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Question #: 596

Question: WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

Current Solution

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.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • 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

  • I am looking at buying the blacktooth-laser-cutter-engraver-40w. Can you give me some idea of the types and thickness of material this machine will cut and/or ingrave?

    Considering that "materials being lased by may emit gasses that are harmful to humans (corrode human tissue and cause damage to respiratory organs). Always read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the material to be lased. You can find these MSDS from manufacturer websites for the material you are considering for use in the laser system."
    We successfully have worked on Thin sheets of Brasswood, glass, foam, plexi-glass. The thickest materials you will be able to successfully cut is 1/4".

    Click the link to respond:
    I am looking at buying the blacktooth-laser-cutter-engraver-40w. Can you give me some idea of the types and thickness of material this machine will cut and/or ingrave?

  • What is the max thickness of material that the 80W laser can cut in plywood?

    An 80 watt laser can cut plywood up to 1/2 inch thick. Make sure to use a high pressure source of air to knock out all of the charring during the cutting process so the laser can work efficiently.

    Additional Information:
    I have a Chinese 80W laser. Just finished a cut test with 1/2" plywood. It cut through at 95% power 7-4mm/s with significant charring after two passes with no refocusing done between passes.

    Additional Information:
    That's great information. What is your PSI of the air assist on your laser? What focal lens distance do you have? And where did you place the focus of the lens (at the surface, or within the material)?

    Click the link to respond:
    What is the max thickness of material that the 80W laser can cut in plywood?

  • 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.

    Click the link to respond:
    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?

  • I'm considering the purchase of your Blacktooth laser. I will be engraving on my wood blocks that are two inches in thickness. Will the Blacktooth accomodate this thickness material?

    Yes, the blackTooth actually has a base that is open, so you can set the blackTooth laser cutter on a surface that is depressed as much as you need so you can accommodate a work piece with very large heights.

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm considering the purchase of your Blacktooth laser. I will be engraving on my wood blocks that are two inches in thickness. Will the Blacktooth accomodate this thickness material?

  • 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 file types can the blackTooth Laser Cutter accept?

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

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

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

  • 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.

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    WHAT MATERIALS CAN THE GREENBULL MACHINE CUT? LASER ETCH?

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

  • 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

    Click the link to respond:
    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?

  • What materials can the laser cut?

    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 respond:
    What materials can the laser cut?

  • WHAT CAN USE BELOW MY WORKPIECE AS SUBSTRATE IN BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    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.

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT CAN USE BELOW MY WORKPIECE AS SUBSTRATE IN BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

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

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

  • Does the blackTooth laser cutter can acrylic plastic?

    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.

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    Does the blackTooth laser cutter can acrylic plastic?