a picture of how Epilog does it, notice that there is no lens tube - no need for one, the lens (and mirror) are mounted in open trays.

I also found the old SketchUp file that I used to make my 3d printed tube holder. The end of the air assist tube is slightly more than 1/2" above the workpiece, just high enough so that it clears the 1/2" x 1/2" by 2" magnets that I use to hold things down.

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Here is a low res image of my dual head laser. Our new machine will be here end of this month I’m working on re-designing A harness to cover up the wild wires and tubes so it looks a little more tidy.

Thanx for sharing



Hello all … can anyone confirm if the California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 2.0 Hp, 10.0 Gal. Steel Tank Air Compressor can maintain 40 psi through out the Laser running for up to 30 min. ?

Thank You


I can say for certain that the 5510 can with my Thunder Nova 24. I’d be surprised if the larger one couldn’t, though it will depend on the size of the output nozzle you have - A smaller opening will allow for more pressure buildup.

Thank You for the reply … and you set the regulator on the Compressor to 40 psi right ?


I’d highly recommend the installation of a low range pressure regulator at the machine. This will provide much easier tuning of the desired air pressure for the specific job you’re running.

My air is plumbed in the shop delivering about 100 psi to all of my hose reels and to the laser.

At the laser, I have two regulators. One regulator controls the flow specifically for my blast gates linear actuators (which are automated to open when the fume extractor is running).

The second regulator is plumbed to the solenoid that is controlled by the Ruida and then routes to the nozzle.