Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun



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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Jesus Was a Robot » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:08 pm

I get what you guys are laying down! I'm just a fucking nerd ok!!! Geez. The cheapest high powered fiber laser I was able to find was around 7k. It's one that would weigh around 800 lbs. HUGE.

Again, if I can ever help, hit me up.

For engraving metals. It's true you cannot truly engrave them. However, there are many work arounds that issue. :) First thing is to look into Cermark or Thermark. It's brilliant when used correctly and will last for fucking ever after a nice hardened clear coat. Anodized metals can be etched at 20 watts I believe it is. Mine is a 30 and it's perfect with it, no issues at all. If you can cut through paint, you will have a perfect transfer for acid etching to add depth. So you can do combination pedals. I've been doing this a lot lately and I'm loving the results. If you have residue, again, Goof Off is fantastic.

Hope you have more fun with it!! Get some wood to do too dude. That shit is a blast! Can't wait to see more pics!
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:33 pm

multi_s wrote:if you use marking compound/cream it seems like you can use a modest laser to "etch" things on to metal. or you can anodize your case and then do a process similar to cj, from you tube it looks like this can be done with the 40-60watt range co2 lasers.

The anodizing I have no idea about, but it seems reasonable. I've read mixed results about the laser engraving inks, as in this one: http://laser-inks.com/products.htm

I would love it that stuff worked on low-wattage lasers because it would open up a lot more possibilities.

If you have a specific video link or two, I'll definitely check it out. If it is rated for low-wattage use, I'll give it a try and report back.
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby multi_s » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:43 pm

jwar wrote:I get what you guys are laying down! I'm just a fucking nerd ok!!! Geez. The cheapest high powered fiber laser I was able to find was around 7k. It's one that would weigh around 800 lbs. HUGE.


links? i definitely want to look at it haha.

the cheapest lasers i can find that claim to cut plate steel are this style, chinese ~6-8k depending on which "brand" you go with, but they are basically just scaled up versions of the 40w Co2 amazon one cj posted. and from what i have researched they are actually no good for aluminum anyways.

Also 550kg (~1200pounds?)
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Jesus Was a Robot » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:17 pm

culturejam wrote:
multi_s wrote:if you use marking compound/cream it seems like you can use a modest laser to "etch" things on to metal. or you can anodize your case and then do a process similar to cj, from you tube it looks like this can be done with the 40-60watt range co2 lasers.

The anodizing I have no idea about, but it seems reasonable. I've read mixed results about the laser engraving inks, as in this one: http://laser-inks.com/products.htm

I would love it that stuff worked on low-wattage lasers because it would open up a lot more possibilities.

If you have a specific video link or two, I'll definitely check it out. If it is rated for low-wattage use, I'll give it a try and report back.


With the machine you have, it may or may not work. I can send you some Cermark if you want to try it. You have to dilude it and mix it yourself, but it's super easy. It's a 1:2 ratio with denatured alcohol. You want to use a foam brush to apply it and let it air dry. It takes about 5-10 minutes max to dry.

http://www.thermark.com/content/view/36/78/

It's super expensive too, so I'd take the sample if you're interested in trying. I'll give you enough to at least see if it's usable. If not, no waste. It won't hurt anything.

I've never heard of the brand you linked but it could work. I'll ask some of my fellow laser nerd friends. I didn't see a price on it though. Maybe I missed it?



multi_s wrote:
jwar wrote:I get what you guys are laying down! I'm just a fucking nerd ok!!! Geez. The cheapest high powered fiber laser I was able to find was around 7k. It's one that would weigh around 800 lbs. HUGE.


links? i definitely want to look at it haha.

the cheapest lasers i can find that claim to cut plate steel are this style, chinese ~6-8k depending on which "brand" you go with, but they are basically just scaled up versions of the 40w Co2 amazon one cj posted. and from what i have researched they are actually no good for aluminum anyways.

Also 550kg (~1200pounds?)



So this was several months ago, so I'm not sure if they still are around.

