Author Topic: Recommendation Request  (Read 2757 times)

wveagle81

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
    • SpartanDragon Custom Laser Engraving
Recommendation Request
« on: January 21, 2019, 08:29:57 PM »

Well, I've decided I want to do more cutting.  Right now my 2.5W laser is fine for
1/16" material, but I'd like to do thicker stock.

I have three frames, a standard Eleksmaker A3 Pro, a larger cheapo Chinese frame
(my original 2W laser setup) and my much larger 40"x40" OpenBuilds frame.  I have
two 2.5W Eleksmaker lasers I can set up on two of the frames, leaving the third
for something else.

What would you recommend?  I'm not sure I want to go to the expense of a CO2
laser setup.  What would fit on one of my existing frames and still do the job of
cutting 3mm laser plywood and/or MDF?

And where would I buy it?

Thanks.
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro 2.5W
- Endurance Laser 10W Plus
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6808
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 04:38:48 AM »
Check out Endurance Lasers, they offer high power diode lasers at reasonable prices and from what I've seen their quality and customer service is outstanding. T2Laser customers get a discount  ;)

wveagle81

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
    • SpartanDragon Custom Laser Engraving
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 07:19:24 AM »
Check out Endurance Lasers, they offer high power diode lasers at reasonable prices and from what I've seen their quality and customer service is outstanding. T2Laser customers get a discount  ;)

What power of laser should I be looking for?  At least 15W?

***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro 2.5W
- Endurance Laser 10W Plus
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

ggallant571

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2913
    • View Profile
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 08:26:33 AM »
How many passes does your 2.5W take to cut 3mm laser ply?

I have a cheap 15W and it currently has 2 major problems:

  1. The vendor specified not to operate at more that 50% duty. Very poorly defined
      expression but I expect it means they just overpowered a 7W diode.
  2. It has a very poor focus. Most of these diodes are fabricated from multiple laser elements.
      You can see the individual dots.

It will burn with a large kerf. I use the machine for etching slates with patterns that do not include fine lines and etching test images in cardboard at high speed.

The price of a 40W CO2 laser machine is less than a 10W diode laser from Endurance.  It is physically much larger and requires water cooling but is much better suited for cutting 3mm material.
SARCASM - Just one more service we offer here.

wveagle81

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
    • SpartanDragon Custom Laser Engraving
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 08:45:12 AM »
How many passes does your 2.5W take to cut 3mm laser ply?

I've only tried it once, and it seemed to take 30 or more passes but I also didn't set the
speed low enough I think.  I think I was using 300 but it should maybe have been much
slower.  I can cut 1/16" stuff in one or two passes with no problem.
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro 2.5W
- Endurance Laser 10W Plus
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

wveagle81

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
    • SpartanDragon Custom Laser Engraving
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 08:46:34 AM »
Check out Endurance Lasers, they offer high power diode lasers at reasonable prices and from what I've seen their quality and customer service is outstanding. T2Laser customers get a discount  ;)

What is the discount code?  I'm thinking of the 8.5W laser.  It seems it will fit on the
frames I have now, and it can cut the thickness I'm looking at doing.  Also, added
bonus is it can engrave on metal :-)
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro 2.5W
- Endurance Laser 10W Plus
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6808
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 09:02:37 AM »
There's no code, George will contact me to verify.

ggallant571

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2913
    • View Profile
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 10:36:11 AM »
Are you sure the 3mm (1/8 inch) was laser plywood. Typical hobby grade glues are difficult to cut. BTW - 30 passes at 300mm/min is the same time as 15 passes at 150mm/min and might have less char. Adding air assist to get rid of the ash and setting the focal point down 2mm might also help.
SARCASM - Just one more service we offer here.

pedwards2932

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
    • View Profile
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 10:39:18 AM »
I have cut 3mm laser ply in 4 to 5 passes.....you really have to get it focused properly also needs air assist.  I ran mine at 100mm/min and my laser is 2.5 watt
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 10:43:57 AM by pedwards2932 »

wveagle81

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
    • SpartanDragon Custom Laser Engraving
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 10:45:40 AM »
Are you sure the 3mm (1/8 inch) was laser plywood. Typical hobby grade glues are difficult to cut. BTW - 30 passes at 300mm/min is the same time as 15 passes at 150mm/min and might have less char. Adding air assist to get rid of the ash and setting the focal point down 2mm might also help.

This is what I bought.  It's marketed as laser plywood but I'm not really sure.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5CHME9/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro 2.5W
- Endurance Laser 10W Plus
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

ggallant571

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2913
    • View Profile
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2019, 12:22:52 PM »
I read the product reviews specific to cutting with lasers. The only power references were to 40W and above machines. The glue is also rated for dampness resistance which makes me think it is not applicable for low power lasers.

Have you tried cutting 3mm basswood? What speed and power?

I recall there being a topic on what can be cut on this forum.
SARCASM - Just one more service we offer here.

wveagle81

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
    • SpartanDragon Custom Laser Engraving
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2019, 12:58:49 PM »
I read the product reviews specific to cutting with lasers. The only power references were to 40W and above machines. The glue is also rated for dampness resistance which makes me think it is not applicable for low power lasers.

Have you tried cutting 3mm basswood? What speed and power?

I recall there being a topic on what can be cut on this forum.

I haven't tried 3mm basswood, this was my only attempt at 3mm cutting.  Everything else
I've cut has been 1/16" or thinner.  I'll have to see if I can find some basswood.
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro 2.5W
- Endurance Laser 10W Plus
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

wveagle81

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
    • SpartanDragon Custom Laser Engraving
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2019, 11:21:30 AM »
There's no code, George will contact me to verify.

Thanks, Zax.  I've had conversations with George and he gave me a substantial discount and
will be shipping me a new 10W laser unit tomorrow.  Didn't think I'd be able to afford it, but
I've had a recent order (along with his discount) which will help out a lot.  I'm really looking
forward to getting into doing some real cutting and higher speed engraving!

On a side note, where does everyone get their 3mm plywood for cutting?  Apparently the
stuff I ordered from Amazon isn't what I need.  I assume I can get the MDF at Home Depot
or Lowe's, but not the special plywood.

***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro 2.5W
- Endurance Laser 10W Plus
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6808
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2019, 02:02:12 PM »
I get mine locally (small specialty store) but I've bought from eBay and Amazon in the past and usually find most is suitable. I avoid MDF and stick with Birch or Alder ply.

ggallant571

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2913
    • View Profile
Re: Recommendation Request
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2019, 02:53:41 PM »
I am also interested in a on-line part number. Went to local wood working shop Friday and got some nice quality laminates but no laser specialty wood. One of the employees has a 65W cutter that works with the standard glue ply and 0.25 inch wood strips.

They all had laser cut/etched name tags. The cut was nice but the etch was mediocre.
SARCASM - Just one more service we offer here.