Looking for a Laser


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    Default Looking for a Laser

    Hi,

    I need to engrave text on paint. So for example, I have an undercoat and then a top coat and I need to remove just the top coat layer and not go through all the way to the underlying material.

    I'm looking in the various types of lasers and CO2 is the most common, but I'm more interested in Fiber and perhaps a simple diode laser might also do the trick? Based on what I'm reading it should be cheaper and less hassle setting up.

    Question is, who sells these things? Most are in the 4Kw range, but that is probably way overkill for what I'm trying to do!

    These are the only ones that I have managed to find thus far:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_...laser&_ipg=200

    i.e. some brand called JSDU and the wattages seem perfrect for what I'm trying to do.

    Any suggestions?

    Similar Threads:


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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Hello Sir , This is Rosa from G.weike laser ,we are a manufacture of fiber laser cutting machine and CO2 laser machine , we provide the OEM service to BOSS laser and FSL laser , if you are interested in our machine , please feel free to contact me :rosa@wklaser.com , whatsapp/Skype number :+86 15628769257.



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabalala View Post
    Forget about it.

    CNC lasers, constructions, service


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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by cinematic2 View Post
    Forget about it.
    What's wrong with them?



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Talk to George at Endurance Laser. His units are way better than the Chinese ones, at about the same price (or cheaper). His ratings are accurate - i.e. his 8W is actually 8W and can run continually at 8W, where the Chinese 15W are lower powered than his 8W and can’t run continuously. Endurance lasers: a usefull attachment for your 3D printer / CNC machine

    Plenty of positive reviews of his units - more under his other brand name L-Cheapo Lasers.

    A 10W diode laser of his on its own would cost US$695 complete (add x/y mechanism and controller and PSU), an engraving machine complete with 10W diode is $995 in DIY.

    Being an electronic genius I opted for the ‘kit’ laser, which requires assembly/soldering. Less than half the price of an assembled laser unit. Endurance laser kit - EnduranceLasers

    But, for engraving/etching paint, 10W is probably overkill.

    I’m just putting together a 5.6W diode laser cutter for card/paper/foam cutting and can try a piece of painted whatever. What is painted and what is it painted with? How big does your work area need to be and how fast do you want to work?

    If you have an existing CNC router, you can add a focusable laser diode to the existing tool head.

    If you need a large work area, making a unit like the Openbuilds ACRO is really easy. A 60”x60” unit is ~$500 with motors, controller, etc. http://openbuildspartstore.com/openbuilds-acro-system/

    I designed and am building my own in the spirit of complet budget build: https://openbuilds.com/threads/laser.12231/

    I’m anticipating total build cost at around $300 plus the laser diode. My shortest axis is 500mm, you can scale to whatever size extrusion you can buy.

    If you want to discuss, drop me a line



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabalala View Post
    What's wrong with them?
    Wrong type of laser.

    You want visible light, and the lower the frequency (nm), the better result you’ll get, at your price point. If it was me, I would be looking <500nm, which really means 445/450nm. It’s cheaper and works better for your stated needs.

    From your eBay link, you are in Australia? I’m (almost) in the same timezone.



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    Talk to George at Endurance Laser. His units are way better than the Chinese ones, at about the same price (or cheaper). His ratings are accurate - i.e. his 8W is actually 8W and can run continually at 8W, where the Chinese 15W are lower powered than his 8W and can’t run continuously. Endurance lasers: a usefull attachment for your 3D printer / CNC machine


    Plenty of positive reviews of his units - more under his other brand name L-Cheapo Lasers.


    A 10W diode laser of his on its own would cost US$695 complete (add x/y mechanism and controller and PSU), an engraving machine complete with 10W diode is $995 in DIY.

    Thanks for the suggestion. From what I read, diode lasers are more expensive and last less than fiber lasers. So I think I prefer fiber lasers over diodes at least at the moment, but good to see an actual product with a price attached to it. Haven't found other alternatives thus far.


