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Thread: Problems learning new 50 watt fiber laser and yes its Chinese

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Unhappy Problems learning new 50 watt fiber laser and yes its Chinese

    I have been using a CO laser for years and absolutely love it. I made the leap into fiber and after paying the hefty tariff on the 50 watt machine, I finally received it. As you might expect, the instructions are terrible. I wanted it mainly for gun engraving but it doesn't even seem to make a dent in the hard stainless slides even after several passes. Focusing can be difficult and the rotator is more confusing than actually learning the Chinese language.
    It is the XT Laser and up to this point, I feel a bit overwhelmed even though I considered myself a "master" with the CO machine from Jamieson.
    Any help from fellow XT'ers ??
    You guys, and gals, are the best !!!
    Jamieson LG-640 - 60 watt
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    Graphtec CE5000-60

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Suwanee, GA
    First - get a piece of scrap stainless to practice on - several actually.
    To adjust focus draw a 4" circle (100mm) and move it to 0,0. Set power to 100, speed to 500 and frequency to 80. There should be a check box on the bottom of the screen "Continuous Marking", or something similar, check it. Place the stainless test piece so the circle will be roughly centered on it. Click "Fire" or whatever your button is to fire the laser. Adjust the Z up and down until you get the brightest flash. This is where your laser is in focus. Oh, of course you are wearing your safety glasses, right? Now measure from the surface of the stainless to a point on your galvo head - this measurement will put you in focus whenever you laser something.
    For deep engraving hard stainless start with 100 power, 500 speed and frequency 50. With a 50 watt machine this is likely too much power or too little speed, but you should get some results. It may take a lot of passes to get depth, but it will work. You'll have to work on the different hatches as well, one a 45 and one at 135 seemed to work pretty well most of the time for me.

    Get this figured out before you think about the rotary fixture, you don't need another variable in the mix until you get settings figured out.
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

    Trotec Speedy 400 80 watt 8/2015
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    NW Arkansas
    Blog Entries
    Agreed, Practice. And practice some more. Practice on YOUR guns before anyone else's gun. 50 watt should power through really well, most likely focus.
    And maybe settings...... Read and read some more. Forget the rotary for a month. It will give you a headache.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
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    RIA 22TCM 1911s

  4. #4
    I too was frustrated during my first stabs at fibering. Seemed like nothing was happening. I was attempting to engrave one of my steel bars, and it just wasn't happening...

    3-1/2 years later: I have a gun barrel engraving routine that produces these results:

    but to get this result: I run 4 separate cross-hatches, which consist of 3 black loops, 4 blue loops, 4 magenta loops and 4 green loops- that's 15 cross hatches, which is 30 full-sweeps, per pass. And I run 35 passes-! That's 1050 full sweeps! Yes it takes time, more time than tool engraving, but when all said and done- tool engraving setting up and tool sharpening and clamping added in- it comes out about equal. And notice the engraving looks like it was done with a 20 cutter tool? That's on purpose

    Have patience, it'll all fall into place soon
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

  5. #5
    Kev, Does the gun come off the engraver looking that good?

    Mine always seems to have burs that need to be taken off with a scotchbrite pad. Would love to be able to cut that step out and get cleaner results.

  6. #6
    in that pic the barrel is still sitting on the V blocks on the laser, I ran a toothbrush over it is all. Burrs are thee biggest headache with lasering metal. The main reason I run many passes is the last few passes are run very fast. Cutting at 300mm/S cuts quick but much of the metal doesn't vaporize, and that residue just piles on along the edges, much like the slag created with acetylene torch cutting. Fast cutting vaporizes more of the metal, so less slag buildup. So, many fast passes creates less burrs. And yes it does take longer than slow deep cutting, but not that much.
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

  7. #7
    Thanks. Still have a ton to learn.

    Do you get depth at a slower speed and then clean up at a faster speed or do you go fast the whole time?

  8. #8
    Each of my hatch routines is faster than the one before it. Also, I utilize 'edge offset' (see your users manual, from where 'hatch filling' begins and read up on 'edge offset' and 'line reduction', etc) -

    Not my exact routine, but close (every machine is different and will require practice and tweaks):
    pass 1, full power, freq 30, lots of offset, slow speed (around 300mm/s) to dig, 3x (in 'count' or 'loops')
    pass 2, full power, freq 30, less offset, faster (around 500), 4x
    pass 3, 90 power, freq 40, almost no offset, faster (around 1500) 4x
    pass 4, 80 power freq 45, no offset, 2000, lower power to 80, 4x (or maybe 5x)

    Using the offset is the reason the cut is V shaped; 1st pass is hottest and narrowest, then each next hatch expands outward and *hopefully* cuts down the slag by the pass before it,
    and so on until the last hatch smooths everything.

    As to FOUR passes- as you know, there's only 3 passes available in EzCad, which is probably thee most stupid flaw that they still haven't fixed yet. To get more than 3 passes requires copying and pasting a duplicate graphic, moving it a set 'jog' distance from the original, then hatching that. Example, I have my jog 'nudge distance' set for .04mm, and my 'big nudge scale' set to 1000x so that 'big jogging' moves my pasted copy 4mm in one button push. Then I hatch it, then jog it back so it's in the exact same place as the original. It works, but can get confusing. Which is why EzCad should allow for 6, or 10 passes, or just allow you to choose yourself.
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

  9. #9
    Thank you sir!

  10. #10
    How many watts is your fiber that you engraved the gun barrel?

  11. #11
    30 watt MAX source, and a 220mm lens-
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

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