The Lightblade Learning Lab with Russ Sadler
The Lightblade Learning Lab is a series of videos that Russ did for Thinklaser Limited based on using the Lightblade 4060 Laser Cutting and Engraving Machine. Thinklasers Lightblade 4060 has a 400 x 600mm bed size and was supplied with a 60W EFR laser tube. In this session, Russ explains and demonstrates the process of how to change a laser tube. He then covers the process of beam alignment by setting up the optical path.
- Russ found some very small inconsistencies in his laser that would be fine for normal production work but not for test work.
- Was sent a new tube made by EFR – a cheap but good quality tube.
- EFR make 3 ranges of tubes
- CL Series (stated life of 3,000 hours is questionable)
- F Series (stated life of 6,000 hours)
- ZS Series (stated life of 10,000 hours)
- Warranty promises made by manufacturers are dubious
- Doing the maths to compare life with cost shows that the bottom of the range tube chosen by Thinklaser is the most economical over time.
How To Change a Laser Tube – The Removal Process
- Danger of stored high voltage electricity – leave the machine for at least an hour before starting disassembly.
- Disconnecting the tube from the machine by snipping the cables.
- Use of a standard terminal block to connect the wires.
- Unclamping the tube.
- Using a clean plastic bucket in case of leakage.
- Clamping the tube and removing the water outlet pipe from back of chiller.
- Using tape to keep the tubes high.
- Blowing the water out of the tube.
- Disconnecting the cathode cable.
- Removing the tube.
- Catalyst coating on discharge tube – seen as a pink colouration on the inside of the tube which is gold.
- Cutting off high voltage connector.
How To Change a Laser Tube – The Installation Process
- Installing the tube.
- Making the electrical connections.
- Using the silicon cooling tubing as an insulator.
- Using silicon sealant – don’t use standard bath sealant (Editor’s Note: You need a type that doesn’t contain acetic acid – which is the chemical that causes standard sealant to be so smelly)
- Fitting the water pipes.
- Clamping the tube.
- Replacing the water that was caught in the beginning.
- Turning the machine on and checking that the water flows back through the tube.
- Checking the tube with pulses.
How To Change a Laser Tube – The Beam Alignment Process
- Using circular beam targets to check alignment.
- Testing the beam alignment.
- Lifting the tube to align it.
- Checking the alignment with Mirror 2 and moving Mirror 1 to correct alignment.
- Checking alignment with Mirror 3.
- ‘Sighting Pulse’ and ‘Target Pulse’ to check beam is parallel with the primary axes of the machine.
- Looking at various ways of getting the last part of the alignment correct.
- Mirrors 1 and 2 less sensitive to small vertical errors, Mirror 3 less sensitive to small horizontal errors.
- Removing the lens tube and doing pulse tests to check Z-Axis alignment.
- Summarising the 3-step process:
- 1: Move the mirror as far away as possible and make a ‘Sighting Burn’
- 2: Move the mirror close to the previous mirror and make a ‘Target Burn’
- 3: Then align the mirror to get the two burns coincident and repeat 2 & 3 as necessary.
- Replacing the lens tube
- Using another target to check the alignment of the beam with the beam tube’s nozzle.
- Slightly adjusting the beam to get it into the centre of the target.
- Using a large block of Perspex to check that the beam is vertical
- Summary. The concept of adjusting the source of the beam or ‘catching the beam’. Now need to measure the performance of the beam. See the next video.
My thanks go out to Tom at Thinklaser for giving permission to embed these videos on this site. If you are looking for a new laser machine from a quality supplier, then I would suggest you check out their website: www.thinklaser.com.
Video Resource Files
There are no resource files associated with this video.
External Resource Links
There are no more external resource links associated with this video.
Transcript for How to Change a Laser Tube
Click the “Show More” button to reveal the transcript, and use your browsers Find function to search for specific sections of interest.
Did you enjoy this post? Why not check out some of our other posts:
Last updated August 26, 2021
The information provided by n-Deavor Limited, trading as Laseruser.com (“we,” “us” , or “our”) on (the “Site”) is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHALL WE HAVE ANY LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF THE SITE OR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE SITE. YOUR USE OF THE SITE AND YOUR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION ON THE SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.
EXTERNAL LINKS DISCLAIMER
The Site may contain (or you may be sent through the Site) links to other websites or content belonging to or originating from third parties or links to websites and features in banners or other advertising. Such external links are not investigated, monitored, or checked for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness by us.
WE DO NOT WARRANT, ENDORSE, GUARANTEE, OR ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY INFORMATION OFFERED BY THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES LINKED THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY WEBSITE OR FEATURE LINKED IN ANY BANNER OR OTHER ADVERTISING.
WE WILL NOT BE A PARTY TO OR IN ANY WAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES.
The Site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links. Our affiliates include the following:
- makeCNC who provide Downloadable Patterns, Software, Hardware and other content for Laser Cutters, CNC Routers, Plasma, WaterJets, CNC Milling Machines, and other Robotic Tools. They also provide Pattern Files in PDF format for Scroll Saw Users. They are known for their Friendly and Efficient Customer Service and have a comprehensive back catalogue as well as continually providing New Patterns and Content.
- Cloudray Laser: a world-leading laser parts and solutions provider, has established a whole series of laser product lines, range from CO2 engraving & cutting machine parts, fiber cutting machine parts and laser marking machine parts.