Session 3: K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter; Integrating The Utility Upgrades

K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter Upgrade Series

Welcome to Session 3 of the all new K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter Upgrade Series with Russ Sadler. In this Session, Russ brings together the mechanical and electrical K40 laser cutter upgrades from the first two sessions. He adds a portable station for power, water cooling, water storage, airflow management, extraction and air assist.

Release Date: 31st May 2022

Over the last 6 years, Russ has built up a formidable YouTube following for his RDWorks Learning Lab series which currently has over 200 videos.

The original RDWorks Learning Lab series on his “Sarbar Multimedia” YouTube Channel, follows Russ as he tries to make sense of his new Chinese laser machine. He then sorts out the truths, half truths and outright misleading information that is available on the web.

Six years later with over 4.5 million YouTube Views under his belt, Russ has become the go to resource for everything related to the Chinese CO2 laser machine user or wannabe user.

K40 Laser Upgrades - Integrating The Utilities
K40 Laser Upgrades – Integrating The Utilities

In this new series, Russ has condensed his knowledge and experience of the last 6 years to provide valuable information and insights into his total remodelling of the K40 Xtreeem Laser cutter machine. Making it into a powerful, compact laser cutting and engraving solution for those on a budget.

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Session 3: K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades

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Session 3: K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades

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Session 3 – K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades

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Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades

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The K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter Upgrade Series with Russ Sadler.

2
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Session three. Integrating the Utilities.

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We’ve done the basic mechanical engineering at the front, and we’ve got the CNC system running, OK.

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But the machine is not mechanically finished yet because to make this into a fairly neat package,

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what I’m going to try and do is to include all the elements,

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the additional elements that we need, like the cooling system, the ventilation system and the air assist system.

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I want to include it all into a… basically a box. This sort of size, that runs right the way across the back of the machine

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here. The problem is, this machine is 800 millimetres wide, and that’s too big to make things on either of my laser machines that I’ve got in here,

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let alone this one. Which we shan’t be able to use. Now if you haven’t got a laser machine.

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There is no reason why you couldn’t make yourself a wooden box that sits on the back here.

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Now, when I’ve finished the design, you’ll see what I mean. You could make yourself two, one or two wooden boxes that sit right across the back there.

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I’ve got some six millimetre acrylic here, very conveniently snuggles in there. So my plan is to make my extraction box, which goes on this end,

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plug onto there. Now originally I bought a little bathroom extraction fan because I thought that would be just enough to do the job,

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and it comes with some nice, flexible ducting as well.

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So everything looked great until I tested it. Well, it wouldn’t even blow a candle out at one yard away.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades

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So it’s actually pretty useless. I had to rethink the idea, and the bit of that I’m going to use is probably the ducting.

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So instead of that, we’ve got two fans strapped together there to get sufficient pressure and flow.

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We’ve got a little radiator there, and the radiator will obviously have to connect all the way up here to the pump and the water.

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So let me go away and design something and then we’ll come back and I’ll show you what we’ve got.

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OK, now I’m going to take you through most of the stages of modification,

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I’m doing to this machine. So that you can, if you like, you might not do yours exactly the same, but it might give you some ideas.

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Now this is a very nice little pump, 24 volt DC, which I shall have to run off the 24 volt DC power supply.

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And that means I’m going to have to upgrade the DC power supply in this machine from 150 watts to 250 watts.

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I’ve got a new power supply, which I shall just wire into this, but you’re not interested in seeing that done because you’ve watched it already.

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I’m just going to upgrade it so that it’s more powerful and it will run this pump.

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Now, as I said, most people would try and put a connector in here and then a piece of pipe in here, and the whole thing would start to get very large.

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I don’t want it to get large. I want to keep it as compact as possible. I’ve designed a flange and I’ve taken three of these screws out.

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You can see they’re quite nice long screws. They’re self tapping screws,

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but they’re long screws and what I’ve done. I’ve manufactured a little flange here, which has got some M3 fixing screws tapped into the flange.

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If I put this flange on the right way. I put two big holes in here which allow me to sit over these two remaining fixing screws because

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I don’t need five fixing screws and I don’t really want to take this cap off completely.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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So I’ve made this hole in here a snug fit on this flange. So I shall have to just push that on.

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But what I shall be doing is pushing it on, and then I’m going to seal the back of it with silicone rubber so that it can’t leak on the back.

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And then I shall be sealing the front as well onto the face of this. Now because I want this to be mounted as low as possible.

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You may see that my fixing holes at the moment are a long way away from where I want them.

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Now this has got some very nice anti vibration mountings on the bottom, which I shall take off.

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I now plan to be rather brutal, so I’ve put this in my vice so that this flange here lines up with the top surface of my vice.

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And that will then give me a nice guide to saw that off

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cleanly. So it’s only a piece of plastic, and it doesn’t really matter.

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This is one of those jigs that I was telling you about before, that I cut on my laser machine for making sure my holes are nice and accurate.

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Now the hole in the middle is four millimeters diameter. And so what I’m going to do with that is to drop that on the deck.

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Like that roughly in the middle, it doesn’t have to be, especially in the middle.

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And then with my four millimetre drill, and now I’ve just got anM4 screw and nut. Fix the jig on there, while, I drill the holes around the outside.

