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View Full Version : Anyone using a laser on their dynatorch table?



teachagmech
06-20-2012, 01:39 AM
I'll start by saying I am a teacher and have been running my 4x8 master series drop side table for about 2 years. It's a great machine but the majority of the work that we do is small artwork cutouts measuring about 6" square on 16ga. I'm running a TD cutmaster A80 and have great success adjusting and dialing in arc voltage and cutting speed to eliminate dross. I'm still not quite satisfied with the precision of cut. If two parallel cuts are closer than .100" the material between just melts away. These cuts are made with 30A consumables, 115ipm and THC set at 89v. I've tried the 20A tips with the same results.

I'm looking at upgrading to a laser to accomplish tighter cut quality for more intricate designs. Has anybody done this? What size and type of laser should I be looking at? I know there is such a beast out there but I don't have any experience with lasers.

LeonD
08-01-2012, 11:50 AM
What do you want to cut and how thick? I have had a 150W CO2 laser on mine for a while and it cuts wood, plastic etc very nice with superb detail. !/4" plastic and 3/8 wood capacity but not metal. To cut any metal at all you really need 600W or more. Prefer 800-1000W range just to cut 1/8" steel. Aluminum and stainless are bad as they reflect a lot of the beam and can only process about 1/2 the thickness of steel. SS dross is very hard to remove on any cutting process.

I have installed a 600W fiber optic laser on a customers machine also for cutting thin metals. These are much easier to install and maintain as the power supply comes pre connected to the fiber cable. It hooks up much like a plasma. Anything above 600W generally requires water cooling so an additional chiller is required. On CO2 systems an arm or system of beam delivery tubes with mirrors is required. They must be aligned exactly after installation and any service.

Fiber optic system have short wave lengths that reflect easily and MUST be installed in a completely sealed room so no beam exits. Cheap materials are OK but any reflection causes immediate permanent eye damage. Use cameras and wear proper goggles.

Now Cost! For fiber optic systems with beam delivery and height sensing heads look at about $120 per watt. For CO2 systems figure $150 per watt. And that's just the laser. Not including the CNC machine.