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Author Topic: Mach3 on a laser cutter...  (Read 3998 times)

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Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2018, 02:25:02 PM »
Also would be adopting a similar setup as yours Tweakie, but still have to figure out how to keep out the dust but mostly to come to terms with the risk of vibrations. Truth be told ,I will be fixing the laser to the upper part frame (as it will be enclosed to contain dust) of the cnc and suspened on shock absorbers, but on the other hand experience thought me never to under estimate what nature can do from behind your back without noticing whats going on. Anyway I'll have to see.
Thanks
Marting

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Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2018, 01:59:47 AM »
Hi Marting,

130 Watt sounds good, excellent in fact.

15mm wood would cut OK but bear in mind the effective focal distance of the beam and associated kerf width. You would also need a lot of air assist.
As for polycarbonate, well you would just have to try it and see – it is terrible stuff and can often end up as a sticky lump. Acrylic would be best.
I doubt you would have enough power to cut into aluminium at the CO2 wavelength but you can certainly ablate the anodizing dye layer.

Sound like you are in for a lot of fun. Please keep us informed and post some pictures of your progress.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018, 04:47:40 PM »
Hi Tweakie,
Thanks for the information, I still have a long way to go until I finish. Although I had planned to install a laser from the beginning, I haven't given it that much thought but since I've started enquiries I need to know what I need to order and where to install it and so this is the right time to take it in consideration. Attached is a photo of my progress so far.

Regards
Marting

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Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 01:39:03 AM »
Looking good  ;)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 05:10:35 PM »
Having owned and operated several co2 machines and one galvo fiber laser I can speak from some background.  Not sure of what power your talking about and material.  But my 40 or 50 watt machines can cut  .250 or 6 mm plywood without an issues, cedar wood or pine same thickness it does a better job.  The glue in the plywood is sometimes an  issue.  Anodized aluminum engraves without issues.  Dust or smoke removable via exhaust fans to outside.  At one time I looked into building one, but its cheaper just to purchase a pre-built Chinese and fix as needed.  ;).    The more expensive US and German machines use a air cooled RF metal tube.

Tube (glass) is fixed at one place, water cooled usually in the Chinese ones. Mirrors direct the beam, the moving carriage has the last mirror and it reflects down thru the lens to focus the dot.   The really larger machines, as the Kern has the tube mounted so it moves with the gantry.

If you want to engrave, Mach3 is not the way  to go, cutting yes.  The DSP controllers do a great job for engraving and cutting.
Retired Master Electrician, Commercial HVAC/R Service and lots of Hobbys.
Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2018, 01:02:19 PM »
Hi Wmgeorge,
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated particularly with the issue of engraving with Mach3. Would you care to elaborate a bit more what the issues might be / are? Originally my plan was to cut 6 to 10mm thickness in wood and similar materials, plastics (naturally excluding those containing chloride) etc.Further considering future projects with anodised aluminium requiring engraving, have made me decide to go for the 130w laser.

I only use Mach3 as an intermediate program between a cam programm and the cnc, so the way I see it (and I stand to be corrected here) there shouldn't be any issues unless if these are related to the postprocessor. So far I have engraved on irregular surfaces with a V cutter and never had any issues with the results, hence  would very much welcome any eye openers.
Thanks Marting
Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2018, 05:57:11 PM »
Engraving on a laser means cycling the beam (dot) on and off very rapidly and sometimes changing the power while moving the X and Y.  Mach3 I am sure is not anywhere close to fast enough. You can do a solid line engraving, or cutting without issue I am sure.  But in this regard the Chinese DSP controller is the way to go, along with the software for that controller.
Retired Master Electrician, Commercial HVAC/R Service and lots of Hobbys.

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Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2018, 02:37:11 AM »
Quote
Engraving on a laser means cycling the beam (dot) on and off very rapidly and sometimes changing the power while moving the X and Y.  Mach3 I am sure is not anywhere close to fast enough. You can do a solid line engraving, or cutting without issue I am sure.  But in this regard the Chinese DSP controller is the way to go, along with the software for that controller.

I have to disagree.
Whilst the DSP controller may be superior to Mach when it comes to laser control Mach3 can, for example, perform laser engraving operations with great precision. This laser produced lithophane is just 50mm square.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2018, 09:35:44 AM »
I would imagine the g code  file for that would be huge.  Try doing one on granite 300 mm square.


« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 09:47:14 AM by wmgeorge »
Retired Master Electrician, Commercial HVAC/R Service and lots of Hobbys.

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Re: Mach3 on a laser cutter...
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2018, 10:05:48 AM »
Quote
Try doing one on granite 300 mm square.

Why ??

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