We currently have 2 lasers - a 1325 model and a 1930 model. Both originally came with a red dot laser that mounts to the head of the laser and is bent at approx 45 degrees, meaning that if the height between the laser and the material changes even a little bit, the red dot will not be in line with the laser. We use multiple lens’ depending on the job, so this is a problem - these lasers are very time consuming to align properly… we we just remove them and eyeball it.
There are times however where a guide light would come in super handy though, so I am looking for alternatives. One that I have read about is the pass through type that is mounted before the first mirror via a beam combiner.
Has anyone here added one of these after market? If so, was it worth it? And was it super difficult to install and configure without screwing up your laser alignment? And on that note, does it actually help or hurt with laser mirror alignment?
I have the same 45 degree dot as most people do, I now use a beam combiner red dot, Pretty easy to install, you will need to fix it to the body where the tube is. I just tapped some threads into the metal body to fix it.
The install has no effect on the laser beam alignment, you just align it’s self through the mirror setup.
I’ve not noticed any power loss or any complications. Everything cuts the same as it did before, The red dot always points downwards and there is no ugly pointer attached to the head anymore. Russ has a smaller power tube, maybe that is why he’s getting power loss I don’t know, but I am very happy with my setup and still happy to recommend it.
Also Russ seems to be wanting it to align the beam, which I don’t think is it’s job.
I doubt I will have any power issues. At most we would just need to adjust our power profiles. We only use a fraction of the 100W the tube puts out… 99% of what we cut is 3mm acrylic and 3mm plywood, so power should not be an issue.
I will surely give this a go. We waste a LOT of acrylic when we are prototyping because of this. Though for our production cuts we do use a jig and cut pretty much edge to edge (2mm buffer on each side). While prototyping though we generally do hundreds of cuts and likely waste 50lbs of material a month, though its hard to quantify.
In any case thank you for the info - I am going to order a kit for this tonight and tinker with it after our next production run mid November.
You should take a few and watch the video… I think it’s about how the error is induced into the system… If you go through a combiner, you lose some power, just like a mirror or a lens… it’s just an acceptable power loss… Would you notice a few watts of loss?
I’ve used mine without a pointer for a couple of years.
I don’t have drag chains anymore, so nowhere to run the wires for one on the head assembly if I wanted to… Implementing it on my machine would require a combiner or a tube with it built in.
When the time comes, I’ll probably try one with a factory aligned led/combiner in the tube.
If the pass-through system doesn’t meet your requirements, one option you have is to apply a mount to the lens tube to hold a pair of line-lasers set at ninety degrees to each other.
The lines are to be adjusted to pass through the burn dot at focus height. When both are at 90°, the distance from the lens does not matter.
I designed and 3D printed a mount that cracked (PLA) but the rebuilt PETG version is holding up well. Another difference of note is using glass-lensed line lasers rather than the barely-less expensive plastic lens versions.