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Question #: 13759

Question: Can a CO2 CNC laser machine be used for welding of thermoplastic materials?

Current Solution

That is a good question. We have not tried to weld thermoplastics using our CO2 Lasers. It is possible since the laser outputs a heat source and at the right intensity and speed, the thermoplastic can be heated and melted rather than instantaneously vaporized and off gassed. I have done research to see if CO2 laser can weld thermoplastics with positive results.

Our CO2 lasers are typical of other laser cutters on the market, so if their literature, or examples you have found, successfully weld thermoplastics, then ours will probably be able to as well.

In some cutting test with different speeds and intensities, the kerf has welded back together; however, this was caused by an unintentional process rather than an intentional one.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

    That is a good question. We have not tried to weld thermoplastics using our CO2 Lasers. It is possible since the laser outputs a heat source and at the right intensity and speed, the thermoplastic can be heated and melted rather than instantaneously vaporized and off gassed. I have done research to see if CO2 laser can weld thermoplastics with positive results.

    Our CO2 lasers are typical of other laser cutters on the market, so if their literature, or examples you have found, successfully weld thermoplastics, then ours will probably be able to as well.

    In some cutting test with different speeds and intensities, the kerf has welded back together; however, this was caused by an unintentional process rather than an intentional one.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

  • Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

    That is a good question. We have not tried to weld thermoplastics using our CO2 Lasers. It is possible since the laser outputs a heat source and at the right intensity and speed, the thermoplastic can be heated and melted rather than instantaneously vaporized and off gassed. I have done research to see if CO2 laser can weld thermoplastics with positive results.

    Our CO2 lasers are typical of other laser cutters on the market, so if their literature, or examples you have found, successfully weld thermoplastics, then ours will probably be able to as well.

    In some cutting test with different speeds and intensities, the kerf has welded back together; however, this was caused by an unintentional process rather than an intentional one.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

  • Can anti-freeze be used as a coolant for your 40W laser tube? I live where winter temperatures are below freezing and my CNC machine is in my unheated garage.

    Using Anti-Freeze in the cooling system with either our spindle or our laser tubes will not have any problems and we recommend using a small amount in locations where temperature is freezing or below.
    Although we do not recommend using an entire gallon of anti-freeze rather just a small quantity with tap water will be sufficient.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    All last winter, the temperature was below freezing and sometimes below zero. I used 100% antifreeze for the spindle coolant. Worked great !! All the spindle needs is any type of coolant flowing through it to take the heat away. I use three gallons of antifreeze in a tub with a fish-tank pump to push the antifreeze through. 100% antifreeze works great in cold or hot winter.

    Additional Information:
    Excellent tip. Thank you for this correction. So it is OK to use antifreeze solely as a cooling method.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can anti-freeze be used as a coolant for your 40W laser tube? I live where winter temperatures are below freezing and my CNC machine is in my unheated garage.

  • WHAT MATERIALS CAN THE GREENBULL MACHINE CUT? LASER ETCH?

    The Greenbull machine can cut a very wide variety of materials ranging from foam to aluminum. We recommend the use of our 2.2kW spindle to allow the greatest flexibility. Aside from that, the most important thing is to use an appropriate end mill for the material you are cutting and to use appropriate speeds and feed rates.



    BYCNC Response:
    Our 40W laser can cut up to about 1/4" materials ranging from wood and acrylic down through lighter materials such as leather, fabric, foam, etc. Speed and final cut are greatly enhanced by an air assist upgrade. We also offer an 80W laser which has approximately twice the capabilities of the 40W.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT MATERIALS CAN THE GREENBULL MACHINE CUT? LASER ETCH?

  • WHAT KIND OF MATERIALS CAN MACHINE?

    There are almost no limits to the kind of materials you can machine. Anything from wood or plastic to exotic materials like stainless steel can be cut as long as the part can be safely and firmly held and the proper cutting tool and cutting speed are used

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT KIND OF MATERIALS CAN MACHINE?

