K40 Lasers and all

hi all…

Curious, who on here has dabbled in the world of lasers… aka the K40 range… just affordable… but honestly prob want the K50, not affordable… so reality, do I need more than a K40… and the what upgrades to add day 1… controller board upgrade to use Lightburn, air nozzle. move light, mess printing base. etc.

G

I have a Diode laser and not a CO2 one which is much more affordable and has come a long way. I would say that it depends on what you want to do which one you want to look at and what upgrades.

What ever you do, do get Lightburn. It’s fantastic and for $60 you can’t go wrong. I still need to add a webcam to my setup and then you can orient your origin (if you need to move your piece) using the camera with the Lightburn software.

For diode lasers this wiki is very helpful https://diode-laser-wiki.com/

For my Sculpfun S10 I have the following extras:

  • Ligghtburn software
  • Air pump
  • Honeycomb platform
  • extention kit
  • Rotary roller
  • Limit switches

One thing I still need to build is an enclosure for it with extraction (but I think K40/K50 range does have that already)

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I"m going to respond from the tail end… interesting that you say you need to build a box… I found a 60W laser at less than the K40… and was wondering about the assemble/build self.
Thanks for the upgrade bits…
I happen to have a compressor, so easy to plug it into the laser and just set the pressure very low.
With the K40 I will need to upgrade the main board as the standard board it ships with does not support off board control as needed by Ligghtburn.
What does the Rotary rollers do ?
The Honeycomb base, where you get it?
thanks
G

PS: family will prob have me cut thin ply, me need is acrylic… mostly.

but damm if it was strong enough for metal… always wonder how long the home user might need to wait for these higher end capabilities to drop in price.

G

My 10W diode laser can engrave stainless steel, but not cut it. For acrylic it can easily cut 6mm in 2 passes and cut ply/pine 15mm in 2 to 4 passes. Check the bottom of the Settings page on that wiki to see what each powered doide does.

Mine came in a kit and it was assembled and working in less then 30min. It took longer to set up in LaserGRBL before I decided to buy Lightburn that does most of it for you. So that was a lightbulb moment. Save yourself the trouble and time and just buy Lightburn from the start.

Lightburn can output the GRBL file that you can use in any offline system as well. You still get all the easy control of creating the models you want to engrave or cut. But if you want to link it and use all the extra nice stuff like the auto setup and camera then you need to upgrade that. If you want to do it cheaply look at the Makerbase ESP32 WiFi GBRL Controller at Micro Robotics (R310) which is basically the same board by S10 use (ESP32 based). It has a 3.5" touch screen also, but I see that is not currently in stock. Just check that the stepper motors for the axis can be controlled, but the board has a few options for that.

The case/box is just to remove the smoke and smell. Also the laser reflects on any surface, so with an enclosure you don’t have to worry about any laser light getting into your eyes. You also want to be around while the laser is cutting to check for any fires (it does burn the material to cut it) and with a box you don’t have to sit with those safety glasses on while it works.

Honeycomb is on the Sculpfun website under Accessories, and also on BangGood.com they have a few other brands as well.

The rotary roller is for engraving cylinders. Mugs, thermos, wineglass, stick, pipe, etc. Instead of the laser moving in the Y axiz the item is rolled instead and you end up engraving round the curve of the item. You don’t need it if you are just going to cut flat boards.

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curious, is there some forum or discord group used by local guys, yes thee are many international, but their ability to get things very different from ours.

G

That I do not know any local. Share if you find anything useful.

I can tell you that the local plywood that you want to use for projects would be called Marine Ply or External Ply. External ply has different grades B/B or B/C (sometimes with a +) where the B is the good side (so B/B has 2 good sides with no knots) and a B/C has one side without knots and another with knots. Both use a waterproof glue that is good for external use as well. Anything C is for construction and D won’t work with laser work. MDF is nasty, but it can be cut and works best on thinner boards (hardboard). You should be able to get these from your local board supplier or hardware shop.

For acrylics the local brands to look for is Plexiglass or Perspex.
Local companies are Maizey and Duroplastics
Stay away from anything with a “Poly” in it’s name, or a “P” in the acronym, or a “Foam”. These produce harmful chorine gas when cut by lasers. (PVC, Foamalite, Vinyl, Polythylene, PET, styrofoam etc.)

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looking to use the laser to cut the acrylic for a sim setup, instrument panels, so we’re talking 3 layers of acrylic, glued together in the end.

The plywood, thats me being cheap in the family… :wink:

G