To little current...

A project log for Yet another laser engraver / cutter

I build a 1.6 W 450 nm laser cutter / engraver mostly from China parts.

dechemistdechemist 02/08/2016 at 18:340 Comments

While I was playing with my laser plotter this weekend and again wondering why some materials were not cut as good as I expected, a thought came into my mind: I should measure the output current of the laser power supply, maybe that is the reason....And then it hit me, the laser diode was running at only 4V and 320 mA instead of 1.4 A ! Shame on me !

I have no idea why the current was so low, I guess I did not remember correctly and assumed that I chose the correct settings when I build it, but apparently I did not.

After I set the current to 1.4 A I realized the real power of this beast !

Fabric, 5 mm felt, paper, 2.5 mm dense cardboard etc. were cut like a hot knife through butter with feed rates up to 500 mm / min ! That is about 5 times faster that before.

With this impressive power in hand I then realized that I have a new problem: All my settings (laser power / feed rate) were wrong (ok ok 1st. world problems ^^).

I then tested the diode with a new material I came in touch with at the Makerfair in Munich: Kraftplex It is a 'wooden sheeting' made entirely out of wood. I got the business card of one of the inventors (which was made out of Kraftplex 1.5 mm) and tried to cut a square out of it (S100;F40) and it worked like a charm ! The other business card with 0.8 mm thickness worked even better.

Top: 0.8 mm Kraftplex, bottom: 1.5 mm. The second burned in square is from the first attempt to cut it with the lower current.