Here's a super nerdy review that will be mega helpful on Chines lasers written by a guy I know.

http://www.synthfool.com/laser/

If this one is in working shape or just needs to be fixed a little, this is a great deal Scott!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rofin-yag-Fiber ... Swi2lZkc4Z

I saw ones that were new for that price and enclosures but I'm having trouble finding it right now of course. LOL. I'll hunt around.

If I'm being annoying here guys, just tell me too. I'm trying to be helpful but I don't want to come off as a know it all or a dick or anything. Just want to help!
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"Also this thread is now on page 2399, and the pt2399 is the most used delay chip for most dirty delays. Coincidence? therefore 9/11".

-multi_s

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Thanks Obama"

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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:18 pm

jwar wrote:I didn't see a price on it though. Maybe I missed it?

You are sharp, sir. :)

They don't provide a price until you email them, and even then they ask for more info before giving a price list. I declined on step 2, so I guess I'll never know. :lol:
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Jesus Was a Robot » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:20 pm

culturejam wrote:
jwar wrote:I didn't see a price on it though. Maybe I missed it?

You are sharp, sir. :)

They don't provide a price until you email them, and even then they ask for more info before giving a price list. I declined on step 2, so I guess I'll never know. :lol:


Yea fuck that. For something that may or may not work, I'd decline too.
"My boner"

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"You may caress my harem of large velvety hammers any time".

- The Velvet Hammer

"#I'mwithJwar"

-D.O.S.

"Also this thread is now on page 2399, and the pt2399 is the most used delay chip for most dirty delays. Coincidence? therefore 9/11".

-multi_s

"The only thing I can muster after reading this thread:

Thanks Obama"

-raj007
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby multi_s » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:38 pm

From what i read a while ago you need more like 20-30 watts to get most of the compounds to work properly. Not to say there is not one that could work at lower powers but typically i think that is the minimum when you read through data sheets etc.
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby crochambeau » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 pm

Steel is easier to laser cut than aluminium, due to the latter's excellent heat conductivity.

I started collecting the parts to build a CNC mill over ten years ago, the market and tech (and my own application) has changed enough that I'm considering going with a laser cutter instead of rotary mill, though the gantry will be built to support both. It's kind of stupid at this point, my interest was piqued before desk mills were a thing, and I therefore have more already invested in linear bearings and motor controllers than a modest turn key unit would have run.

I'm looking forward to watching the fun with lasers. I have an old hundred some odd pound rack PSU for a HeNe or some other non cutting laser format that can supply ~1KW if memory serves, so I'm hoping I can tailor current limiting, voltage and frequency to something useful and safe with a standard cutting head. But at present I'm still in absorbing information before I make a move mode.

Anyway, :snax:
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby multi_s » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:40 pm

here is some low wattage fun maybe you will be into cro-my-beau (scroll down to rusty whale) man (anti?)rusting the the control labelling. that would look hawt. just saying.

https://jenslabs.com/2013/12/16/what-ca ... er-cutter/

here is what you really need though:

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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Jesus Was a Robot » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:34 am

crochambeau wrote:Steel is easier to laser cut than aluminium, due to the latter's excellent heat conductivity.

I started collecting the parts to build a CNC mill over ten years ago, the market and tech (and my own application) has changed enough that I'm considering going with a laser cutter instead of rotary mill, though the gantry will be built to support both. It's kind of stupid at this point, my interest was piqued before desk mills were a thing, and I therefore have more already invested in linear bearings and motor controllers than a modest turn key unit would have run.

I'm looking forward to watching the fun with lasers. I have an old hundred some odd pound rack PSU for a HeNe or some other non cutting laser format that can supply ~1KW if memory serves, so I'm hoping I can tailor current limiting, voltage and frequency to something useful and safe with a standard cutting head. But at present I'm still in absorbing information before I make a move mode.

Anyway, :snax:


Something to take into consideration when using steel and lasers.

The laser beam does get hot enough and it works fan-fucking-tastic with steel. No doubt about it. However, when annealing steel, which would be close to the same settings as cutting, it causes the opposite side of the steel to oxidize. I'm assuming it's some sort of chemical reaction to the beam, but I've never figured out exactly why. Instant rust and bad, bad, bad.

