K40 - 40W Laser Project **Ongoing**

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #3 by KrisS
KrisS created the topic: K40 - 40W Laser Project **Ongoing**
Hey All!

Bit the bullet and ordered a 40W "cheap" laser unit from China today. These are great starter units for getting into the world of laser cutting/engraving. Many forums and info is available on these units as they need some "tweaking" to get them up and running. Still much much cheaper than purchasing a Trotec or Epilog unit ($8000+).

I'm hoping to document my journey and hopefully end up with a great laser cutter/engraver. Of course I'll gladly share/help out any CAMS member who needs something cut along the way. ;-)

I've attached E-Bay pics of the unit I'm expecting.

Although they say 40W it's been widely shown that the Chinese sellers are not quite honest. Users have tested and the laser tube is approx. 30-35W at best.

Air Assist - Blows air across the material to prevent smoke blocking the laser beam, marking the wood, and preventing fires.

My goals once the unit arrives (5-7 Days via DHL)
1. Inspect unit for any shipping damage
2. Inspect laser tube and test fire (Quick test)
3. Re-tighten all nuts/bolts and wire connections.
4. Clean up all wiring (wire loom ect)
5. Perform laser alignment (Better alignment=better cutting power)

Future upgrades
1. New reflectors/Mirrors (Better quality=better cutting power)
2. New focus lens (Better quality=better cutting power)
3. Laser head **optional** this would replace with new head and air assist
4. New main controller board - $$$ but gives better freedom over what software can be used.

Cheers!
Kris



- Kris -
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by KrisS.

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1 year 4 months ago #4 by VinceW
VinceW replied the topic: K40 - 40W Laser Project **Ongoing**
I am so excited to watch the build!!

Although, I think it needs a rubber shark to better hold that laser tube in place.

In seriousness, is it water cooled, or just air?

-Vince-

What do you make?

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #5 by KrisS
KrisS replied the topic: K40 - 40W Laser Project **Ongoing**
Vincent,

Laser is water cooled via a pump and 5gal reservoir.

This model has a temp gauge to monitor. I want to add a water flow meter to the mix. Basically water flow needs to be on first before laser is turned on. Using a flow meter
I can add a safety switch into play.

Also looking into an aquarium chiller to help keep the water cool as it circulates through.

Cheers!


VinceW wrote: I am so excited to watch the build!!

Although, I think it needs a rubber shark to better hold that laser tube in place.

In seriousness, is it water cooled, or just air?


- Kris -
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by KrisS.

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #10 by KrisS
KrisS replied the topic: K40 - 40W Laser Project **Ongoing**
Still waiting on delivery of my K40 unit. Should be about another week.

I've been getting things ready for its arrival.
- CO2 Laser Glasses ordered (E-Bay)
- 5gal Bucket for cooling setup
- 5gal of Distilled Water
- Powerbar

Clearing a spot in the computer room on the desk. Should work ok. It's right
by a window for venting.

One of the first upgrades most do is the exhaust vent. It's a rectangular hole
at the back of the laser.



They send this ugly non-fitting suction fan which does not fit snug and it is basically useless.



So I found a better setup on Thingiverse. I'm just finishing up printing it now (4hrs x 2). It will fit better and give a better seal. I'll be adding 4" dryer tubing and an inline fan for extraction.




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Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by KrisS.

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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 3 months ago #17 by KrisS
KrisS replied the topic: K40 - 40W Laser Project **Ongoing**
Sorry for lack of updates.

Laser unit arrived from China in 1 piece. I had to help the DHL guy offload
it into my basement. Un-crated and un-packed with no major issues.

Setup was simple and straight forward. I made a window insert to vent to
the outside. Added a 5gal bucket of distilled water for laser cooling system.

First thing I turfed was the cheesy vent fan that comes with the unit. I put in
it's place the 3D printed vent module I posted above. That and new 4" inline
duct fan from the hydroponics shop to help pull the air out. It changes the air
32 times a minute in the laser compartment. Smoke/fumes smell is greatly
reduced.

Other mods included removing the key switch that I will never use and switching
the Emergency stop button onto the safety interlock loop rather than the 110v loop.

Software was a bitch to figure out at first. They shipped CorelDraw but in Chinese
so it made using it useless. Found a newer English version and that resolved that
issue.

Been busy cutting and engraving different items. Learning the in and outs and
tweaking the mirrors.

More to come!!!



- Kris -
Last Edit: 1 year 3 months ago by KrisS.

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