Laser Head Upgrade - Is it worth it?

I’ve had my 80w 6090 Chinese Laser cutter for over 6 months now and wanting to upgrade some parts to get a finer cut.

Majority of the engraving products I produce are of fantastic quality but I know this machine has very cheap parts which aren’t as adjustable as I’d like them to be. I’ve already upgraded the air pump to a 24l air compressor which has made a serious difference when cutting and I’m going to add ultimate air assist for the acrylic and wood cuts I produce.

The 1st part would be my Laser head which looks identical to Cloudray’s ‘K-Series’ kit with an 18mm lens. I’d really like some assistance in upgrading this laser head as I don’t know what direction to go in! I’m hoping to get a laser head, lens/lenses, mirrors all for £150-£200.

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

If you are going to upgrade your head, get a better head at less cost. Get Russ’ MK2 lightweight aluminum head. I struggled with my factory head for many months, and kick myself for not getting his head sooner. It uses the Cloudray C series tube and nozzle. the C series will take either 18mm or 20mm lens so you can stick with what you have, or add a couple of lens’ to your order.

You can buy the air assist kit from Cloudray, or you can just get the 3V208 solenoid and pick up the rest of the parts locally. A lot will depend on your compressor set up. I tap off from my shop compressor, and don’t have the option or desire to power it down when the laser is not in use, so I swapped the compressor relay for another solenoid. I use an ice maker shut off valve for my bypass. There are pics of my first and second configurations on my Google Mod Page if you want to see what I’m talking about.

Thanks for the advice!

I see the video of him using this in may when it just started production. I think I’ll go ahead with a full ‘C-Series’ laser head and mirror setup, that way I can switch on the lenses that I’m looking to buy because at the moment I’ve never changed my lens to anything other than the original one, just haven’t seen the need to as it’s been cutting fine up until now.

I only use a minimal amount of air whilst engraving but it makes a huge difference when cutting, that’s the reason I felt the ultimate air assist would make a huge difference because you can set when the air comes on in Lightroom (from what I’ve seen it looks simple as)

Thanks again!

If you get the full C series head from Cloudray, or just the lens tube and get Russ’ holder, you still have the important part, the C series tube.

Air assist, if you merely want layer control, all you need is the solenoid. That was my first air assist configuration. It’s when you need to control the compressor itself you need the air assist kit, or in my case I had to control the air feed from an existing compressor so I had to use another solenoid instead of a power relay. You’re still using the STATUS and WIND as needed, it’s just what ‘attachment’ you put on them.

Very informative Dave, I’ve also seen people hooking up the ‘Ultimate Air Assist’ with their extraction exhaust system so it all comes on at the same time which will give me much less of a headache when I’m not running jobs!

Having a good look around my system I don’t spot any real issues with my 1st and second mirror setup, just the adjustability of the laser head itself is very restricted so the C-Series head, new lens and mirrors and Russ’ holder looks like it’ll give me a much better setup when coming to adjustability and aligning.

Another question - How do you mount your laser pointer? a Beam combiner as the 1st mirror also seems like a nice addition but people have noted they’re quite fiddly to actually get aligned.

Red dot. Actually, I broke it and never put it back.

With that engraving set up, your nozzle to work distance is up around 20mm, so the red dot becomes important.

With a cutting set up and the C series tube and No3 nozzle, that drops to around 10mm. I cut a spacer ring from some scrap to go between the nozzle and lens tube to bring mine down to around 8mm. Russ has his down around 3mm some how, and that works for acrylic, but I get too much of a resin buildup from my MDF cutting that close, so 8mm works for me.

A that distance and a few months use, the red dot becomes irrelevant except in special situations. Add in a camera, either in LightBurn or the new RDWorks, and unless you are using the print and cut in LightBurn it’s un-necessary. I used the old red dot wire to power my under gantry LED strips. Best upgrade I ever made. No more glare off the back strip in my eyes.

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