If I were going to buy one, I'd go with this fucker based on the pricing. It's actually not bad for a huge ass machine.

https://www.bosslaser.com/boss-hp-2436.html
"My boner"

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"You may caress my harem of large velvety hammers any time".

- The Velvet Hammer

"#I'mwithJwar"

-D.O.S.

"Also this thread is now on page 2399, and the pt2399 is the most used delay chip for most dirty delays. Coincidence? therefore 9/11".

-multi_s

"The only thing I can muster after reading this thread:

Thanks Obama"

-raj007
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby crochambeau » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:58 am

multi_s wrote:here is some low wattage fun maybe you will be into cro-my-beau (scroll down to rusty whale) man (anti?)rusting the the control labelling. that would look hawt. just saying.

https://jenslabs.com/2013/12/16/what-ca ... er-cutter/

here is what you really need though:



I think the reaction I'm looking for is...

MY BONER

jwar wrote:The laser beam does get hot enough and it works fan-fucking-tastic with steel. No doubt about it. However, when annealing steel, which would be close to the same settings as cutting, it causes the opposite side of the steel to oxidize. I'm assuming it's some sort of chemical reaction to the beam, but I've never figured out exactly why. Instant rust and bad, bad, bad.


Oh, hey jwar, I promise I'm not stealing your lines. I just, borrowed it for one second.. see, no scratches or nothing..

While on the surface instant rust sounds like my bag, I agree that it has no place in cutting. Were you introducing any gas?

Realistically, labeling controls through rust would get more of a workout than actual cutting.. at least until I fall in love with square holes. Sort of brings my interest in line with the original Eleksmaker A5 post.
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:22 am

I love it when one of my dopey threads somehow leads to nerdy/intelligent conversation. Well done, gents. :rock:
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby Gone Fission » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:42 am

culturejam wrote:
Gone Fission wrote:Would this be any use for etching bare aluminum, or just something softer like the finish CJ etched off?

No, I'm afraid not. You need to spend a lot on a laser than can etch metal. It would be cheaper to get a CnC kit and mill the art into your enclosure. A LOT cheaper. And then you could do a ton else with it.


Interest piqued. Big world to Google into blind, though--what would I be looking for? I have no fricking idea on this stuff.
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby culturejam » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:16 am

Gone Fission wrote:Interest piqued. Big world to Google into blind, though--what would I be looking for? I have no fricking idea on this stuff.

There are many kits on the various hobby sites or even Amazon. But if you want to get something a bit more polished and stable, I think the Shapeoko is a really nice way to go: http://carbide3d.com/shapeoko/

For something brand new, I prefer to spend a little more and get a complete/finished machine. I don't want to have to learn how it gets put together the same time I'm trying to figure out how to make it work. But that's just me. You can save a lot of money (at the cost of time and frustration) by getting a kit and putting it together yourself. I did that with my cheap laser, but only because I already understood how the basic hardware worked. All of these machines (laser, 3D printer, CnC) have the same basic hardware: stepper motors, some kind of frame, controller board, and "business end" (laser module, rotary tool, or plastic extruder). Once you understand the mechanics of one, the others make sense much more quickly that starting from scratch. There are actually kits that are set up so that you can just change out the head and have all three tools available with one frame and one controller board. I doubt that they do all three functions at a high level, but it just shows how similar the tools are at the core.

I think CnC is probably the hardest to get working the way you want it to. At least that was my experience. My advice to you would be to buy a cheap 3D printer fully assembled and see if you like the process in general. Here's a good one that's cheap and ready to go out of the box: http://amzn.to/2w3cdbg This is the V2 version. I have the V1 and it's great.
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Re: Cheap Chinese Laser Engravers are Fun

Postby multi_s » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:46 pm

ya the shapeoko looks pretty good PLUS you get a community of people who will have _the same_ machine. THat's gotta be nice if you don't know much about cncs when troubleshooting etc. I don;t have one but i would have bought it if it was around when i bought my first desktop cnc.
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