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Question #: 10119

Question: What is the dot resolution (size) of the BlackTooth laser?

Current Solution

The dot resolution of the blackTooth is a combination of two specifications of the machine:

- The steps/inch (or steps/mm) which is the resolution but not the dot size
- The size of the actual dot, which is not specifically related to the resolution.

The steps per or resolution can actually be a range, since the driver microstepping can be modified.

A simple formula can be used to determine the resolution:

step per inch = (motor steps * microstepping) / (travel at one turn of the motor in inches)

if microstepping is set at 16 (1/16 on the driver) and you are using a pulley that has a pitch of .08 inches and 20 teeth on the drive sprocket

= (200 steps * 16 microsteps) / (20 teeth * .08 inches)
= 3200 steps / 1.6 inches
= 2000 steps per inch

To increase the resolution, just increase the microsteps on the driver.

The actual dot size will depend on the lens you are using, the material being lased, the time period that the laser energy is applied to the material, and the focal height of the lens to the work surface material. The energy from the laser will converge to a point and create a dot on the surface (which is different than the kerf of the laser cut into the material).

The dot will appear in different sizes depending on the material because, say wood, will burn causing a dot that burns the fibers of the wood and spreads a bit. The dot lased on the surface of a plastic, say Plexiglas, the dot will be smaller because the energy is absorbed only at that point, but since Plexiglas is a thermoplastic, a bit of the energy will melt the dot edges depending on the time frame (period) that the energy is applied to the surface.

The focus of the laser energy from the lens looks like a cone converging to a point, then diverges outward after that point. Depending on the distance from the lens to the surface of the material, the dot will be bigger or smaller. You want to find focal point (where the energy is focused into a point). You can use the technique where you lay a material on a slope and lase that material along the slope to find the sweet spot (dot) and that will be your smallest dot, or kerf location. Remember that the kerf will widen or narrow within the material thickness depending on the focal length lens specification (the cone will be shorter or longer depending on the lens focal length).

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • What is the footprint size of the Blacktooth laser machine?

    The footprint of the blackTooth laser machine is:
    Length: 37"/ 939.8mm
    Width: 33"-3/4"/ 857.25mm
    Height: 11"-1/8"/ 282.575mm

    The height will change with the doors that open to retrieve your material/project the highest point will be 28"-1/4"/ 717.55mm

    Additional Information:
    what is the maximum cutting depth of the blacktooth laser on plywood

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    What is the footprint size of the Blacktooth laser machine?

  • WHAT IS D.O.F OR DEPTH OF FIELD FOR THE BLACKTOOTH LASER AND LENS?

    Depth of Field. This is how far the focal point goes before re-expanding again. With a 2" lens, you have approximately 2-3mm of DOF. This means that you'll have 2-3mm of perfectly focused laser before it starts to re-expand again. If you have a 4" lens, you will have up to 7mm of DOF.

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    WHAT IS D.O.F OR DEPTH OF FIELD FOR THE BLACKTOOTH LASER AND LENS?

  • what is the size/width of pulley and timing belt used in Blacktooth laser cutter ?

    The blackTooth uses MXL timing belt with 1/4" MXL Drive Pulley 20 teeth.

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    what is the size/width of pulley and timing belt used in Blacktooth laser cutter ?

  • WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

    A standard 40W CO2 laser will cut up to 1/4" thick of material, be it wood, acrylic, card stock, leather, fabric, foam, cork, etc. (Decent speed and final cut are heavily dependent on a strong air assist upgrade)

    Metals cannot be cut due to the power level and wavelength of the CO2 laser. But it can be marked with special solutions like Cermark or Thermark.

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

  • WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    If you take the standard parallel cable BoB (Break Out Board), then you will need control software (Mach 3 or EMC2) and CAM software to make your G-Code (such as CamBam). Personally I use CamBam and Mach 3, they work beautifully but don't expect to turn them on and know how they work out of the box. Give yourself a few weeks to get familiar with the basics. CamBam is VERY powerful software for it's price. I'm surprised how much I keep learning on what I can do with it...I highly recommend it if you want as much control as possible.

    Mach 3 + CamBam as a bundle costs $310. EMC2 will give you a free replacement for Mach 3 and is exclusively for Linux.

    If you use the USB BoB, it will cost an extra $75 + $75 for the software. This is an all-in-one package so no need for Mach 3 or CamBam.

    For etching rasters (jpeg, bmp, tiff, non-vectors, photos), I highly recommend PicEngrave. It has been a labor of love for the past 9 years and John has done a wonderful job with it. It easily compares in quality compared to software that is in the $200-$300 range. John's software runs $40 and can be found here: http://picengrave.com/ (don't let the modest website fool you, this stuff can do amazing things). DotG and the Mach3 engrave plugin are two other options and instructions can be found on Dustans page in the gallery on buildyourcnc.com website.

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    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    I would say mechanically, between the official build instructions, Warren's awesome blog (http://blacktoothlaser.blogspot.com/) and the tips in the forum, the blackTooth is a really simple build. The challenges come with electronics and software. There's a number of different ways to drive the laser and motors. A decent understanding of electronics and computers is a must.