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That’s my tank drilled nearly. I’ve just got to debur those holes on the inside there.

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Most of the burrs come off just with scraping with my fingernail.

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Now the reason why I drilled that four millimetre hole in there, because I’ve got to get a 20mm hole in there for this to pass through.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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So here I’ve got just the tool for doing the job, and there we go.

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So that should be a perfect fit in there.

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Three of these holes, that are very deeply counter sunk, so there’s only about two millimetres of this screw thread sacrificed

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to clamp this flange onto the front of the pump. It’s basically a silicone material, which does not smell.

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This is a non corrosive material. Now this stuff you can get in two forms.

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This happens to be one that I’ve got, which is called flowable. And so it is a little bit more liquid than the normal stuff.

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And I have to be a little bit careful with it because it has got a tendency to run.

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I basically want to use this to glue or seal this face.

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So I’m just going to put a little bead. Around here, and then I’m also going to put a little bit of a bead on here as well.

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So now I’ve got to pop this. Aligned up properly, and I can see that I’ve got a nice seal all the way round that flange.

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And it’s sealed on there very nicely. Now the great thing about this container is it’s polycarbonate, so it won’t crack.

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Now when I come to seal this face, I’ve got to make sure that I go outside and I’ll also put some….

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So I’ll go around the outside of these holes, as well as inside these holes. Making sure that I put a little teeny weeny bit of glue in

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each one of these holes because I don’t want anything to leak through these tapped threads.

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Working with silicon adhesive is never a neat and clean job, it gets all sticky over your fingers.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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There we go. So when I test it later on. Hopefully it’ll be completely leak free.

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Well, here we are a few hours later and as I said, Leave me alone and I’ll go and make something that will fit the bill.

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And I think I’ve done it. Now, look, it’s all acrylic, so we can see through it.

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And it should plug on the back there.

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But the lid comes off, so get access to it. Pop the lid on,

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and just slide it that way and it locks. Now I’ve got to put the fan and radiator in there and to do that,

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what I’ve done I’ve got some, I’ve got some little pieces of stainless steel pipe and some quarter inch by 10 mill fittings,

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and the stainless steel pipe fits in those push-in fittings.

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And then I should be able to screw those in there.

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And now comes the slightly tricky part, getting those screws in there.

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Now it did purposely put some holes in the end here, so that I could push a key through there, like that.

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So the only thing I’ve now got to do is to make a flange to go on here.

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To take this. Okay, so here’s what happens if you leave me alone for a little while.

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I’ve designed a separate box that will bolt onto the end here like that so that it’s a single module that I will be lifting on and off.

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Now the reason I’m doing this like this is because there’s a very distinct possibility that I might take this machine to a

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craft fair or something like that with my step daughter and I want to be able just physically lift this stuff off,

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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put it in the car and put it back up when we get there.

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So I want this piece here to be nice and easily detachable. So I finished up dropping that in there.

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And I shall physically bolt these two pieces together.

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Like that so that they’re one module and on the end here.

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Well, I’ve done a little bit of a weird thing with my air pump.

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I’ve removed the handle from that side. And I’ve removed the two feet from this side and instead.

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I’ve connected up springs, so this whole unit is now suspended on this bar,

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and I’ve got a couple of little plastic tubes on here which just hold it in place.

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And this hangs on the end there, in fresh air. So it doesn’t make much noise at all.

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So you can hear it’s pretty quiet when the air is not blowing at the end there.

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So when I want to take this around, I just physically just unplug this and it lifts off.

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Most of the weight has then disappeared from this module at the back here.

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Let me push on and do some more wiring and some piping and various other bits and pieces.

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At the end of the day, you don’t need to watch me doing this boring stuff.

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Well, I thought you might be interested in how I’m wiring up the fans. Now, these fans to get the volume that I was after, a fairly high volume.

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I had to go for 12 volt fans. But of course, I’m running this off of 24 volts, so I what I’ve have had to do.

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I’ve had to connect these up in series, so that they’re each taking 12 volts.

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And then what I’m going to do, I’m going to connect them.

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I’m going to put them into a piece of tube so that they’re nicely protected. Tuck that in there as well with a bit of luck.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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Yeah. And they’ll all nicely

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then, snuggle in that nice piece of tube. The water tubes have now been fitted and I can plug those back into the into the fitting there.

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I put this in to start with. So as you can hear, that’s a nice snug fit in that hole, so there’s no air leakage coming out of there.

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I’ve got to thread that through two more pieces of packing.

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I might drill a small hole through there, and just tie wrap them back to that stiffner.

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I’m just about to connect a plug onto this pump and I realize it’s only a two core cable.

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But this is a metal case, and there is a little tab on here called Earth.

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With a screw on it. So it’s your responsibility to make this safe by putting an earth on it.

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The only problem is, even if you stick an Earth on it, it’s not going to be safe because we’ve got a layer of paint on here.

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So before we go any further. We’ll scrape the paint off so we get metal to metal contact and

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then the correct thing to use for a for a good contact is an external shake proof washer.

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They’re called star washers normally and the star washer goes against here to make sure that you get good contact.

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So now if that case goes live, it can go down to Earth.

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Well, just a quick update, I’ve added a.

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A little temperature gauge, as I said, I was planning to put that temperature gauge over on the front panel there,

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but of course, that’s another connection I’ve got to make.

