Hack Air Assist for Ortur Laser | Hacker Day

2021-12-08 10:45:50 By : Mr. Andrew Huang

Obtaining excellent results from a laser cutting machine requires some effort to ensure that all settings are just right. But even so, if the air between the material and the laser source is full of smoke and debris, it can interfere with the laser beam and affect the results. The solution is to add air assist to constantly clean the area.

Earlier this year, I bought an Ortur laser engraving machine/cutting machine and have been improving it to increase inventory capacity. Last month I talked about putting a board under the machine to let the laser move up and down easily. But I still don't have air support. Since then, I have found a great way to add it, which is suitable for many laser cutting machine settings.

I did not design any of these modifications, but I did change them to suit my specific situation. You can find my very simple modifications to other designs on Thingiverse. You can also find links to the original designs, and you will also need them to obtain additional parts and instructions. It's great to be able to start with talented people and build on each other's ideas.

At the end of the previous article, I had installed an air assist system but cut off its air hose because I never made time to boil some water to bend the air tube. However, it does allow me to easily move the laser head up and down, which is very useful.

This is not the first air-assisted design I have tried. If you look at Thingiverse, you will find that there are many different opinions on this. Some have 3D printing nozzles with air needles or 3D printer nozzles. Some just fan the air directly on the parts.

I found something inappropriate or ineffective. Others will interfere with the X stop or interfere with the laser's Z movement, which, of course, will not be a problem on stock machines. One of the designs has a custom top plate for the laser, it has a small hose guide, even if I did not keep that air assist item, I did not remove the custom top plate, it turned out to be lucky, because you will see of.

Since I saw [DIY3DTech's] video on how it can improve cutting, I am really interested in installing air assist devices. Before the laser arrived, I even bought a small air pump for this purpose, but due to the lack of a good way to guide the air, it was left unused most of the time.

Finally, I found [DIY3DTech's] design is very fast and easy to print. The bracket surrounds the laser head and installs a small tube holder. You can adjust the angle and wedge the 3D printer nozzle into the end of the tube. This is a simple design, but very adjustable.

Of course, there is a small problem. If your laser head does not move, there is no problem with the bracket. But if you can slide the laser up and down, the bracket needs to be cleared of the large acorn nut that secures the laser to the X bracket.

At first, I tried putting some washers to move the laser body away from the housing, but this didn't seem to be a good idea-I was worried that if there were too many washers, it might be unstable, and I had to fish some longer bolts. Instead, I performed some operations on the stent and removed the problematic part to make it shaped like a U shape with a side length of about 3 cm. Of course, the fixing screws were removed, making it difficult to hold. However, a little double-sided tape can fix it well. You can also use some hot glue.

Nylon bolts (may be shorter) fasten the black hose module to the white bracket. It can also clamp the pipe, so don't tighten it all the time, or it will clamp the airflow. The nylon nut locks it in place. Putting the nozzle in the tube is a challenge. You might heat the hose a little bit, but I didn't. I just used needle-nose pliers to stretch the tube in two directions, and then screw the nozzle into the widened tube. I did not seal it, but a drop of hot glue or silicone might be a good idea.

The only other part of the air assist is not absolutely necessary. I have a top plate from another air assist attempt that is still mounted on the laser, and it has a small feed tube that fits the air hose of this design, so I kept it. It can arrange the hoses neatly. If you want to prevent the hoses from flying around, you can also bundle the hoses with the rest of the wires.

Is it effective? Indeed! Cutting thin plywood now only requires a few passes, and it seems that the cut is cleaner. The attached picture shows a small test piece on 2 mm plywood. Using the laser twice to cut the contour perfectly, and-looking up close-it seems that I can even reduce the engraving power. But it's good if you don't zoom in.

By the way, these cuts are made using what Ortur calls a 15 W laser and a standard lens. But remember, the 15W number is the input power. The actual output power may only be north of 4W.

Another side effect of the air blowing from the right? You can now see all the smoke hanging on the left side of the machine.

Speaking of smoke, you do need ventilation. This is one thing I haven't done yet. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do. A hood or a housing with an exhaust device looks ideal, but it is cumbersome to install. Now, I have an open window and the double window fan is set to blow out.

The wood doesn't smell bad, but the leather smells bad. I also understand that some glue on the plywood and some tanning chemicals in the leather can produce very annoying fumes, so this is a disadvantage of these machines. If you think the printed ABS has a peculiar smell, you will not like the open laser cutting machine very much.

However, for now, I am very satisfied with the results that this modest machine can provide. If you really need a laser cutting machine for commercial purposes, you might look elsewhere. However, if you want to spend approximately the cost of a 3D printer and add a lot of features to your studio, then you might do worse than these cheap engravers.

It seems that 5.5W is basically the power that all these solid-state laser cutting machines can swing.

Does anyone know something close to 10W without consuming carbon dioxide?

You won’t like this price, but George from Endurance Laser has a 10w+ model, which he verified with a power meter

As I look around, single diode lasers seem to have no meaning for high continuous output. It seems that CO2 is still the only reasonable choice for power output and can also work at better wavelengths for most of these tasks.

Higher, you will have to combine/align the beams, which may not be worth the trouble. High-power blues are interesting b/c. They are cheap and easy to use.

I can barely burn through 4mm plywood with a "7 W" laser (2.5 W in fact) with proper air and a lot of time, but it is very dark, slow, and unpleasant. If the inner layer has a knot or something, it will also fail.

If I take laser cutting seriously, I will get K40 CO2. However, for marking and just playing, the blues are cheap and low investment.

It seems a good solution (high price) is a fiber laser on the body of the 3D printer. That might be able to cut metal.

I have always been curious about these guys: https://www.banggood.com/NEJE-40W-Laser-Module-11Pcs-or-Set-NEJE-Laser-Module-2-In-1-Adjustable-Variable-Focus- Lens-and-Fixed-Focal-Modified-Laser-Air-Assist-For-Laser-Engraver-Machine-Laser-Cutter-3D-Printer-CNC-Millling-Banggood-Banggood-World-Exclusive-Premiere-p-1785694. html?cur_warehouse=CN

It seems, unsurprisingly, that 40W is "marketing", but I found another link that looks like the same thing and they claim 15W optics. That's it.

https://neje.shop/products/40w-laser-module-laser-head-for-cnc-laser-cutter-engraver-woodworking-machine

In the video, they showed that it consists of two independent laser diodes and a beam combiner.

Yes, I know marketing strategy very well, but I am curious about its actual effect. Even if it gets at least 10w+ from the 15 cited, it may be much better than the many cheaper options out there. Interested to see how effective the beams combine them.

The effective output of about 7W is the maximum output that can be obtained without being overdriven or pulsed (the average is still about 7W) using blue diodes. This will only change when the diode manufacturer produces a higher power version.

More powerful laser diodes exist, but they are more costly and are usually in the near-infrared range used to pump fiber lasers.

Honestly I will get a cardboard box with a fan + exhaust pipe, then cut out a window and install a piece of acrylic resin in the right place. Cheap and simple, you have time to build a complete shell with 2x2s and acrylic.

I think "If you think 3D printed ABS smells bad, you won't like laser cutting" (paraphrase) is a very concise summary. (Even a decent exhaust system can only do so much)

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