I’m running an 80w chinese laser with an S&A CW-5200 chiller. Ambient temp right now is between 18-22c and the chiller is rocking between 14.8 & 15.7c. I tried cutting some Baltic birch ply with settings i’ve used before by just dropped a sheet in and run a basic cut, nothing unusual. The laser hardly made it thru the wood (was inconsistent). I tried it again and was successful (no setting changes and sheet was from same original stock).
Does the water temp (as long as it’s within an optimal range) impact the laser power? Should i be logging ambient & cooler temps with my cut settings? Should I let the chiller run for a period of time before starting to cut?
Thanks ahead of time!
It’s probably “something else”. That variation in temperature shouldn’t make any difference at all. Water temperature can affect the life of the tube and the power, but in-range and stable should have no appreciable effect.
Maybe it’s a case of something goofy in the electronics or power supply that needs to be warmed up. Note: that shouldn’t be needed, but would explain the problem.
It could also be something in mechanical alignment that settles when the laser and electronic operation heat the whole thing up. Not likely because that would need a pretty big temperature shift as well.
What if you turn on the laser (the whole thing, not the beam) and the computer and let it sit for an hour or so before you do anything? What happens with the 3rd/4th/5th attempt? What about letting it sit for an hour or so after the first cut and try again?
Are you sure it isn’t some sort of variation such as glue/gap filler in that section of plywood?
Your cooling temperature seems excessive based on what I have read on the internet. No need to spend the money on extra electricity to cool that much and deal with increased potential dew point/condensation issues. After reading posts by some laser techs, I settled on 18C +/- and that has worked well for me.