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So I decided that I would just do something a little bit different and I’ll have a, have a clip on gauge here like that,

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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which would normally be facing that way like that.

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So I can see it from the front. And then, you know, when we want to transport it, we can just chuck it in there.

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So if modified, I’ve stripped, I’ve stripped the outer and managed to put all three cables, including the Earth,

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into this flexi silicon pipe, that was now surplus to requirements that came off the water system on this machine.

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So we’re making reasonable progress with this. What I would call an ancillary tray, we’re going to put the water flow monitor in the system,

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and we put that into the machine so that we don’t have to link it with a connector.

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We could put it in this side, but it’s better to put it on this return line here inside the machine somewhere.

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We’re going to put these water connectors right up here so that they’re high above the nominal water level of anything so that when we disconnect it,

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we won’t have water running out everywhere. And then we’re going to put our 24 volt connectors in for the water pump and the fans. Because

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the fans will always need to be running with the water pump to make sure that, if you like,

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the cooling is working correctly. I think it may well be sensible to just use one of these and we’ll put them, we’ll wire them both in together.

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The actual air pump itself is going to be driven by mains supply, so that’s going to go in there.

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And I think inside the unit, I’m going to put in a switch off, a delay off unit for that.

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So we’ve got quite a few little modifications to do so.

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We’ve managed to get the water pipes fixed in and we’ve got the flow sensor wired in and connected into the system.

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We’ve got the bulkhead fitted for the air assist pump.

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We’ve got a connection here for connecting the air assist pump, getting mains to the air assist pump,

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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but I haven’t plugged this in yet because we’ve still got some strange wires here, which I’ll explain in a minute.

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We’ve also got this weird thing here, which is all to do with the Air Assist pump.

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And basically what it is, it’s a standard relay.

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On a base and then I’ve glued a timer unit on the side.

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Now, it’s a much cheaper way of producing a “delay off timer” than buying one.

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Delay off timers are a very expensive, probably £50 or £60.

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This one costs me probably in total, maybe about £12.

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So I’ve got a diagram here of how it’s all wired up. We’ve got the little timer board here, which is basically a timer plus a relay.

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And it’s just a single pole changeover relay. The 24 volt DC goes through there.

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And when the machine cycle is switched on, this status line connects to ground.

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So the relay only changes over when we start running a program.

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As soon as the program stops, the relay flips backwards. We haven’t got a reservoir on here.

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The air that comes out of this pump is instant, so we don’t have to store any air at all.

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And this pump is also only running about three or four psi.

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We’re not generating any huge compressive heat and vapor problems. On the other set of contacts, which are in this relay.

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We’ve got just a switch. And that switch drives the timer.

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The timer itself is connected into the 24 volt DC supply all the time the machine is switched on. As soon as it switches on.

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The key switches off and the timer is basically disabled. As soon as the stator switch indicates that the cycle is finished.

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The relay switches over, the key switch connects, the timer, leaves this contact closed,

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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so we’ve still got electricity to the pump, even though this one is off.

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So we’re basically bypassing the relay with this timer relay and then after X number of seconds,

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the timer will kick in and it will change this relay to that side and break this circuit and turn the air pump off.

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That’s one system that I’m going to be wiring in with this.

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The other thing that I’m going to be putting into this, is this weird looking thing here, which basically is an air assist control valve.

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Now this is an intelligent air assist system, which the controller has the capability of using,

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but most people don’t do it the way that I’ve done it here. This little piece here is basically this relay here.

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But in addition to this relay, we’ve also got this timer in here, which bypasses this relay.

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So that it keeps this on for a certain period of time and leaves the pump on after the stator signal has disappeared.

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This little device here is the air assist control valve.

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Now your program has got the ability blowing, yes or no,

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in RDWorks, and I think it just says on and off in LightBurn. When you request the air assist, it will turn on.

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And when you don’t request the air assist, it will turn off. Now, the problem is,

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you should never run the machine with the air assist off because you will stand the chance of contaminating the face of your lens.

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So even though your engraving, where normally you have no air assist,

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there will be a small amount of air assist in this system because the way that this system works is when that when you ask for.

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Yes, I want air assist. What happens is the air flows through this valve here and goes through to your nozzle. When you require no air assist.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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This valve will change over to its other position and the air will come out of this other third port.

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But you’ll notice that what I’ve done, I’ve connected that other port back into the main nozzle line with a “T”.

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And here it is. We’ve got a T-connection into the other line.

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But what we’ve got in this line here is a restrictor. When you call for no air assist.

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There will be some air assist, but it will be just enough to protect your lens.

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And you can regulate how much you want to protect your lens with this little bypass valve

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here. This little regulator. But as soon as you say yes, I do want air assist, then the air will go right the way through here, full bore.

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So we’ve got these two items to fill in here somewhere.

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Now look, they’re quite bulky, but we shall need to be able to get to this to regulate the air flow and which we

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need to be able to get to this to adjust at least one or both of these timers.

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If you ever want to do anything strange with this machine, like manually cutting,

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which you can do if you use an arrow and the pulse key at the same time, you can switch the laser on and drive it around.

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But of course, that’s not a cycle, so you won’t get any air assist.

