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Question #: 3469

Question: For cutting with the BlackTooth, what is the best type of clear plastic/acrylic to use, and can you recommend a source?

Current Solution

The blackTooth will cut acrylic very easily. The type of acrylic (cast or extruded) is not important since the acrylic itself has 100% absorption with CO2 lasers. Any plastic retailer, even the home improvements stores will have sheets of acrylic.

Avoid using plastics that will off-gas toxic and corrosive fumes. One example is PVC which is Polyvinyl Chloride. The burning of that material will exhaust chloride into the air and combine with the hydrogen in the air causing a chemical reaction yielding hydrochloric acid which is corrosive and highly toxic to humans.

Always read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for any material that you intend to burn with the CO2 laser.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • CAN YOU RECOMMEND WHICH CNC MACHINE TO GO WITH FOR CUTTING MELAMINE AND MAKING KITCHEN DOORS FROM MDF. ALSO DO PROVIDE TRAINING ON OPERATING SETTING UP SHOP PRODUCTION USE? THANKS
  • Can you recommend which CNC machine to go with for cutting melamine and making kitchen doors from MDF. Also do you provide training on operating and setting up machine for shop production use? Thanks
  • If I build a Laser with the components on this site, can I cut the 0.1mm and 0.2mm board? Is it cut in optimal conditions, or if not what you recommend ?!

    What material is the 0.1mm and 0.2mm board?

    Additional Information:
    Steel sheet


    Additional Information:
    Steel Sheet

    Additional Information:
    Thanks for the response. CO2 lasers unfortunately cannot cut metallic materials. Metals are best cut with other types of lasers, or by using oxygen assist. The oxygen assist method is not encourages as the combination or CO2 laser and oxygen is very volatile.

    Additional Information:
    and I can not do this laser to cut the steel plate, but instead of the CO2 tube I put the oxygen tube, or do not I know ?! Do I have a chance in the products on the site to create a laser for 0.1mm and 0.2mm steel sheets?

    Additional Information:
    I can help with an answer, Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    I can help with an answer, Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    Can you help me with an answer? Thank you! **

    Click the link to respond:
    If I build a Laser with the components on this site, can I cut the 0.1mm and 0.2mm board? Is it cut in optimal conditions, or if not what you recommend ?!

  • All of the pics and videos show your cncs cutting sheet materials, I'm interested in carving 3d images in plastic and hardwood slabs up to 2" thick. What machine and software would you recommend?

    All of our CNC machines can carve at that depth without a problem and do 3d carving. Our typical application is cutting sheet materials, but a good percentage of our customers cut 3D bas reliefs or even more complex 3D objects using reference points and jigs.

    Most of our CNC machines have a Z travel of at least 6 inches for the smaller machines and 7 to 10 inches for our larger machines. The Fabricator Pro has a Z travel of 10 inches.

    Depending on your application, you will need to consider the length of the end mill (more than the deepest depth of the 3D carving) and the stock that you will be using. If the stock plus the length of the end mill exceed the clearance with the Z axis raised to the top extent, then you will need to consider the way the table/bed of the machine is formed (maybe with a depression to take advantage of the greater need for clearance).

    The greenBull has the capability of Z axis travel of up to 36 inches, but I would recommend, if milling wood, that the Z-axis not extend more than 12 inches to reduce deflection.

    Additional Information:
    Most of the CAM software on the market will have 3D profile machining operation capabilities. CAMBAM has a very nice 3D prpfiling feature. The Vectric line of software can definitely handle this as well.

    Click the link to respond:
    All of the pics and videos show your cncs cutting sheet materials, I'm interested in carving 3d images in plastic and hardwood slabs up to 2" thick. What machine and software would you recommend?

  • What is the recommended unit or brand of CPU cooling system for the 2.2 kw spindle on the Fabricator Pro machine

    There really isn't any specific brand. We purchase the components in a disparate fashion from China. I will product a video today that shows all of the components that we use and also offer the components on the website.

    From the upcoming video, you will be able to identify the parts is you feel you want to search for these components yourself.

    Click the link to respond:
    What is the recommended unit or brand of CPU cooling system for the 2.2 kw spindle on the Fabricator Pro machine

  • What length of wire do you recommend for the black toe (2'x4') between the spindle and VFD?

    The length of the cable from the VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) to the actual spindle should be about the same as the z-axis cable from the z-axis motor to the z-axis driver which is recommended at 11 feet. This is locating the VFD about at the midpoint of the machine.

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    What length of wire do you recommend for the black toe (2'x4') between the spindle and VFD?

  • Where is the best place to see projects made with BuildYourCNC CNCs? I would like to get an idea of carving capabilities and cutting Baltic Birch plywood. Thanks.

    You can always come to our offices in Katy TX. If that is not an option, we can do cut in our shop and record video for you. Specify what you would like to cut and we can consider doing this for you.

    Thanks. I've reviewed the gallery and think my question comes down to this- Can I do hardwood carving like Mike M.'s guitar display cases and cut 3/4 inch baltic birch plywood with the same machine?