    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    But, for engraving/etching paint, 10W is probably overkill.

    Noted


    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    I’m just putting together a 5.6W diode laser cutter for card/paper/foam cutting and can try a piece of painted whatever. What is painted and what is it painted with? How big does your work area need to be and how fast do you want to work?


    If you have an existing CNC router, you can add a focusable laser diode to the existing tool head.

    Does it matter what is painted if I'm not planning to go down to the paint? I'm not 100% sure about what sort of paint at this stage. I think it's going to be automotive paint but I'm not a paint expert so I can't narrow that down. So perhaps tests are a bit too early but thanks for the gracious offer (I would definitely be interested in finding out whether it's able to cut balsa however!). In terms of work area, pretty much no bigger than my current CNC machine offers. Speaking of which, why did you decide to build a separate machine rather than strapping on a laser to your existing CNC machine?




    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    I’m anticipating total build cost at around $300 plus the laser diode. My shortest axis is 500mm, you can scale to whatever size extrusion you can buy.

    The biggest problem with building your own machine is the time it takes from the project you're building it for. Doing everything yourself is fun, but slows down the end goal.




    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    Wrong type of laser.


    You want visible light, and the lower the frequency (nm), the better result you’ll get, at your price point. If it was me, I would be looking <500nm, which really means 445/450nm. It’s cheaper and works better for your stated needs.


    From your eBay link, you are in Australia? I’m (almost) in the same timezone.

    I tried looking for information that would explain frequency selection, but it's very hard to come by. Perhaps contacting manufacturers of lasers directly for this information is the correct approach.


    Yes in Australia.

    Last edited by Shabalala; 05-15-2018 at 10:16 PM.


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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabalala View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. From what I read, diode lasers are more expensive and last less than fiber lasers. So I think I prefer fiber lasers over diodes at least at the moment, but good to see an actual product with a price attached to it. Haven't found other alternatives thus far
    Generally not. A fibre laser at the same power as a laser diode in the range you need for engraving and cutting small objects is always going to be more expensive. There’s been a rapid evolution in metal cutting from CO2 to fibre to diode recently and now diodes are being used where we used to use 150W CO2 lasers, cheaper than either co2 or fibre, with less maintenance and longer life, The diode used in the endurance lasers I referred to before should last 10,000 running hours at full power. A fibre laser uses a diode and a doped optical pigtail, and while they claim 100,000 hours life, you are comparing a KW laser with a mW laser and are priced accordingly. To get a long-lifed fibre laser at the same power as a laser diode suitable for engraving will cost many times the price of the diode.

    So, compare like for like, the diode laser is simple, cheap, robust and long-lifed. And in the event you want more power, a different sort of power, different frequency, etc., replacing the actual diode with a different one is a few dollars - an 8000mW diode on its own is around $US35

    Does it matter what is painted if I'm not planning to go down to the paint? I'm not 100% sure about what sort of paint at this stage. I think it's going to be automotive paint but I'm not a paint expert so I can't narrow that down. So perhaps tests are a bit too early but thanks for the gracious offer (I would definitely be interested in finding out whether it's able to cut balsa however!). In terms of work area, pretty much no bigger than my current CNC machine offers. Speaking of which, why did you decide to build a separate machine rather than strapping on a laser to your existing CNC machine?
    Doesn’t matter to me one bit, as I’m now unlikely to be testing for you, but if I had had some of whatever it was lying around, I would have done some ‘sizing’ tests to get a general idea of the power you would need.

    My CNC is dusty and dirty and noisy. My paper/foam/fabric worktable is not, that’s the reason for a different machine. I may put a diode on the Ox so I can mark and engrave at a later date. I also wanted to experiment with different toolchains than I use for CNC routing. Specifically I wanted to try and make it ‘appliance-like’ with wireless and Bluetooth.

