Author Topic: Air Assists Compared?  (Read 556 times)

MarcusJ

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Air Assists Compared?
« on: March 20, 2018, 08:28:38 AM »
Hi All,
I have a Banggood 2.5W with Pawpawpaw's air assist, and it's working OK.  I've been doing a lot of cutting, and I'm wondering if anyone has done a comparison between the low-pressure high-volume approach that Pawpawpaw's has with the high-pressure/low-volume that you would get with a directed compressed air stream.  I've been reading through the posts, and it seems folks have gone with one method or the other, but I haven't seen anyone who's tried both and settled on a winner.

Is a compressed air setup going to produce enough of a difference/improvement in cutting ability for me to justify investing in a newer air assist rig?

Pawpawpaw85

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 02:28:02 PM »
Hello there. Being the creator of the air assist you're using, as well as having designed high pressure things in the past at work, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll get  better performance with compressed air. (How much of an improvement have no idea, but would be great if someone that had access to both could run a comparison)

What my low pressure air assist does is keep smoke from disturbing the beam (degrade cutting power), keeping flames away and blow some of the charred stuff away.
A highly focused high pressure beam of air pointing straight at the cutting point would be much more efficient in blowing stuff away and keeping flames away, while at the same time keeping the smoke away from the beam.

If you want maximum performance: Go high pressure with a compressor.
If you want cheap, quiet and small: Go for a low pressure air assist.

If I'd have my own house and a workshopshed in the garden I'd definitely go with the compressed air, but, I live in an apartment with laser at the balcony, so small and quiet is more suitable :)
I dont see any other downside to compressed air beside noise and cost, If you can handle both of those, it should be a better choice.

ROSS

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 01:30:11 AM »
An airbrush compressor  would do the job,  but you would have to check each to find the quietest as some make a noise that some  people might find annoying! - but..as long as the air intake is open  for cooling...it could be placed in a a sound  insulated box with a lid for access.   (There are some..said to be silent..Google...) 

Airbrushes run at around 45 psi I believe but when used with model paint the PSI can be adjusted by the "brush".
 I would suggest a cheap small fish tank plastic air valve would do the same  in place of the "brush" adjustment  or a smaller diameter pipe  with valve  from the main one....??
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 01:41:53 AM by ROSS »
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Lasers are wonderful machines..not ONLY  can they cut a finger off BUT  they can also cauterise it at the same time.....

SAFETY -  IS NO ACCIDENT

ThothLoki

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 07:00:47 AM »
I did print pawpaw's design, but couldnt get it to work with my laser. It wasnt his design, but EleksMaker came out with the blue mounting piece that got in the way. I did play with it with the laser off the machine and it is a good design. It will not blow the crap out of the grooves as well as an air compressor though.

I have been using an air compressor with a needle pointed at the work piece and it works great. Like pawpaw said, it is loud.

I do have a few fish tank air bubblers that I have been meaning to test. Now that spring is coming and i am getting my laser back out of storage, I will give one of them a try and report back.
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bob2299

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 11:37:03 AM »
I used PawPaw's air assist with the current A3 laser kit. 

I removed and discarded the blue aluminum piece.  I mounted  the air assist to the laser, then fastened the laser to the clear plastic piece that the blue aluminumiece was attached to.  Took a few minutes but works fine.

Bob
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 12:14:19 PM by bob2299 »
-EleksMaker - A3 2.5 W Laser with Mana SE board
-Laser Air assist and a modified Hako smoke absorber
-Inkscape, Qcad, BCL, & T2, My interest is marquetry/inlay
-MonoPrice Mini 2 3D printer
-I live in London, Ontario, Canada

ThothLoki

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 10:08:49 PM »
I would do that but I swap out lasers regularly
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kibodwin

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 03:02:12 AM »
I am using pawpaw's design on my 2.5W diode and a 50L air compressor to a sports ball inflater needle on my K40, this is in conjunction with the crappy stock fume extraction. They sort of do different things. The pawpaw's design thing does as stated above, it keeps the smoke away for the sensitive parts but that's about it, more fume assist than air assist. The compressor to ball inflater on the k40 is much harder and will put out any flames and reduce the staining from smoke. If I really crank it up it will blow some of the soot out of the cut area. I don't often do this as with lighter materials it will move them with the force of the air. I only do this when engraving or cutting thick wood that is very humid or sappy.
If you had to chose, I would suggest the air compressor one on the k40 as it is more versatile as you can use it for air assist and or fume assist.
Hope this helps
=)
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ggallant571

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 07:13:10 AM »
I will second using one of inflater needles with a small air compressor. As kibodwin said, it can put out the flame. Many of these needle have holes on the side which diffuse the air stream, Cut off or seal the holes. I also use 14 gauge bare copper wire to make a spiral needle holder that attaches to the base of the laser module.
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kibodwin

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Re: Air Assists Compared?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 03:28:13 AM »
I used a file off thingiverse used to hold laserpointers.... I jammed some aquarium tubing into the needle and it holds up fine. I am also using a small aquarium pump but I would have preferred something more powerful...
Laser: 2500mw A5 eleksmaker L5, K40 with Cohesion3D mini board, air assist, laser pointer etc..
OS: Windows 7, Debian, OpenSuse, Kali
Software: T2Laser, laserweb4, Repitier, Cura
Prusa i3 Clone GT2560
Anycubic Kossel Delta ramps