  • I HAVE A SIGN SHOP AND WE NEED CUT ALUMINUM, PLEXIGASS, FOAM AND OTHER MATERIALS FOR SIGNS. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT MACHINE WE NEED? I LOOKING 4'X8' OR 5' X 10'

    The overall size of the machine, really depends on both the area available to you and also the overall size of material being used. Now our larger machines (blackFoot, greenBull, greenLean) can cut all the materials mentioned above, and if equipped with our 2.2kW spindle you will be accurate up to ten thousandths of an inch.
    Our greenBull machine does have an option for a long-z axis, that was especially designed to cut foam, but depending on the overall size it might not be a requirement for the specified request.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I HAVE A SIGN SHOP AND WE NEED CUT ALUMINUM, PLEXIGASS, FOAM AND OTHER MATERIALS FOR SIGNS. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT MACHINE WE NEED? I LOOKING 4'X8' OR 5' X 10'

  • I have the build your own CNC kit 3 Axis CNC Machine 2008, were can I get the Gcode or vector files for it ? I wanted to have it laser cut

    Gcode or digital files are not available for our machines.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have the build your own CNC kit 3 Axis CNC Machine 2008, were can I get the Gcode or vector files for it ? I wanted to have it laser cut

  • Can you supply an electronics package for a dual x-axis CNC machine (X, Y, Z)

    Yes, we have a 4 axis combo kit available under Motion Electronics.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can you supply an electronics package for a dual x-axis CNC machine (X, Y, Z)

  • How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

    It will depend on how you configure the machine to use the Laser and plasma. Is the laser on a separate gantry? That will determine the way you will connect the laser control system or if you use a typical CNC controller. The plasma will need inputs of THC on, THC up, THC down and outputs to trigger the plasma torch. I recommend the Pokeys57CNC for the plasma and you can also fire the laser with it, but you will not be able to do engraving with the laser unless you use a laser controller. If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using, or if you have the laser on a separate gantry, you can use a traditional laser controller connected to the stepper motor drivers on that gantry.

    Users response:
    I was planing on using same gantry, and installing plasma and laser module on z axis along the side with current router. Perhaps if it’s needed installing another z axis on current z axis. So that when I use plasma, router z will be homed and plasma z axis will be able to utilize thc.

    When you say “If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using,”
    If i install laser controller, pokeys and router motion card, do you mean all ( axis and router/laser/plasma) signals or just the one that controls router/laser/plasma?
    I was wondering if I could jump (parallel connect) axis signals from card to card without ?
    Also do you prefer ethernet card or usb?
    I really do appreciate your help :) thanx again.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    Not a problem at all.

    Remember that with all of that weight on the z-axis, you will not be able to do efficient raster style engraving.

    By putting the laser on another gantry, say at the far end of the table, then you would be able to use a laser controller that controls its own stepper motors and the nozzle can have fast swing motion for engraving. With the laser on the z-axis of the spindle (like see on the greenBull), you will only be able to do vector motions for the laser.

    You can also have a CNC interface and laser controller controlling the same stepper motor drivers, but you will need a few tri-state buffer chips where you can use a toggle switch for which controller has control of the drivers.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

  • ok I Build my CNC machine table and now need a complete set for motor and software how you can help me

    Yes, I will need to know more specifics of the machine so I can recommend the correct electronics.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    ok I Build my CNC machine table and now need a complete set for motor and software how you can help me

  • What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

    The largest CNC machine we make at this time (12/04/2015) is the GreenBull 6'x12' model. This model has 2 options for Z-axis travel.

    The short-z option has a total Z travel of 5.75 inches. From that you would subtract the length of the end mill used and the thickness of the spoil board to determine the maximum material thickness. (Example: If the end mill extends 1.25" from the collet and the spoil board is .75", then the material could be up to 5.75 - 1.25 - 0.75 = 3.75 inches in thickness). This is good for most sheet-type materials.

    The long-z option, used mainly for large 3D carvings, requires a custom frame and allows for up to 36" of travel.

    The tolerance of our machines, like any machine, depends on several variables. The major variables include the manufacturing tolerance, the type of machine control used, the precision of assembly, the thoroughness of maintenance, and the initial and ongoing calibration of the machine. Because we sell kits only most of these variables are outside our control. Therefore, we are hesitant to guarantee a certain level of tolerance for an end user. However, in our experience, tolerances of .001" are readily achievable with our machines.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

  • I have been asked to provide an exhaust for the Blacktooth Laser Cutter CO2 40W. I see no specifications or guidelines for exhausting fumes from the machine. Can someone help me?

    Exhausting the blackTooth laser cutter is a very important consideration and should be taken seriously, especially if you are cutting materials that give off toxic fumes when the material is burned. You will want a 4 inch hose to connect from the blackTooth to a blower, and another 4 inch hose to connect from the blower to the outside. The blower should be sufficient to provide completely negative pressure within the laser enclosure so there will be no escape of gasses.