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But to overcome that problem, what I’ve got to do is to add in an extra switch here,

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which grounds both of these connections and will drive the air assist pump and the barrel to full flow on, for whatever you’re doing manually.

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This is a bit on the big side. A bit OTT, but it’s the only one I’ve got and

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I’m not going to go out and buy one specially.

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As we get into this project, I keep thinking of things that I really ought to be doing to this little piece of kit to make it better.

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Because one of the things that’s important about a laser machine is something that I call airflow management.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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Now we’ve got an extraction system over the back there. But this has got a lid on it.

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And the only place the air can get into this machine is through the electrical cabinet.

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That’s not a lot of good because it strangles the air flow,

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to try and have to pass through the air cabinet and there are only a couple or three holes in the side here. For

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the air to flow into this main body of the cabinet.

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There’s a hole in the bottom. But hey, that’s not a lot of use.

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What we’re going to do, is we’re going to set up a proper air flow management system in this machine.

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And basically, that involves cutting some holes along the bottom here to let air into the machine properly, where we want it.

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Now I normally demonstrate how important it is to have air flow through the front here.

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You’ve got air flow out of the back. Wrong! At the moment, we have got no air flow out of the back.

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What we’ve got, we’ve got a closed cabinet with suction inside.

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We’re trying to suck air through it. And the only air that we shall suck through is that which leaks through all the gaps and holes that are in here.

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That’s not managed airflow. That just happens to be accidentally not stalling the airflow through the fan.

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We’ve got a big hole at the back there, which I’ve made as big as possible.

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We’ve got our extraction system set up to give a nice high flow, not necessarily pressure, but high flow of air,

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through this machine. So we’ve got to now allow at least the same amount of area into the machine as we’ve got going out of the machine.

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And normally, a general rule of thumb is you will allow one and a half times more area in, than is going out.

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Now, when you suck air out, it’s going to suck it from all around.

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But what we need to do is replace the air that’s being sucked out by air being drawn in.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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And it’s the air being drawn in. That’s the important bit, because air being drawn in is like blowing at a candle.

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If you blow at a candle from six inches, you can blow the flame out.

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You try sucking the flame out from six inches away. You will fail.

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And that’s the big difference between suction and blowing.

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And so we’re going to use the suction at the back there to create an air flow through the front,

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which is basically a blowing air flow that will pass across the work, both above and under the work.

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Now at the moment, we’ve got a problem in here. This thing here, if I put holes through the front here.

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All they’re going to do, is they’re going to, air is going to come in here and it’s going to hit this.

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This subframe on which the rails are mounted is a pretty strong subframe.

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This machine frame is pretty stable.

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It’s got big panels on it. It’s got a lot of stiffness to it.

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So I think without any problems at all, I shall be able to mount that frame on four pillars, which will allow air to pass underneath this main frame.

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And get to the work, because that’s where our work is going to be towards the bottom of the machine.

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I mean, the base of this machine is pretty stiff, as you can see, it’s already got all the stiffeners across the bottom here. And here,

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it’s fixed right against the bend of the corner.

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The stiffness and straightness of this frame is not going to be compromised just because I’ve taken that bottom frame out.

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OK, so there’s those pillars in. So we’ve got the basic frame mounted inside now.

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They didn’t actually put these holes in very evenly because they certainly don’t match up with the centerline

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of the holes in the base plate. That’s all nice and solid and stiff now.

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And having put those pillars in there, I’ve just now had another, I hate to be modest.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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Brilliant idea. We shall see in the fullness of time, an adjustable table.

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That’s not screw adjusted, because you don’t need it screw adjusted in this instance,

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because you’ve got a continuously adjustable nozzle. So you don’t need an adjustable table and an adjustable nozzle,

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you’ll be able to get whatever focus you want by setting the focus up.

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That’s just about perfect. And down at the front here?

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Well, we’ve got a little bit of a collision here because I’ve raised it up as much as I can to get as much depth into the base as possible.

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Not by cutting the base out, but by raising the head. I’m just about as far forward

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as I can go here, because I shall hit the front stop.

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So I’ve just about caused a problem here, but only just.

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So that’s all I’ve got to do. I’ve just got to take a little piece out of

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there like that. Out of here and the lid as well, because the lid closes down on here and will have same sort of return on it.

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So we’ve got to close this hole up underneath here, which I can do with a piece of material underneath.

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So now I’ve got to find somewhere to place my two pieces of kit. A possibility that I can fit it all in that corner there.

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It just so happens. I happen to have an eighth, a 1/8th fitting banjo.

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Which will fit on there nicely. Now provided it doesn’t take up too much room.

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It will fit snugly in the corner. I’ll just make sure it fits in the corner there without any problem, which it does.

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So that’s plenty to get me into that corner. So, now, I might have found a use for this dodgy thin water pipe.

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It might make a very nice air assist pipe.

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So if I plug the six millimeter pipe into the bore, which it fits really nice and snugly into, into my fitting there.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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We’re just testing this really to see that it all works up in this corner here before I solidify it.

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So that will then thread through there. Like that, that’s not too bad, it’s not kinking, and that runs backwards and forwards beautifully in there look. No load at all.

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I’ve seen people use all sorts of things like flexi cables off the back here to try and get air assist onto here.

