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Thread: MOPA laser and non-MOPA laser, can I get same etching appearance?

  1. #1
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    MOPA laser and non-MOPA laser, can I get same etching appearance?

    I have a MOPA 30 watt. To increase production and to have as a backup, I'd like to get a non-MOPA 100 watt, so I can do deep engraving faster, etc.

    I am using 2000s 40p 68freq and 200Q to get the etching the customer wants. I think I had read that is what a non-MOPA would be set to.

    Do you think it's probable that it would etch the same? Should I send a partially etched part to the prospective company (still not sure yet where I'm getting it) and see if they can do a similar mark? (I know each machine is different, so that may not work, plus they could etch on a MOPA anyway, just to get the sale, I guess)

    Thanks!
    Amy
    ULS X-660 CO2 50 watt (July 2008), Corel X7, Photograv, GX 7000 for dye sub, Graphtec vinyl plotter, Rayzist Sandcarving system (Nov 2018), JPT MOPA M6 30 watt Fiber Laser (May 2019)

  2. #2
    Never had a MOPA so I know very little about them. I just no that there's no "Q" setting on my fibers!

    as to 'the look' of the mark you want to duplicate, can you engrave something- not your job files obviously, just some words or something that would 'look' the same, and on the same material, and post up some pics?
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
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    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  3. #3
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    It'll be work to get the same look with different power lasers. Some jobs way easier than others, but expect to spend a bit of time (might be minutes, might be an hour or two) to get things close. I spend about an hour changing from a 20 to a 50watt for about 6 different materials. I just did a polymer job I do every month or so and I spent about 10 minutes to get the non hatched engraving right. Had to change not just power, but frequency and number of loops to get it the same. But I was able to. I WOULD buy a JPT source over a cheaper Raycus as you have a larger frequency spread on the JPT and that can help depending on your material.
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  4. #4
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    20210127_163030.jpg

    Here's a picture. There's nothing really remarkable about it... to me it looks like a white etching, but sometimes it has a gold look to it in certain lighting.
    I think it could be sort of easy to duplicate? Ha, maybe not. It took me a long time to get the settings for this.

    There are SOOO many variables, not counting all the settings, but it can be in or out of focus (+ or -) and like John said, the number of passes. Fortunately, this one just took one pass. JPT is what I already have, and the one I'm leaning toward is also JPT.

    There's a possibility for a recurring job, that will require deep engraving of "challenge coins" or really, commemorative coins. Someone said a 50 watt regular laser could be as strong as a 100 watt Mopa, as far as deep engraving. Is that right? Doesn't sound right.

    Thanks!
    ULS X-660 CO2 50 watt (July 2008), Corel X7, Photograv, GX 7000 for dye sub, Graphtec vinyl plotter, Rayzist Sandcarving system (Nov 2018), JPT MOPA M6 30 watt Fiber Laser (May 2019)

  5. #5
    That can be done easy enough with a non-MOPA, the issue I run into is, it's very easy to overheat the stainless, which results in the gold tint. I get the best results using a wide 4 or 6 angle hatch, fairly fast, low power and the lowest freq for your machine, which would be equal to your laser's max output (30w machine, 30kH freq, etc)

    I did this on a 'near' mirror polished stainless switchplate-

    one of the issues with engraving metals, and especially polished metals is that the engraving takes on the color of the background reflections-

    This is with plate aimed toward the wood ceiling in the basement when I took the pic-
    wt2.jpg
    Even the plate itself looks gold--

    Things are not always as they seem, this is with the plate aimed toward the concrete wall--
    wt1.jpg
    much better --this looks to be a pretty good match,
    3 x-hatches @ 30-60-90, hatch spacing @ .1, follow edge on the last hatch only, 2000 speed, 30 power, 30 freq, one pass-

    A closer hatch or hotter power likely would've created a gold tint...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Thanks, Kev! You confirmed that I should be able to duplicate it well enough with a non-mopa.
    Yeah, it's really hard to take pictures of highly reflective things.
    I still haven't ordered another laser. But hopefully I will get it ordered this week. Decisions, decisions!
    ULS X-660 CO2 50 watt (July 2008), Corel X7, Photograv, GX 7000 for dye sub, Graphtec vinyl plotter, Rayzist Sandcarving system (Nov 2018), JPT MOPA M6 30 watt Fiber Laser (May 2019)

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