Thursday, 9 May 2013

HPC Service and Tube replacement

HPC laser came over today as my machine has recently experienced a serious drop off in laser performance. They had a quick look around and went to replace the laser tube as planned. Turns out the lens in the end of the tube was pretty well caked in gunk and is likely to be the main cause of failure. This is my mistake for overlooking the end of the laser tube, although the 3060 makes it particularly hard to even see the end of the laser tube let alone get in there to clean it. My laser is pretty dirty anyway and they politely repeated the instruction that I should clean everything more often. There was instant improvement, the settings I was using last night and having to cut twice burnt clean through the plastic today and actually set it on fire.

So why the photo above? Well you know that when you put something back together again there are always a few pieces left over? I pulled the extractor fan apart to clean the impeller and when I put it back together I had all of the above left over. It's a pain in the ass to pull apart and reminds me of those 'ball in a cage' milling exercises, every single screw had to be undone to remove the fan and even with the access panels off you couldn't just release the unit. So when I put it back together I realised that it would fit neatly inside the laser cutter case, everything in that photo is a leftover.. Reusing the internal brackets, screws and ever rubber feet

I managed to rehouse it inside the laser so now instead of churning away on top of the laser at ear height it now sits quietly in a larger case and the reduced amount of ducting means it's even drawing more air through it now. I need to extract the power switch and IEC power point or just wire it straight into the machine (although I still like being able to turn it on and off independent of the laser) but it's already a vast improvement.