    Absolutely, the cutting and machining is more a function of how the machining operations are created and specified. Baltic birch is not a tough material and you will be able to cut very aggressively with any of our machine kits.

    Click the link to respond:
    Where is the best place to see projects made with BuildYourCNC CNCs? I would like to get an idea of carving capabilities and cutting Baltic Birch plywood. Thanks.

  • Is there a recommended cooling system for purchase that can be used with your 2.2 kW water cooled spindles?

    A standard water pump like this one will work: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/pneumatic-hydraulic-water-pump-370-Gallons-Per-Hour-220v-110v

    You will also need silicone tubing at 1/4" ID and 3/8" OD to connect from the pump to the spindle: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Item/pneumatic-hydraulic-silicone-tubing

    And a bucket to hold the water.

    You may also consider CPU cooling systems which can actually be fastened to the back of the gantry. We do this for the Fabricator Pro machine. The CPU cooling I would recommend is a small pump and cylinder with a heat sink, or a small radiator.

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there a recommended cooling system for purchase that can be used with your 2.2 kW water cooled spindles?

  • Can a sample be sent and or brought to you for confirmation of the end results when cutting carpet tile and or hard surface tile?

    The blackTooth will cut acrylic very easily. The type of acrylic (cast or extruded) is not important since the acrylic itself has 100% absorption with CO2 lasers. Any plastic retailer, even the home improvements stores will have sheets of acrylic.

    Avoid using plastics that will off-gas toxic and corrosive fumes. One example is PVC which is Polyvinyl Chloride. The burning of that material will exhaust chloride into the air and combine with the hydrogen in the air causing a chemical reaction yielding hydrochloric acid which is corrosive and highly toxic to humans.

    Always read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for any material that you intend to burn with the CO2 laser.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can a sample be sent and or brought to you for confirmation of the end results when cutting carpet tile and or hard surface tile?

  • How small of end mills are commonly used for cutting balsa? What thickness of balsa can these smaller mills handle?

    The size of end mills can vary to extremely tiny to very large cutting diameters. The smaller the cutting diameters, the shorter the available cutting length due to the possibility of breakage. You will first need to determine the thickness, or depth you will need to cut and find the available cut diameters for that depth.

    To cut balsa wood, almost any standard 1 to 4 flute end mill will be fine that are intended to be used with wood. The end mill will state the materials that it can cut. Wood end mills will exhibit a flute geometry that is more stretched out to straight.

    Click the link to respond:
    How small of end mills are commonly used for cutting balsa? What thickness of balsa can these smaller mills handle?

  • Whats the maximum recommended speed to lase (engraving not cutting) a shape (say triangle) using the greenBull hybrid?

    The feedrate at which to engrave using a CO2 laser will depend on the material, depth of engraving and intensity of the laser output. For instance, if engraving plastic, you can run the machine at a very high feedrate (i.e. 100-500 ipm) and a very low intensity. In converse, anodized aluminum will require high intensity and moderate feedrate. Engraving woods will require fast or slow feedrate and high or low laser intensity depending on the result desired.

    With the greenBull, be careful with changes in direction at high feedrates as there is a very high amount of inertia with all of the components on the gantry. It is good to test raster vs. vector for some engraving patterns.

    Additional Information:
    I should have specified my exact question better. Sorry. Where you say "be careful with changes in direction at high feedrates as there is a very high amount of inertia", what is the maximum allowed acceleration (conversely deceleration) you recommend using.

    Click the link to respond:
    Whats the maximum recommended speed to lase (engraving not cutting) a shape (say triangle) using the greenBull hybrid?

  • If I am cutting 18mm MDF with 6mm cutting bit (so 6mm pass), what can be the maximum speed rate of cutting and spindle speed of router?

    The best way to determine the cutting speed is to determine this with respect to the edge quality you desire. This recommendation generally comes from the major end mill manufacturers.

    The feedrate (travel speed) should be determined by the chip load of the end mill, the number of flutes, material of the end mill (Solid Carbide, HSS - High Speed Steel, Cobalt, etc.) and the RPM of the spindle. You will need to see the manufacturer's specifications of the end mill to determine this information.

    Formula:
    Chip Load = (feed rate IPM)/(Spindle RPM x Number of Flutes)

    or

    Feed Rate IPM = Chip Load x Spindle RPM x Number of Flutes

    Once you find this information, apply this to the material at the full depth of the end mill. If you find that your edge condition is aberrant, pull back on either the speed, or the depth per pass. If the edge condition is acceptable, then push the speed higher until the edge condition starts to deteriorate in quality and then pull back to the accepted level.

    Using this method, you will be able to reduce the wear on the end mil which will be the most expensive consumable on the machine.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    If I am cutting 18mm MDF with 6mm cutting bit (so 6mm pass), what can be the maximum speed rate of cutting and spindle speed of router?

