June 28, 2018

I created this moon for one of the niches in the piece.  It is engraved in 1/8" mdf and is around 3.5" in diameter. The settings were at 500mm/sec and around 20% power for any K40 people out there. I struggled a little bit to cut it completely through. I think that is a focusing issue and am a few mm out of focus, but it still works pretty well.  I was able to "pop" it out of the mdf, but one part of the edge was fuzzy.

March 9, 2018

As I continue to slowly create new works I'll add some details on "details"

Not the greatest shot of some detail plaques for the piece.  These were engraved and cut on the K40 laser.  The intial design was drawn in Adobe Illustrator. I'll post the step by step process of the painting techniques.  These will look like weathered bronze.  More pics and views of the whole piece to follow.

January 4, 2018

As I've stated before, the exhaust features of the K40 are laughable at best.  A very poorly constructed "squirrel cage" style bathroom fan slides into some brackets on the back of the housing.

 Here is a picture of the unit off the machine. It probably moves all of 30 cfm (Cubic feet per minute).

This is my upgrade, a 6' inline fan, designed most likely for agricultural applications such as venting green houses.  It moves around 300 cfm and cost around $56 on A...

December 27, 2017

This may be the culprit.  The Water-Break Protection system indeed was the issue.  This wire plugs into the motherboard and the black box on the left is some sort of magnet.  I'm not sure if this is the problem, or the baffle in the water line unit.

It was suggested that I create jumper for the plug involved, but I opted to purchase one at a local electronics store.  I decide to stop by Vetco Electronics on Northup Way in Bellevue.  Bac...

December 23, 2017

So I've been feverishly working on the new exhaust system (post coming soon!) and set out yesterday to give it a test.  The only problem is that the laser will not fire on command.  Some deduction and testing shows that the CO2 tube is sound, and the power supply seems to be working as well, so that is the good news, two of the most expensive components seem to be functioning properly. But still it will not fired the tube through the controller.

There are...

December 22, 2017

I was lucky enough to do most of my previous laser work on a Universal system that included a precise and motorized z-axis.  Here is my K40 solution: A Stainless Steel Lab Jack Scissor Stand.  I found it on Amazon for $17.99. It is simply a miniature scissor lift. 

Since the K40 laser I believe comes with a 2" focal point lens, you need to adjust the depth for varying thicknesses. So for example. A 1" thick piece will need to be 1/2" deeper in th...

December 12, 2017

The K40 laser is shipped with a wimpy underpowered exhaust system.  It is one of the first upgrades one needs to address if this unit is going to be anywhere near any living space.  Laser cutting does stink!

I went to Rockler Woodworking in Tukwila and browsed their fittings and plumbing for woodworking equipment like jointers and planers.  The K40 ships with a fan housing that accepts a 4" diameter hose.  After checking other blogs and such I decided to s...

December 10, 2017

Since I seem to be able to get the K40 to cut and engrave satisfactorily, it is time to start improving it.

The exhaust system for the K40 has some quirks to contend with. Somewhere I read that an owner thought that the K40 unit was designed for engraving primarily rubber stamps due to its small working area.

One of those quirks about the machine is that the exhaust funnel extends about 1/2" into the cutting area effectively reducing the work area the same. This...

December 6, 2017

Success! I found one of my  existing Illustrator files to use as a test subject - what else but a salmon.  The file is first exported from Illustrator as a .dxf format.  Next, I placed it onto a thumbdrive to import it to the "laser" computer, the one I have decided to keep offline.

From there the .dxf file is loaded into Inkscape, an open source vector graphics program to convert it to Laserdrw file. The file(s) is/are next loaded into Laserdraw, the...

December 2, 2017

Cooling the laser's tube. 

Prior to purchasing and operating the K40 I received most of my laser experience with a Universal 30 Watt system that I had access to. I did not know how lucky I was, and how hassle free Universal's products are.  The Universals have what I believe are metal laser tubes which are air cooled, or at least some sort of tube that does not require a chiller to cool.

It was an interesting discovery when investigating the K40, that...

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