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View Full Version : Air Assist - How Precise?



Bruce Golling
09-04-2016, 10:51 AM
I am a complete noobie at this stuff, so please forgive me in advance for dumbness. I just got a k40 laser engraver and after setting it and making an engraving on a piece of luan plywood. I discovered that anything more than 10 pct power promptly set the wood afire. I think I need one of those air assist hickies.
Do you think I can just rig the hose of a air brush somewhere near the lens to blow on the workpiece, or do I need to route the air flow through lens nozzle. I can see one advantage to the latter in that it could help keep the lens a little cleaner. But my main thing right now to just blow away the flames and smoke.
Any advice is appreciated

Scott Marquez
09-04-2016, 11:21 AM
You really should check out (rdworks . com) it is a forum dedicated to K40 lasers. You will be able to communicate with people that are familiar with the modifications and tuning tips for that machine.
Scott

Dave Sheldrake
09-04-2016, 6:36 PM
Do it Bruce,

You can get the air assist head complete from Lightobject (Sacremento) for about 50 bucks? or from china for about $20

Air assist used properly and set up correctly can make big differences

Rich Harman
09-05-2016, 2:29 AM
Yes, rigging the air outlet so that it is aimed at the cut point can work very well.

Keith Downing
09-06-2016, 3:53 AM
Air assist will probably help, especially if you can get a true 20-30psi air flow. But you might also try increasing the speed of the cut, and trying some different types of wood.

I to this day don't know why, but on my very first attempt cutting some 1/4", with everything setup including the air assist, the piece would smolder and be ruined. Even if I soaked the wood in water, it didn't help. Ever since, I've never had a major problem, even with very intricate cuts. I'll never know what made the difference that first time. But it never hurts to experiment a little and see what helps.

Matt McCoy
09-06-2016, 12:26 PM
I think your issue is a combination of three things, not just the lack of air-assist (i.e., power, material, air-assist). You don't mention how thick the luan you are trying to cut, but in my experience, it is at the limit of what a K40 can handle (especially if it's 1/4"). The stock commonly found at the big box stores generally have mixed results due to soft cores and adhesive that is sometimes not very laser-cut friendly. The edges are generally charred and take too long to cut through with any reliable repeatability. MDF or true baltic birch plywood is probably better, in my opinion. You might check that the mirrors are aligned and the lens is clean too.

Jeff Body
09-06-2016, 2:46 PM
You really should check out (rdworks . com) it is a forum dedicated to K40 lasers. You will be able to communicate with people that are familiar with the modifications and tuning tips for that machine.
Scott

The K40 doesn't use the RDworks software so I don't think that website will be of any help.