DIY Fiber Laser Adds Metal Cutting To The Mix

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Sadly, the standard CO2-powered suspects within the DIY laser cutter market are woefully incapable of reducing steel. Sure, they’ll reduce the heck out of plywood and acrylic, and most will do an honest job at engraving steel. But reducing by a sheet of metal or aluminum requires a step as much as far more highly effective fiber laser cutters. True, the prices of such machines will be daunting, however not daunting sufficient for [Travis Mitchell], who has undertaken a DIY fiber laser cutter build that basically caught our eye.

Right off the bat, a few issues are price noting right here. First — and this ought to be apparent from the fountains of white-hot sparks within the video beneath — laser cutters are harmful, and you need to actually know what you’re doing earlier than tackling such a construct. Second, simply because [Travis] was capable of reduce prices significantly in comparison with a industrial fiber laser cutter doesn’t imply this construct was low-cost in absolute phrases — he stories dropping about $15,000 to date, with appreciable ongoing prices to function the factor.

That stated, there doesn’t look like something about this construct that anybody with some expertise constructing CNC machines wouldn’t be capable of sort out. The CNC facet of that is fairly easy, though we be aware that the gantry, servos, and controller appear particularly strong.

The laser itself is an off-the-shelf machine, a Raycus RFL-C1000 fiber laser and head that packs a 1,000-Watt punch. There’s additionally the required cooling system for the laser, and naturally there’s an exhaust system to eliminate the nasty fumes.

All that stuff requires a substantial funding, however we had been stunned to find out how a lot the consumables value. [Travis] opted for bottled fuel for the cutter’s fuel help system — low-pressure oxygen for carbon metal and high-pressure nitrogen for every thing else. Refills are actually expensive, partly due to the purity required, however for the reason that correct compressor for the job is out of the finances for now, the tanks must do. And actually, the factor cuts like a dream. Check out the reducing velocity and precision within the video beneath.

This is however the first in a sequence of movies that may element the construct, and if [Travis] thought this is able to whet our appetites for extra, he was proper. We actually haven’t seen many DIY fiber laser builds, however now we have seen a teardown of a 200-kW fiber laser which may tickle your fancy.

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