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Billy Hell

40W Chinese Laser - Engrave and Cut Leather - Discuss

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Funny that this popped up today in my feed as I missed it when it was posted. I happen to be purchasing a laser engraver today. It's going to cost a wee bit more than that setup but i'm anxious (and a bit nervous) to see what I can do with it. My intentions were it to serve as a "ghost employee". Loading projects up, hitting send to printer and me going back to doing leather work while it's engraving something else. I have a spot picked out and all but a vent cut to exhaust the fumes. Please take ventilation into consideration if you end up engraving any plastics or metals. Leather stinks when it's burnt, but all the other stuff emits nasty stuff when engraved. Best of luck!

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I used to work for a small Norwegian company that built and sold laser machines. We also did laser shows on advents/ big music advents etc. That time we used mostly tube lasers for big events, they needed a lot of power and water. The modern YAG (diode) lasers was still not powerful enough. These cutting Co2 lasers are puls lasers and that's what's make them that powerful. But I remember we had a 40 watt argon (tube) green laser that burned true a plaster wall on a steady beam. I know these tubes have a limited burning time and if the water supply fail you have big trouble. However, it's funny how cheap they have become. I think you should be careful about moving these around until they are cooled all the way down (if thats neccessary for one reason or another). That time there was only one computer program for lasers avaiable. That was made for Windows and we used windows bitmap pics on graphics, logo projection etc.  Good ventilation and steady water supply is neccessary of course, always use safety glasses. I does not matter how many mirrors the beam is reflected true, it still travels to the "moon" and burn your eyes. I remember we had to alert and have permission from air traffic control for outside events. Remeber, it's serious power. I look forwards to hear more about how these inexpensive units works out. Good luck

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If its a diode laser, then in terms of operation it is completely self contained. I think 40 watts will be plenty for leather, especially if its being operated in pulsed mode.  Pulse mode is generally better for cutting, as the surroundings material does not get heated up so much.. .if at all and so the cut is cleaner.  If you want more intensity, simply change the last mirror to focus the spot smaller...  However, I do not believe that will be neccessary.. 40 watts is a lot, if one considers that a laser pen is 5 mWatts, at most.

I don't know what the wavelength is, but if its near IR, then be careful as it will appear weak to the eye so your reflex blink action will not occur and the relaxed eye will focus the laser on the the back of the eye...

 

However, i don't think you will be tinkering in that way

Am interested to see your tests...

Alex

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Well it looks very self contained... I think you have nothing to worry about....

You have plenty of power for leather...  i could not see a repetition rate... If there is and its adjustable, you can vary this to find the best for cutting the leather..  I could not determine if its CW or pulsed... But its late here and I am a little tired..

 

Its a good price too...  When you think what other leather equipment costs its not a bad investment.

Cheers

Alex

 

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Electrathon any chances of getting closer to a test fire?  Not trying to be a pain in the arse I am comtemplating pulling the trigger on one myself but would like to know what your results are like. 

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Sorry not yet.  I have been buried at work and helping a couple friends on their houses.  I need to get the exhaust ducted out and then will see how it works.  I hope soon.

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I'll be keeping an eye out thanks

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I watched a friend using his laser on some leather  recently. I think his machine is 100 watt max, 500mm X 600mm bed.

It punched through 4.8mm vegtan easily at around 50% power and fairly quick speed, but it would not go through 4mm chrome tan at 80% power and slow speed.

When it did cut partially through the chrome tan, it was fairly badly scorched along the top edge.

He is currently working on some 3mm Perspex belt templates for me. The test cuts he did on 3mm Perspex, were excellent. 

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dampening the leather can help with the scorching  Two fast passes can be better than one slow pass too.

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44 minutes ago, electrathon said:

dampening the leather can help with the scorching  Two fast passes can be better than one slow pass too.

Agree, from what I've read, this is the best way to get a better edge.    My little 5w laser is at its best run fast, and multiple passes.    

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Electrathon, nuther question while yer getten yer machine set up,  sis you check to see what the size of the laser bulb that came with?  Was it a 30 watt bulb or was it truly a 40 watt as advertised.  to some people it might not matter as they planned on upgrading as soon as it arrives or shortly there after. I been here chewing my nails down to the nubs waiting for you report.

thanks

Ron 

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On ‎21‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 11:50 AM, Rockoboy said:

I watched a friend using his laser on some leather  recently. I think his machine is 100 watt max, 500mm X 600mm bed.

His laser is actually an 80watt machine. The 100watt beast was an extra $1000, on top of the $3400 he was quoted for the machine he bought! Then there was another $800+ for the professional chiller unit, plus ducting to vent any fumes ...

It does a great job within its scope of capabilities.

 

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I stumbled on a guy, he has utube videos up of using a laser cutter, stitch dex holsters, and he did a complete build showing the use of laser cutter.  The unit he showed is bigger then the 40 watt but not sure how big, but it did a nice job of cutting the leather pattern and doing some engraving work on the laser.

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Links?

 

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yes, thanks for adding the link I am not good at doing that.

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Any updates to this adventure in laser cutting and engraving? I've been on the edge of my seat waiting to see something happen!

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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I bought what is known as a k40 laser cutter, it is one of the basic lasers that come out of china.  I had done some preliminary research on the machine prior to buying the machine and then understood based on everything I read that there was going to need upgrades to have it function like it should.  A lot of the machines leave China with less than the advertised ability in terms of the laser tube having less power, or bad wiring, and or a host of other problems like cheap mirrors, cheap lens and so on.  In addition for the most part they come with proprietary software and dongles to run the machine.  So after some or all of the needed upgrades you will be in to the machine for over a grand to get it to do what you want.  There will be people that would probably disagree with my assessment and others that will agree, if you go to google and search for K40 laser owners group you will find like here that there are owners from all over the world that have these, and some of those people have written other software to run the machine but it is a crap shoot if they will work, I tried one and it became a nigh mare.  There are also people that sell boards and software that will not have a need for the dongle and proprietary software, again one of the expenses to upgrade.

there is a machine that was announced sometime in the last year or so that people had the opportunity to be on the ground floor and pay for the development of the machine, sorry but I don't recall the name for it, but the features that it has to offer put the K40 and like machine to shame, it will have the ability to scan a hand drawn image convert to the language that drives the machine and the cut it or engrave it on the substrate of your choice.  I understand that Dremel is going to be coming out that some think will eat the above machines lunch!  I would recommend you do the research and decide based on your budget and your knowledge to work with the likes of Corel Draw, Ink scape or the like to create the items you wish to create, now also keep this is mind, there will be no doubt someone to come along and say I am full of crap and their machine worked right out of the box.

Do your do diligence and home work before you buy caveat emptor!   

I hope that you were able to be out of harms way in the fires and all of your family and friends are safe. 

Edited by OLDNSLOW
added info

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Thanks for the lesson. 

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Thank you @OLDNSLOW, Ive been on the fence and now I can go to another site for some info:smashcomp:

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your welcome I hope what I had to offer was of some use or help in making a right decision.

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