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How Long Does a Laser Engraver Last?

laser engraver last

Wenting Wang |

The laser engraving machine kit is composed of many parts, each of which plays an indispensable role. At present, the common laser engraving machine consists of five parts: control system, transmission system, optical system, auxiliary system and mechanical platform. The mechanical system consists of guide rail, cover plate, mirror frame and other mechanical accessories, and the auxiliary system consists of air compressor, water pump and exhaust fan. The transmission system is composed of linear guide rail, stepping motor, belt and gear. The optical system consists of power supply, laser tube, reflector and lens. As consumable parts, they all have a certain service life. Today we mainly discuss the life of the laser tube and lens, and how to extend the life of the entire laser engraving machine?

As the laser, reflector and focusing mirror of the laser engraving machine are the core components of its mechanical equipment, each part is indispensable and interacts and cooperates within the laser engraving machine. Therefore, regular inspection and maintenance must be arranged to ensure that they are in good working condition. Although there are many variables that affect the service life of the laser engraving machine, in general, most lasers provide relatively trouble free service in the first five years of operation. If most engraving machines can be maintained regularly and operate normally, there is no problem in using them for 7-8 years. First of all, we need to understand the service life of the main parts of engraving machine and how to maintain the machine to extend its service life, so as to maximize the engraving efficiency.

How long does a laser tube last?

The laser tube is the consumable of the laser engraving machine, so the service life has become the most important purchase index for users. How long can the laser tube work continuously? Many users use the machine for 8 to 10 hours a day. In fact, the damage to laser tubes and other key components is very large. The laser tube that should have been used for more than one year was scrapped after half a year. The general life of the laser tube is 5000-10000 hours. When the current ratio is relatively small, the laser tube can emit light continuously for 4 hours without major problems, and it will not cause too much damage to the laser tube itself. However, when the laser tube works continuously for more than 4 hours, the temperature in the laser tube will gradually increase. When the temperature rise rate exceeds the heat dissipation rate of the laser tube, the load of the laser tube will increase, and the laser tube will work continuously under high temperature conditions, and its life will decline rapidly. Although the water chiller of the laser tube can take away the internal temperature and dissipate heat to the laser tube in time, the heat dissipation effect is often not enough for continuous use for a long time. This is the case with many appliances. After a long time, it will be too late for heat dissipation and continuous heating. There is something wrong with the laser tube and the high temperature is intolerable. Therefore, it is recommended to turn off the power supply for a period of time after four hours of continuous operation, about half an hour. In addition, when the laser tube works continuously for more than 4 hours, the burden of the laser power supply will increase and the control board will be damaged to some extent. 

As time goes on, the laser tube will deteriorate and the output power will decrease. For example, the original output power may drop to the normal power after 5 years, and it may be lower if the mirror and lens are also degraded. As the power drops, the speed setting will have to be lowered to compensate for the reduced wattage. This will cause you to spend more time carving a work that can be completed in a short time. When your laser has been aged for more than 5 years, especially about 7 or 8 years, it is not uncommon for the failure to occur due to the failure of main components. These three fairly common components will frequently fail, including the laser tube, power supply and motherboard. 

We have summarized the idea of most experienced laser owners that it is better to replace the aging laser purposefully when it is still running, rather than wait until it is completely dead. If you have a busy shop and you only have one laser, this is particularly true. Adding a second laser allows you to have two fully operable lasers instead of one. This provides a built-in backup plan if any of the lasers fail. You are still operating your small business, even if you are not running at full capacity.

How long does a len last?

There is no specific time for the lens life, which may be one year or two years, or one minute. Pay attention to the protection to avoid damage. Wipe the lens frequently, do not get dirty, and handle it carefully. During the replacement of the lens of the laser engraving machine and the placement, detection and installation of the lens, attention should be paid to the lens not to be damaged or polluted. After installing a new lens, it needs to be cleaned regularly. This process is quite simple. Correct operation will effectively prolong the service life of the lens and reduce the cost. On the contrary, it will shorten the service life. When the laser machine is working, the optical components in the laser tube will inevitably contact the suspension. When laser engraving, cutting, welding and heat treating materials, the working surface will release a lot of gas and splash, which will damage the lens. When pollutants fall on the surface of the lens, it will absorb the energy of the laser beam, thus producing a thermal lens effect. If the lens does not generate thermal stress, the operator can remove it and clean it. Of course, some methods should be used to avoid damage to the lens and further pollution.

How to prolong the lifetime of CO2 laser engraving machine?