    The connections at the machine, at the blower and at the location the hose exhausts outside should be thoroughly checked for leaks. Use a gasket, or silicone. Once complete, try cutting a non-toxic material that will give off an odor (wood, or non-toxic plastic) and try the system and determine if the smell is present.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have been asked to provide an exhaust for the Blacktooth Laser Cutter CO2 40W. I see no specifications or guidelines for exhausting fumes from the machine. Can someone help me?

  • Would you be able to provide .DWG/.DXF files instead of .NC files for the CNC Routing Machine Kit Version 1.3 please?

    These files are no longer available. We suggest purchasing a kit, like the blackToe, or blackFoot as these kits are far more rigid and perform much better.

    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/blackToe2x4v40.aspx

    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Item/cnc-machine-blackFoot-v4

    Additional Information:
    20

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Would you be able to provide .DWG/.DXF files instead of .NC files for the CNC Routing Machine Kit Version 1.3 please?

  • can you supply a new board and a better software program for a CO2 laser cutter and engraver

    If you need a new laser controller for CO2, we can definitely supply one.

    This is the laser controller that we sell: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Laser-Component-Laser-Control-System

    The laser controller works with a program called LaserCAD and is compatible with most typical file types.

    The laser controller will work with any laser tube and laser tube power supply that requires 5V digital signals and PWM.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    can you supply a new board and a better software program for a CO2 laser cutter and engraver

  • Do you have a laser kit that can be fitted onto another brand CNC router?

    We don't have a laser kit to retrofit another CNC router other than ours, but we can create one. Some things that may help:

    - You are located close to use so we can work closely with you to implement to retrofit,
    - or you can provide very detailed drawings or measurements so we can use them to create the necessary parts for the kit.

    Other things that you need to understand:

    - A laser has a number of parts that will bulk up the head of the CNC router causing a bit more inertia which may require lowering the acceleration for smooth ramping up and down of the velocity

    - The bulk of the parts required for the laser may restrict the travel of the x and/or y axes.

    - The nozzle of the laser will be offset from the end mill of the spindle.

    Can you tell me the brand of the CNC router that you would like to stick a laser on? (you can answer by submitting additional information.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Do you have a laser kit that can be fitted onto another brand CNC router?

  • CAN I GET DXF FILES FOR THE UPDATED PARTS OF MY MACHINE?

    Yes, the customer will need to sign our NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) form and send it back to us. We will then send the dxf of the specific updated part of the machine.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    CAN I GET DXF FILES FOR THE UPDATED PARTS OF MY MACHINE?

  • in your book - Build you own CNC Machine. Can I use 9/32" thick bearing instead of 1/4" thick?

    As long as the bearing has a minimum thickness of 1/4" and 9/32" is a bit thicker, there will be no problem with the book build using the bearing that is 1/32" thicker. There is actually more surface area which is better.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    in your book - Build you own CNC Machine. Can I use 9/32" thick bearing instead of 1/4" thick?

  • Can the Planet CNC USB controller be used with a laser engraver/cutter? Can the build your own CNC based on the Planet CNC USB controller accept a Laser head instead of a router?

    The PlanetCNC USB software, like most machine control software, can be used to control a laser engraver/cutter. The typical modification is to use the Z axis down signal to fire the laser, analogous to an endmill cutting into the workpiece from an initial position above it.

    For the second question, it is important to note that BYCNC machines are not based on PlanetCNC software, or any other particular machine control system. The machines themselves will accept standard signals from a wide variety of machine control systems, not just PlanetCNC or Mach3. This allows maximum flexibility for the customer to choose their own preferred software for this part of the toolchain.

    That said, our machines will accept a laser head either in lieu of or in addition to a spindle. Here is an example of a combination spindle/laser mount for our greenBull machine: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head. We have all the parts you would need to add laser functionality to your machine here: https://buildyourcnc.com/LaserComponents.aspx, if you feel comfortable assembling your own package. Also, feel free to contact our sales department for a quote if you need a custom assembly.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can the Planet CNC USB controller be used with a laser engraver/cutter? Can the build your own CNC based on the Planet CNC USB controller accept a Laser head instead of a router?

  • MY LASER MACHINE VERTICAL DOES NOT ACTIVATE THE LASER TUBE, VERIFY THE POWER SUPPLIES AND THEY ARE WORKING WHICH THE PROBLEM CAN BE

    Same issue here -- TTL output from the AWC708C never seems to be pulled low. Still troubleshooting.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    MY LASER MACHINE VERTICAL DOES NOT ACTIVATE THE LASER TUBE, VERIFY THE POWER SUPPLIES AND THEY ARE WORKING WHICH THE PROBLEM CAN BE

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