Newly purchased 2.x machine

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Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby scrappyjedi » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:17 pm

Hi, everyone! I'm brand new here and wanted to introduce myself. My name is Melissa, and I purchased Bill Meade's (whmeade10 - you can see his build log here http://buildlog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2072&p=19452#p19452) 2.x machine last Monday. My husband was going to build one for me, but when he was on the forum about 10 days ago looking for parts kits to buy he noticed Bill's for sale post. We feel pretty lucky to have been able to obtain a great machine so easily!

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DSC_9613.jpg by scrappyJedi, on Flickr

I work full time (I'm a software engineer) and my husband is in grad school, so we've only had limited time in the evenings to get it set up. We added casters to the cart that the machine came with, and I cloned the included computer to a virtual machine to run in VMWare Fusion on my Macs so I can also work from my desk or laptop. Yesterday Darren ghetto'd up a ventilation system for me outside of our dining room window- it's temporary since the machine will likely live in my home office after I do some rearranging there.

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DSC_9615.jpg by scrappyJedi, on Flickr

I'll mostly be cutting 1/16" birch plywood and 7.5 and 10 mil mylar (making stencils) on it. I'm really pleased with how my first few cuts went considering that I only had a few minutes to play with it, and now it's going to just be a matter of trying to tweak the settings to keep the plastic from getting too melty and minimize the scorching on the wood. (The photo below shows 1/8" birch plywood- my order of 1/16" hasn't come in yet).

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DSC_9623.jpg by scrappyJedi, on Flickr

Thank you, Bill, for the opportunity to purchase your 2.x! And I'll be posting back here from time to time as I figure out settings. :)
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Re: Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby whmeade10 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:27 am

Looks good guys. Looking forward to seeing all the things you make. :D

Bill
FSE 45w Deluxe CO2 Laser 5th Gen w/X7 DSP | CorelDRAW X7
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Re: Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby BenJackson » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:37 am

Those cuts look very similar to my first cuts in plywood. If the setup can do PPI (pulsed cutting) you should definitely try about 500 PPI for cutting plywood. It won't reduce the capability (or even speed) much but it will change your edges from blackened to golden brown and it will leave much less surface residue.
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Re: Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby scrappyjedi » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:41 pm

Thanks much for the input, Ben! I apologize for the delay in replying. We've been on vacation, meaning I was AFL (Away From Laser) for two weeks.

The machine is capable of PPI and uses the DSP controller from LightObject. I was already cutting at 100/200 PPI and still getting those same results, so I tried a different type of wood, and I think I identified my problem- the birch. Apparently birch has a much higher oil content than other woods and is more prone to this type of scorching. When I tried the exact same settings for two other woods, the edges were gorgeous.

Some photo examples:

1/8" Birch Plywood from Revell on the left, leaves carbon deposits on my fingers from the burned wood. 1/8" Craft Plywood from Midwest on the right, nice dark brown edges with no carbon. I don't mind the darker burned edge (I actually like it), but I absolutely can't have little bits of soot flaking off. Both were cut with Speed = 6, Power = 17, PPI = 200, in two passes.

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DSC_2492.jpg by scrappyJedi, on Flickr

The 1/8" stuff was just to play with while I waited for my order of 1/16" material to arrive. 1/16" is what I absolutely have to work with for my application, and here were my results (both cut at Speed = 6, Power = 15, PPI = 100, though I've since stepped that up to 200 to smooth out the edges, single pass).

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DSC_2496.jpg by scrappyJedi, on Flickr

The left side is 1/16" Birch Plywood from National Balsa- lots of carbon and soot. The right is a 1/16" Basswood sheet from Midwest and is my favorite cut of the whole bunch. Smooth cutting, no carbon, nice walnut brown edge. This may be the type of wood I have to go with, though I do wish it were a plywood for a little more added stability. I'd go with the craft plywood from Midwest if it came in a 1/16" thickness, but 1/8" is as thin as that stuff gets.

I'll be cutting small decorative wood pieces for a couple of craft companies (examples with the 1/16" basswood below), which is why I can't have the pieces leaving black marks on anything and everything they touch.

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DSC_2483.jpg by scrappyJedi, on Flickr

Image
DSC_2484.jpg by scrappyJedi, on Flickr
Last edited by scrappyjedi on Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby scrappyjedi » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:42 pm

I'm also considering hooking a nitrogen tank and regulator up to the air assist to see if that cuts back on the burnt edges while cutting birch. Has anyone had any success with using a shielding gas?
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Re: Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby sports.racer » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:15 am

So did you get to try out the inert gas idea?
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Re: Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby greenvandan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:53 pm

I'm curious about the shield gas as well.
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Re: Newly purchased 2.x machine

Postby scrappyjedi » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:38 pm

Hi, guys!

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. We've been so busy and the cutter is working well for our purposes right now, so we didn't want to mess with it. It's on the list of things to do, it just hasn't bubbled up to the top yet.
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