I don’t leave anything unattended if that’s what you mean.
So I ended up getting a 20W diode laser module from Atomstack
Installed the inline fan that sucks out the smoky air from the Shapeoko enclosure and pushes it out the window,
Finished the cheapo support bed,
3D-printed a custom plate to attach the module to my existing dust collection frame, put my laser goggles on, and got to cutting:
Literally my first cut beyond testing a couple of shapes to determine laser power/speed:
The air assist works fairly well,
The metal grid leaves ugly burn marks on the backside, I may remove it altogether after all. They went away with a light sanding though
And boom, my first ~15" cut:
I have a feeling this will turn out to be wonderfully complementary to my Shapeoko.
Julien, how thick is that material? Looks like about 0.125", but in one place it looks thicker (0.250".)
It’s 1/4" MDF (well actually 6mm)
One pass? What was your feedrate?
For now I followed @Able’s advice and went for 2 passes (300mm/min, 80% power, but to be honest I did not take the time yet to test various settings and slice the material to see how deep 1 pass goes, at various speed and power values)
What I did confirm is that after an hour of cutting, and despite the constant air evacuation, there is a lingering burnt smell around my machine. Not very strong, but it’s there. I may try and work on an actual smoke shoe. Or rework the supporting bed downdraft-style like @DiscoJon did.
You can also try creating creating a cross draft. Slightly open the door to let more air draw through the enclosure.
That’s actually what I did (slightly opening the front door, while the air vent is in the upper right back corner), but it still allows smoke to linger around the machine/enclosure before it gets sucked out by the 100CFM fan. I observed that 99% of the smoke is created underneath the material (since the air assist tends to push it there), so sucking the air from under the stock seems like the most efficient approach.
How strong is the smell outside the final exhaust? Is it something a neighbor would notice?
A few feet away from the vent I could not smell anything (I did check, for that reason), and it’s much less noticeable that when you have a BBQ party
Sounds like a winner IF you create a Y and use two suction hoses.
@Julien do you want my design file for these?
Yes please, I won’t be able to procure the honeycomb grid, but the 3D-printed parts are interesting to avoid re-drawing them myself in Fusion
Honeycomb grids can be found on ebay I have seem them before on there
@Julien you could always use two smaller honeycomb grids and put them side by side in the downdraft box.
True. I may need to take another look, a quick search only came up with integrated/ready-to-roll honeycomb beds that were not only too small but also very expensive. I could not find where to procure the honeycomb metal grid alone, but I did not spend a lot of time searching either
I wonder how much of the burn marks on the backside is from the paint getting burned off the grid?
Not sure about in France, but they’re are ebay sellers that the honeycomb. Or you could just elevate your knife table and build a box around it.
After a 3 year hiatus, inspired by this thread, back to lasering.
Snapped up @DiscoJon 7 watt JTech unit plus mount and other stuff, thanks Jon!
Prototype HDM smoke eater done, seems to work well.
Anyone care to show examples of their air-assist setups?