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It’s just totally the wrong way to do it because I want to run this at very high speed,

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and that means you’re going have a piece of cable flapping around the back here. Where as this,

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I shall be able to run this at very high speed. And this will not flap around.

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OK, now we’re going to put this slot in the front of the case here.

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I’ve already prepared the inside of the case. I’ve removed a couple of the pillars off the front here.

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Drop the frame backwards and covered it over with plastic so that I don’t put any swarf in there.

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And what I’ve done, I’ve made a jig on the laser machine with a series of holes along here.

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And what I intend to do. Well, what I’ve done, I’ve stuck it down so that it’s level with the bottom here because that’s how I designed the jig.

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And now I’m going to just physically fix this jig with three holes.

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So I put the first one in and then I don’t have to rely on the gorilla tape anymore.

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Trying to find that hole inside

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there, is a bit, a bit tricky. So there’s our jigs secured. I’ll now

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go along here and drill these 20 odd holes that I’ve got across the front here.

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Now we can take the jig off, and we’ve got a nice series of holes in there now that we can work with. This drill is fine for doing lots of lots of simple,

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small jobs, but ask it to do something a little bit more difficult and um.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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Like this, and it’s going to struggle, and even this is going to struggle a little bit from time to time.

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Well, you’ve caught me at a bit of an inter stage here because, remember I said I had to get in that corner there to fit the air assist valve.

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Well, I had to remove this to get the air assist valve out.

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And while it was out, I’ve done a couple of things.

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First of all, I’ve extended the Y switch at the back there because otherwise I couldn’t actually lift this thing out and leave it all connected.

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So we’ve got that hanging out there and in the back there.

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You can probably just see. I’ve managed to screw my air assist valve down to the floor, down to the deck,

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and I’ve got some wires that run across into here now, and an air pipe that runs across to there.

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So we’ve got an air feed to it, but we haven’t yet got an air feed from it.

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But while I’ve had the unit out, I also decided to do something else.

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And that is, I’ve taken all the screws out of the rail and I’ve put extended screws in because what I’ve decided to do, I’m going to add this thing.

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What’s this thing? It’s an LED strip light to go underneath this gantry.

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So there we go. That fits underneath the gantry there.

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Well, I call a gantry. It’s a piece of bent metal. And I notice that I’ve got a little teeny weeny hole there.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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That I really ought to drill as well. So we’ll just put that little hole in there.

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Very little of this is planned. It’s just creation on the fly.

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I’m trying to make this as complete as possible, a mini copy of my other machines. So that cable should go through there.

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And we’ll sort out what we’re going to do with that when we um, when we get the machine in. We’ll get all the mechanics sorted out and leave bits of wire,

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to work on and while we’ve got this mirror out.

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Remember, it was hitting on the corner there. um, yeah, we’ll be a bit brutal with it and we’ll take the corner off. When we put that back on.

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We might not need to modify the lid and the frame.

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I think we have to put the frame back in before we can put the pillars in, because it won’t slip over the pillars.

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We’ve got this lovely slot across the front here, which is going to do a great job, but it doesn’t look very pretty.

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So what we’re going to do is make something that fits over here and covers that up.

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Once I lift this up and put it on the front pillars, I can’t push it back far enough to get access to these three holes, which is what I need.

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And there we go. We’ve made a nice little fascia plate for it. With a name on it now, so it’s no longer a K40.

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It’s been stretched to the Xtreeem. Which I thought was a good name for it.

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So now we should be able to put this back onto its pillars and we are, I think, nearly ready to call it finished.

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Except we’ve got to do all the wiring and testing. But hey, it’s getting closer every time I fiddle with it, it’s getting closer.

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Before we finished the wiring off on this, we’ll just power this machine up to make sure I’ve done nothing to the electrics since I’ve

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installed the new power supply. Because it hasn’t been turned on since I rewired it.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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Basically, I swapped the wires over. It should be OK, so let’s give it a quick try.

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Power on, it should go zero. Which it does. Set

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zero. I’ve finished most of the electrical modifications now. I’ve put the Air Assist controller up there.

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The thing that turns the pump on and off with the cycle. This cable here is the water protect,

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which I’ve not connected in yet because we haven’t connected the laser tube to the controller.

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This is just a CNC system. We’re going to give it a try now. I’ve literally just filled the water system up over there – full.

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But of course, the tube has got to fill up first, so I’ll have to top it up again in a minute.

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But let’s just see whether or not we get everything working, OK?

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So let’s turn some power on. So that’s the air pump running.

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Not very noisy, as you can hear. Shouldn’t be running at the moment, so

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it means I’ve got the connections on this, probably on this timer set up wrongly. We’ll sort that out shortly.

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Let’s see what happens when we turn it on. Ah you see, it turns off, which is correct.

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So it is connected up the wrong way round. At the moment the pump is not running.

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That’s because it looks as though I’ve got it disconnected. Just a matter of swapping that relay connection.

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And that should now work correctly.

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We’ve certainly got a lot of flow. We don’t have any leaks.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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Just a hint of one there. It looks as though we might have a little leak.

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I might have to put a little clip. Hang on, where’s that leak coming from? Oh that’s the return nozzle. We’ll just mop the water out the bottom there.

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It all looks to be working reasonably well. Mechanically, it seems okay. For the first time of power up, that’s not too bad.

