Recently @mcdanlj and I had a conversation on twitter with @clolsonus about his solid state laser and it’s poor cutting performance due to char formation. Using a CO2 laser myself, my suggestion was to add an air assist.
An air assists helps with cutting by several mechanisms;
- Keeps the beam path clear of smoke (more important with small wavelength lasers due to increased laser light scattering by smoke particles)
- Removes char debris from the cut.
- Adds more oxygen into the cut which can promote a more complete burn and thereby reduce char formation.
On Youtube I follow DIY3DTech.com ( @DIY3DTECH.com ) who’s K40 videos introduced me to the Gplus K40 community when I was contemplating buying my K40 way back when. He has, in the past few days, actually put out a couple of videos about adding an air assist to his solid state laser.
In the first one he shows the difference between cutting with and without an air assist.
In the other one he shows off a 3D printed design for his air assist addon (file download link in the video description) .