Author Topic: What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?  (Read 398 times)

beikeland

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What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?
« on: October 25, 2016, 01:40:47 AM »
So I'm having issues with stuff not being flat, and it affects cutting.

I'm thinking about trying a simple vacuum clamping to hold stock flat - but wondering what I should make it from?

Obviously steel would work well, but I cannot machine steel, even aluminium might pose a problem to machine for me.

Would fiberglassing the surface work? Silicone? I've tried a welding cloth/blanket above the wooden base the machine is on (fiberglass up, metal down, to reduce reflections) and it seems to be able to withstand the laser, albeit it does change colour and texture.

Ideally something that I could inexpensively and easily replace as the surface, suggestions?

Zax

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Re: What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2016, 04:53:47 AM »
How about clear Acrylic, or that high density EPE foam that was recommended as a cutting base.

http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,385.msg4335.html#msg4335

beikeland

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Re: What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2016, 06:07:49 AM »
How about clear Acrylic, or that high density EPE foam that was recommended as a cutting base.

http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,385.msg4335.html#msg4335
I have yet to try clear acrylics, but I would have figured if covering stock with glass resultet in the glass getting engraved then plastics would simply melt along the cut, possibly fusing to the stock?

Acrylic is pretty pricey here, espescially in smaller sheets so would like to hear some experiences before buying some to test, but given my glass experiment I would have tought I needed something more sturdy

EPE foam might work better, but then forming channels for vacuum to grab the stock becomes an issue I would think. Will have to give ut a go, think I have some that came with the machine packing left.

ROSS

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Re: What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 06:19:05 AM »
3M TACKY SPRAY??
.
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

beikeland

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Re: What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 10:38:13 AM »
Spray isn't an option, never know when you want to use a stock that reacts with the spray.

Maybe aluminium honeycomb has smooth enough edges to seal a weak vacuum, they list vacuum table as a possible use on one eBay listing. Might have to buy some and try. But it would leave quite a big volume of air to be evacuated, so it might be slow with without a beefy vacuum pump.

Zax

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Re: What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2016, 10:52:20 AM »
I have an aluminum honeycomb base and don't think it would work too well for a vacuum table.

kibodwin

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Re: What can *not* be cut / surface for vacuum clamping?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2016, 02:40:29 AM »
I use pegboard / perfboard and whilst it does get burnt, it does work well. I made mine replaceable for obvious reasons!
I have a vacuum cleaner hooked up to the bottom part of the pegboard so it acts as a sort of vacuum table... with a carbon filter in between... In the process of buying a more powerful vacuum cleaner as the one I have died on me...
I will need to add supports as the size of the area I have makes the pegboard sag in the centre.
Hope this helps..