Beam centering in laser head and lens tube

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Gene Uselman
Posts: 2084
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:18 pm
Location: Suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Country: USA
Nickname: Gene
Laser Machine Make or Type: AKL1318-2
Laser Power: 130W & 80W Reci
Laser Bed Size: 51 x 71
Home Position: TR
Control Software: LIGHTBURN
RDWorks Version: RDw .19 & Lightburn
Ruida Controller: RDC6445
Accessories: I have a combining lenses, pin tables [homebuilt], honeycomb tables , wireless remote, Modifed Ultimate Air Assist, home built non-powered rotary device, Prusa i3 MK3S and Mini Prusa printers.
Windows Version: Win 10 Pro

Beam centering in laser head and lens tube

Post by Gene Uselman »


Post by Michael Wilson » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:21 am


So, I wasn't sure if the beam was centred in the nozzle.
To check it I took some mdf and taped a stick of chewing gum nice and flat onto it. Then placed this under the nozzle and raised the bed until the nozzle just made an impression in the gum. Then lowered the bed and fired a quick pulse.
I found my beam was quite off centre.
A couple of tweaks of the mirror and Voila! Centred beam.
Makes it quick and easy to check at multiple positions on the bed too.
This is so simple I'm sure it must have been done before but here it is.
Cheers.
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BT48 Alpha Shopbot and 1300x1800 130W Laser

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Ray Wylie Hubbard
User avatar
Gene Uselman
Posts: 2084
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:18 pm
Location: Suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Country: USA
Nickname: Gene
Laser Machine Make or Type: AKL1318-2
Laser Power: 130W & 80W Reci
Laser Bed Size: 51 x 71
Home Position: TR
Control Software: LIGHTBURN
RDWorks Version: RDw .19 & Lightburn
Ruida Controller: RDC6445
Accessories: I have a combining lenses, pin tables [homebuilt], honeycomb tables , wireless remote, Modifed Ultimate Air Assist, home built non-powered rotary device, Prusa i3 MK3S and Mini Prusa printers.
Windows Version: Win 10 Pro

Re: Beam centering in laser head and lens tube

Post by Gene Uselman »

Post by Gene Uselman » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:10 pm- [EDITED FOR BREVITY- GDU]

This is a tool that I made a while back to check the centering of the beam in the nozzle- I did a major alignment of my machine this weekend and got it a lot better- I use mostly a 2x2 portion of the 3x4 table and everything was good, until I tried cutting a 2x4x.25 Baltic Birch panel and then I realized it was time to put some of Russ' techniques to use. I have been putting it off for a while, of course- always something more fun to do. I did a revision of the tool to better high light where the beam has to be- now I use the upper piece that centers on the taper of the nozzle cone for a rough align, and then use the lower piece for the fine adjustment, Both made with .22 clear acrylic- your nozzle dimension and the actual hole in the nozzle may require minor changes. I suppose that we should post both Imperial and metric files? I have my software open files as inches- although I am getting more comfortable with the metric system since getting the laser. Gene

PS- Russ S. is going to post a revised version of this tool- and he being an actual design engineer- it is great.

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anal thermometer2.jpg


Here is the nozzle centering tool that I developed and Russ improved [and then moved on with more complicated models], it works a treat and I use it a lot. You will probably have to resize the five holes for your nozzle [it should just slip over the end of the nozzle]- the idea is that you do a 'Fire' [pulse] in each corner and one in the middle- if they are all centered Russ will send you a certificate of laser health [he doesn't know that yet :twisted:] Gene
laser nozzle centering tool 5 hole.dxf
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BT48 Alpha Shopbot and 1300x1800 130W Laser

The days that I keep my gratitude higher than
my expectations, Well, I have really good days.

Ray Wylie Hubbard
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