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    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • WHAT CAN ADD TO MY BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER MEASURE THE TIME OF USE?

    Hour meter. This will tell you exactly how long your system has been 'on' giving you a more accurate bead on the length of your tubes life.

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    WHAT CAN ADD TO MY BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER MEASURE THE TIME OF USE?

  • What size and length of cable carrier suits the BlackTooth laser cutter?

    The space within the blackTooth laser cutter is so tight that a cable carrier will not fit.

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  • What solder will stick on the tungsten terminal of the laser tube in a Blacktooth kit?

    We use a standard leaded solder with flux. To help the soldering, you can add flux to the wire end and the tungsten rod. We have not tried non-leaded solder in fear that we would crack the glass with a rapid temperature rise. The leaded solder will melt at a lower temperature.

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    What solder will stick on the tungsten terminal of the laser tube in a Blacktooth kit?

  • What file types can the blackTooth Laser Cutter accept?

    LaserCAD and the Anywells Laser Controller used in our BlackTooth and Vertical Laser XL laser cutters and engravers can accept these file types:

    .nc (Gcode)
    .ai (Adobe Illustrator)
    .svg
    .pdf (Adobe Acrobat)
    .dxf (AutoCAD and Drawing Exchange)
    .plt
    .dst
    .dsb
    .uds (UD)
    .bmp (Bitmap image)
    .gif (Image)
    .jpg (Joint Photographers)
    .png

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  • what are the specs of the blacktooth laser cutter (dimensions and weight) when assembled?

    The blackTooth envelope dimensions and weight:

    - Length and width: 37" x 34"
    - The height: 11.25"
    - The weight: 70 lbs.

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  • Can we order a preassembled version of the blacktooth laser cutter and what would the lead time be.

    We do have the option of assembled blackTooth CNC.
    For further information on lead time and quote; please email (customerservice@buildyourcnc.com)

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  • What kind of cooling system should we set up for the Blacktooth laser cutter laser tube? Can tap water be used? Is water temperature critical?

    The blackTooth's 40 watt laser tube can be cooled with simple tap water. A bit of anti-freeze keeps the tap water clean and free of algae. The cooler the water, the better output you will get from the laser. A great source of information can be found here: http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3452

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  • WHAT ARE SOME USEFUL MODIFICATIONS CAN APPLY TO THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    Temperature probe monitor. Very valuable. This keeps you up to date on your coolant temperature levels.

    Voltage meter. This will tell you the exact level of voltage/power you are running telling the laser to run at instead of an arbitrary mark on a drawn wheel around your POT.

    Ammeter sensitive to 1mA. This will be sure your not over driving your tube and reducing it's life significantly.

    Hour meter. This will tell you exactly how long your system has been 'on' giving you a more accurate bead on the length of your tubes life.

    Exhaust fan upgrade. The current fan included is 100CFM. You can buy 120mm fans that push 250CFM and I have included a guide on how to go about doing this here. http://buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewto ... 8cdd1802bf

    To push the exhaust fan even further, if you have the room/power, I would highly recommend investing in a 600+ CFM "Dust Collector" system. 250CFM is still not suffice to draw all the smoke that can come off of 3mm or 1/8 MDF cutting job.

    A cutting surface. I bought myself a aluminum 'egg crate' mesh from my local HVAC company. They are used a cover for fluorescent lights and work great for low impact cutting surface. They come in 4'x8' sheets and are easily cut to fit. The other side is if you can find a steel honeycomb cutting bed to fit. These can be quite costly or fairly affordable depending where you are looking. The benefit of a steel honeycomb is you can use high power magnets to hold material down.

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  • I was wondering what the max depth is for something to go into the 40W C02 Laser cutter and engraver with blacktooth

    Hello, I was wondering if the Blactooth laser cutter can engrave in 3d, different depths in the same piece of wood?

    Additional Information:

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  • HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO BUILD THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    The blackTooth Laser cutter and Engraver can be built in a weekend. Take a look at the build instructions and try to determine if you feel you have sufficient capability to put together the laser system.

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    HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO BUILD THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO BUILD THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    The blackTooth Laser cutter and Engraver can be built in a weekend. Take a look at the build instructions and try to determine if you feel you have sufficient capability to put together the laser system.

    Click the link to respond:
    HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO BUILD THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • Do you have a laser kit that is larger than the blackTooth?

    We have one in the works. It is a 4'x8' machine that will house the 80w laser tube on the gantry. The machine is bout 2 months out as of 1/7/2014.

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    Do you have a laser kit that is larger than the blackTooth?

  • What is the largest thickness of material that the BlackTooth can accomodate

    A standard 40W CO2 laser will cut up to 1/4" thick of material, be it wood, acrylic, card stock, leather, fabric, foam, cork, etc. (Decent speed and final cut are heavily dependent on a strong air assist upgrade)

    Metals cannot be cut due to the power level and wavelength of the CO2 laser. But it can be marked with special solutions like Cermark or Thermark.

    Click the link to respond:
    What is the largest thickness of material that the BlackTooth can accomodate