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Thread: What a difference a lens makes- again!

  1. #1

    What a difference a lens makes- again!

    I have 3 fibers, and between them I have 220, 150, and 70mm (work area) lenses. Never had a 100-ish mm lens until today, ordered a 110 off ebay, a whole $69...

    The 70 I ordered for a one-off job, which required shaving over existing engraving and replacing it with readable new engraving, in 2 places on 1600 aluminum parts. It worked wonderfully, but with only a 2.3" working area I haven't had much other use for it. But man, that small a focal-length lens has a LOT more beam spot power density than my other lenses.

    So I got the new lens installed, found the focal point, then engraved TEST on one of my aluminum hold-down's...
    100t1.jpg
    100t2.jpg
    Check out the depth! It's 1/4" tall Arial font, nothing special, except that with my longer lenses it would take a around 5 to 8 three x-hatch passes and a minute give or take to get this depth. The new lens did this in 2 passes and 23 seconds, fresh out of the box! That's at least .003" legal ATF depth, probably closer to .005"...

    It's not real purty engraving, didn't run any cleanup passes, but that's easy enough. Got similar results on a mirror finish SS switchplate running the exact same settings, not quite as deep but close, and a lot of slag along the edges, so some fine tuning is in order the harder metals.

    Couldn't get it to anneal, yet- with the lens in focus, running a .001 to .003 hatch, ZERO power and ANY kHz between 20 and 100, it ablates like crazy. It will take some serious out-of-focus adjusting to anneal, so much so that I'll have to change the focal distance in the F3 settings to adjust the engraving size.

    I give up several inches of work area, but for gun barrels, slides and most of the industrial parts I get 110mm is plenty of room.

    Pretty significant change for $70, I'm happy!
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    So I got the new lens installed, found the focal point, then engraved TEST on one of my aluminum hold-down's...
    I disagree, Kev, I think you wasted $70... That lens can't spell correctly!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Murphy NC
    Posts
    589
    any chance you can pm or post a link to that lens?
    Epilog Legend 36EXT ~35W
    30W Fiber Laser
    Corel X6
    AutoCAD 2019
    FFL 01
    Some Patience

  4. #4
    As far as US stock I can't find a 110 lens, 'my' seller raised the price to $101, but is out of the 110 size too...

    I scrolled way down the list and found this ad from a China seller:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fiber-Laser...Jydp23wX0tPptQ

    I like this lens so much I was about to order another one, so I just ordered one of these, $66.88 + $8 shipping plus whatever else they may tack on, but still a good deal. Probably the same exact lens as the other one --may have to wait a bit but I don't need it immediately

    Note that the lenses I'm buying are the 'new' smaller M52 size, which is what came on my eBay machines. The 'original' bigger ones are M85's...

    Yesterday I got a gun mfr out of a jam - their $$$ fiber is broke; the guy told me they have to replace the board since the original is is no longer supported , new board requires new software at over $5000 -- he has no idea what the new board's going to set them back! Won't catch me complaining about cheap Chinese machines or EzCad anytime soon! I'm engraving a small logo and caliber on 100 SS muzzle brakes, I'm able to get to about .006" deep in 47 seconds, that's quick compared to my 150 lenses--
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Czechia
    Posts
    20
    Hey Kev!
    Can not agree more... I got two lenses - 200mm and 110mm workspace... with same settings the time to have same result of depth is doubled! Im planning to buy 50mm workspace lens to deep engrave like crazy
    You mentioned ZERO power ablating... is it really zero power? I use pens with zero power when I need to see some guide lines or objects for aligning and dont want them to be beamed by accident (which happened so many times ).
    Aliexpress 30W Fiber Laser - seems to work fine I have so many ideas, but so little time to play

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Murphy NC
    Posts
    589
    Thanks. I'll keep an eye on these for sure. I am leery to buy overseas at the moment. As we too do quite a bit of firearm engraving, the depth-speed ratio for the money is alluring...
    Epilog Legend 36EXT ~35W
    30W Fiber Laser
    Corel X6
    AutoCAD 2019
    FFL 01
    Some Patience

  7. #7
    Vasek- there's actually no 'zero' power, the laser is set to fire at 10%, at least according to my EzCad power map:
    pmap.jpg
    This is true with all 3 of my machines-- NOTE that you CAN edit the power settings and it DOES work! I just set my "0" power to 90% 'actual', and it does fire at 90%! BUT, setting 0 to 0, the laser still fires at 10%.
    Not exactly sure why it won't run at zero-actual power? So when I'm setting up, I turn the power off to ALL colors over on the color-power menu...

    I wanted a 50mm-workspace lens, actually ordered one once but got an email saying they were out, and I've never seen another one for sale. I DID get a 70mm-workspace lens, it's a great digger, but the usable work area is just over 2" With a 50 it's UNDER 2"...

    And fair warning Chris, with the extra usable power comes other issues, like more slag to take care of, and adjusting your hatches to compensate for the smaller beam, which eats into your time a bit. I have a cut routine for rifle barrels that results in baby-butt smooth engraving using my 220 lens, but the 100 lens makes gobs of slag at the same settings. These machines are like a box of chocolates. Always a learning process...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Czechia
    Posts
    20
    Hey Kev!
    I got different experience. When I set power map on my EZCad (2.14.10) 0 to 0, it really goes 0% power - so no marking at all. In fact, it seems laser could not mark with any lower power than 10%, I mean when I set 0 to 0, and 10 to 10, set the pen power on 9, it does not mark. When I set 0 to 90, pen power to 0 it marks with 90% power as you mentioned. But when 0 is 0 and pen is 0 power, it only red-lights... IMHO, I got different EZCad version than you so it acts differently...
    Aliexpress 30W Fiber Laser - seems to work fine I have so many ideas, but so little time to play

  9. #9
    my new machines are running 2.14.10, I'll have to try it out.

    -- My Triumph is running 2.5.4 and 90 goes 90, but 0 still fires...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


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