Category Archives: Lasers

Laser Lasers

Cheap 40W Chinese Laser … quick start.

I understand these lasers come with a variety of different software packages. I bought my laser off eBay from this listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/141690337410?roken=cUgayN&soutkn=EWCTN4  there are more for the purchasing.

I was having a speed issue while raster etching.. I hadn’t really done much besides burn some lines, etc.. well I found this issue. So here is my ultra-quick start-up guide.

      1. Unpack everything outside.. its a freaking styro-mess! Bring a vacuum with a hose attachment to clean out the laser. Also.. probably a solid garbage can.
      2. Install LaserDRW from the disc.. I couldn’t use my laptop disc drive, didn’t have one on my new laptop.. had to use a full size DVDROM in my workbench PC because the disc had a label.. so it wouldn’t read correctly in very thin laptop drives.. you’ve probably seen that before; I have. After LaserDRW install CorelDraw 12… using the key they provide in the .rar file… I’m sure this is a completely legit copy………  or I hear newer CorelDraw also works, I wouldn’t know.
      3. Plug the USB key into your PC… kind of annoying who wants to rip off cheap-o software?
      4. Launch CorelLASER .. this launches CorelDraw but with a tool bar in the upper right.
      5. Draw or import something like an SVG into CorelDraw then in the upper corner open the Engraving or Cutting icon and you get a screen that looks a lot like this:
        laserdraw
      6. The “Speed” is the speed of the cut/grave.. I started cutting at 30, 150 for engrave.. they’re good places to start. The lower right arrow jog the laser … too bad the arrow buttons don’t work. Repeat is the number of passes.. I like to pass multiple times on lower power if possible .. can’t do that so well on cardboard without plenty of burning.
      7. The most important part is clicking the upper right “Properties” button and selecting the M2 board.. it had the -B selected. This was my issue. Besides that it’s pretty easy to figure out.
      8. After your first cut or really anything to toolbar goes away but you’ll find it down in the task menu, you can use it from there just fine.
      9. The only thing I’m confused on is the power. The tube is 40 watts, the power supply is 15kV.. it says up to 22mA.. doesn’t that equal >300 watts? Must be the different between input and output power? 6mA will get you through thin cardboard… it’s the recommended test current. I kind of like the manual current control.. don’t know if I’ll change that.
      10. DONT FORGET TO HOOK UP WATER. I really will need to get a flow switch. I see myself forgetting this and destroying the tube. The FS laser I used had a safety switch… they look cheap online.

 

 

Laser Lasers

YACC40WL – Cheap lasers don’t seem THAT bad.

Yet Another Cheap Chinese 40W Laser.

Okay, 366$.. how could I NOT buy this laser.. I tried to convince myself out of it… they’re in LA, it showed up in 3 days.

I had zero expectations of using the thing as-is. I got spoiled by the Full Spectrum we have in the makerspace; it’s not as fancy as an epilog but you using the print driver you can easily, in plain English, adjust power, speed, number of passes.. the vertical laser alignment.. all things I  rely on. This thing seems to require CoralDraw, launched by some wrapper of a program that adds a menu bar. The program is a plug in of sorts called  LaserDRW but it shows up as CoralLASER. I took an import of an SVG and ran a test run… it worked fine. The laser alignment took about 30 minutes.. really unpacking and all the Styrofoam all over was the only annoying part.

I ran some test fires .. everything works. If I didn’t know better I’d just leave this alone and use it as-is. Its no $3,500  Gen 5 Hobby 20×12.. but not bad. I can’t believe they can ship that much weight for $366. I think if you want an ultra cheap laser and you watch enough youtube videos this thing is a decent purchase. I am glad I had used our laser in the makerspace a couple dozen times with some obvious software; that experience gave me a lot more insight into what I should be looking for.

What will I do?! Well I bought it because I had some recent success with building X axis stepper drives… a couple hundred dollars and I think I can build a decent x-y table. I think I could probably make this into a 800mmx500mm table with easily removable sides and a bench of sorts so that I can etch long items in segments. Obviously I’d have some access control and this is clearly not safe to have open sides .. but I think with precautions I’d be fine…   will I finish this? I hope.. aren’t there already like 2000+ unfinished 40W build blogs out there?

Edit: Link to the eBay auction http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/141690337410?roken=cUgayN&soutkn=EWCTN4