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laser Machine

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by laina81, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. laina81

    laina81 New commenter

    Hi, we have a HPC laser that is in need of servicing. The company seem to be very busy and cannot come to us (London area) til May. its been down for a while now and desperately needs fixing. Does anyone know of a place that service Laser cutters regardless of the brand? Oh and under £400+ mark
     
  2. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    What are the symptoms? Does it not do do anything or just not cut?
     
  3. laina81

    laina81 New commenter

    Hello, well what it does is engrave when cutting. i am aware that there could be an alignment issue involve, I have tried many things and looked on YouTube for help, cleaned the lens, and turn the brass screws, checked the rubber tubes connected to the cooling system. each to no avail.

    As it hasn't been serviced in over two years now i think it is just best to get it looked at rather then me playing about with it. this could just be causing more issues in my opinion. Would you know of a company that fixes them?
     
  4. Ex-teacher

    Ex-teacher Occasional commenter

    We had a Universal machine. From memory (it was a long time ago!!), it was serviced by
    http://www.ukengravingservices.co.uk/contact-us
    Not sure if they can help, or even if they still exist, but they may be able to suggest someone.
     
  5. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Hello Laina,

    That is helpful. It's telling me that the machine is trying to do its best and there's a chance of getting it working without the need of a service visit.

    I spent around fifteen years supplying laser cutters and resolving issues their users were having with them. For the most part of that time I was able to identify and resolve what the problems were over the telephone or via email.

    You'll need to forgive me by asking how much you know about how laser cutters work, since when you say it's engraving rather than cutting, I need to know whether you mean it's raster engraving or vector engraving. I.e. is it trying to perform a cutting operation by the carriage moving around the bed but only scribing the shape drawn into the material, or is the carriage moving to and fro like an inkjet printer would, to engrave what you drew.

    If it's the latter, your problem may lie with the graphic or software you're using; or the machine settings.

    If the carriage is moving around as though it was going to cut the piece out, but only marking the material, you have an issue over inadequate power reaching the material, which is probably due to the laser tube having reached the end of its life, but could also be due to optics alignment issues, faulty optics or simply that the lens isn't correctly focused, the driver software isn't working correctly, due to being incompatible with an operating system update.

    Once I've established what you mean by "engraving", I feel reasonably confident I can point you in the direction of what needs to be done to get your machine working again.
     
  6. laina81

    laina81 New commenter

    Thank you for this i am checking out the website now :)
     
  7. laina81

    laina81 New commenter

    Good Morning Duke of York,

    First of all thank you for all this information,

    Secondly. I am quite new to laser Cutters, so what i mean by engraving whilst cutting is it trying to perform a cutting operation but also, as you said scribing the cut at the same time. (Hope i am making sense here) thus resulting in the material, for instance a circle being cut, this will end up with a slight line engraved on it. i have spoken to a member of the HPC company and they have told me that it could be an alignment issue too. I have tried to resolve this too. The software we use is called LaserCut but we import CAD from the 2D design program.

    Laina
     
  8. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    OK, now I know what you mean by engraving. I was hesitant to jump in without asking that basic question, because there are a number of reasons why lasers perform a raster engraving operation when the user is expecting them to cut.

    It's worth checking the beam alignment and condition of the optics, because if the alignment is wildly off, the beam might not be hitting the centre of the lens, or patially hitting the air assist cone rather than all of it reaching the material, but my money is on the laser tube being on its last legs.

    One other thing to check is that the lens is correctly focused, since if it's way out of focus, you won't be concentrating all the energy into the tiny spot required for cutting.

    Glass tubes have a short life and frequently suffer from the gasses inside escaping through the seals. I've know instances where people bought a spare tube, only to find it was useless by the time they came to use it.

    Businesses that use machines with glass laser tubes get into the habit of replacing them themselves rather than call out an engineer. They aren't difficult to replace, but since they aren't made with the same precision as an RF laser tube is, and they are clamped in place around rubber to prevent the glass cracking, you'll need to realign the optics every time you replace them.

    There are videos on youtube and other sites that show you what to do if you fancy doing it yourself. It's probably the only way you'll get the machine working again within your budget.
     
  9. laina81

    laina81 New commenter

    Hello Duke of York,

    Thanks again for this insightful information, i will definitely keep this all in mind for the future and update somethings. However the HPC laser company got back to us and will service our machine very soon.

    Kind Regards

    Laina:)

    p.s. We actually have an old and dead Mercury laser pro. the laser works but does not respond to our computer or software, any ideas of how or who to scrap it to?
     
  10. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I suspect the driver isn't compatible with the computer operating system; the driver is corrupted and needs reinstalling or you have a communication issue that can probably be resolved.

    It's also possible but less likely that the machine's memory is faulty. You can run a diagnostic check on this by holding down the start/stop and pause buttons down when you switch the machine on.

    First things first, which operating system does the computer have? Is it a 32 bit or 64 bit system?

    Does the computer have a parallel port or are you trying to connect it via a USB to parallel adaptor as many computers now lack parallel ports.

    If you are using a USB-parallel adaptor, the USB port on the computer needs to be configured as a virtual printer port for the laser cutter.

    Plugging it into a USB port that hasn't been configured won't work. In other words, your software needs to know where to send the data and if it's going to the wrong port, the machine won't receive it.

    You should be able to download the latest driver from here. https://www.grafityp.co.uk/downloads/laser-drivers
     
  11. laina81

    laina81 New commenter

    Morning Duke of York,

    as we al
    Morning Duke of York,

    As we have a new Laser cutter, we need the room to store it and we no longer have the means to use both therefore the older one must now be scrapped. if you do know of anyone or company interested in the Mercury Laser Pro, please could you let me know.

    Kind regards and thank you all your help thus far..

    laina
     
  12. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I've been out of the laser business for quite a while, @laina81, but there are always schools crying out for a machine who might be glad of it for the sake of organising a van to collect it. From your description, I'd be surprised if it couldn't be made to work.

    Where abouts are you based? I might be able to put some feelers out.
     

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