It turns out that only the front stand(?) was bent, so I straightened it up and all is ok. I didn't take into account on how I was going to lift a 125Kg machine 30cm into the air, so I could remove the boxes of parts underneath the laser. Also, how do you get it off the packing crate box floor late at night without four other people around to help lift it off? I ended up spending 1.5 hours levering the unit up via bocks, then removing the boxes and the pallet, then levering it down block by block.
The managed to squirrel away a lot of parts around the cutter:
There are nice English labels on all switches and inside parts, however, when I powered it up, I found that the LCD menu was in Chinese! I am still working on a fix (or firmware upgrade) that with the eBay supplier but not holding out much hope:
It turns out though that I mainly print directly from the local computer, so I don't really need (at the moment), the LCD. The LCD does display the what's being printed, the layer power settings etc, so that's ok:
I spent the last weekend testing the cutter out on a lot of different materials: paper, 3mm cardboard, fabrics, a few metals, granite, glass, ceramics, a few plastics, plywood and 3mm and 6mm MDF.
For other people looking to purchase something similar, or benchmarking purposes, I found the 60W laser would cut:
3mm MDF at 10mm/sec at 70% power
6mm MDF: two runs of 10mm/sec @ 80%
80g/m3 paper,: 200mm/sec @ 20%
most fabrics: 100mm/sec at 30%
2mm glass: 50mm @ 15% - a light ablation, 100mm @ 30% gives a deeper ablation
3mm acrylic: 10mm @ 90% - clean cut
I was hoping that it could cut 6mm MDF in one pass. I did try cutting the 9mm crate plywood, but it struggles to get through the last layer. I have yet to try 9mm MDF.
Things I like about it:
- the proper cutting bed material
- the 500mm x 700mm cutting bed
- it's on wheels
- robust construction
- only had to pick up distilled water and a 20L Bunnings container/bucket and it was all up and running
- software is easy to use and seems to recognise my DFX drawings from the latest versions of Inkscape and Design Spark Mechanical.
- while repairing the switch, I noticed that the controller has a RJ-45 port. I have yet to test this out.
- comes with a software and hardware Chinglish set of manuals.
Things I don't like about it:
- the air suction fan is very noisy and vibrates around. This was mentioned by a 50W Aussie video reviewer, so no surprise there. It does pump out a lot of air! The fan motor gets too hot to touch if it's been on for an hour or more.
- be nice if one could continuous feed material through the front/back slots, but the design is 20mm out. Maybe the laser head could be lowered?
- the laser has a ~ 11mm focus path. If it was longer, it might cut deeper in one pass? Maybe a different lens might fix this?
- The main switch failed in the 'on position' on the 4th day!! Luckily I could disassemble it and reset the internal arm. I ordered two more from AliExpress, just in case.
- Chinese LCD menu (some English), not a show stopper yet.
Would I purchase it again?
Is the tube really a 60W unit, or is it a remarked 40W tube? I have no idea, as I don't have anything to compare it against. Of course, I would love a 135W or a 150W laser to easily cut thicker wood, but for the moment, I can live with what I have. Maybe in another few years, the tube prices might come down some more?
Back of unit:
First light - the tube works! LH zap, whoops, I forgot to focus the beam. RH side, properly focused beam on Jarrah, with a 1/2W resister as a reference:
First test project - 80mm x 50mm with 3mm MDF: