OMTech Laser Cutter: Arrival

Lacking a loading dock, I built a level unloading platform in the driveway:

OMTech 60W Laser Cutter - unloading platform
OMTech 60W Laser Cutter – unloading platform

The OMTech 60 W laser cutter arrived inside a generous supply of plywood obviously intended for practice cutting and engraving:

OMTech 60W Laser Cutter - crate
OMTech 60W Laser Cutter – crate

Knowing the crate wouldn’t fit through our “36 inch” basement door, we stripped the cutter down to the crate’s steel-framed baseplate:

OMTech 60W Laser Cutter - uncrated
OMTech 60W Laser Cutter – uncrated

I raised the cutter (using the foot-pad screws) enough to slide 3/4 inch planks under the casters so we could roll it over the lip of the crate base.

The specs say it’s 34 inches wide, but, not at all to our surprise, that’s just the cabinet. The hinges on the access hatches and the lid handle make it just over 35 inches wide, which we slowly and carefully verified would not fit through the 34 inch door opening:

OMTech 60W Laser Cutter - slow fit check
OMTech 60W Laser Cutter – slow fit check

Raising the lid to get the handle out of the way, then pushing gently inward on the sides, eased it through without damage to either the cabinet or the door frame:

OMTech 60W Laser Cutter - door fit
OMTech 60W Laser Cutter – door fit

Standing on the plank let me raise the outer end enough to roll it forward and lower the casters onto the planks inside the door.

It vents through a long-disused flue straight up the chimney:

Duct fan installed
Duct fan installed

The supplied aquarium pump circulates five gallons of distilled water to cool the laser tube. My simple test patterns so far haven’t dumped much heat into the water:

Dot Mode - 15 pct power - 1 2 3 ms on - 0.25 mm spacing
Dot Mode – 15 pct power – 1 2 3 ms on – 0.25 mm spacing

The doily on the left shows 9% power cuts right through paper. Dot Mode fires the laser every 0.25 mm (in this case) for a specified number of milliseconds to reduce the total energy; 3 ms produces dark dots, 1 ms is a pale brown, and 2 ms looks pretty good.

More tinkering is in order …

13 thoughts on “OMTech Laser Cutter: Arrival

  1. So you basically got a “laser printer”?
    (This is not a laser printer, THIS is a laser printer)

    1. Kinda like Glowforge calling their laser cutter a “3D Laser Printer”.

      Reasoning by analogy, does that make my Sherline a “3D Printer”?

      Sheesh & similar remarks.

  2. It’s been that kind of week; I can just imagine a nicely dressed Ken doll on the platform. “I expect you to die, Mr. Bond.”

    I’ll let myself out.

  3. Them’s some might nice-lookin’ unloading ramps in the fourth photo.

    Remember: do not look into laser with remaining eye.

    1. My father salvaged all the hardwood maple shelving from the Hummelstown Library after a hurricane flood. It was in the basement of a town building and was pretty much a dead loss; they never got that smell out. It’s spectacularly good wood, but all the mounting holes and suchlike render it unfit for fancy uses.

    1. I regard this as the least awful way to get all the mechanical parts of a laser in a working unit that (barely) fits through the door. It turns out that the tube fires a nicely shaped beam into well-aligned optics, so it works right out of the box. It has a shorter expected tube life than the bigger lasers, which suggests that’s where they cut some cost.

      The cabinet contains pretty much the same mechanics as the more powerful lasers, so it’s straightforward to install a longer tube and a corresponding power supply without changing anything else, A more powerful tube will require a real chiller, rather than a bucket of cold water.

      Prices jumped $500 in the last year: I should’a done this sooner!

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