Requirements for ambient temperature and humidity:

The ambient humidity for machine operation has certain requirements, generally 5 ℃ - 40 ℃ is preferred. If some special environments must be operated below freezing point, the following points should be paid attention to: Prevent the circulation in the laser tube from icing. Once the machine is stopped, the water must be drained. In case of cold or wet weather, it is necessary to start the machine for a few minutes to preheat, remove the moisture and then apply high pressure. When starting, the laser current must be preheated for more than 5 minutes before operation. In addition, in a humid environment, the laser power supply needs a longer preheating time, and only after the moisture is exhausted can the high voltage be applied to prevent damage to the high voltage circuit. 

Cleaning work:

To prevent impurities from entering the machine, clean and oil the core part guide rail in the laser engraving machine guide rail regularly to maintain its flexibility, so as to maintain the processing accuracy at the original value. The guide rail is also the core component of high precision. After each work is completed, it must be cleaned and kept clean and lubricated. The bearing should also be regularly oiled to make the drive flexible, the processing accurate, and extend the service life of the laser engraving machine. Cleaning and maintenance are necessary for normal operation. 

Grounding protection:

The purpose of this is to ensure the normal operation of the laser power supply, to protect the laser tube to a greater extent, and to prevent the circuit from being burned due to poor high-voltage discharge. Ensure the normal operation of the laser power supply, extend the service life of the laser tube, prevent the machine tool from bouncing due to external interference, and prevent accidental circuit damage caused by high-voltage discharge. We must have a good foundation. Keep away from equipment with high power and strong vibration. Strong power interference can sometimes lead to machine failure. Although this is rare, it should be avoided as much as possible. Therefore, large electric welding machines, giant electric mixers, large power transmission and transformation equipment should be kept away from. It goes without saying that the vibration caused by strong vibration equipment, such as forging presses and motor vehicles traveling close to each other, and the obvious shaking of the ground are very harmful to precision carving.

Smooth cooling water:

If the heat generated by the laser tube during operation is not controlled, it will cause tube explosion and power supply damage. This is necessary to keep the cooling water smooth, which is also a part of the regular check. Whether tap water or circulating pump is used for stable cooling water, the water must keep flowing. The cooling water takes away the heat generated by the laser tube. The higher the water temperature, the lower the optical output power (15-20 ° C is the best). When the water is cut off, the tube end will break or even damage the laser power supply due to the heat accumulation in the laser cavity. Therefore, check whether the cooling water is unblocked at any time. When the water pipe has a hard bend (dead bend) or falls off, and the water pump fails, it must be repaired in time to avoid power failure or even damage to the equipment.

Protective measures in thunderstorm weather:

Generally, buildings are equipped with lightning protection devices. In addition, if the grounding work does well done, there is basically no big problem. As long as the building lightning protection measures are reliable. The item "good grounding" is also helpful for lightning protection. Prompt: In areas with unstable power grid (such as voltage fluctuation exceeding 5%), please install a regulated power supply with a capacity of at least 3000W or above to prevent sudden voltage fluctuation from burning the circuit or computer.

Computer stability:

Do not use the computer for special purposes except for installing necessary graphic design software. The computer is equipped with a network card and an anti-virus firewall, which will seriously affect the speed of the laser machine. Do not install an antivirus firewall on the controller. If you need a network card for data communication, please disable the network card before starting the laser engraving machine.

Guide rail maintenance:

Large amount of dust will be produced by processing materials during the guide rail movement. Maintenance method: wipe the original lubricating oil and dust on the guide rail with a cotton cloth, and then apply a layer of lubricating oil on the surface and side of the guide rail. Maintenance period: 7 days.

Fan maintenance:

After the fan works for a period of time, a large amount of dust will accumulate in the fan and exhaust pipe, affecting the exhaust efficiency of the fan, resulting in a large amount of smoke and dust can not be discharged. Maintenance method: Loosen the hose clamp connecting the exhaust pipe and fan, remove the exhaust pipe, and clean the dust in the exhaust pipe and fan. Maintenance period: 30 days.

Screw fastening:

After the movement system works for a period of time, the screws at the movement joints will be loosened, which will affect the stability of mechanical movement. Maintenance method: Use the provided tools to tighten the screws one by one. Maintenance period: 30 days.

Lens maintenance:

After the machine works for a period of time, due to the influence of the working environment, the lens will be covered with a layer of ash, which will reduce the reflectivity and transmissivity of the lens, and ultimately affect the working power of the laser. Maintenance method: gently wipe the lens surface clockwise with absorbent cotton dipped in ethanol to remove dust.