A bit depressed with the cut inconsistency


Today I am a bit depressed about this K40 inconsistency…

I started burning around 3 months ago, with a “40w” diode laser. I “burn/wasted” the diode using it at 100% power (noob me!). So I get a K40 (and received a new 2nd one for little money).

With the diode one, I put my files on a SD card, press run and would back in 30 minutes to see the job finished…

Now, with the K40s I am living next to them: I have to be checking ice bottles every 10 minutes; have to have the computer with the machines (the diode one had a no-computer controller); wasting time with cleaning and aligning mirrors; now, it was cutting fine, next sheet it would cut only 1 side…

And upgrades: air nozzle, panel bee bed, mini gerbil motherboard (not installed yet),…

Summarizing, although the diode one was slower, it was more reliable and consistent.

I spent more time fine tuning the K40s (for no long-term luck) and hand-cutting the bad-cutting sheets than anything else…

I am even thinking about selling / storing the K40s and go back to the diode one…

(just expresing my thoughts, when I started with laser burning, i didnt know it was going to be so much time consuming…)

Moving up in power beyond a laser diode brings to play a lot more complexity, it’s the nature of high-power optical devices.

It’s like moving from a bicycle to a motorcycle and frustrated cause you have to change the oil in the motor. Aside from that is sure goes a lot faster with a lot less effort.

Actually, the diode-based machine does have a controller and in fact, it’s very close to the same the only difference is the diode-based one reads an SD card and your M2Nano reads the USB.
You can set up a K40 to read from an SD card.

Yes, K40 users benefit from an upgrade to their controller. The software available after that upgrade is light years better than what I have seen for the built-in software of the laser diode machines.

True that, but it cannot cut and engrave at the same level as the K40!
Try and cut a 1/4" thick piece of Lexan with your diode laser?

When laser diodes get to the reliable 20-30 watt level we can shed all this complexity… until then…

Hang in there most advanced users (after upgrades) have gotten used to the K40 and found ways to automate a routine for using it.

If all you need to do is some simple engraving then the diode laser is probably a better machine for you. Beyond that, you will have to invest in the complexity of higher power technology.

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Or you’d see everything engulfed in flames. Diode lasers can still start fires. You should not let it run unattended. You should have a CO2 fire extinguisher nearby. Ideally, there should be another bigger powder/foam fire extinguisher in the hallway as backup.

Regulating the temperature with frozen water bottles is fine for casual use.

If you want something more convenient, you can build or buy a chiller.

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I have checked the water chillers… currently I dont want to spent more money to have the machines more consistents just to have not it more consistent.

Currently I have enough work to keep me busy 1-2 nights per week, but not so much to justify spent more money on them.