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Nothing disastrous. I’ll maybe put some more water in, now that the tube has filled up.

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Let’s give it another try. See what happens? There we go.

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The pump has now turned off. Because we’re not running a cycle.

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It’s not very noisy is it? There we go. I think that’s fixed all the leaks. It feels like I’ve got a nice flow of air through there.

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Let’s just see if I can create some smoke. Well look at that air, going in there, look.

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Doing a superb job of sucking air into the front there. I’m very pleased with that.

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Oh! I’m not venting it anywhere because I haven’t got the outlet pipe on yet, but there we go.

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I haven’t got my override button to force the air assist on at the moment. Now because the fan is connected in to the cooling system.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

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I can’t turn the fan off. It’s a lot less noisy than my other machines. I’m also waiting for a small 12 volt transformer to go in here.

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Why? Once I can get 12 volts on here. I’ll be able to get my LED’s working.

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We’ve got the CNC running. We’ve got the basic machine running now.

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We can see over the back here, I can clearly see what my temperature is of the water, return water is.

324
00:38:36,350 –> 00:38:44,250
So we’ve got lots of good flow in the water tank. As you can see the air flow from the fans is it’s pretty good.

325
00:38:44,250 –> 00:38:48,230
The little radiator is going to work just fine to control the temperature.

326
00:38:48,230 –> 00:38:53,270
It’ll only be on hot days when you know the air temperature is really hot, that it’s not very efficient.

327
00:38:53,270 –> 00:39:05,930
That’s not the UK. We rarely get temperatures over 25 in the summer, maybe 30 degrees C if we’re lucky some years, but not every year.

328
00:39:05,930 –> 00:39:11,960
So I think this cooling system will be perfectly adequate. So we’ve still got quite a few things to do.

329
00:39:11,960 –> 00:39:18,950
We’ve got to fit the mirrors and what we’ve got to do is probably raise this tube up, because remember,

330
00:39:18,950 –> 00:39:25,400
we raised that number 2 mirror up to get maximum height in the machine.

331
00:39:25,400 –> 00:39:33,680
And that means we probably need to drill, cover this hole up and drill a new hole in here to suit the new position.

332
00:39:33,680 –> 00:39:38,120
And it won’t be a hole that’s like two by one. It’ll probably be a hole

333
00:39:38,120 –> 00:39:41,720
that’s no more than possibly half an inch diameter.

334
00:39:41,720 –> 00:39:49,910
Because I don’t want to suck air through from this direction out here. I need this efficient, this air flow through here to be as efficient as possible,

335
00:39:49,910 –> 00:39:56,030
sucking in through the front of the machine and not from anywhere else.

336
00:39:56,030 –> 00:40:01,520
Nothing in here getting warm. I think I’ve got most of the stuff now, to finish off with.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

337
00:40:01,520 –> 00:40:08,510
This is a 240 volt to 12 volt converter, DC converter to run the LED’s,

338
00:40:08,510 –> 00:40:16,880
and I’ve got a couple of small switches here, which I’ve pre-wired and they will go on the front here.

339
00:40:16,880 –> 00:40:25,790
So one is to turn the air assist to manual or automatic, and the other one will be to turn the laser tube on or off.

340
00:40:25,790 –> 00:40:30,110
It’s just a five volt signal that controls the laser on and off.

341
00:40:30,110 –> 00:40:35,180
So that’s why I can get away with these very small switches.

342
00:40:35,180 –> 00:40:47,060
Well, I fitted my two switches on the front of the machine now, and I’ve made the final connections between the controller and these other pieces.

343
00:40:47,060 –> 00:40:54,080
So here we’ve got something called air assist and status.

344
00:40:54,080 –> 00:41:02,480
Now these lines are coming in from various other places that I’ve connected i, to drive the air assist,

345
00:41:02,480 –> 00:41:09,350
which is the air assist valve and the status, which is to drive everything else when the circuit is running.

346
00:41:09,350 –> 00:41:11,990
So these are controlled independently by the program.

347
00:41:11,990 –> 00:41:20,930
So we want to turn on the air assist on and the status on, to turn the pump and in the air assist valve on manually.

348
00:41:20,930 –> 00:41:27,920
We want to override these two programable controls and the simple way to do that is to take a little wire out of

349
00:41:27,920 –> 00:41:36,470
there. And a little wire out of there. And connect them into here, like this.

350
00:41:36,470 –> 00:41:44,030
Now, the normal action of these two connections that the controller performs, is when it wants it to happen,

351
00:41:44,030 –> 00:41:50,540
it physically switches these down to ground internally. So here we’ve got a ground line.

352
00:41:50,540 –> 00:41:59,240
And what we’re going to do is we’re going to manually. Force that line down to ground.

353
00:41:59,240 –> 00:42:00,500
With our switch.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

354
00:42:00,500 –> 00:42:08,060
So what will happen is now, when I turn the switch on, it forces these two lines instead of going down to ground internally under program control.

355
00:42:08,060 –> 00:42:13,010
It goes to Ground. It goes down to ground externally by my control.

356
00:42:13,010 –> 00:42:22,580
Here we’ve got the HV power supply. And here we’ve got the laser control, which says Ground; L-on.

357
00:42:22,580 –> 00:42:27,990
When you drop the voltage low, it turns the tube on.

