View Full Version : Optics and Mirrors

John Barton
06-25-2011, 12:12 AM
Ok, so I have learned all about alignment and wish to thank everyone for their advice.

Now, let's talk about the mirrors and lenses.

I currently have a no-name (it has a name I just don't know what it is) Chinese laser bought in China and in use in my Chinese workshop.

I also have great experience with our Universal laser that resides in our US facility.

So please don't turn this discussion into another political/quality/emotion debate.

My question is very simple, what are the very best mirrors and lenses and do they make a difference?

Our mirrors "appear" to be damaged because they are not perfectly clear when cleaned. My lense also is a bit cloudy in the center.

I am sure we have been too aggressive with the cleaning, pressing too hard and scratching the surfaces. Also using the single layer of tape method when aligning seems to have caused some damage to the mirrors due to the fires and heat. However I am not sure because I don't really know if the lenses look normal as they would after a year of use or if they shouldn't look this way.

I would like to buy new mirrors and lenses just to start fresh. But before I do I would like to get some input as to what the best products are for this and why.

Rodne Gold
06-25-2011, 2:18 AM
Only 2 factors will affect either mirrors and lenses, the optical grind/finish and if they promote power losses. Cheaper lenses and mirrors might lose a bit more power than better ones due to less efficient coatings , poor surfaces or bad grinds might induce some distortion in the beam. it depends on the type of work you do whether its important. We were quoted $500 for a lens for our mainstream machine and we decided to try a $22 chinese one and it works real well
We use the machine that got the $500 quote for very fine and detailed work.
The cheaper lenses/mirrors are so cheap , you might as well give then a try , if they work, they work..

Dan Hintz
06-25-2011, 10:32 AM
The difference between the "high-end" optics from someone like II-VI and a decent Chinese manufacturer may be a one, maybe 2% drop in efficiency... and even that may be pushing it. Clouding in the lens is a sure sign of inefficiency... if it's like that when new, the optic is complete junk... if it's like that after many cleanings, you're being too harsh on it (or you're not keeping enough clean air across it during operation). Any halfway decent lens will last many many years of cleanings with no noticeable effects. Things are different when you start getting into the kW power range, but there are also different methods of keeping the lens clean.

Albert Nix
06-25-2011, 12:27 PM
Rodney are you using the cheaper lense in you GCC laser? Can you get a mount for the lense that will fit the GCC or do you have to us the original mount, if so what is the best way to change them out. Can you share your source for the cheaper lense. I have a 2.5" that I would like to replace. Thanks

Rodne Gold
06-25-2011, 2:28 PM
I use it in my spirit , I measured my spirit and Explorers lens diameters and just ordered spares of the same diameter and various focal lengths from Shenui laser when I got my 2 chinese machines , along with many other lenses for the machines themselves
You just pop the old lens out of the holder and either screw or glue the new one in , the spirits and the explorers use different systems , but replacing a lens in either is easy. If you want to spring for it , they also have an imported lens at about double the price ...
Your machine mnfgr in China should also stock lenses..

John Barton
06-26-2011, 7:38 AM
Thanks guys, I appreciate it!