Even more things you shouldn’t do.

If you are working with your laser engraver/cutter and suddenly hear a loud BANG!, altough the machine might still be lasing, stop it!

I didn’t inspect my machine thoroughly enough, and a few days later, while working, I notticed an extreme reduction in performance. To my surprise, the primary reflection lens was cracked, and at full power, a spot in the glass was glowing red! I stopped the machine immediately, but learned that loud bangs, always mean something is broken, no matter what.

The fun side? I managed to get the machine working with half a mirror. It has enough area to reflect the whole laser beam, so the machine is working perfectly. (replacements already ordered)

Lente

Also, for those wanting to know some cutting settings for that type of machine:

3mm Acrylic: 8mm/s (15mA)

5mm Acrylic: 3mm/s (15mA)

3mm Laser grade PLYWOOD: 10mm/s (15mA)

6mm Laser grade PLYWOOD:2mm/s (15mA, Air assist)

3mm MDF: 10mm/s (15mA)

Engraving BALSA: 30cm/s (4,75mA)

Oh, by the way, this is a second degree burn on my finger, for inadvertently putting it in the middle of the beam while aligning the mirrors.

Yes, my bad, altough I try my best to observe protocols, I was careless because I was more concentrated on trying to use the half mirror and get the machine going while waiting for new mirrors. As they say, never again.

Also, KEEP IN MIND, this was with an unfocused beam, I suppose that the focused one could have perforated the whole finger, or at least, penetrate well to the bone.

Finger

Interestingly, the next finger (the one not shown) had a similar accident with a lathe. I lost just a tiiiiny bit of flesh on a knuckle, wich could have been muuuuuuch worse, believe me, lathe accidents almost always end in some form of amputation, if not death. Lesson learned. So, this laser one should work the same way, I hope. ^_^U

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2 responses to “Even more things you shouldn’t do.

  1. Hey, glad to find your site. I have one of these laser and started to put a cheat-sheet together for the settings. So far, my settings are very close to yours.

    Roughly ow many hours do you have on your machine at 15mA? I’m trying to figure out a tube’s lifespan with cutting.

    • I haven’t calculated how much time the laser tube already has, maybe 200 hundred hours. It already has shown signs of age, if the coolant gets slightly warm, it looses about 1mA per hour of continuous cut (wich, by the way, is an ENORMOUS amount of cutting time, so I’m not worried yet about underperformance of the laser. I found that out, while doing gift keychains for Eurosteamcon 2013, with a hot day, and long hours of cutting.

      I’ve also changed the controller for a TBA6560, wich works, but it’s not a very good solution. It makes for an easier life with a better software, but underperforms in some areas, like engraving (max speed is now 16cm/s whereas before it was 30cm/s)<

      Still, worth it. I've been busy working with the laser doing cosplays and other things (take a look at the link if you want to see what I'm on) but I should finish it soon, and publish a nice post about it, enumerating all the changes and other things I've done to it.

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