Author Topic: Laser head  (Read 18030 times)

crazeuk

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Laser head
« on: June 14, 2019, 04:36:01 AM »
Hey guys. I bought a 1.5 watt Qiilu laser Engraver on a whim, just to play with. I have really enjoyed it.

So decided I want something bigger.
I was going to buy one of those k40 machines, but happy to wait until a cheap one comes up.

A few days ago, I bought a brand new vigotec VG-L3 kit. Mainly because I wanted just to build something (adults mechano set).

Anyway, I know I can get a 5.5W laser for it, but for the same price, I can get a 450nm 15W laser off Ebay.

So, should I just look at paying the 90 for the 15W.

What is the best source for laser heads?
Can I buy acrylic "filter sheets for around the laser head (don't want to risk people's eyes).


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Zax

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 05:26:37 AM »
In my opinion a "cheap" 15W laser from ebay is a waste of money. It is most likely a 6W diode over driven and "pulsed" to output double it's design limit, this makes it useless for cutting and it will have a very short lifetime. They also have a large spot size and possible a non-circular one which makes it very poor for engraving.

There are exceptions such as the Endurance lasers but they're expensive.

The CO2 option is much better in most cases although it depends on the materials you plan to engrave / cut.

Yes you can make an enclosure using suitable acrylic (you want OD4 or higher at 450nm for the diode lasers which isn't cheap), or use solid panels and a viewing window of acrylic to keep costs down. CO2 laser wavelength (near-IR) is much easier to block, almost any acrylic will work however being invisible it's also potentially more dangerous to your eyes (and home).

crazeuk

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 05:41:42 AM »
Hey Zax.
Thanks for the quick reply.

The one I was looking at is https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F333198515764

I thought this maybe the case.

To be honest my use would be hobby and varied.

Mainly I wanted to engrave personalised gifts.
However, if I can cut, I will!! - although I also have a CNC machine.

Are the 40W Co2 lasers any good? I read their tubes are cheap and burn out quick!!


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Zax

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 06:22:15 AM »
I love their ad, it can work for a long time... then, after 30 minutes leave to cool down.

If your primary use is engraving, get a good quality 2.5W or even 1.6W laser module. The EleksMaker modules are some of the best low power modules I have found.

Yes, the CO2 (K40) lasers are very good in my opinion but they do require a bit more maintenance. My tube lasted ~6 years (it was still outputting nearly 30W, it was 36W when new so had lost less than 20%) because I never ran it at 100% power and added important features like a flow rate switch and thermal cut out, these saved my tube on several occasions when the cheap pumps failed.

I prefer the diode lasers for grey scale and long engraving jobs and the CO2 for cutting and deeper line engraving. Each tool has it's purpose, just like anything.

crazeuk

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 06:28:07 AM »
Thanks again :D

I'll look into that.

I do really want a co2 laser, only problem is storage of everything lol.

I should just make my own hacker space. Lol

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ggallant571

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 05:42:26 PM »
I bought one of those about a year ago. Fired it up last month and suspect it is more like 3W. There is an adjustment on the electronics board which seems to have an effect on the amount of current consumed but the lack of documentation makes me leary to fiddle with it. On the plus side, it has a great sharp focus. I asked and received no reply as to the recommended use time. So far the heat sink stays cool.
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crazeuk

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2019, 06:06:11 PM »
I bought one of those about a year ago. Fired it up last month and suspect it is more like 3W. There is an adjustment on the electronics board which seems to have an effect on the amount of current consumed but the lack of documentation makes me leary to fiddle with it. On the plus side, it has a great sharp focus. I asked and received no reply as to the recommended use time. So far the heat sink stays cool.
Do you mean a 15W diode head?
Not selling it are you? Lol

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ggallant571

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2019, 08:09:26 PM »
It is supposedly a 15W diode. The ebay entry is no longer available but looks like:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/15W-Laser-Head-Engraving-Module-with-TTL-450nm-Blu-ray-Wood-Marking-Cutting-Tool-/352691706357?oid=332486735606

As Zax said, a quality 1.6 or 2.5 module will outperform this grossly exaggerated POS for etching. I have yet to see it outperform the 2.5 for cutting. Perhaps playing with the adjustment will do something.

The power module that came with it is a Chinese 5A, 12V or 60W supply. Assuming a 15% output to input power efficiency we would need a 100W supply to power the critter.  Next time I use it I will hookup a 10A supply and a current meter.

I did not see any significant voltage drop while testing with the 5A supply.
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crazeuk

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2019, 06:02:41 AM »
Hi. Thanks for the responses.
I found someone selling a 15w head and supply privately, from a project he never completed. So bought it, to play with while I search for a k40 (need to keep costs low).

I'll sell this once I get a k40, although I like that it is portable.

I have a question:
The Vigotec VG-L3 frame I have, comes with a control board.
In the manuals, it mentions up to a 5.5w laser.

Does this mean, if I connect the 15W head with a TTL cable, it will only give out 5w of power?

If so, how do I run power direct to the laser with the included adapter, and still use the TTL function.

I've tested the laser, everything works well, but I don't feel it's doing a any where near 15w  job (I read the above comments, and understand about the quality, so not expecting that.) - I just want to see if the control board is throttling its potential.

Thanks

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crazeuk

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2019, 06:07:24 AM »
This is one of my burns I am doing.
P.s. I think it's being throttled as the heat sink case isn't even getting warm. - even without the fan I am using near it to circulate air.

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ggallant571

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 06:51:41 AM »
Welcome to Chinese specmanship!! Perhaps the 15W is the bulk power consumption. That would equate to a 1.5W diode and work fine with the included power supply.
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Zax

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 08:21:46 AM »
They aren't quite that inefficient, at 15W it should be just over 3W.

crazeuk

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2019, 09:04:41 AM »
Wow. I 5 fold inefficiency?
Outside of a laser meter (does anyone have one). Is there any way to measure the output from the controller and driver?

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Zax

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2019, 11:41:32 AM »
I have a laser power meter but typically stop at 8W which is 5.0~5.5A depending on diode so it's not quite that bad but 0.28~0.35 efficiency is typical.

crazeuk

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Re: Laser head
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2019, 11:33:57 AM »
Oh you do do you

Where do you live again? I may have to make a trip lol.

I am really curious about what power this gives out, and to see if the control board is limiting it.



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« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 11:39:41 AM by crazeuk »