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Heliman

BC Canada

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I'm in the market for a mid size machine 12X24 table or so
I wonder about what brand I should look at or avoid ...
Also I don't really understand this recharging the tube or cylinder ...
How many watts ?

the use would be mostly engraving wood and other stuff and maybe cutting as well .

cheers

12-09-2016 07:51 PM
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Peter Wales

Elite Veteran

Orlando Fl

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Mine is not quite as big as the one you want so I can't advise you who to buy from. I can tell you that you should find one which has good US support because if you have to return it, it will cost you a fortune.

The laser in mine is 40 watt and will cut through styrene and wood. The thicker the material, the more passes you have to make or the slower you cut. Cutting slow at high power burns the material, which is maybe what you want.

There is no maintenance on the laser. It runs at high voltage and is sealed away from fingers. The laser light is directed by a series of mirrors which you have to set up before first use, not a difficult job.

The mirrors are moved by stepper motors and lead screws under the control of a PC. The PC has a dongle keyed to the stepper driver board and a pirate copy of Corel Draw is usually supplied together with the driver software. The Corel is usually old, but basically all you need to do cutting and engraving on wood.

To engrave metal you may need a 60 watt laser and these often need a 220 v supply.

I hope that helps

Peter Wales
http://scalehelicopters.org

12-10-2016 12:21 PM
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GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28.49N 81.22W

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I have a K-40 Chinese unit. I have put in an extra $600 to bring it up to a really useful machine.
Go to LightOobject to see all the upgrades available. The original software and the electronics were terrible. Since I cut gears in plastic and wood, the original software would not cut precision enough for gears.(they ended up slightly out of round.)
I will post some pics shortly of the machine, and some of the clock gears I make.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

12-10-2016 12:32 PM
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GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28.49N 81.22W

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I think I paid $350 for the machine, then added about $700 in upgrades to make it a precision cutter. I know that sounds unbalanced , paying twice as much to upgrade as paid for the machine, but the mechanics of the machine are really good, just needs a lot of tweaking when you get it.
Upgrades to my machine.
1) New controller (Comes with software and CAD)Can cut or engrave up to 12 X 9.5 inches.
2) new lens and mirrors (Really not necessary, but I wanted all the power I could get)
3) Removed the exhaust fan and replaced it with better exhaust system. (Cutting plastics you need a lot of exhaust).
4) Z table added. Allows vertical adjustments and large cutting surface.
5) Also added a metal mesh cutting surface. (not shown)
6) Air nozzle for clean cuts, particularly on wood, that's the air hose you see going to the head.
.
This is the new control panel (And no more dongle required).

.
Z axis bed

.
Clock cut on laser unit.

.
.
Haven't done much wood cutting, just a couple pf test gears up to 1/4 inch thick. Mostly plastics. There are two types of plastics, one cuts beautifully with flame polished edges, the other burns and leaves bubbly melted plastic edges, no good.
.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

12-10-2016 12:46 PM
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GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28.49N 81.22W

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Here is a list of martials you cannot or should not cut.
Metals ls
Polycarbonate (PC, Lexan) – due to the fumes.
Any material containing chlorine
PVC (Cintra) – contains chlorine
Vinyl – contains chlorine
Glass –can engrave glass, but we cannot cut it.
Fiberglass
Printed circuit board (FR4 and other material types)
Carbon fiber
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) HDPE of any thickness melts badly when laser cut.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

12-10-2016 01:18 PM
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GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28.49N 81.22W

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Also I don't really understand this recharging the tube or cylinder ...
How many watts ?
As stated by Peter above, there is no maintenance on the laser tube, it is sealed with a life expectance of approx. 1200 hrs.
As for US support, LightObject has replacement parts and upgrades.
While the K40 is stated to be 40 watts, it really is 35 watts.
See lightobject.com under laser tubes.
.
Here is the exact machine I bought, color has changed and price has gone up slightly.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Premium-40W...dUAAOSwKfVXIXRP

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

12-10-2016 01:59 PM
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coolice

Key Veteran

Northamptonshire, England

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Hey buddy.

I've just changed from a K40 to an 80 watt X700 RedSail clone laser with a bed size of 700x500mm. I'm still trying to adjust to the new one, only had it since mid week and spent a day aligning all the mirrors.

I found the K40 to be a great little laser, there is upgrades you can do to it to make it even better, but with a bed size of 300x200mm I don't think it's worth it.
If you're serious about giving laser cutting a go and can get away with the bed size (500x300mm) I'd suggest one of the 50 watt blue and white Chinese lasers. The other good thing about this size machine it is has the better DSP controller as standard so can do grey scale engraving, where as the smaller K40's controller is either on or off, no power control as standard.

While all of these Chinese machines do not give out their rated power on the laser, the overall mechanics are good and give you a good base from which to upgrade later on. My X700 will eventually get a Reci laser tube fitted as the supplied one starts to weaken.

There is a couple of great Facebook groups to join and have a read of;

1. Laser engraving and cutting

2. X700 clone laser group

Ian Contessa

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

12-12-2016 05:42 PM
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coolice

Key Veteran

Northamptonshire, England

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To compliment Gyro freaks post the two types of acrylic are cast and extruded. For laser engraving cast works best, it gives you the nice white engraved areas. Extruded just melts and doesn't look great.

No CO2 laser to my knowledge will mark metal without the use of a product called Cermark. Even the 40 watt machines xan use this to mark metal. I think this sort of paint like substabce stops the laser beam reflecting off the surface and helps to mark the metal with a black colouring.

For bare metal marking you need a Yag or Fibre laser, which are much more money.

Ian

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

12-12-2016 05:47 PM
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coolice

Key Veteran

Northamptonshire, England

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My first item from the bigger machine

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

12-12-2016 05:58 PM
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Heli143

Elite Veteran

Phenix City, AL

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That is so cool

Roy Mayoral

12-12-2016 07:23 PM
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coolice

Key Veteran

Northamptonshire, England

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Thanks. In the morning I'll post a photo of some other designs I've done. The edge lit signs do look great.

Ian

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

12-12-2016 08:02 PM
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Ghostrider-rc

Heliman

BC Canada

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thanks guys for all the info !

here is what I had done at a sign place and the sort of things I want to do

12-13-2016 02:39 PM
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Heli143

Elite Veteran

Phenix City, AL

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sweet!!!

you guys are in trouble!!!!

cause my wife is going to be pissed at you for tempting me into another hobby item

Roy Mayoral

12-13-2016 05:45 PM
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coolice

Key Veteran

Northamptonshire, England

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Hey buddy.

The stags head engraving will be fine, but the deep routed pocket will not be achievable on a laser. Also as the laser burns material away, deep cuts promote more charring of the cut edges.
Do you have the whole board machined from one solid piece of wood, or do you buy the pre-machined blanks and have the deep pocketing and logo cut into it? It looks like it could even be made up of layers of wood precut to shape, difficult to tell from the photo.
If this is the case you might be able to make a template/jig/guide to use a hand router on the deeper cut outs, before or after lasering the logo.
However looking at it, I feel a cnc router might be best for you.

Ian

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

12-24-2016 03:38 PM
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coolice

Key Veteran

Northamptonshire, England

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Hey Roy.

Lol. It is a fun hobby, you can make some real nice pieces once you start to understand the way the laser works.
I've got so much to learn with my new bigger machine, but so far it's working for what I need it for mainly.

Ian

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

12-24-2016 03:40 PM
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