About to bite the bullet

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About to bite the bullet

Postby PCModul.us » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:27 pm

Ok, i didnt do enough research when i purchased my LC from Full Spectrum and not only got the lower end 40W Deluxe but also spent way too much money for way too many headaches regarding alignment issues and such.

I wish i had found this site a year before i did, but oh well i can only fix the future eh? So im doing just that. Not to worry im highly mechanically and electrically inclined, i just want some 'fears' allayed.

My questions are this:
I have retina engrave, can/should i use it?
What parts if any can i reuse from the FS LC if any? Laser tube?
How up to date is the parts list for the 2.x and is that the one to get or should i get a previous version?
Is it still around $800+/- for everything?
Whats the cutting area again?
Water cooling how extreme? 240mm rad enough?

Ill be mostly cutting acrylic and doing some engraving, would be nice to be able to cut up to 3/8" acrylic.

TIA for any help!
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby Kellerkind » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:21 pm

What parts if any can i reuse from the FS LC if any? Laser tube?
- my suggestion would be not to reuse any parts. There are usually peoples who prefer to use of the shelf products, or who want a certified product to avoid insurance issues in a work environment. Sell Your Unit for as much Money as possible and use the cash to purchase the parts

How up to date is the parts list for the 2.x and is that the one to get or should i get a previous version?
- 2.x is the one... list is rather accurate but some stuff is optional, fire up excel, check the build logs, check the drawings and decide yourself

Is it still around $800+/- for everything?
- i calculate with like like 1,300€, but thats in europe.

What's the cutting area again?
- your choice: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12864 even though larger area leads to more alignment trouble... i heard you shouldn't go higher then 50x70 cm to avoid beam divergence and alignment problems

Water cooling how extreme? 240mm rad enough?
- not 100% sure but a lot build logs seemed to use just a 'big bucket' as a radiator
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby PCModul.us » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:19 pm

But my point is, i have a power supply and laser tube with the Retina engrave already. Thats a huge chunk of cash so if someone who has done this (and isnt speculating) can reply id appreciate it.

Thanks.
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby TLHarrell » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:27 pm

I have retina engrave, can/should i use it?
Yes, absolutely. You may have some issues with getting everything set up. Full Spectrum does not support DIY options with Retina Engrave (understandable from a support perspective) and doesn't sell the cards very often without a machine to go with them. Some of their parameters file is not easily understood. You will need to spend some time tinkering to figure it out, but it's a very good controller and software package. It's their strongest product.

What parts if any can i reuse from the FS LC if any? Laser tube?
The stepper motors are a little on the small side. Might want to upgrade those. Not sure of the motor controller itself as to what amount of power it will drive. I'd keep everything but the case, frame and other mechanical bits. The mirror mounts are decent but a little small. I'd replace the head assembly with a telescoping mount instead of a Z-table, but that's just my preference. The laser, power supply, etc are all worth keeping.

Water cooling how extreme? 240mm rad enough?
The 40w tube doesn't put out that much heat. Most people get by with the 5 gallon bucket. Full Spectrum claims to run the hobby laser units in their Las Vegas location (unconditioned space) in the summer on a water bucket with no issues. I just added temperature meters to my 4th gen hobby laser, but haven't had much time running to show any significant results. I just upgraded to a 5th gen and am in the process of selling the 4th gen (with a brand new tube).
40w Full Spectrum Engineering 5th Gen Hobby 20"x12" w/ Rotary Engraver
South San Francisco Bay Area - Sales and Support Representative for Full Spectrum Engineering
408-47-LASER - Skype: whitelightlaser-thomas - Facebook: White Light Laser
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby timogiles » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:51 pm

I agree with TLHarrell. I re-used the tube and power supply from my DC-KIII 40watt laser as well as the mirrors and coolant pump.

For cooling a 5 gallon bucket works wonders. After a 3 hour job of the laser running at near 100% I get a 25 degrees F rise in water temperature. I wouldn't use a smaller bucket though. I started with a smaller cooling bucket and found that when the tube temperature increases considerably the power output drops.
WildCircuits.com
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby PCModul.us » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:52 am

I dont plan on reusing the mirrors, or motors but want to reuse the tube and PSU. I used a single 120mm radiator with push/pull 50cfm fans cause i only had 2 gals of water in the bucket and got the heat soak issues after an hour or so of just 50% use.

Thanks for your input, i really hated this FS Laser, but i think more so due to the fed-ex guy rolling it end over end through my yard. Should have told my wife to have him load it back up and send it back without hesitation. I never could get more than 30-35% of table use out of it no matter ow much time i spent aligning it, then when winter hit, the frame got all out of whack since i had it against an outside wall and vented.

My next questions will be if anyone has used a shop vac sucking the fumes through water as a filter? Im thinking laser->hose->bucket with tube down to the bottom but holes drilled near the end->shop vac on the lid of said bucket->outside. This would force the air through the water filtering and hopefully trapping the fumes or most of them in the water with the rest getting caught in the shop vacs filter.

Thoughts, ideas?
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby Praxis » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:53 am

PCModul.us wrote:I dont plan on reusing the mirrors, or motors but want to reuse the tube and PSU. I used a single 120mm radiator with push/pull 50cfm fans cause i only had 2 gals of water in the bucket and got the heat soak issues after an hour or so of just 50% use.


Tubes and PSUs for lasers are very generic; since you're using the tube that was mated with the PSU in the first place, there shouldn't be any problems.

My next questions will be if anyone has used a shop vac sucking the fumes through water as a filter? Im thinking laser->hose->bucket with tube down to the bottom but holes drilled near the end->shop vac on the lid of said bucket->outside. This would force the air through the water filtering and hopefully trapping the fumes or most of them in the water with the rest getting caught in the shop vacs filter.

Thoughts, ideas?


I think that's an idea worth exploring. I'd use one of the shop-vacs you can mount on a 5 gallon bucket, and run a tube with a diffuser on the bottom down from the intake down to the bottom of the bucket. The key to this idea working is breaking the incoming air into as fine a curtain of bubbles as possible, so that each bubble spends as much time in contact with water as possible. If that didn't work, you could dump the water and fill the bucket with activated carbon and presto, instant carbon filter. Or you could just run the outflow out another hose and out of the house, since most shopvacs I've seen can plug a hose into either side.
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby vgordin » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:42 am

I'm curious re: the original question of cost... is it still ~$800 for the build?
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Re: About to bite the bullet

Postby PCModul.us » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:59 pm

According to the BOM yes, but i didnt see the laser tube on it this time 'round, so im not for sure.
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