Operating a Lasersaur
As with any laser cutter certain precautions and guidelines should be taken into consideration. This is currently an incomplete list and your ability to collect this information yourself is required.
- Always supervise a running laser cutter. Most accidents happen when people fall asleep or leave the room. Look for obvious things like fires, jammed work pieces, but also for a missing cut (optics may be out of alignment and laser may be deflected elsewhere).
- Make sure to test your newly built machine well. Be especially observant during the first 100h of operation. Most assembly errors and shortcomings will manifest themselves during this time.
Before Every Session
- Make sure mirrors and focusing lens are clean.
- Dust, hair, and debris can be removed with canned air. Also creating a draft with a vacuum cleaner works to some degree. Shop airlines are usually problematic because they contain oil vapours.
- Other surface contaminations are best removed with a solvent and a cotton swab (e.g: acetone and/or isopropyl alcohol).
- Clean cutting area.
- Pieces and debris in the cutting bed can easily ignite from the heat of an unfocused laser beam.
- A hand-held vacuum cleaner with an extension hose works well for this.
- Extra checks for newly commissioned Lasersaurs (first 100h of operation):
- Check if y-cart is parallel by manually pushing it against rear end stops.
- Check optics alignment and focus by test firing in all four quadrants of the cutting area.
Every Week (or 60h of Operation)
- Check gantry rails and roller bearings for dirt and black build-up.
- Check angular and linear play of x- and y-cart.
- Check proper belt tension by listening for unusual noise when manually moving the gantry.
- Check limit and door switches for dirt build-up. Sticky limit switches will halt the machine. Sticky door switches may lead to situation where the laser interlock fails when opening the door.
Every Couple of Month (or 240h of Operation)
- Check timing-belts, pulleys, and idlers for dirt build-up.
- Check laser tube compartment for dust. Clean rear mirror and tube exit lens if necessary.
- Check level and smell of chiller water. Replace and/or use anti-algae agent.
Some parts have to be replaced at times. Apart from the BOM, here are some suppliers for these consumables. Please give us feedback about alternative suppliers and parts on the mailing list.
Lens (ZnSe, 25mm diameter, 75mm focal length)
- eBay, brand name by orcontechnology
- eBay, Chinese no-name by winwinmechatronic
- AliExpress, Chinese, no-name by SREMT