So I ordered a laser and I went big! I had been looking for a CO2 laser for a few months on settled on a 60 Watt, it seemed like middle ground between too weak and too strong. I could not be happier. I have successfully etched glass, acrylic, many woods, ceramic cups. powder coated stainless steel tumblers and more to come.
You can see a few of the results below.
The purchase (eBay):
- This is 60 Watt CO2 Laser operating in the 10600nm wavelength. Commonly called the X700 or Redsail there are many clones of this. It is controlled by a RDC6442G-B (EC) Laser DSP Controller that works with RDWorks8 Software (included on the CD).
- About $1800.00 plus $150.00 for Residential Delivery. Residential delivery is a separate item you will need to purchase for a truck that comes with a lift gate.
- The laser comes with a tub with no lid and a large aquarium pump. I didn’t like that option so I ordered an industrial chiller. You can opt for a 3000 of 5200 model, I purchased a 5200.
- NOTE: You will need spare fuses for the Chiller. 10 amp 250v fuse 5x20mm I bought a large pack, I am up to 15 amp and holding strong. The fuse is locate at inside the plug in the back. Lock close, it pulls out with a flat head screwdriver.
- Needs to be set to 30C or below to prevent laser degredation. I run at 16C.
1 each Rotary Axis for CO2 Laser
- You have 3 choices for configuration
- Flat – Regular Rotary Axis For 50/60/80/100W CO2 Laser Engraver Engraving Machine
- Chuck – Chuck Rotary Axis for CO2 Laser I purchased this one.
- 3D Printed – Rubber Roller
1 pair CO2 Laser Protective Glasses must cover 10600nm wavelength.
- The laser comes with a loud and inefficient Exhaust Fan.. this will quiet things down.
- My lense was damaged but was replaced by warranty quickly. I bought a few spares.
3 each Spare CO2 Laser Si Mirror 25mm Mirror
1.5 Gallons of Distilled Water from my local Safeway
1/4 Teaspoon Dawn Dishwashing Soap to prevent bubbling in the laser tube
1 cap Regular Unscented Bleach to prevent Algae and microbe growth
3-4 Weeks of Waiting.
You will also need 4 110V plug ins.
Arrival and Preparation:
The laser arrived in a solidly built plywood box. It was relatively easy to open. The laser is secured to the bottom pallet with 4 long angry screws. Once removed you can roll it off the pallet. It will require someone strong to help, you have to get the hose out from under the machine.
The laser has 4 heavy duty wheels which make it easy to roll around. When in place, you screw down 4 rubber stoppers to prevent movement.
The delivery was on time
The driver lowered it with the drop bed and rolled it into my Garage with a pallet jack.
Pretty cool but also heavy. I broke out the crow bar.
Lots of goodies packed inside.
The tub is actually the water basis that you are expected to use.
We have the keys!
Clean wiring, from Left to right, Controller,
Meet the RDC6442G-B (EC)
Remove the protective paper from the lid sheeting.
Remove the screws, remove the coating and reinstall
All cleared up.
It was kind of wet but still worked.
All the goodies.
A view from the side panel.
This is a quick and dirty list for setup. I will expand with more detail soon.
Unbolt 4 screws on leveling pads.. 8mm socket
Loosen leveling pads with 26mm wrench
Remove two big blue hoses by lifting one side.. heavy lift, bring a friend.
Lift one edge to remove box fan.
Keys are tied with ribbon inside lid
Laser carriage is tied with ribbon.. Remove ribbon and remove box
Remove 4 screws, loosen 4 to remove paper on viewing window x 2
Unbox air compressor.. Test by plugging in directly to wall
Unbox fan, Test by plugging in directly to wall
3 hoses, 1 for air 2 for water, in out
Chiller fill and prime and turn on, set. Chiller will blow fuses if in a hot area
Zipties to connect water and air lines rather than hose clamps
Ground your laser.
Check lenses, mirrors, belt guides (especially down low in the back) for tightness.
Clean lenses and mirros with Lense Cleaning Wipes
Laser alignment –
With laser turned on, use tape or post-it notes and press pulse. Sometimes you will not see the hole, look close after each shot. The longer you hold pulse, the longer the laser will burn.
This is a pain and takes patience. More details coming shortly.
Start with lense closest to laser tube verify center plus or minus 4mm
Lense 2.. center as best as possible at near and far settings
Lense 3.. dead nuts near and far for all corners. The more test shots the better
Lense 4 – laser head vertical alignment… laser needs to be shooting straight down, you can use a square to verify laser head alignment.
Straight line on test piece of 3mm wood to determine best kerf. Wood should be sitting 3mm piece of wood on one end like a ramp.
Laser should be bright when cutting
Laser works RDworks from CD.
- Power setting 1 and 2 should be the same
- Need to adjust diameter in user settings when using rotary.
- More to follow.
Use Inkscape (free), Gimp (free), Corel or Photoshop/Illustrator to manipulate images.
I owe you more, it’s on the way.
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