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Thread: Fiber source, of these, what would you choose?

  1. #1

    Fiber source, of these, what would you choose?

    Well anyone that has read some of my posts recently know i (am all over the place lol) and have a speedy 400 en-route, and am expecting delivery in the next 1 to 2 weeks. Just some quick background here, my very loose business plans are to focus on the CO2 hence the trotec, and we have some jobs lined up. Fearing i don't have enough to learn I thought it would be fun to add a Fiber since we are a "laser engraving" business, once again though focusing on CO2 for now.

    Ok onto the fiber, I admit its mostly for my personal use that I want one, I am a shooter and a hunter therefore I would like to try and stipple my personal polymer hand grips and of course my PMAGs. Would I offer a service if i get it figured out, possibly, however where I am in located in Canada this would in all honesty be a side hobby, doing these would not be a J.O.B. as far as rifles and pistols are concerned.

    So what can I see it being used for? Just to add to my CO2 service so I don't have to turn clients away, and until i figure out what fiber I "Really" need if any and most likely just when customers are persistent that they want depth engraving in metal over cermark or if specs require it. So the metals i foresee deep engraving into would be cast aluminum, stainless and tool steel for the most part with a possibility of titanium....
    Apart from deep engraving The other thing that i would like is to make a decent WHITE mark on metals and plastics.
    As far as color with a MOPA it is neat but i do not have a use for it, unless MOPA parameters are needed to mark and engrave the materials i want.
    I should also note that since i have plenty of time, For now, if something takes 10 minutes vrs 30 minutes to finish is of no consequence to me as long as the quality is good and the machine is Capable.

    Enough Rambling, being a "entry" laser I sourced some from China and would appreciate if you would be kind enough to tell me what you would choose from these based on your experience along with my requirements above. All 30 watt split systems. All have motorized Z Axis. All work on win 10 64bit. All use OPEX lens and OUYA or SINO GALVO scan head. i have only wrote down upgrade costs as it seems taboo to write down full cost. All systems have option of auto focus and cyclops camera vision to be added.

    Option 1 ---- CHEAPEST, BASE COST
    Rayfine source Q-switch
    M2 beam quality <1.8
    Pulse energy 1 Mj
    Freq 30-60 KHZ
    Pulse duration 90-130 ns

    Option 2 ---- JPT (EXTRA $600 USD above base machine)
    JPT LP1+-S 30w source
    M2 beam quality <1.3
    Pulse energy 0.8 Mj
    Freq 37-400 KHZ
    Pulse Duration 200 ns

    Option 3 ---- JPT (EXTRA $1500 USD above base machine)
    JPT LP2+-L1 30w source
    M2 beam quality <1.8
    Pulse energy 1 Mj
    Freq 30-400 KHZ
    Pulse Duration 200 ns

    Option 4 ---- CHINESE SOURCED IPG (EXTRA 3000$ USD above base machine)
    IPG source
    M2 beam quality 1.5
    Pulse energy 1 Mj
    Freq 30-200 KHZ
    Pulse duration 90-120 ns

    Option 5 MOPA ---- JPT (EXTRA $5300 USD above base machine)
    JPT M6+-L1 30w source
    M2 beam quality <1.8
    Pulse energy 0.97 Mj
    Freq 31-2000 KHZ
    Pulse Duration 1- 250 ns

  2. #2
    My fiber laser has a Raycus 50w power source that goes from 50-100 kHz. I do color marks on p mags and have stippled many glock frames with it. Some will tell you you need a mopa or 300khz for pmags but mine does everything just fine with 50-100khz and an raycus power source. Hope this helps. The experts with reply soon with more info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,510
    I've a 20w of either 2nd or third choice. goes to 400 kHz. I do get a decent color at or around 100 plus kHz, titanium color is wider, but I've found no use for that at all. I've done several titanium rings, but all were engraving into..... I'd probably spend the $600 but it's your money. You CAN stipple with CO2, but you can more easily 'see' by outline where you are actually going to engrave with the fibers.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser
    Ray Fine 20watt Fiber Laser
    PM2000, Delta BS, Delta sander, Powermatic 50 jointer,
    Powermatic100-12 planer, Rockwell 15-126 radial drill press
    Rockwell 46-450 lathe, and 2 Walker Turner RA1100 radial saws

    RIA 22TCM 1911s

  4. #4
    I have 3 fiber lasers:

    my Triumph, which is going on 4 years old, had a scanhead - or electrical connection- issue, not sure which but since I installed a new scanhead (on warranty) it's never faltered since

    -and my 2 Ebay machines, which you're probably aware of, that I purchased in November and January... These 3 machines collectively in the past 6 months have probably accounted for over $40,000 in engraving sales. The Triumph was direct ship from China, was $8400 to my door, and BOTH Ebay machines cost me $7800 total. All 3 machines have Max Photonics 30w sources. The Triumph was pretty much paying for itself every 3 months until I got the Ebay machines. Now, each one does less work than the Triumph ever did by itself, but collectively the output has at least doubled, and in less time, which is almost as important...

    My fibers are barebones basic, and do what I expect of them. So if I was going to buy yet another machine, I'd hit Ebay.
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  5. #5
    Very informative thanks guys. The frequency of basic 30-60Khz is what concerned me the most about budget model, seems to have a nice strong enough pulse but extremely narrow frequency.

