View Full Version : Air Assist - continous machine vs. tank?

Mike vonBuelow
06-30-2011, 8:25 AM
For air assist, I'm wondering who uses the continous machine and who uses air from a larger tank ?

I have a 60 gal tank I was contemplating of using vs the small, noisy machine (comes std with LaserPro units) that runs constantly. I figured run it up to pressure and then just regulate it out.

Pros & Cons of each ?

Dan Hintz
06-30-2011, 9:33 AM
At a reasonable pressure (10psi), that tank will give you a couple of hours between running the compressor (assuming you can set the turn-on point to 30-40psi, or set it to manual)... since runtime will be 10 minutes to fill the tank, but loud, versus running 24/7 but quieter, it's kind of a personal call. Don't think I'll bother working out the electrical requirements as it'll likely be a wash.

Mike vonBuelow
06-30-2011, 11:49 AM

My compressor on the tank seems quieter than the smaller machine, but I'm just in a garage setup so it's all loud.

I'd just do the manual thing....


Michael Hunter
06-30-2011, 12:01 PM
Tank air ***might*** help alleviate the striations when cutting acrylic

It is something that I have been meaning to try for a while, but I don't have the correct fitting to connect my reservoir-type compressor to the laser. One day I will get a tuit round.

Bill Cunningham
06-30-2011, 9:44 PM
On your large machine, pipe your intake(s) to the compressor outside, the machine will be pretty darn quiet.. All the noise from most piston compressors, comes from the air intake.. Let your neighbors enjoy the compressor..:D

Joe Pelonio
06-30-2011, 9:52 PM
On mine the automatic epilog kicks it on whenever the machine is running whether air is called for or not, and bleeds it out so the
tank would run out in 5 minutes. Best check that first, it would be a pain to have to turn a valve on when cutting and then off.

Bill Cunningham
06-30-2011, 10:19 PM
I only use the air for cutting, and have a line/regulator/90deg ball valve right by the laser (the compressor is 40 feet away at the other end of the shop). When I need the air, All I do is hit the valve..Takes a fraction of a second..

Robert Farrell
06-30-2011, 10:57 PM
Mike when you say the compressor runs constantly, do you mean whether you are running a job or not? With air assist it should only run when a job is on. With my laserpro spirit there are two outlets that the compressor can be plugged into,in the first one it runs continuously in the second it runs only when air assist is checked in the print setup. I do not know if the mercury has that option.

Mike Null
07-01-2011, 6:51 AM
Like Bill, I use air assist only for cutting. Mine's built into the machine and is so quiet I can't hear it run.

I have a large compressor as well but I do have to be cautious of moisture with that one. I have to drain the tank of water now and then--small amount--couple ounces or less but I don't want that going into my laser.

Michael Simpson Virgina
07-01-2011, 1:52 PM
I used to use a large tank and standard compressor. With a regulatore dileing the output down to around 30PSI. I could run a long time before the compressor kicked in. I had to run a hose from my shop to the laser so decided to change to a small deticated Ghast compressor. I dont know about noise but that little guy makes no noise at all. It cant be herd over the noise of the laser fans.

I sired a sensor curcuit that monitors the air selonoid so it kicks on automaticaly. Been using it for a year and will never go back to a traditional compressor and tank.

Mike vonBuelow
07-10-2011, 2:35 PM
I meant I use it all the time for raster or cutting... keeps the mirrors cleaner I think.

I have that, the exhaust blower, and a generic room fan/oil filled space heater (since I'm out in the "man cave") tied in on a second switch when the machine is lasering.

Chuck Stone
07-10-2011, 6:10 PM
I meant I use it all the time for raster or cutting... keeps the mirrors cleaner I think.

I have to run mine all the time, too.. except perhaps when marking metal. But rastering glass, ceramic tile
or Corian, I get 'snow' all over the lens. It builds up pretty fast and next thing you know the power drops

Martin Boekers
07-11-2011, 10:17 AM
You may want to search previous posts, I believe I remember some using a small, quiet & cheaper air pump
that nail salons use for airbrushing.

I use a large tank as it supplies air to other facilities in our Center.

Dan Hintz
07-11-2011, 10:28 AM
Dee should chime in soon with the model number of her "nail salon" compressor...

Kim Vellore
07-11-2011, 11:40 AM
Epilog machines have a 3 way solenoid when laser is running it is turned to the air assist and other times it is bled out, You can plug the bleed outlet, I think they provide a red knob that goes over this hole if it needs to be plugged. Personally I prefer the tank vs only the compressor, the reason being the compressor does get quite hot when running all the time and noisy too. I am still using a compressor without a tank, I am still looking for a tiny tank compressor unit that can replace the current one. The smallest cheap one is still too big for me.


Martin Boekers
07-11-2011, 11:57 AM
On our Epilog models you can turn the solenoid around and that takes care of the bleed issue!

Michael Simpson Virgina
07-11-2011, 2:51 PM
This is why I added a small sensor circuit to the solenoid. When its activated, the circuit turns on a relay that switches in the power to the Gast compressor. Been working great for a couple years now. The bleed through thing in the solenoid can be reversed as well for use wtih tank compressors.

Eplilog should a a circuit so you can plug in the smaller Gast (epilog) compressor.