358
00:42:27,990 –> 00:42:31,830
And so that’s what we’ve got here, we’ve got low TL.

359
00:42:31,830 –> 00:42:41,910
So that TL connects in to the L, and then next to that, we’ve got PWM or this one here L-Analog.

360
00:42:41,910 –> 00:42:45,390
Both of these are doing exactly the same thing, but in a different way.

361
00:42:45,390 –> 00:42:54,660
This one is an analog signal. And this one is a digital signal. But they both produce percent power signals. In different ways,

362
00:42:54,660 –> 00:43:05,220
but they finish up exactly the same because although this one is a digital signal, PWM and if you connect L-an up, that also goes to in.

363
00:43:05,220 –> 00:43:08,700
But here at the high voltage controller, whatever comes here,

364
00:43:08,700 –> 00:43:15,060
whether it’s a digital or an analog signal, it gets converted back to an analog signal for use inside.

365
00:43:15,060 –> 00:43:19,950
So it really doesn’t matter which one of these two connections you make. The manual says,

366
00:43:19,950 –> 00:43:25,470
if you’ve got a glass tube, they recommend this one, the analog signal,

367
00:43:25,470 –> 00:43:33,570
but 90 percent all the machines I’ve used and connected up myself have used PWM with no consequence at all.

368
00:43:33,570 –> 00:43:43,350
So I tend to use PWM. So the flow control signal that tells us that water is flowing, connects between ground and W.P. – Water Protect.

369
00:43:43,350 –> 00:43:48,570
And that’s it. So there’s all the connections that we’ve just made into this controller.

370
00:43:48,570 –> 00:43:55,260
The final connection. Ooh, wrong! This L signal here.

371
00:43:55,260 –> 00:44:00,600
I want to intercept that signal, so that I can switch it on or off.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

372
00:44:00,600 –> 00:44:10,120
So what I’ve done? I’ve actually broken this L signal here and we are taking one side of it,

373
00:44:10,120 –> 00:44:20,090
to there. And the other side of it, to there.

374
00:44:20,090 –> 00:44:27,380
So we’ve got a switch in that line now that allows me to switch that the tube on and off.

375
00:44:27,380 –> 00:44:35,360
And in here, we’ve got my mains to 12 volt DC converter and that’s running the LEDs.

376
00:44:35,360 –> 00:44:45,040
So let’s turn everything on and see what’s happening, should we?

377
00:44:45,040 –> 00:44:52,600
Yeah, yeah. Everything is running to plan. So I should be able to force the air assist on.

378
00:44:52,600 –> 00:45:02,470
We shall hear it making a hissy noise. Ah, now we have manual override on the air assist – great.

379
00:45:02,470 –> 00:45:07,180
So that’s one problem solved. We’ll, just get a piece of cardboard from somewhere.

380
00:45:07,180 –> 00:45:16,600
Just stick that in front of the laser tube there and turn the laser on and check the pulse button.

381
00:45:16,600 –> 00:45:20,380
So we have no power to the tube. Several reasons why.

382
00:45:20,380 –> 00:45:27,130
One, we’ve got our switch here, which could be off. But It wasn’t.

383
00:45:27,130 –> 00:45:36,280
It was on. But of course, switching the tube on and off only works if we got high voltage to tube itself to start with.

384
00:45:36,280 –> 00:45:39,910
If there’s no high voltage there, we haven’t got any power to the tube at all.

385
00:45:39,910 –> 00:45:44,470
We’ve got to go through a logical process of trying to sort out what’s wrong.

386
00:45:44,470 –> 00:45:50,530
This is where people get a little bit worried. They immediately think the tube is dead.

387
00:45:50,530 –> 00:45:55,900
Well, not true. The tube does not just die.

388
00:45:55,900 –> 00:45:59,950
Tubes always work, they always work.

389
00:45:59,950 –> 00:46:05,530
If they’ve got high voltage going to them. There might be no power coming out of the tube.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

390
00:46:05,530 –> 00:46:12,910
But if there is a pink glow in the tube, it means we’ve got high voltage switching the tube on.

391
00:46:12,910 –> 00:46:17,650
Now we’ve first of all, not switched the tube on and we’ve got no high voltage.

392
00:46:17,650 –> 00:46:24,340
So we’ve got two options at the moment, which we’ve got to try and work out what’s going on, and I’ll show you how to do that.

393
00:46:24,340 –> 00:46:32,410
And that will tell us whether or not we’ve got the signals going to the high voltage power supply that we require.

394
00:46:32,410 –> 00:46:37,000
If we got the signals there and nothing’s coming out of the high voltage power supply.

395
00:46:37,000 –> 00:46:41,260
We have to assume that the HV supply is dead.

396
00:46:41,260 –> 00:46:47,530
It might appear to be working, but the output side is not generating any high voltage.

397
00:46:47,530 –> 00:46:56,530
Let’s Just check whether or not L is sitting at 5 volts on the high voltage power supply.

398
00:46:56,530 –> 00:47:07,150
So between ground and yellow should be five volts and there we go 4.5 volts, which is more or less correct.

