Rich Johnson Garden Railroading & Lasers

Morn Laser Engraver

This machine has a working area of 24 by 36 inches and that is lots of room to make stuff.  I can move the head in all four directions on one level.  This is called the "X and Y" axis.    The X and Y are numerically controlled  by the laser controller from the information provided by my CorelDraw drawing inputs.  The "Z" axis ie; the table height must be set manually before the projects begins.  I can lower and raise the table as needed up to about 12 inches away from the laser head.  But the laser focus distance to any project is about 1 inch and is reset each and every time the "Z" height is changed.

The laser beam is a infrared light and at its "focal point" it is very hot.  For example when acrylc is "cut", what is really going on, is the beam is so focused and hot it vaporises the acrylic into a gas and it is blown away with the air asist that is in the laser head.  Sometimes acrylic residue can be found on the table and must be cleaned off.  There is an vapor extraction system that will pull (vapor) air out of the working area of the machine and vent it out side.  The blue tube behind the machine in the photo above is part of the venting system.

If the project is wood (as in the photo above) then the beam will burn the wood away.  I can control how much it will burn with the adjustments I can make with the controller interface.  Sometimes it take many trys to get it just right.  If it is to hot it will scorch areas outside of the cut and leave it brown or even black.  That indicates I need to adjust the power and or the speed of the laser heads travel.

Some of the other materials used act much different.  Rocks and Slate will not cut, but by adjusting the power and speed I can do what is called "Scan" or "Etching" and that will mark the surfaces.

 Metals and glass cannot be cut with this machine, but a material called "Cermark" can be sprayed on the surface and then the laser will burn the Cermark onto the surface.  It really does not penitrate the material it just burns on,  much like powdercoating.  A spray can of this stuff is ordered on line and the cost is over $75 each can plus shipping.

Rich Johnson Garden Railroading & Lasers