    So to summarize from what I gather,,,,,,
    Option 1- best power per dollar, least beam control
    Option 2 and 3- best beam control per dollars spent but not the best energy because of the 200ns pulse duration
    Option 4- Best of power and contro and beam quality without a full on Mopa
    Option 5- Most control

    Sound about right? From what I have heard from you guys so far here is that power seems to trump the control as most of you seem to be getting the results you need with the standard versions.

    Any input into auto focus or the camera system? Around 1K for AF and 1.4K to add the camera system.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    162
    I have option 5 and it has done everything I have asked of it.
    Universal 60w VLS6.60 w/ rotary
    RayFine 30w MOPA
    Corel X8, Photoshop

    Fab shop with South Bend Heavy 10, Bridgeport 9x42, 185a welder and a multitude of supporting tools/equipment

  7. #7
    Ok I am not telling the contributors anything they didn't know, and I love hearing their experience as it sure helps me and also helps me understand the differences between the sources. I hope what i'm about to post here will be correct, at least to the best as i understand in my research the last day or two, maybe it will help others like me that are "spec" guys or just curious of how they work. I will leave out beam quality for now as i dont understand how the number translates in the real world.

    So basic numbers and meanings

    BEAM QUALITY M2 === generally the lower number the better the beam (especially for engraving and marking) so typically numbers from 1.2 is very good to numbers like 2 and over are lower quality beam. The more watts you have typically the worse the beam quality gets

    PULSE ENERGY in mJ - higher the better, typically for smaller nano second fibers in the 10-50 watt range 1 mj is very good and the standard .5 mJ is low and above 1 mj is very good (newer ones seem to be a little higher now)

    PULSE WIDTH in NS- the time it takes to put the energy into the pulse, typical 90-120 ns For example, pretend you get the full 1mJ of energy in 100 nS of time, it quickly releases its energy onto the material , if you have a wider pulse width of 200 nS, it has the same energy output as the 100 nS pulse but it in turn dwells longer in the material which gives more of a heating up effect instead of a quick energy dump. Hope that makes sense

    FREQUENCY in kHz- how many times in a second it release that pulse, For example, a 30 Watt fiber has all of its energy at 30kHZ, any time you raise the KHZ your energy goes down form the maximum. If you raise the frequency enough there will not be enough energy left to make a mark.

    This is where a Mopa comes in, it gives you the ability to lower or raise your pulse width (the time to full energy) along with the speed its released at.

    So first of all,,,dont ask me why but it seems like Q-switched (Nano Second) lasers that are used here can withstand around 1 mJ of energy before they self destruct.
    THEREFORE you can see the lower the frequency the more power, if your lasers frequency goes lower than its wattage rating ***** lets use a 20 KHZ = 20 watt laser as an example***** if you adjust your frequency lower than the 20KHZ it would essentially overpower and destruct, so what happens is that your laser will LOWER its energy BELOW the 1mJ to save itself.

    In a 20W this means it can make its full energy of 1mJ at 20KHZ and can be useful upto around 40KHZ , but it dosent have enough power to have a higher USEFUL frequency
    A 30 W makes 1mJ at 30KHZ and has a useful beam upto 60KHZ before the beam looses to much energy to be useful
    A 50 W makes 1 mJ at 50KHZ (i assume you all see the trend here) and is useful upto 100 KHZ because it has more power.

    So this is why you cant use some random persons numbers from a 30w to a 50w to do a pmag, because every ones sources are so different. Essentially a 20 w at 20KHZ at X speed may be doing the EXACT same thing as a 50 watt 80KHZ at X speed, it is all just a combination to give a desired affect,then lens and pulse width all make differences. Basically it appears to me its as simple as MORE WATTAGE = FASTER time ******IF******* you take the time to get the correct parameters. ( Assuming both lasers make the same 1 mJ beam energy at there base frequency)

    PHEW,,

    So to my situation:

    The budget rayfine 30w is 30kHZ to 60kHZ with a 1 mj power rating and 120ns pulse width . I basically can use its entire range of frequency. It puts out full power (1mj) at 30KHZ so if the frequency went lower the laser would essentially overpower and burn itself up. It dosent appear to be able to de-rate itself and use a lower frequency.

    Update:: The 2 JPT (JPT calls them a fixed pulse width MOPA) have more frequency control but longer pulse duration . After more talking with them it does appear that the beam has less leakage over a standard Q switch, first beam full power, and the longer pulse duration does infact help hog out material quicker. I also “Think” it can do is de-rate itself and use lower frequency if you had a need for that ,,,and it "may be better at stainless black annealing" as it could use its long Pulse Width to its advantage. The down side is you get a finer detail apparently with very very tiny pulse width And better Color control also. This is why M6 Mopa and pico second lasers are becoming more popular but extremely more expensive afaik.

    The IPG has a better beam and a higher frequency, but as I stated earlier you have to question the usefulness of the high frequency at only 30w, and the lower frequency is the same as the rayfine. So it boils down to is the beam quality and high frequency really worth 3000 USD.

    The M6 style mopa makes a little more sense to me since you can shorten/lengthen the pulse width and raise or lower the KHZ to basically get a desired output. Decent beam and lots of adjustability.

    So In Conclusion i have decide they will probably all do what I want, but for FULL control you need a M6 Mopa . I would guess if you are willing to play around with even a standard fiber you could get interesting results if you use a combination of speed, freq and lenses. This also in my mind explains why most of you that replied are happy with your purchases, because they are all capable of what the majority of use here would honestly use them for IF you put the time in to get the correct Parameters.
    Last edited by jon stevenson; 05-21-2019 at 4:28 PM.

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