    I already had about 30M of v-slot aluminium banging around, spare motors, controllers, etc. and I thought it was something my wife, the clothing designer/tailor, might be interested to have a go on - but she stays well away from the noise and dust of the wood shop.

    I also wanted to see if I could design a small machine, with only two motors and minimal parts but a big work area - A2, in this instance, but if I find a source of A1 or A0 card, I can make it bigger with simply putting in a bigger piece of extrusion, as long as the cantilever balances.

    My mock-up is easily stored flat against the wall, is light and easy to put on any flat surface. I just use a sheet of12mm MDF as both a counterbalance and spoil board.

    [The biggest problem with building your own machine is the time it takes from the project you're building it for. Doing everything yourself is fun, but slows down the end goal.
    My goal was to design a cost-effective small laser cutter

    I tried looking for information that would explain frequency selection, but it's very hard to come by. Perhaps contacting manufacturers of lasers directly for this information is the correct approach.
    I found all I needed researching online, as you are currently doing. The laser pointer forums were the most useful, I found.

    [Yes in Australia.
    So not a lot of Aussie-made components. More than Borneo, though.



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    Generally not. A fibre laser at the same power as a laser diode in the range you need for engraving and cutting small objects is always going to be more expensive. There’s been a rapid evolution in metal cutting from CO2 to fibre to diode recently and now diodes are being used where we used to use 150W CO2 lasers, cheaper than either co2 or fibre, with less maintenance and longer life, The diode used in the endurance lasers I referred to before should last 10,000 running hours at full power. A fibre laser uses a diode and a doped optical pigtail, and while they claim 100,000 hours life, you are comparing a KW laser with a mW laser and are priced accordingly. To get a long-lifed fibre laser at the same power as a laser diode suitable for engraving will cost many times the price of the diode.


    So, compare like for like, the diode laser is simple, cheap, robust and long-lifed. And in the event you want more power, a different sort of power, different frequency, etc., replacing the actual diode with a different one is a few dollars - an 8000mW diode on its own is around $US35

    Thanks for the info.


    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    My CNC is dusty and dirty and noisy.

    My suggestion to this is to use a vacuum cleaner of some sort as you cut, that way you collect the dust immediately at the source and this makes the work area completely pristene.


    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    My paper/foam/fabric worktable is not, that’s the reason for a different machine. I may put a diode on the Ox so I can mark and engrave at a later date. I also wanted to experiment with different toolchains than I use for CNC routing. Specifically I wanted to try and make it ‘appliance-like’ with wireless and Bluetooth.


    I already had about 30M of v-slot aluminium banging around, spare motors, controllers, etc. and I thought it was something my wife, the clothing designer/tailor, might be interested to have a go on - but she stays well away from the noise and dust of the wood shop.


    I also wanted to see if I could design a small machine, with only two motors and minimal parts but a big work area - A2, in this instance, but if I find a source of A1 or A0 card, I can make it bigger with simply putting in a bigger piece of extrusion, as long as the cantilever balances.

    Gocha, makes sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by ledaero View Post
    I found all I needed researching online, as you are currently doing. The laser pointer forums were the most useful, I found.

    Sounds promising.



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabalala View Post
    My suggestion to this is to use a vacuum cleaner as you cut, that way you collect the dust immediately at the source and this makes the work area completely pristene
    We probably have different grades of ‘pristine’. When working with paper and glue, even ‘invisible’ dust can ruin a workpiece.

    Maybe I should replace my industrial dust collecting cyclone system with a vacuum cleaner - good tip



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    Wow a cyclone isn't enough for a clean area, yes our levels of pristine are certainly different in that case.



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    Default Re: Looking for a Laser

    The cyclone pulls most of the debris, but I use a lot of MDF and that stuff gets everywhere. I don't have a hepa filter.

    Plus the CNC machine isn't the only woodworking tool in the shop. Hard to hold a vacuum tube in one hand and sandpaper in the other and do a good job...



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