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blackTooth cutting questions

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blackTooth cutting questions

Postby skipunk » Thu May 25, 2017 2:18 pm

So I've had the blackTooth laser with the AWC608 controller now for about a year. I've been doing a lot of tinkering with it but still doesn't seem to be dialed in. I've read a lot online with settings to cut various items but still with no success. I can engrave like no tomorrow but trying to cut 1/8" foamboard, blasa wood or 2mm acrylic just doesn't happen.

Foamboard I end up melting really bad, catching on fire or having to do 4-5 passes to get a clean cut. I'm ok with that but when I get to cutting sheets at a time, it gets time consuming.
Blasa wood and acrylic just isn't happening. Acrylic just catches on fire or melts. Or i'm doing more passes than I can count for a successful cut, same with balsa.

Has anyone had success with the 40w tube in cutting? If so and you are using the controller, mind sharing what you are doing for success? I'm just about to the point of bailing on the 40 and upgrading to a 60 or 80w tube. I just don't want to shell that kind of dough out at the moment. Another thing I had read about was upgrading the focus lens and tube. That would be a cheaper alternative. There just isn't a lot out there with info being shared (at least in what I could find) with videos of successful cuts being shown. Plus no response to the videos being posted on what they have done.

Thanks in advance.
-Steve
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Re: blackTooth cutting questions

Postby Awesomeness » Thu May 25, 2017 5:59 pm

I don't have a blackTooth laser, but I have a lot of experience using commercial laser cutters (e.g. Epilog) that may be helpful. When you're burning and melting, the last thing you want to do is upgrade to a more powerful tube!

Lets walk through it logically. If you're burning and melting, you're introducing too much heat to the material. One way to correct this is to decrease your pulse frequency and duration (motion speed), so that in-effect you are creating a perforation (hole - gap - hole - gap...). You want to play with it so that you don't actually see a jagged, perforated line, but that is really what you're doing at a microscopic level. You do this in combination with adjusting your laser power level, if you have that capability, to find good settings.

You can look up settings tables for some of the commercial cutters, such as those in the Epilog manuals, to get good starting points.

Good luck!
If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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Re: blackTooth cutting questions

Postby skipunk » Thu May 25, 2017 8:05 pm

What your saying makes total sense. I've combed through my LightObject controller/DSP and the closest on the LCD or LaserCAD that would remotely refer to frequency would be PWM frequency. The manual says to keep between 20000 - 80000. Which I'm at 20. I may not be looking correctly at this, unless the DSP is crap and I should be looking for something better. Right now it just seems like an all or nothing with the controller, adjust power % and speed.
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Re: blackTooth cutting questions

Postby Awesomeness » Thu May 25, 2017 9:37 pm

Yes, PWM (pulse width modulation) frequency is what I'm talking about. When you adjust frequency and the cutting speed, that spreads out the "perforations". 20k-80k seems high... the Epilogs are from like 20-2000, and when you've got it set to 20 and moving fast it's very clear that you are literally hitting 20 pulses per second, and thus making very "dashed line" perforations.
If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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Re: blackTooth cutting questions

Postby skipunk » Thu May 25, 2017 11:36 pm

I was messing with the setting a bit. I can only get PWM down to 2500. Anything lower causes it to reset back to 20000. The cut is cleaner on the acrylic but not yet cutting in one pass. Not even near. I did try dancing around the settings that epilogue laser manuals suggested. . There are still some flare ups. I do need to upgrade the air assist to something better. I'm at least cutting foam board in 1 pass with little scarring but the power is still too high causing to melt. Previously it would take a few passes but didn't melt.

I'll have to mess with this a bit more tonight to see what I can do. I do think if I can get the PWM down a bit more, I'll be set on foam board. Then to get acrylic dialed in.
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