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Thread: Laser for Hobby use and stay under $2K budget

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Arizona
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    3,998
    the 3000 is not a chiller it just circulates room temp water, spend the few extra bucks and get the 5000
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  2. #32
    Yes, I know, it's an ambient chiller. Considering that the warmest it will be would be 68*, I was wondering if it would indeed keep the temp of the water @ 68*. I have seen a few people who are using the 3K on 80 watt machines, but considering how poorly some of these tubes are to begin with, the cooler the better. I watched two videos on Youtube from Sarbarmultimedia and learned more from those two than I did in two weeks of forum searches and google. Decided to go for the gold and get the 700 x 500 60 watt Chaser. I will also get a beam combiner for it. Will make aligning easier, and will know for sure exactly where the beam lands. Of course the very first thing will be a Ma meter.

  3. #33
    Sometimes it pays to compare. Was going to get a CW-5000. Found a few for $470. Decided just for the heck of it to look for a CW-5200. Glad I did. Found one for $8 more. So next week I should have a nice black and yellow 60W Chaser with 700 x 500 bed, 30 Ma meter to install, and the chiller. Working on the software at the moment, I need to go through my old Computer disks and see if I already have a copy of CorelDraw that can be upgraded. My only hurdle now is getting the beast down into my workshop.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    You'd think after all this "Free" help you would want to be a Contributor to help support the Forum. It costs money to run this forum for the hosting and upkeep. Advertising does not pay all the bills.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Heide View Post
    Sometimes it pays to compare. Was going to get a CW-5000. Found a few for $470. Decided just for the heck of it to look for a CW-5200. Glad I did. Found one for $8 more. So next week I should have a nice black and yellow 60W Chaser with 700 x 500 bed, 30 Ma meter to install, and the chiller. Working on the software at the moment, I need to go through my old Computer disks and see if I already have a copy of CorelDraw that can be upgraded. My only hurdle now is getting the beast down into my workshop.
    So what laser and options did you end up getting. Im in the same boat and this seems to be the latest version of this topic. Tech changes so often that any topic 2 years or older is no longer relevant.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Matos View Post
    So what laser and options did you end up getting. Im in the same boat and this seems to be the latest version of this topic. Tech changes so often that any topic 2 years or older is no longer relevant.
    I picked up an Ebay 60 watt 700x500 Yellow and Black one, like this one. I also got a CW-5200 chiller to keep it cool. Been watching Russ on Youtube with his RDworks training videos, Very informative and nice guy, has helped me tremendously. I bought CorelDraw Home and Student X8 to make the SVG, and Lightburn to control the laser.

    Already got a good portion of ribs cut out for my Liberty Sport Biplane, and just about ready to cut a couple more sheets of them. My CAD experience from 30some years ago is slowing coming back which is making it easier. Of course a true CAD program would be better, but at this time not worth the cost since CD is doing the job.

    On any of these lasers is it a must to install the Milliamp meter, so I got one from Amazon like this and installed it. Works great. Of course I fully expect the tube to fail sooner rather than later since it is actually a 50W and not a 60W tube, which is why I use the meter and make sure not to over drive the tube at any time. When it does give up the gas, then either a Reci or EFR tube, though looks like there is a third option, MCWlaser that may be viable as well. Stay away from the cheap ebay tubes though, they are no better than the ones that come with the machine. Would much rather pay a bit more for the proper tube, then for a lower wattage that has to be replaced more often, and will eventually cost more in the long run.

  7. Did you have to adjust the focus on the laser?

    Also you sent an amp meter - are you testing the amps running to the laser tube?

    Thanks for the input.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Matos View Post
    Did you have to adjust the focus on the laser?

    Also you sent an amp meter - are you testing the amps running to the laser tube?

    Thanks for the input.
    I had to clean and align everything. The mirrors were cloudy, and there was junk in the focusing tube. They also have the focusing lens in upside down with the convex on the bottom instead of the top so the cuts were blooming out. I was trying to understand why the cuts were on an angle until I look at the blank it came out of and found it too was on an angle. After flipping the lens around, the focus is much tighter and the cuts are straight now.

    The meter is inline with the anode lead (-) so measures the Ma coming from the tube. It takes about 8 ma for it to burn, anything less and there is not enough power to make a mark. A full through cut at 50mm speed and 45% power to cut through soft 1/8" balsa is about 11 ma. For hard balsa at the same thickness needs 50% which is around 12-13 ma. I haven't gone above that power setting yet.

    I use heavy 115 pound card stock that I get from Walmart for my test cuts, which is about 22.5% power to cut and 20% to scan. The scan is at 150mm. Anything below 20% doesn't make a mark, though I haven't slowed it down to verify.

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