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Author Topic: The Laser Project.  (Read 855075 times)

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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The Laser Project.
« on: August 26, 2009, 02:48:48 AM »
Now the shadows are starting to lengthen I am preparing for my next winter project - To add a CO2 laser head to my existing router. The output power of CO2 tubes is related to overall length and the size of my machine dictates that a 600mm length tube (which is rated at 30 Watts) is the largest that I can easily accommodate.
These tubes can be something of a ‘white elephant’ insofar as that I suspect more people buy them than ever get around to completing the project. When you start to investigate the additional parts that are necessary and the cost of those parts, I am not surprised.
However I have started so I will continue.
Initially I have had to add a mounting space to the machine and some more box section with a bit of welding has produced two brackets which have been bolted to the rear of the machine frame giving a position to fit the laser stage. I have also milled a pair of tube mountings and made bungee straps to secure the tube in place.

More to follow…….

I would appreciate your comments and advice on this project as the more info I can get the better.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 09:15:22 PM »
What are you going to cut? Titanium? :)

OK, I have forgotten what the power levels mean but, as a young teen, I was able to hang out at an Air Force Laser lab where my brother was stationed. They were playing with a CO2 laser, I think the tube was about 6' long. They were shooting pinholes through a cockroach and halfway through a piece of particle board using microsecond bursts. They also had an Argon laser and a Ruby laser, along with several He-Ne lasers. This was the late 60's.

I keep looking at your laser projects and may go that way once my CNC is complete. It has had to wait till winter, too much work and summertime stuff to be working in the basement.

Keep up the good work and keep us posted. 8)

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2009, 02:52:06 PM »
Think it should just about be able to cut a bit of acrylic - will be a pretty expensive mistake if it doesn't.  :D

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 01:57:09 AM »
Mountings for the HeNe alignment laser made the same way as the main tube mountings.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 03:19:16 AM »
The psu has arrived from China. This unit consists basically of a TV line output transformer capable of producing some 18,000 Volts which is on/off switchable, with a short rise time, from a TTL signal and current adjustable from a 0 - 5 Volt analogue input.
I will need to construct a new enclosure for this unit so that it can be fitted safely to the framework of my machine and this is the progress so far.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline Sam

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 07:51:29 PM »
You'll be burnin' retinas before ya know it, super kitty!
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."

Offline budman68

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2009, 08:16:54 PM »
Heck, I just love the box you made for it!

Dave
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Offline Sam

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 01:15:59 AM »
He's certainly a better TIG welder than I will ever be.
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."

Offline Dan13

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2009, 01:36:04 AM »
It's going to be an interesting project, Tweakie.

Is the box made of aluminum? It looks very well made - did you use some kind of bending machine or fixture? How did you cut it?

BTW, thought a 30W laser would be enough to cut through a thin aluminum foil...?

Daniel

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: The Laser Project.
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 08:33:42 AM »
Thanks Guys,

Afraid I can't take all the credit for the box. I cut the ally on a guillotine and used a band saw for the cutouts, cleaned the edges to the scribe marks with a sander, then bent it in a V block on a fly press (thanks to a local machine shop). The TIG work was done by a professional (I am OK on SS but you would not want to see any of my ally TIG work  :'( ).

Let you know about the thin foil Dan when the project is finished.

Right on Sam but did you know that CO2 lasers are, apparently, better at burning corneas than they are at retinas because eyeballs are quite opaque at the far infrared (not that it makes that much difference though).  ;D

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.