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Question #: 602

Question: HOW TO COOL THE BLACKTOOTH 40W LASER TUBE

Current Solution

Cooling is not as tricky as you might think. There is 3 ways to approach this, only 2 really matter for a low scale 40w setup. First one is the cheapest and easiest. The higher the temp of water the worse your performance will be, from what I understand anything in the 30C range is about the most tolerable it gets. Lower is better. But not frozen...from what I've been told a very experienced cutter, he found 8C was the highest power he achieved.

1. Use a 5 Gallon resovoir system which gives you a fairly large space of water to heat up before you need to tend to it. Add about a cup of anti-freeze to the mix of DISTILLED water. You don't want ANY minerals in the water that might build up in your system. The anti-freeze works to keep algae and other ickies from growing in your water.

2. Use a smaller resovoir system (or even closed loop) and install 1 or more radiators found in CPU cooling systems with 120mm fans attached. This will continously cool your water system to ambient room temperatures, but with a tiny resovoir it will be difficult to add things like ice-packs to drop the temps if the ambient is quite hot.

3. Using an industrial coolant system. Overkill and unless your cutting A LOT, this is a very expensive option to take. You can also explore the idea of Peltier cooling but it is extremely expensive electricity/BTU wise compared to an industrial cooler.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • HOW CAN YOU ENHANCE 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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    HOW CAN YOU ENHANCE THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • how can I exhaust the blacktooth co2 laser cutter

    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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    how can I exhaust the blacktooth co2 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.

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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.

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    HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO BUILD THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • 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?

  • How long does it take 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 long does it take to build the blackTooth Laser Cutter?

  • how long would it take 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 long would it take to build the blacktooth laser cutter?

  • How much is your ; blackTooth Laser Cutter and Engraver CO2 40W

    You can find all of the information including the price on the blackTooth Laser cutter and engraver page found here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx

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    How much is your ; blackTooth Laser Cutter and Engraver CO2 40W

  • 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?

  • CAN BOOST THE POWER OF MY BLACKTOOTH LASER?

    Upgrade your mirrors to SI coated mirrors, using a HQ ZnSe lens and even pushing up to a beam expander will all boost power. The ideal order of experimenation for lowest cost would be changing out for a higher quality lens labeled HQ ZnSE lens. Next would be SI mirrors, which will absorb less heat and reflect better, the last would be to use a beam expander which expands the beam, reducing the heat signature on the mirrors and makes a tighter focal width.

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    CAN BOOST THE POWER OF MY BLACKTOOTH LASER?

  • HOW HARD CAN PUSH MY BLACKTOOTH LASER?

    These tubes are rated for 18mA. The power supply is able to push up to 21mA. This is a very dangerous thing to do. If you are pushing the tube beyond 18mA you will cut it's life by QUITE a bit.

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    HOW HARD CAN PUSH MY BLACKTOOTH LASER?

  • How to wire the Laser Power Supply with an arduino & GRBL ? (I'm not using a blacktooth laser cutter)

    There is a th or tl on the laser power supply that serves as the trigger on a high or low signal. There is also a potentiometer "in" terminal that will accept a variable signal from 0v to 5v to control intensity. You can use either of these features to fire the laser tube.

    If you have gotten grbl to work, then, no doubtedly, you have the expertise to know the output features of grbl. If grbl allows a pwm output, you can tie this to the potentiometer terminal on the power supply. Otherwise, you will need to use a digital output to control the power supply using th or tl.

    Additional Information:

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    How to wire the Laser Power Supply with an arduino & GRBL ? (I'm not using a blacktooth laser cutter)

  • 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.

    Click the link to respond:
    Does the blackTooth laser cutter can acrylic plastic?

  • 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?

  • 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.

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    WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

  • Can we use a more powerful laser tube in the blackTooth? Say, 100w from ColeTech? Are they just physically too large/long?

    If the laser tube is the same dimensions then yes, that tube can be implemented and take into account the required laser power supply and safety protocols on that high powered laser tube.

    Our blackTooth is a fixed machine and is only made for the 40 watt laser tube that we sell.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can we use a more powerful laser tube in the blackTooth? Say, 100w from ColeTech? Are they just physically too large/long?

  • Where does the Laser Controll unit mount on a Blacktooth?

    Just my luck. As soon as I posted the question, I found 4 holes that match the controller on the back panel near the fan. Can you confirm?

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    Where does the Laser Controll unit mount on a Blacktooth?

  • 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?

  • 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?

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