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Making progress with my Laser diode cutter

#1
Making progress with my laser cutter. This is Black paper, and white paper Dollar Tree Foam Board.
I can get about a 1.5mm deep cut. I can just etch the top paper, cut just the top paper, or cut 1.5mm deep.
While I have been able to cut 100% of the way through, the kerf is a good 2-2.5mm wide, not usable.
I built an Open Build Acro 1010. It can handle a full sheet of FB.
While I am not sure how good the Elmers FB is, they do make it with a black core. Going to get some and have a go with it.
I contacted Adams, and they do not make a foam board with a black core. Since they are in Michigan, may have to go pay them a visit. Black core would solve many problems.

graph1.jpg graph3.jpg graph3.jpg graph1.jpg
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#4
Nicely done sir! Just having a good set of score lines on a sheet makes it so much easier to cut all the parts out - and it simplifies your CAM file setup too. Rather than trying to individually change each line in the FT plan to the appropriate depth, you can just set the whole file to a score cut depth and walk away :D
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#5
Nicely done sir! Just having a good set of score lines on a sheet makes it so much easier to cut all the parts out - and it simplifies your CAM file setup too. Rather than trying to individually change each line in the FT plan to the appropriate depth, you can just set the whole file to a score cut depth and walk away :D
That's a good point. Kinda like printing the plans directly to the FB with the added benefit of having a guide cut for your blade.

@BobW55 - what kind of feed rates are you using?
 
#6
I am still trying to figure out the correct speed/power to use, hence the grid squares. Each one is at a different speed and power setting.
I will have to have different setups depending on the outer paper color. White takes more power and less speed than the brown does, black even less. Just wish they made the FT foam board with a black core, that I could 100% cut. Just about got one of the plan sheets for the DR1 converted, hope to make a test run later today. I'll make sure I time it.
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#7
I am still trying to figure out the correct speed/power to use, hence the grid squares. Each one is at a different speed and power setting.
I will have to have different setups depending on the outer paper color. White takes more power and less speed than the brown does, black even less. Just wish they made the FT foam board with a black core, that I could 100% cut. Just about got one of the plan sheets for the DR1 converted, hope to make a test run later today. I'll make sure I time it.
Cool! Look forward to your results / conclusions. What I was interested in knowing was specifically for white FB, what would the linear speed be to score cut to 1.5mm depth - thus providing the basis for how long it would take to score cut a set of plans with the laser cutter.
 
#8
This is my first pass at theFT DR1.
I need to resize it to fit the whole sheet, I also need to slow it down in a few places.
This took 13 minutes to laser out. About 2 hours to convert the PDF to a SVG file and assign the cut power and speed to all the lines.
Still a work in progress.
DR1firstcut.jpg
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#10
This is my first pass at theFT DR1.
I need to resize it to fit the whole sheet, I also need to slow it down in a few places.
This took 13 minutes to laser out. About 2 hours to convert the PDF to a SVG file and assign the cut power and speed to all the lines.
Still a work in progress.
View attachment 124725
Nice! So was this etch, light cut, or 1.5mm cut?
 
#11
I have 3 different cuts.
1) Deep cut 1.5mm is best I can do
2) Score cut, just cut the top layer of paper, I use this where you will eventually just score the FB with a skewer or other blunt instrument.
3) Etch, just darken the top paper, I use this for fold types or part ID.
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#12
Thanks - so for the DR1 picture you posted above, it took 13 minutes to do which of the three cut types or did you do a mix of all three? From the pic, its hard to tell if the DR1 was just etched, scored, or cut to 1.5mm
 
#13
It does all three types at once.
In my case it first etches, then scores, then cuts.
It all depends on the order you tell the software to do it in .(lightburn)
I made the mistake of having make a score line on the wings that should be on the other side to set the dihedral. Next time I'll just do a small etch mark so I know where to make it. Still way faster then printing out the plans, attaching them to the FB then cutting them out. I still have to cut everything with a knife, but I have nice score lines to follow.
Foam board with a black foam core is no problem, I can 100% cut that stuff in 2 passes. But it is heavier, and trying to peel off paper where you need to is a pain in the rear.
 
#15
I need to get a few sheets of Flitetest foam board, the brown paper coating will take different settings than the white Adams (Dollar Tree) FB.
Going to re-laser the DR1 again tomorrow with better settings and the correct sizes. Glad they put a ruler scale on the plans.
Now if Adams would make the FT foam board with a black core, I would be happy as a pig in brown stuff.
Nice part is when I have a crash, can just make a new part.
 
#20
Have you tried doing a double pass to cut all they way threw. You could also try focusing "into the foam core". I can increase my cutting speed on 1/4" acrylic by setting the focus 1mm below the true surface. No real experience with a diode laser but 15 years with RF tube CO2 lasers.


Thomas