Laser cutting

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Atencio 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #95660

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    Is this suitable for cutting wood and thin metal with a laser. I’d like to build models for model railroads so engraving and cutting are what I’m looking for. How does a laser connect, if it is capable to attach a laser (I think this is the unit to build for that). Thanks

    #95710

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Metal cutting laser are probably a lot stronger than you think.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #95711

    SteevyT
    Participant

    Like, measured in kW levels of stronger.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #95734

    Barry
    Participant

    150W co2 will cut 2mm steel if focused properly.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #95737

    Sean
    Participant

    One day when I grow up I wanna add a C02 laser to my MPCNC. Heck maybe even to a low rider but that would be a lot harder to enclose! Good thing I have a long time before I grow up!

    #95741

    SteevyT
    Participant

    150W co2 will cut 2mm steel if focused properly.

    Huh, that’s….quite a bit less power for 14GA than I was expecting.

     

    Although, the lasers I’m used to absolutely flew, I mean north of 2,000mm/s levels of flying.

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    #95748

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    Wow, sarcasm instead of straight answers.

    #95750

    Barry
    Participant

    Wow, sarcasm instead of straight answers.

    Straight answer, you’re not going to cut metal with a laser you can mount to a mpcnc.

    Huh, that’s….quite a bit less power for 14GA than I was expecting.

    Although, the lasers I’m used to absolutely flew, I mean north of 2,000mm/s levels of flying.

    Moves along pretty good.  You’re right though, the big guys fly through thicker stuff like butter!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h476ypvOY0c

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #95753

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    So I can mount one for birch ply up to 1/4″ and carbon fiber cloth

    #95755

    SteevyT
    Participant

    Moves along pretty good. You’re right though, the big guys fly through thicker stuff like butter!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h476ypvOY0c

    That’s still not bad.  I actually have not had a chance to see a tube laser of any sort in person.  Just a really overbuilt sheet laser, a couple old ones that still pushed around 1.5kW, and a couple neat turrets.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #95773

    Kelly D
    Participant

    I’m new to this wh9le laser side of the MPCNC but @Aaryn on here just fast tracked his way through the learning curve with a higher power laser setup than mine. Likely still not strong enough for your needs but it’s a start towards an answer. I THINK I’ve read about a 40 CO2 laser on a MPCNC but believe I also understood a whole other level of complexity involving mirrors and stuff.

    I went the laser route thinking I could get quiet cuts but by the time I learned enough to know better (that I needed s much stronger laser than I had queued up) I was already all in on the 2.8w setup. I can cut paper in one pass, card in three but to get through 1/8 hobby ply I believe would take many many passes and an air assist (and a perfectly focused beam). I’ll still try of course 🙂

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    #95884

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    I think I’ll stay with a CNC router approach. The metal I want to cut is about the thickness of an eraser shield. Very thin. A router blad could probably cut it just as easily and no blindness plus, to create buildings with brick or board siding carved, the router would make quick work of it on 1/4″ Birch ply or plastic for the matter.

     

    The carbon fiber was for making funny car/ dragster – 1/24 scale slot car chassis. I can do it by hand and trim off excess materials if needed.

    Attachments:
    #95886

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    Sarcasm not required. A straight answer is. That being said, thanks for following up. I’m wondering if it’s possible to use a router blade to cut really thin steel. Something the thickness of an eraser shield.

    Attachments:
    #95898

    Aaryn
    Participant

    Yes, the MPCNC with a router could cut that very well. Much better than with a laser. My 15 watt laser @Kelly D mentioned couldn’t get through that. I couldn’t even get it to cut through 4mm wood. My 5.6 watt laser claims to be able to cut 5mm wood so I think it has better optics that can focus better.

    For your cuts on that metal I suggest you use a single flute bit on your router. It would be worth testing manually first before you build a machine.

    I suggest you buy the single flute bit and the router and test cutting the metal. If it works then build the MPCNC.

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    #95902

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    Thanks. That sound like a great idea.

    #95903

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    It seems the router is a better way to go than laser. Especially with the fumes. I visited a place today that cuts using an Epilog laser cutter (actually several cutters) and he told me the biggest issue he has, and it damages his machines, is using Birch or any kind of plywood. That’s because of the splinters of metal in between the plywood. They cause reflections and create cutting issues. He does glassware and plaques for the military, engraves stuff too. He liked the idea of a CNC machine. Now to start buying my parts… Thanks

    #95932

    Kelly D
    Participant

    splinters of metal in between the plywood.

    Say what?! THAT’S alarming……for real?

    #95977

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    The metal I want to cut is about the thickness of an eraser shield.

    Seeing your other post and this one brings in the complete picture. The hardest part of thin material is holding it. An upcut bit will pull/flex it off the table so typically a Down cutting bit is used. As for actually holding it, glue or a serious vacuum table would be best I suppose. Another way to do it would be to sandwich it between two thin pieces of wood. Fine or small details can be hard to get.

     

    Let us know how it progresses.

     

    Sarcasm not required.

    I hope you don’t think I was being sarcastic. I read through all of the thread, I don’t think anyone was being sarcastic, just trying to add a little humor to the posts maybe, but I am sure no one meant any disrespect. We all answer dozens and dozens of questions a day, everyone in a while we all get a little loopy or a joke misses its target.

     

    #95992

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    Hi Ryan, I guess it came across surprising me mostly because any question I’ve asked has always been answered professionally. I was literally stunned.

    I’ve been frustrated lately because I really need a Lowrider to do my woodworking and my job keeps laying us off for a couple of weeks here and there. That, in turn, prevents me from saving for the machine because I’m always playing catchup.

    It’s terrible to be a teacher and not be able to purchase something capable of easing stress (my blood pressure was 181 over 108 last week) and tension not to mention it would help me create items for a summer program to keep at-risk kids out of trouble. I planned to make a lot of old scrap wood into some arts and crafts items the kids could build and paint, light up with LED’s and more. Anyways, I understand. We all get a little loopy.

    Thanks for following up. Mike

    #95994

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    Yes. It’s part of the milling process. The particles are really small. He showed me a piece he keeps around for people like me. Apparently, as the blades shave away the wood, tiny fragments embed in the material. They’re minute and for anything else don’t make a difference, but lasers are seriously affected by them. It makes sense. And damaging a $5,000 to $25,000 laser cutter isn’t on anyone’s list of things to do today. Yeah, so we learned something new today.

    #96018

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Yes. It’s part of the milling process. The particles are really small. He showed me a piece he keeps around for people like me. Apparently, as the blades shave away the wood, tiny fragments embed in the material. They’re minute and for anything else don’t make a difference, but lasers are seriously affected by them. It makes sense. And damaging a $5,000 to $25,000 laser cutter isn’t on anyone’s list of things to do today. Yeah, so we learned something new today.

    That’s amazing! And makes perfect sense. Who knew!

    Well, he did apparently…..and you. And now me. Hahaha

    One of the often loopy ones,
    Me

    #96020

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    It’s something I never would have imagined. He’s been laser cutting 40 years. It makes me a loopy one for not considering that too. LOL Welcome to the Loopys Club

    #96075

    Barry
    Participant

    Heh, Dui found concrete in some of his plywood when he was building hit table.  I guess in the cheap plywood in china they will fill any imperfections with whatever is on hand.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #96083

    Mike Atencio
    Participant

    Don’t you love quality imports?

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