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My experience of using a laser engraver / SurprizingFacts

Hello, SurprizingFacts! A student of the Institute of ITMO writes a program "lasers for information and communication systems". This summer, I had a chance to work with a laser engraver. I want to share my observations on this and describe my work.

First about the machine itself – the plate on the back says:

– Machine Name: Fiber Laser Machine
– Model: LP-FLM 50
– Manufacturer: LaserPower Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.
– Power Supply: AC220V, 50 / 60hz
– Machine software – Ezcad 2.0.

Googling the model, you can find more information on the first link about it:

– Power: 50 W
– Wavelength: 1064
– Marking area: 110mmx110mm, 200mmx200mm, 300mmx300mm
– Minimum line width: 0.03 mm
– Minimum character size: ≤0.05 mm
– Marking speed: ≤7000 mm / s
– Pulse Width: ≤60micro from
– Cooling: cooling by air
– Power requirement: single-phase, alternating current 220V, 50 / 60Hz

Features:

The machine is equipped with a laser source with a long service life. It does not require consumables, it is suitable for deep engraving. High speed, accuracy and quality of marking.

Application:

The laser can print logos, symbols, serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes for metal (carbon and Stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, zinc, etc.) and some non-metals (plastic, rubber, leather, paper, etc.).

I was offered experiments in several areas, Mini-projects:

  1. The study of the laser action with three parameters (power, modulation frequency, speed) [194590eleven]
  2. Creating a PCB.
  3. Generation / realization of ideas for creation of products under the order.

Processing of metals in different modes

I wanted to understand how the individual parameters of the laser engraver affect the depth of burning. Initially, the engraving in depth did not go much, made many passes, reduced the shading step, but nothing helped. It turned out that the treated surface was simply out of focus. After adjusting the height of the radiation source, it went.

In Ezcad, I drew a square and made a triple shading. All three layers with the same pitch 0.01 and the difference in slope: for the first layer 0 degrees, for the second 45, for the third layer -45.

After the micrometer was burned, the depth of sections exposed to laser radiation was measured

As a result, the dependence of the depth on the variable value (power, speed, modulation frequency) is plotted. The graphs turned out to be very logical:

The higher the modulation frequency, the more laser exposure to the surface, it means more depth.

The higher the beam speed, the less laser exposure to the surface, which means less depth.

The most logical graph, the more power the deeper.

The creation of a PCB

I decided to make a motherboard fee. For this, an inverse image of .bmp-format was created.

The original idea was to burn copper from the surface, leaving the tracks. I wanted to remove copper by layer power. I thought that after 5-10 passages of burning, a pure getinax would remain.

This idea had to be abandoned, since under the action of a copper laser, the foil was burned at some point, and the getinax began to evaporate.

There was an idea to cover the plates with paint and burn it. The truth is that in this case the desired manufacturability is lost, because in this case it will be necessary to carry out the usual etching operation of the board with ferric iron.

The first boards were stained

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Most likely, during the evaporation of the paint, the smoke that lingered over the work surface scattered the beam. At the second pass from the spots there was no trace left.

However, here we were waited by the following problem, hidden in the design of the device. The laser beam is deflected by a system of two mirrors. And the farther from the center, the greater the curvature of the image.

Perpendicular straight lines (alas, no) should have appeared on the plate. This, of course, is not permissible for a printed circuit board. After digging into the settings of the program, a special dialog box was opened for recording and correcting this curvature.

The parameters in the curvature program were minimized. Also tried to burn holes in the board.

First there were sloppy edges, then it started to get cleaner. As a result, I got a hole on one side clean, on the other no. If the regimes are carefully chosen, both sides will turn out to be beautiful. However, a little later the work on the board was suspended due to the impending problem of docking the two surfaces of the top / bottom board. But this work I think to continue.

Generation / realization of ideas for creation of products under the order

There was an idea of ​​printing images on spoons. Tea and table spoons from stainless steel were bought. I created a vector image for them. Looked for a beautiful framework for monograms, took a few ideas and created his own frame in Corel Draw. In the absence of experience with this program, it turned out for 30-45 minutes to figure out and redraw the image (for a tablespoon).

So my first acquaintance with the laser engraver passed, 2 points out of 3 were fulfilled. If you have any questions or ideas, please write in the comments.