399
00:47:07,150 –> 00:47:20,350
So the tube, when we ground it, should switch on. I’ve rigged up between ground and low on the high voltage power supply,

400
00:47:20,350 –> 00:47:25,780
this button, an instant contact button, which is equivalent to the pulse button from here,

401
00:47:25,780 –> 00:47:34,060
but I’m doing it directly at the high voltage power supply and we’ll see whether or not we get any signal

402
00:47:34,060 –> 00:47:39,310
in the tube. And the answer is no.

403
00:47:39,310 –> 00:47:48,730
I also got the water protect switch bypassed completely, so there’s no logical reason now why the tube cannot fire,

404
00:47:48,730 –> 00:47:54,190
except the high voltage power supply is not delivering high voltage.

405
00:47:54,190 –> 00:48:05,950
So I’ve got 4.5 volts there, which is correct. And when I press this button that should disappear to zero. 25 millivolts on the way down.

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

406
00:48:05,950 –> 00:48:12,080
So we know now that the signal to the high voltage power supply is working.

407
00:48:12,080 –> 00:48:19,600
We’re grounding that five volt signal to zero and going low should turn the tube on.

408
00:48:19,600 –> 00:48:27,130
So there’s a problem inside the high voltage power supply. So we have a problem. A dead power supply.

409
00:48:27,130 –> 00:48:39,870
It was fairly easy to identify that. Where on Earth do I get another power supply from quickly? Ta-Da!

410
00:48:39,870 –> 00:48:48,150
Well, about a year ago, I modified an eBay machine from a glass tube machine to an RF machine.

411
00:48:48,150 –> 00:48:53,610
And RF doesn’t require one of these. So I ripped this out of a 50 watt machine.

412
00:48:53,610 –> 00:48:56,460
And here we’ve got a50 watt power supply.

413
00:48:56,460 –> 00:49:03,480
It’s very slightly different to the one that I’ve got in there, but I think dimensionally it will allow me to fit it into this machine.

414
00:49:03,480 –> 00:49:09,090
So now I’ve got the irksome task of pulling all the stuff out, fitting this in and putting it all back to working.

415
00:49:09,090 –> 00:49:15,480
You don’t need to see me do that. I’ll come back to you in a few hours when I’ve done that irksome task.

416
00:49:15,480 –> 00:49:29,960
Well, here we are two minutes later and it’s out. Well, I’ve still got this one to disconnect, but the essence of it is, it’s the same size.

417
00:49:29,960 –> 00:49:41,090
Same fittings, so there’s one screw at the back there, which holds this down, literally just plugs over it and one screw at the front.

418
00:49:41,090 –> 00:49:47,590
So this is nice and easy to take out, and I haven’t had to remove anything in there at all.

419
00:49:47,590 –> 00:49:51,020
Well, I’ve got the new one in. I haven’t actually connected anything up at the moment.

420
00:49:51,020 –> 00:49:59,580
The wire has gone through, the high voltage wire has gone through OK, but all these connections are basically the same connectors.

421
00:49:59,580 –> 00:50:07,040
But you have to be very, very careful when you swap power supplies over because all these connections are totally different

Transcript for K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter – Integrating The Utility Upgrades (Cont…)

422
00:50:07,040 –> 00:50:12,440
on here. And this six way connector, which connects to the controller, is totally different.

423
00:50:12,440 –> 00:50:20,600
So you’ve got to make sure you can go to somewhere like the CloudRay website and get some connection diagrams for the power supply

424
00:50:20,600 –> 00:50:26,030
that you’ve got. Well, we’ve fitted the the new power supply, there’s the old one.

425
00:50:26,030 –> 00:50:38,740
Thank you. It’s not completely solid yet. Just in case I have to make some changes, but we’re ready to rock and roll.

426
00:50:38,740 –> 00:50:42,970
Well, something seriously wrong. We’ve just tripped the electrics.

427
00:50:42,970 –> 00:50:54,480
So we better go and check. So I think we’ve found the problem. When I look at the actual circuit board itself, it tells me that its AC / AC / Earth and neutral.

428
00:50:54,480 –> 00:51:00,900
Totally different to what this picture shows. So warning, be very careful, check, check and check again.

429
00:51:00,900 –> 00:51:06,730
Well, let’s hope we haven’t damaged that power supply. All seems okay at the moment.

430
00:51:06,730 –> 00:51:15,960
We’ll put our piece of cardboard back. Laser on, and a quick pulse.

431
00:51:15,960 –> 00:51:23,070
We have some energy, so we had some action. It was the power supply, and so I hope we learned from that.

432
00:51:23,070 –> 00:51:26,800
Some simple things, don’t go out and buy a new tube.

433
00:51:26,800 –> 00:51:31,920
Don’t go out and buy a new power supply until you check one or two basic things. Now that I know that it works.

434
00:51:31,920 –> 00:51:38,970
I’ll go and install the tube properly. I’ll put the silicon around the high voltage connector to make sure it doesn’t arc anywhere.

435
00:51:38,970 –> 00:51:43,170
Well that’s about as far as I think we can go at the moment because we’ve got to leave this

436
00:51:43,170 –> 00:51:49,320
for about another 24 hours to really harden off before I can move that and use the tube.

437
00:51:49,320 –> 00:51:57,660
But we have a machine that’s mechanically functioning, electrically functioning and laser functioning, but not set up.

438
00:51:57,660 –> 00:52:05,824
So I think we can leave it there until the next session.

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Last updated August 26, 2021

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