  • I need to replace the fried electronics box for my 6090 wood router. Do you offer a play and play, no wiring required, kit? If yes, how much? If no, can you recommend one?

    Yes, we offer a CNC electronics assembled package called the redFly, redLead and redSprout. If you already have a computer, I would recommend the redFly. You would still need to add connectors to the ends of your motor cable.

    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-computer-system-redFly

    Click the link to respond:
    I need to replace the fried electronics box for my 6090 wood router. Do you offer a play and play, no wiring required, kit? If yes, how much? If no, can you recommend one?

  • What power supply do you recommend for the spindle and limit switches if I buy the USB Mach3 breakout board?

    Any of the following power supplies will be fine for powering the Mach3 USB controller:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/24v

    however, the limit switches do not need high current, so the following power supply is sufficient for the task of connecting limit switches:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-power-supply-24v-1a-dc

    Click the link to respond:
    What power supply do you recommend for the spindle and limit switches if I buy the USB Mach3 breakout board?

  • Which machine would you recommend for cutting fine elastic fabrics (natural fibre and synthetic fibre)? How do the cut edge look like (brown / melted / elastic / unelastic)?

    I would recommend using the laser to cut many types of fabrics. The condition of the burned edge will depend on the material being cut. If the material is a synthetic material, it may melt and fuse, which in most cases is a good thing. Some materials, if the laser is burning on the edge for too long, then the material will start to burn and vaporize the material. Quick passes with less intensity works well with fabrics so this undesirable condition does not happen.

    Click the link to respond:
    Which machine would you recommend for cutting fine elastic fabrics (natural fibre and synthetic fibre)? How do the cut edge look like (brown / melted / elastic / unelastic)?

  • Do you offer or can recommend a place where I can buy the Drive Pulley for NEMA 43 Stepper Motor (1586 oz-in 3/4" single shaft) 5.5 Amps?

    We don't offer those drive pullies with a 3/4" bore at the moment. We can supply them if you are willing to wait. If so, what is the pulley pitch, how many teeth and the width of the belt.

    Additional Information:
    Meant to say pulleys, not pullies.

    Click the link to respond:
    Do you offer or can recommend a place where I can buy the Drive Pulley for NEMA 43 Stepper Motor (1586 oz-in 3/4" single shaft) 5.5 Amps?

  • While motor tuning what are the recommended steps per inch, velocity, and acceleration for the GreenBull CNC?

    In the customer service live, just enter "motor tuning" and it will give you a list of all the recommended or default settings for our machines. However the acceleration and velocity for the greenBull(other machines) will be an actual determination on your trials. You will want the highest possible acceleration and velocity without the motors stalling, so you can do increments of ten to be on the safe side, if it is too slow try increments of 25.

    The steps per inch is dependent on the microstepping:
    Steps/Inch for the x and y
    Steps = 200 motor steps per revolution x 16 microsteps = 3200 steps
    Inches = sprocket number of teeth x pitch of the sprocket = 14 x .25" = 3.5 inches
    steps/inch = 3200 / 3.5 = 914.28
    This is really a starting point. You will then need to use the mach3 calibration function to get the perfect steps/inch value. Use as long a measurement as possible when calibrating.

    Velocity:
    Start with a value of 1000 ipm. Increase this value with a relatively low acceleration at about 10. You will notice at a particular velocity that it will stall. This is your stall velocity. I would take the stall velocity and reduce it by about 30% to 50% which should give you a good final safe velocity.

    Acceleration:
    Once the velocity is found, raise the acceleration until it start to stall at a low velocity. Reduce the acceleration by about the same percentage to stick with a safe acceleration.

    The acceleration is mostly dependent on torque (current) and the top speed is dependent on the amount of voltage.

    Give some tests with all of the axes running at the same time. If you notice and stalling, reduce velocities and acceleration depending on when the stall happens (top end, or acceleration curve).


    X-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in
    Y-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in
    Z-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/4 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    4th axis


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    While motor tuning what are the recommended steps per inch, velocity, and acceleration for the GreenBull CNC?

  • Im having software setup problems with my backtooth (mach3) and i seem not to find a solution in the forum. what can i do?

    You can call us, send an email, or pose the specific question on this customer service live that pertains to the issue that you are having.

    Click the link to respond:
    Im having software setup problems with my backtooth (mach3) and i seem not to find a solution in the forum. what can i do?

  • Can the vertical CNC router do about what a horizontal router can, like cutting out 3/4" cabinet doors from a 4'X8' formica clad sheet? If so, how do you hold it - with Vacuum? Is a vacuum system available?

    Our hold down method is screws. For a 4'x8' 3/4" sheet, we use 6 screws around the perimeter of the sheet. This provides sufficient hold down for milling. For the vertically oriented machine, the sheet also rests on a small ledge, making it easy for the board to maintain position while fastening.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can the vertical CNC router do about what a horizontal router can, like cutting out 3/4" cabinet doors from a 4'X8' formica clad sheet? If so, how do you hold it - with Vacuum? Is a vacuum system available?

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