The Kerf of a laser is the width of the blade (laser beam) and this can vary between laser cutting machines. It changes depending on focus so it could be different for different material thicknesses.
I recently changed my focal lens orientation to be correct thanks to Spooky at the OPLaser Support Forum.
For some reason Chinese Laser cutters come with the focal lens upside down! After researching this I found many drawings from UK and USA laser lens manufacturers showing that the convex side of the lens should face down not up . I know it looks logical how it is supplied with the convex side facing up. But the improvement in cutting is noticeable.and in my case the Laser Kerf has gone from 0.2mm down to 0.17 mm.
It is with this tool that you can measure the Kerf of your laser beam.
The blocks are 8mm x 10mm this ensures you measure them the right way. It might be worth also marking the top with a pen before removing them from the laser bed then you can put them into the measure in a 1 up 1 down sequence this will eliminate any sloping beam problems from the measurement. It could also be used to measure the slope of the beam with a little more maths.
- Height 115 mm (4 1/2″)
- Width: 160 mm (6 1/4″)
- Depth: 110 mm (4 1/4″)
In final development stages.
All hardware and electronics are complete.
Software is almost complete with only minor adjustments needed for correct recording of tube hours left to be done.
Documentation & downloads are currently a work in progress .. but coming soon!
All hardware & software development work is carried out under the GNU General Public License. Any products developed from these projects are covered by Creative Commons Licensing – Attribution – Non-Commercial. All drawings of product designs are covered by UK Copyright Law unless stated otherwise.
Shortlist of components used for this project include:
- 4mm MDF Laser cut box/housing (the laser cut pieces tightly fit together with no fixings)
- Uses Arduino Uno Board (from the pictures you will see I am using an original older board which I hope to replace with a Mini in the final version)
- PID Temperature controller (REX-C100)
- 1602 LCD Display with board
- Opto Isolator & 1K resistor to switch high voltage, isolated to connect to power supply
- Dishwasher Flow Sensor
- Servo wire for switch leads (only 2 used), Power (5V) & signal (0V)
How it works
- Opto isolator The Opto isolator isolates the power of the laser cutter tube power supply from the monitor. This is achieved by a LED being switched on whenever the power to the laser tube is turned on. The light from the LED is detected by a phototransistor which switches on providing an isolated connection to the Arduino board.
- Flow sensor This has a reed relay that is triggered by magnets on the blades of the flow sensor. Everytime the magnet passes the reed relay the reed closes and opens when it has past.
- Temperature controller The PID detects the temperature changes intelligently to home in on the target temperature thus keeping it within temperature within a tight band of the target temperature. The PID controller displays the target temperature and the actual temperature.
- The tube hours and flow rate are displayed on the 1602 LCD display. The tube hours are stored in the UNO EEPROM
Coming soon to this section …
- MDF box drawings
- Build instructions
- Open source software downloads