Affect of choice of laser tube power

General discussion of laser machines

Affect of choice of laser tube power

Postby Nutter » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:28 pm

I'm a member of a hackerspace that will be building a laser cutter over the next few months, and we've been doing research into various aspects of the build for a month or so. We don't specifically have a list of requirements for the laser cutter however, as we see it more as a "build it and they will come" project. The more we learn, the more convinced we are that a Buildlog 2 laser cutter is the right way to go, at least initially - but there are a few important things we haven't been able to find answers to, so I'm hoping to get some information here.

With regards to the Buildlog 2 design, we're primarily concerned about the constraint placed on the laser tube power due to physical size of the Buildlog 2. A secondary concern is the usable cutting area. These two are obviously closely related, so we initially looked at doing a Lasersaur build instead as it's larger, but the infancy of that project drove us to look into a hybrid Lasersaur-Buildlog 2 build, which the more we researched the more apprehensive we were of its chances of success - which is why we're now looking at a pure Buildlog 2 build.

So! We have a few questions around this area:
* What are the practical limitations of a 60W laser over a 100-150W laser? Will 60W be able to do anything better than 100+W (etch for instance)? Will 100+W just mean faster cut times and fewer passes, or will it open up materials that aren't even possible with 60W?
* We were on crack even considering an upsized Buildlog 2 'plausible' for newbies to the laser cutter world (we're competent in the required construction techniques and mechanics/electronics though), right?
* How limiting is the size of the Buildlog 2 in your experiences?

Thanks for any information or tips that you can provide!
Nutter
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:17 am

Re: Affect of choice of laser tube power

Postby Mark K » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:24 am

There are people like myself that thrive on experimenting and building. Many on the forum are building their second or third laser cutter because of all the lessons that they have learned on their earlier projects. Much of that knowledge is distilled into the 2.0. Others just want to cut and create. I bought a lot of expensive parts for my second laser from a guy that came to that realization a little to late.

I would poll your members and see how many want a laser cutter so they can start creating neat things ASAP and how may are into experimenting and tinkering. If all of the hands go up with people that just want to start cutting, you may want to buy a laser. If the majority want to build and experiment, you will find endless support here for building a hybrid, modified or totally new design. If you need to cater to a mixed audience you can't go wrong building the stock 2.0 with a DSP or other controller. As for the power and table size, wait until your group starts pushing those boundaries before you start scaling up. The costs and complexities are not linear.

I am sure you will find some other great input here. Welcome!
Cheers
Mark
Mark K
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:02 am
Location: Concord, NH

Re: Affect of choice of laser tube power

Postby dark_helmet » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:46 pm

Nutter wrote:* What are the practical limitations of a 60W laser over a 100-150W laser? Will 60W be able to do anything better than 100+W (etch for instance)? Will 100+W just mean faster cut times and fewer passes, or will it open up materials that aren't even possible with 60W?

Would like to hear thoughts on this.
dark_helmet
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:53 pm


Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests