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View Full Version : Humidity and Temperature Room Requirements for a Laser Engraver



Barton Scott
05-13-2017, 4:51 PM
Can someone let me know what environments you are using your TroTect or Epilog Laser Engraver in.

What is the room temperature (on average) and can anyone tell me how humidity effects the Laser engraver?

Our Makers Space is an air conditioned portable building. Temperature thermostat set at 70 degrees but it can have times that the room gets hot when the AC goes out.

As far as during the winter. The room is heat controlled as well, since it is a portable building the walls and insulation are thin which does allow us to easily vent exhaust and fumes to the outside using a blower or fan.

Is there any difference between an Epilog machine and TroTec on their prefer working environment and what would happen to the machine if the AC is out for 5 days and the room reaches 85 degrees?

Any problems if the heat fails and the room gets cold (down to 40 degrees) in the winter.

These would be rare events but I want to make sure I understand the optimal working environment for these machines and also if someone is doing Laser Engraving in a setting similar to ours what challenges does it present (if any).

Bert Kemp
05-13-2017, 7:38 PM
Barton every machine I've seen will tell you the operating temp and humidity range in the specs for that particular machine. I general if you have climate controls you'll be fine. Extreme cool is not good as well as extreme heat. Heat I think will effect the computer stuff more then an RF laser. CO2 lasers are water cooled so keep above freezing, water temp range 50 to 75F is good but you have to keep water temp above dew point to prevent condensation on the tube and machine itself .;

Glen Monaghan
05-15-2017, 12:01 AM
CO2 lasers are water cooled so keep above freezing, water temp range 50 to 75F is good but you have to keep water temp above dew point to prevent condensation on the tube and machine itself .;
Not sure that Bert realizes that a CO2 laser is _not_ the same thing as a glass tube laser since he has made similar comments previously. Not all CO2 lasers have glass tubes, and not all lasers with glass tubes are CO2. Likewise, most water cooled CO2 lasers are of the glass tube variety, but some very high wattage metal tube CO2 lasers might be water cooled as well. Most Western CO2 lasers, such as those from Epilog, Universal, and Trotec, use metal or ceramic tubes rather than glass, and are air cooled, not water cooled. Some of the older models don't even have separate air handlers (fans) for cooling, relying instead on the movement of the exhaust air. Whether glass or metal/ceramic, water or air cooled, you need to check the manufacturer specs for your machine's operating limits.

Bill George
05-15-2017, 9:17 AM
Glass tube and RF are both CO2 I believe. I would also think that if its good enough for the computer running the machine that is all it needs. Lower humidity would be nice.

Lee DeRaud
05-15-2017, 12:33 PM
I would also think that if its good enough for the computer running the machine that is all it needs.Certainly true for an RF machine. More to the point, you need to be in the same room as the laser and, unless you're a masochist, your comfort will be the limiting factor.

Joe Pelonio
05-16-2017, 10:35 PM
Yes, the manual will indicate the best operating range. For my Epilog, most of my work is from 65-75F, but I have run it just fine at close to 80 a few times when starting off until the AC cooled off the shop. It may get to 55 late at night in deep winter, but I'm usually asleep then. Like Lee, I go more by my own comfort.

Bert Kemp
05-17-2017, 1:25 AM
So Glen because I neglected to say glass tube co2 you decided to say I have no idea what I'm talking about then you go on a rant about nothing to answer this guys question and at the end you said the same thing I did. Is anything I said wrong NO everything I said is true . I neglected to say glass tubes . For your information I do know the difference .
Not sure that Bert realizes that a CO2 laser is _not_ the same thing as a glass tube laser since he has made similar comments previously. Not all CO2 lasers have glass tubes, and not all lasers with glass tubes are CO2. Likewise, most water cooled CO2 lasers are of the glass tube variety, but some very high wattage metal tube CO2 lasers might be water cooled as well. Most Western CO2 lasers, such as those from Epilog, Universal, and Trotec, use metal or ceramic tubes rather than glass, and are air cooled, not water cooled. Some of the older models don't even have separate air handlers (fans) for cooling, relying instead on the movement of the exhaust air. Whether glass or metal/ceramic, water or air cooled, you need to check the manufacturer specs for your machine's operating limits.

