CAMheads CNC Router Forum By: CAMaster CNC

Go Back   CAMheads CNC Router Forum By: CAMaster CNC > Tips & Techniques > The Business of CNC

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 08-28-2019, 03:07 PM
tmhooper tmhooper is offline
CAMaster Owner
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: College Station, TX
Posts: 18
Default

I'm probably the guy he's referring to and I'm sorry I've been away from the forums for a while - it's a busy time of year for us. I don't post much, but am usually lurking.

I have the laser attachment on my Stinger24 and I do like it, but would rather a separate and more powerful laser if I had unlimited space and funds. This is just a side business for my wife and I and I'm working out of a 2 car garage with a bunch of other tools, so the space/money saving option is the way I went. Especially since I didn't really know what I was getting into.

I will list a few pros and cons and post a couple of pictures of what we've done with it, but please keep in mind I'm pretty new to this game.
Also, don't let the lack of pros scare you away from it, as I usually look at what needs to be improved rather than what is already working well.
Also also, I've got ZERO experience with any other kind of laser cutter/engraver.
All of that said - I would definitely recommend it if you are in a similar situation. We made the money back that the laser cost within the first two months of getting the machine.

Pros:
-Integrated well and easy to understand - toolpaths are created the same as you would a bit in Vectric.
-Really nice results on wood - we use it mostly for text.
-Opens up a good many new possibilities as far as detail on finished products go.

Cons:
-Focal point is at 1/8" from the material - this makes it hard to engrave in pockets and is probably my biggest disappointment.
-Each wood is different, but to get a nice dark burn you have to run it around 100IPM or less at 100% laser power. You can go a bit faster if you are running a dithered photo, but I don't have a bunch of experience with that yet. This speed coupled with the .006" spot size makes for a good amount of waiting on larger projects.
-I've had no luck engraving any kind of metal. J-tech claims you can do anodized aluminum, but I'm obviously missing something.
-Don't expect to be able to efficiently cut with it, unless you are just working with some ridiculously thin material.

I will post a few pictures of what we've used it for so far when I get home.
Again - sorry for the delay and you probably don't even need these answers anymore.
__________________
Thomas Hooper III
Hooper Designs LLC
College Station, TX
Gig 'em!

Stinger 24 - 1.7kw Spindle
Indexing Lathe, Engraving Laser
FTC, Laser Crosshair, 2" Gantry Lift, Counter Balance
Aspire, Photoshop CS6, Adobe Illustrator

Last edited by tmhooper; 08-28-2019 at 03:12 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-28-2019, 04:59 PM
tmhooper tmhooper is offline
CAMaster Owner
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: College Station, TX
Posts: 18
Default

See attached for what we've done with it so far. Most everything I've done has been on wood as you can see. You can ignore the little horizontal lines that you see that it looks like the laser "missed." That was before I figured out you had to fine-tune the focal point size from the suggested .007". I figured out mine is actually .006" and it has completely gotten rid of all of those lines. It's crazy how big of a headache a mere thousandth of an inch can cause...

The coasters were just a random idea and I had no idea it would work so well. They are just a black slate and it's actually not truly engraved into the stone. It seemed to just turn the slate a different color. I want to try it on other colors of slate. I did try it on sandstone too, but I don't think the laser was powerful enough. You could tell it was trying to mark it, but it was just the faintest little discoloration.

I do want to try it on glass and/or acrylic, but other than a YouTube video here and there I haven't looked into it much. I'm also curious about a ceramic floor tile, because that could be cool.

You do want to be careful on what materials you are engraving, as many produce toxic fumes. In addition to that adhesives and other byproducts of the laser/material can also yield fumes that will cloud/gum up the laser lens, but that's not really an issue exclusive to this attachment.

All of my "knowledge" (if you can even call it that) has been gained by directly playing with it and researching things after something didn't work right. Because you know - who likes learning things the easy way? Feel free to ask me any more questions! I'll answer them to the best of my ability.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Butterfly.jpg (69.8 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Personal Cross.jpg (51.8 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Church Clock.jpg (45.8 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg Infinity.jpg (83.2 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg Irwin.jpg (97.4 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Hooper.jpg (64.3 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg Bad Coasters.jpg (96.6 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Laughlin AFB Coaster.jpg (86.4 KB, 43 views)
__________________
Thomas Hooper III
Hooper Designs LLC
College Station, TX
Gig 'em!

Stinger 24 - 1.7kw Spindle
Indexing Lathe, Engraving Laser
FTC, Laser Crosshair, 2" Gantry Lift, Counter Balance
Aspire, Photoshop CS6, Adobe Illustrator

Last edited by tmhooper; 08-28-2019 at 05:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-28-2019, 06:23 PM
carasel carasel is offline
CAMaster Owner
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 91
Default

For supplies to use with the laser. Look at https://www.jpplus.com/. They have a spray for metal and one for ceramic. The color comes out black. On ceramic, it holds up for backsplash tile. I don't think it would work of the floor.
They also have a selection of ready to laser items. Not sure how far it is away from you. There is a branch in Texas.
If you laser a design. On the back of a mirror. Seal the back with a water base clear coat. Then mount the mirror in a frame with a light behind it. You can have an interesting accent light.
Doing the anodized alum. You might need to run the program twice. Due to power limitations.
If you are doing things that are not flat on both sides. Buy some play-do.
It works great to hold stuff flat. While running the laser.
__________________
Eddie Kitson
Cobra 5x8 ATC
5hp spindle
20hp regen vac
laser pointer
V carve 8.0
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-28-2019, 07:28 PM
tmhooper tmhooper is offline
CAMaster Owner
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: College Station, TX
Posts: 18
Default

Great info! Thanks for the link and advice. I'll have to sticky note that playdoh trick in the back of my mind - that's definitely going to come in handy one day.
__________________
Thomas Hooper III
Hooper Designs LLC
College Station, TX
Gig 'em!

Stinger 24 - 1.7kw Spindle
Indexing Lathe, Engraving Laser
FTC, Laser Crosshair, 2" Gantry Lift, Counter Balance
Aspire, Photoshop CS6, Adobe Illustrator
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:54 PM
drummerjg drummerjg is offline
CAMaster Owner
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Addison, PA
Posts: 941
Thumbs up

Those are some beautiful pieces, Thomas! Looks like you are getting quite comfortable with the new laser. I sure wish I could add it to my SR24.
Keep the pictures coming!
__________________
Joe Garber
Retired Hobbyist
Stinger 1 SR24
FTC
Laser Pointer
HSD 1.7kw Spindle
Indexing Lathe
WinCNC, Aspire 9.5, PhotoCarve
Storm Vacuum
drummerjg@icloud.com


How to count to 10 in Windows:
1,2,3,95,NT,2000,XP,Vista,7,8,10
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:05 PM
JeffP JeffP is offline
Camaster Owner
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 101
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmhooper View Post
-Each wood is different, but to get a nice dark burn you have to run it around 100IPM or less at 100% laser power. You can go a bit faster if you are running a dithered photo, but I don't have a bunch of experience with that yet.
For comparison I have a laser whose maker claims a top speed of 170 inches per SECOND and a Cobra. Assuming the laser head is attached to the spindle somewhere I can't imagine the motors necessary to start and stop the overall mass of my Cobra head running at anywhere near the speed of the laser. Even at max travel speed laser engraving with a Cobra would be slow and laborious process- and it would take the router out of production for that amount of time as well. Happy to share the maker of the laser if that's allowed.
__________________
Jeff Potts

Cobra 508 ATC
Laser
WinCNC
VCarve Pro
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.