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Author Topic: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?  (Read 14639 times)

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 12:01:12 PM »
YES YOU CAN MAKE A UNIVERSAL MOUNT ON YOUR Z AND JUST MAKE INDIVIDUAL LASER MNT AND SPINDLE MNT. ( QUICK CHANGE )
 WE CAN BUILD ANYTHING HERE.  WE HAVE EVERY MACHINE IN HOUSE TO BUILD MOST ANYTHING.


A quick change laser head ?????

I would really like to see a picture of a 450Watt laser fitted to the Z Axis of a machine.

Do you know the price of a 450 Watt laser ?

Tweakie.
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Offline Jennifer

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2011, 02:06:19 PM »
Hi Tweakie,

I once owned a laser hair removal clinic, an alexanderite laser that output 20 joules of enercy into a 25mm spot over a 3ms pulse cost me about 80,000 dollars a pop. output in watts it was probably about 40. The power supply generated a huge amount of heat, i had to water cool them then air condition the room the machine stood in.

i just have this frankenstein picture of this room full of power equipment tied to a six foot long CO2 laser attached to a six inch mount focused on a tiny piece of .050" thick by 1/4 inch across abalone shell :)

Jen


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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 01:28:48 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D

Tweakie.
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Offline DOUBLEG2008

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 10:09:00 AM »
I have been real busy here at work. Im building fixtures for our Lincoln robotic welding cell.

they are around 800 to 1500 for a 450 watt laser. i will find them on line and post a link when i get some time later today.
you will have to build a mount for the focal lens and will need an assist gas. nitrogen works best for small stuff or you can use an air compressor.
oxygen is for steel only every thing else will catch fire with it. we cut 3/4 marine ply wood at 700watt and use shop air. cutting at 80 ipm

Dave
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Offline Jennifer

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2011, 07:27:35 AM »
Hi,

i am investigating a third alternative, it is a laser system from a company called epilog. they make small lasers that work off of image files from applications like vcarve or corell draw. they have a very high accuracy and lightning speed, on the order of 100 inches per minute cutting materials similar to the "ablam" that i use for my inlay work.

they run in the 40 to 80- watt range and work a lot like a dot matrix printer. the cost is well below 10k for table sizes of 12x12 and 12x18, which is great for the type of work i am doing. they are a CO2 based system and have many advantages over a router or a mill. very thin "kerf" about .001". They are capable of making the sharp corners that inlay artists love, no cutters to wear or break, made in the U.S. real win win stuff.

I am in the process of working with the local sales rep to test one out on the material i use. i will keep you posted. the real concern is how accurately it can hold "depth" on the "pockets" that my inlay work "guzinta" so we will be testing some of the various hardwoods used in musical instruments to see if it is possible to maintain a reasonably even depth.

have a great week!
Jen


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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2011, 10:33:41 AM »
Hi Jen,

The Epilog sounds like a good choice.

Just one point to keep in mind is that organics such as shell, bone, leather etc really stink when you attack them with a laser. I am not sure about the composite 'ablam' because I have never tried it but depending on your location (if you have neighbours) you may need a HEPA filter attached to your air extraction system. They are not that expensive but still a bit of extra cost to factor into the equation.

Tweakie.
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Offline Jennifer

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2011, 10:49:45 AM »
Thanks for the advice tweakie,

Yah the stuff will put up a nice stink when burnt. fortunately the units i am considering have a 4" vent on them, and my dust collecting system uses the same size hoses. It vents outside, and neighbors are a fair distance away, so the odor should not be an issue.

My real concern is weather or not i can get a controllable depth for the pocketing. I would really hate myself for dumping that kind of money on a system that turns out to be unweidly in the z axis. wood does not, by nature, have a consistant density. also if the laser discolors the wood around the edges.

it woould be senseless to have a machine that can cut nice sharp corners on my inlay material only to have to use the router to cut pockets that will be rounded by virtue of the tool's diameter.

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2011, 11:30:50 AM »
Jen,

You are right about wood's density. Wood's like teak and spruce have a soft growth layer sandwiched between a very hard annual ring - the laser will cut deep into the soft and not so deep into the hard but the overall average should be pretty constant.
As the depth of cut is related to both power and speed as well as the wood itself the exact depth will always be a trial and error thing but once established it will be repeatable, at least for that sample of wood.
There will be some blackening (charring) around the edges but the surface of the work can be protected with paper transfer tape (used with vinyl signs) also there are a number of  proprietary cleaners which, I understand, can work wonders.

(Incidentally, the smallest practical beam spot size is around 0.05mm diameter without resorting to beam expanders or extremely short focal length lenses).

Tweakie.
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Offline Jennifer

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2011, 11:42:00 AM »
Tweakie,

That is what we are hoping, that on average we can control the depth, any irregularities should be controllable with the liberal application of adhesive. i am also hoping that sanding the surface willl diminish any blackening of the wood, if it occurs. i'll let you know when i find out.

I am sure i can develope some kind of protocol for testing the timing/intensity needed to control depth on a given sample of wood. after a while it should become routine. perhaps develop a test template, varying the settings programatically between the different test areas so i could push a button, measure the depth of the samples and choose the settings necessary to achieve that depth on that particular sample of material. any thats the plan.

Jen

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Offline DOUBLEG2008

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Re: Mill or Router - which is best for this application?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2011, 02:15:43 PM »
LADIES,

        IVE HAD PRETTY GOOD LUCK CUTTING WOODS AND SHELLS...  *** FOR SURE DO NOT CUT PVC (VINYL) *** IT GIVES OFF CHLORINE GAS, VERY TOXIC EVEN WITH A FUME EVAC..
WE HAVE SOME BIG LASERS HERE AND WHEN WE CUT 1/16TH WOOD LAMINATE IT CUTS VERY PRECISE. PIERCE TIME AT 450 WATTS IS .200 SECONDS.  CUT SPEED AT 450 WATTS IS 100 IPM.
 USE NITROGEN AS AN ASSIST GAS. OUR BEAM DIAMETER WITH OUR FOCAL LENS VARY FROM .003IN TO .010IN DEPENDING ON FOCAL LENGTH.

http://www.rofin.com/en/products/fiber_lasers/starfiber/starfiber/     <---- CHECK OUT THIS SITE TO GET YOU STARTED ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS MOUNT THIS ONE....

DAVE
I HAVE ALL THE TOYS !!! HA HA HA