Glen Monaghan
05-18-2017, 12:35 AM
...you go on a rant about nothing to answer this guys question and at the end you said the same thing I did. Is anything I said wrong NO everything I said is true...
Umm, Bert, who's ranting? I didn't say the same thing you did, and everything you said is NOT true. In particular, you said, "CO2 lasers are water cooled" and that is not a true statement, as I explained.
Urrrh! ;)

Bert Kemp
05-18-2017, 1:12 AM
Well if I don't have a co2 water cooled laser please enlighten me and the rest of the world as to what I have.(i never said all co2 lasers were water cooled arggg))And if your last sentence didn't state the exact same thing I said in my first sentence then please tell me what you said that was different.If I have to explain every word I wrote so you can understand what I mean please let me know I can do that.

Umm, Bert, who's ranting? I didn't say the same thing you did, and everything you said is NOT true. In particular, you said, "CO2 lasers are water cooled" and that is not a true statement, as I explained.
Urrrh! ;)

Jeff Heinrichs
05-22-2017, 4:57 PM
I too would be interested in other people's operating environments. My Trotec CO2/Fiber is in the garage in the PNW. It will get as low as 50F in the winter and as warm as 85F in the summer. I'm a new laser owner and I was concerned when Trotec stated something like 55F-77F as the environment. That seems a bit restrictive, but the service tech told me that he has visited customers using Trotec's in non-climate controlled warehouse environments in the southern California where the temps frequently get above 90-100F. I won't be as paranoid as I was before talking to him, but I will continue to take care not to push it too far as well.

Gary Hair
05-22-2017, 6:01 PM
I too would be interested in other people's operating environments. My Trotec CO2/Fiber is in the garage in the PNW. It will get as low as 50F in the winter and as warm as 85F in the summer. I'm a new laser owner and I was concerned when Trotec stated something like 55F-77F as the environment. That seems a bit restrictive, but the service tech told me that he has visited customers using Trotec's in non-climate controlled warehouse environments in the southern California where the temps frequently get above 90-100F. I won't be as paranoid as I was before talking to him, but I will continue to take care not to push it too far as well.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that extreme heat and cold will affect the machine, and in ways you may not think about initially. I have parts that I laser for one customer that the image must be placed to within .001". If I align the parts with the temp at 65F then run them at 85F the image will be out of tolerance. So even though the machine may be ok with a fairly wide temperature range, the accuracy may not be ok. I'm now in a temperature controlled room so it's not an issue, but in the old warehouse I had to spend hours re-aligning fixtures every few months to keep up with the weather changes.

Lee DeRaud
05-22-2017, 9:02 PM
One thing I can tell you for sure is that extreme heat and cold will affect the machine, and in ways you may not think about initially. I have parts that I laser for one customer that the image must be placed to within .001". If I align the parts with the temp at 65F then run them at 85F the image will be out of tolerance.Yup. I've had a similar problem cutting veneer for marquetry, although it's mostly a question of humidity rather than temperature, and the material is affected more than the machine. Since I cut all the pieces of one species at the same time, I can end up cutting maple (for example) at low humidity and walnut at high humidity, and then the gaps are off in spots, even after the cut pieces have spent a day or two in the same conditions.

Dave Sheldrake
05-23-2017, 1:55 AM
Lasers love stable temperatures....stay inside a 3 degree spread and you have far less problems

David Somers
05-24-2017, 4:54 PM
So....you guys have me curious. Do you think the changes in the quality of the fittings you are seeing are due to temp and humidity affecting your materials? Or affecting the machine? I can certainly see organic products like wood and leather and paper/cardstock being very sensitive to temp and humidity. In fact I remember a few years ago Dave Sheldrake mentioning he was getting rid of a bunch of sheet stock that was being affected by the humidity and temp of where he was storing it. When dry he was cutting through it easily, when moisture affected it those same settings were not going through. Seemed like Dave set up a more effective way to store his materials in a way that protected them from changes.

My shop is similar to Jeff's above. A garage heated via a heat robber coming directly off the furnace. It can keep a temp of about 50 most of the time in winter, and then in summer it is whatever ambient temp is. Here in Seattle that would be 75 to 85 in the afternoon sun which hits the garage directly. I rely on fans and my chiller to stay comfy then.

Lee DeRaud
05-24-2017, 7:55 PM
So....you guys have me curious. Do you think the changes in the quality of the fittings you are seeing are due to temp and humidity affecting your materials? Or affecting the machine?In my case it's the humidity affecting the material. Most of the material will swell and shrink (roughly) the same amount, but the key is whether I cut all of it under the same conditions, and (to a somewhat lesser extent) assemble the pieces under similar conditions. I seriously doubt temperature affects my machine's repeatability enough for me to notice: that effect is much smaller.

