Posting here, same as in other laser topic, reading both will give cerebral hemorrhaging
Yeah, I am habitually over my head in diverse projects and to add to that, a bit broken. Been having some health problems, nothing severe but having me unable to get around to doing stuff.
Last I was there we had an introductory course, but those attending probably needed more hands-on examples done, and help along their first solo projects to feel sure about using the machine. I was a bit rusty, and learning by doing is the best way. Its hard to condense and convey methods learned/developed over years of use.
So, to get cracking again, we first need to work out the issues with the machine, since it has not been running properly. In the spirit of learning together, and me being long-winded, I’m gonna type out the trouble shooting here in the forum. Hopefully we can resolve it faster this way too.
Olle reports it drops significantly in power after running for a while. There are many factors that can reduce power.
Most are due to regular use of the machine, and therefore are addressed in regular maintenance. Smoke residue on lens/mirrors/laser tube business end, Poor fume evacuation.
Other factors are incorrect settings.
power/speed setting in software overridden/reduced in machine settings, incorrect focus
Also mirror calibration can be off, and the laser tube degrades as a whole with use, etc…
Intermittent power loss, that occurs after running a while, is probably because one of two hardware bits being at the end of its life. The laser tube power supply, which brings the voltage upp to a cosy ~20KV DC and exites the CO2 gas in the tube to produce the energy. If this one is old and tired it can have reduced effect as it is working and getting warm.
The other probable cause is insufficient cooling. Then laser tube is dependent cooled by a separate water cooling system, composed of a circulation pump and compressor radiator thingy. This one has been thru a lot, from running dry, having its temp probe severed, being fed way to rich glycol blend and then some… Also the system was hard to flush after the move. Thermostat regulating the effect seemed a bit wonky too…
To sum up all that; the next step here is to run a test and measure temps on the cooling water, and compare it to effect loss.
If Olle or anyone else tech savvy feel up to doing this it would speed up matters, as I could get on sorting the necessary spares.
As for time for repairs and a date for a workshop, I can make my way over and spend some time week after next, but even better if the errors could be diagnosed before then.
If you made it this far, gold star!