I am about to buy my laser tube. The machine is for a business venture. It will be cutting 1/8" MDF. That is all. Due to size and money constraints, I'm limited to about 25 to 30 watts. I need to know if some one has real life experience cutting this stuff. How fast can it cut? Will I be inching along at 3 inches a minute? I don't expect to be flying at 300 in/min with it. I would be happy with 20 in/min. But I need to know if I'm wasting my money with the smaller laser. If I have to get a 50 watt, I will have to rethink things and purchase the necessary components. Unfortunately, lasers don't seem to be things you can upgrade easily. I'll have to replace the tube and the power supply if I need to upgrade. So if anyone cuts this stuff, PLEASE, a reply would be greatly appreciated. I really don't want to waste my money! I will only be bounching the beam up to 18" total, it won't have far to go. I plan on using optics with a 2 inch focal point, if that makes any difference. Sorry to come off so needy, but I would really like some encouragement before I spend a ton of cash!
i cut a lot of mdf on my laser which is a 60 watt, i run at full power and speed of 16mm per sec, i can cut at 25mm but find the slower the better the cut,i also found that my honeycoombe table 1200 x 800 is better for the two ally bars i fitted underneath as this has stop work being wasted for not cutting all the way through, yuo might want to think about your filtration unit as mdf when cut gives of a fume called falmuhide which is a very dangerous gas and is being banned from all sites hear in australia. i use a carbon filtration unit which is only around two hundred dollars aus which garantees to remove99.9 percent of the odour, you will have to clean the machine more often as the smoke is quite thick and if you have a laser with an open front get the biggest you can youre be glad you did, i also have a 300 x 200 table and never use it as you are always loading and unloading.
I cut 6mm with ease at 80 power and 6 speed, when cutting fretwork this looks fast in a straight line very slow, another thing to consider is that if using water to call the tube, use deminalrised water and change it every three days you will need a good quality pump to circulate the water also fit a small model shop air compressor to the focussing tube, this will help to prevent fires when you set the ray path take your time and set the beam in middle of the mirrors and dont move machine when set. i then use silicone to lock all screws so they wont work loose, the better aligned and cleaner mirrors will able you to cut thicker materials. where are you buying the tube from as i pay only $250 us for a 60 watt and $150 for a 40 watt tube where as if you buy from a middle man they want anything from 1000 upwards having said that i found that they will not help in any way as you are buying the same machine , i had all the extras added to mine and saved around $40.000 AUS which allows you to throw them away rather than pay the costs they charge. i saw a redsail machine on the us ebay a week ago for $500 maybe you should be looking for this and strip out all the parts, i dont know your budget but you can buy a new one from china for $1250 freight to me was $220 and took only two days to arrive. when i had my first problem with it not working i took out the box of printed circuits complete with lead and driver cardand sent it back for repair. picked up from me at 3.30pm they received it at 9 am the next day at a cost to me of $80 the reason iam saying this is that if you deal with the manufacteruer in china it is by far cheaper to do this than to have a engineer visit you(if you can find one that is) i would lie to think that the few companies out there are running scared now as we find out just how much profit they have made in the past. every one should have a laser as part of there workshop i know that when people see mine they just cant belieave what it can do and i have paid more just for software in the past,sorry back to the filter all you need is a carbon filter used in hydroponics very very good but which i made an acrylic surround for this, my only problem is that no supplier beleved what i was filtering with it and had to sign a declaration because they are used for growing indoor dope so they do the job