Gary's situation sounds more like thermal expansion in his positioning jigs.

David Somers
05-24-2017, 10:37 PM
Hi Lee. That was my guess too, but thought I would ask.

I remember that incident with Dave Sheldrake and his stock of stuff was pretty bad. He couldnt tell from sheet to sheet what the settings were going to be. Unfortunately he had a large amount of stock on hand for his business. I assume he has worked that out since.

I tend to buy what I need as I go. An advantage to living just a few miles from good sources of supply. I also spray all my sheet stock with either lacquer or clear shellac as soon as I get it home using an HVLP sprayer so even if humidity is changing it affects my stock more slowly. And the coating also makes it easy to deal with any soot if my settings are not spot on.

Dave

Rich Harman
05-28-2017, 5:58 PM
Well if I don't have a co2 water cooled laser please enlighten me and the rest of the world as to what I have.(i never said all co2 lasers were water cooled arggg))

If I were to say "cars run on diesel" would you consider that to be true, or worthy of a correction? Perhaps that is too obvious because we all know that cars can run on a variety of fuels (even wood and candy bars), but some readers here may not realize that not all CO2 lasers use water cooling.

I think the part about saying that you don't know the difference is unnecessary, but I do think it is reasonable to point out that your statement, while not technically wrong, is not correct either.

Bert Kemp
05-28-2017, 7:18 PM
I think if you and others read the entire thread and the whole statement you wouldn't come back with some of these bone head statements. I said co2 lasers are water cooled and he said thats not true statement.if you read the thread instead of just a few words here and there then jump on me you would allso see I said not all co2 lasers are water cooled. But he said my statement was not true implying that NO!!! co2 lasers are water.
cooledNothing needs to be pointed out I'm well aware that some co2 lasers are air cooled and some are water cooled.nuff said on the subject.
If I were to say "cars run on diesel" would you consider that to be true, or worthy of a correction? Perhaps that is too obvious because we all know that cars can run on a variety of fuels (even wood and candy bars), but some readers here may not realize that not all CO2 lasers use water cooling.

I think the part about saying that you don't know the difference is unnecessary, but I do think it is reasonable to point out that your statement, while not technically wrong, is not correct either.

Rich Harman
05-28-2017, 10:29 PM
I think if you and others read the entire thread and the whole statement you wouldn't come back with some of these bone head statements. I said co2 lasers are water cooled and he said thats not true statement.if you read the thread instead of just a few words here and there then jump on me you would allso see I said not all co2 lasers are water cooled....

You clarified that not all lasers are water cooled after Glen raised the point. I think it is reasonable to make that clarification, I don't think it is necessary to insult.

Glen Monaghan
05-29-2017, 12:09 AM
Rich, I'm pretty sure it's simply not worth trying to convince him of the error of his ways. Anyone else who reads his original comment and my reply will understand the distinction and its significance

John Lifer
05-29-2017, 7:31 PM
Rich, while I agree with you on the desire to clarify is good for anyone new, the manner of the correction that Glen posted was way over the top. I'm still what I would call a novice to most of you guys here but I think that for Glen to personally call out Bert's post and really impune his knowledge is over the top. Even I would have been a bit miffed​ with the post. We're here to help each other, not downgrade each other. At least that's why I'm here!

Bert Kemp
05-31-2017, 2:22 AM
Thank You John and Rich I somewhat agree that clarification might need to be pointed out. Yes I did say after the fact that not all were water cooled but I wasn't thinking its a new guy and didn't think I needed to point that out since I thought we were talking about glass tube co2 lasers . Thats what I get for thinking or not thinking, but yes I was ticked a bit over Glens post.oh and just to point something else out there are water cooled RF tubes.

Glen Monaghan
06-01-2017, 1:02 AM
oh and just to point something else out there are water cooled RF tubes. Indeed, I think I recall having read that in, what, the 3rd post in this thread? ;^)

Dave Sheldrake
06-01-2017, 9:23 AM
Yup I did Dave, I ended up dumping it, over 1,000 sheets in the end (2440mm x 1220mm sheets)

Now everything is stored in an environment controlled room at a fixed humidity and I don't get any more problems