Bought a not functioning laser last year for parts and got it up and running for engraving. Now this holiday i wanted to start cutting but even with 24 passes on 100/100 it’s not cutting trough 3mm plywood. After trying almost everything I found that the laser module is missing the spring behind the lens. Could this cause the cutting problems? And where can i get a new spring (or lens and spring)
If there is no wobbling or other strange behavior when engraving, then I think your diode laser just is not strong enough for the task. Standard diodes are not intended for cutting 2+ mm plywood, no matter how fine results are otherwise displayed on the web.
I “cut” with my 5.5 Watt diode 3mm plywood in approx. 30 laps - it’s not cutting, it’s a waste of resources.
It is wobbling when moving but sounds like if i want to cut i can better upgrade to a new module and keep this one to build a small engraver/marker for coasters etc…
I had a module that lost the internal spring and at the time I fixed it with that white pvc tape which is used to seal water leaks in screw joints… I don’t know what it’s called in English, the translator translates it to “tape seal thread”
solved the sway
Most lenses are cast in the thread piece itself, the spring only has the task of providing a little resistance so that the thread does not unscrew itself loose. As @Tribo writes, Teflon sealing tape will take over this task when the spring is missing.
100% @ 100mm/min, but already accepted the fact that i need to upgrade for cutting or do a lot of passes. I’m going to try the tape, because the lens is a bit wobbly in the thread.
Thanks for the tips all.
A couple of quick things to check before you give-up on the laser module:
- make sure the lens is clean. Given it’s used this could have all sort of residue leftover from previous burns
- check that the value of “S-Value max” in your Edit->Device Settings matches the value of $30 in your GRBL configuration. Visible in Edit->Machine Settings or by entering $$ in Console. This will typically be either 255 or 1000. If they don’t match, change the S-Value max figure to match $30.
- have you worked out proper focusing for the laser? This is surprisingly important especially for cutting.
Don’t mean to call you out @anon88048707 but aren’t you the one doing 18+ hour burns?
Thanks for all the tips, found some teflon tape in the shed to day and hope to work on the laser again tomorrow.
isn’t it easier to limit the laser in lightburn by setting the “milling speed” in lightburn to 850 and keep it on 1000 in grbl?
Next to extending the laser lifetime what is the purpose of running on a lower power?
The equivalent of “milling speed” in Lightburn would be the cut layer Power setting which is represented as a percentage. Effectively this percentage is applied against the $30 grbl value which is typically 1000 or 255. So to get effective 850 for power you’d set LightBurn to 85% for a system configured to 1000.
There’s no need to change the GRBL configuration as that really just defines the size of the scale, not the active value.
What I meant is that if you set $30 in grbl on 1000 but S max in lightburn to 850 or 900 you can limit your power.
I fixed the wobbly lens with the tape but as i don’t have any clue what lens is in, what distance from laser to the material should i try?
You simply need to focus your diode to the narrowest point, measuring this distance from the surface of the workpiece to a reproducible point on the laser. Then you have a reference until you change your lens distance in the laser, then you start it all over again.
Yes, this would cut-off the top range from use. But what would be the aim of this? As a means to protect the diode from overuse? I suppose that’s a valid strategy.
Yes, but hasn’t every type of lens an optimal distance?
I do not think it is wise to have two values for the same function, better limit the actual effect on your layers.
And as long as it is a regulated, normal diode e.g. 5.5Watt from a reputable supplier, I will and that is what I do, run 100% for max power. I have done this for the first 2 years I have had my Eleksmaker, without any negative effect. (Now I do not really use the machine anymore but it is 100% functional)
I think more about how far you screw thread into the laser, the distance changes. A correct focal point is the most critical thing about a diode laser.
@bernd.dk may be one of the braver among us. After I prematurely burned through my first laser module I’ve been keeping things more moderate. But I wouldn’t necessarily consider the units I’ve used as premium.
As a comparison I don’t think mine lasted at full power for more than a few months. This is definitely a case of your mileage varying.
No, I’m definitely not very brave when it comes to my expensive purchased tools. But, by the time I bought my first laser, a 5.5 Watt Eleksmaker, there was no supplier on the market that overpowered their diodes (to my knowledge) like they do today. If I had to cut through 2-3 mm plywood which took many turns, the machine ran at full power until the job was done and it could sometimes take many hours. I did not think at all that I could ruin the diode with the way I worked. (the result was usually very charred)
Especially after some resellers came on the market in Russia, calling everyone as “my dear friends”, who showed YT videos where under strange conditions they start splitting Chinese diodes from each other and used some homemade power supplies for the purpose of showing that “their” diodes were stronger than those of the Chinese.
Of course, the Chinese could not accept that. But instead of explaining that it goes beyond the durability of the diodes when driven with too high a voltage, they increased the voltage further and started selling their laser with incorrectly specified effects and of course overpowered.
It would have been very honorable and technically useful if the new dual diode technology had been sold as it really is and not as up to 80Watt laser machines. I think that there is certainly a great potential in the new type of didelaser if the heat production is manageable. 2x7.5 Watt diodes (which are still the largest available on the soho market) will give 15 Watt minus one, two Watt losses in the system, 13 real Watt for a diode laser - it can be used for many things.
On the CO2 side, the problem is roughly the same and yet more “transparent”, you want to run real 100Watt, you have to buy a quality tube that can run max 120 or 130 Watt. The prices are so high that the Chinese would not sell many tubes if they all went out after a few hours of operation. Therefore, clear description, “our 100 Watt Tube must run at max 80 Watt if you want a guarantee from us” (which you still do not get. But the risk of a burn out tube from EFR or Reci is significantly less because their policy is another.They sell their tubes which have passed Q1 themselves, and sell Q3-Q5 (*) with other names.Not ethically the most sympathetic, but you know where you are in the woods.
(*) this is not a guess but I can not document it
Sorry for this long post but it’s a very interesting topic.
Cleaning the lens (on the inside) seems to have done the trick. I can get a burning focus spot and also the stray is significant less. And when out of focus i now see a nice rectangular dot instead of a blob.
Hope to test burn some 3mm plywood tomorrow.
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