I don't know why most people don't go this route to build a laser cutter. Can't wait till I get my hands on a 80 Watt Co2 laser tube, image what kind of power supply I would need to build then.
ZVS INFO LINK: adammunich.com/zvs-driver/
ELEKSROM (to flash new arduino nano): wiki.eleksmaker.com/doku.php?id=eleksrom
N-Channel Mosfets I used in the final ZVS circuit: SD20N60
N-Channel Mosfet for Switch: 09N70P
EDIT: I fully recommend using the SD20N60 MOSFETS for BOTH the switch and the ZVS circuit. I used the 09N70P mosfet because I just had that on hand.
1.8v Regulator: AMS1117
My Laser: 50 Watt
Laser Life Expectancy: From what I can gather, laser tubes in the 40, 50, and 60 watt range have a life expectancy of around 3500 to 4500 working hours. Thats roughly half a year until you would need to replace the tube, but its also very common for a tube to last much longer if you dont abuse it (over current/volt it) so dont quote me on this but I think you can safely assume a full year of service from a tube if treated right and used properly/regularly.
Control Board: Eleksmaker Mana SE
Cardboard thickness I cut: 1mm (100mm/min and 2 passes to cut. Note tube was not running full power)
Edit: According to people who have more experience than me on this matter, a 40 watt CO2 laser is capable of cutting 3-6mm thick acrylic in a single pass. This should give you an idea of cutting power.
Work area: About 9x15 inches or 22.86x38.1cm straight from the Eleksmaker frame they give you. It's also very easy to upgrade to longer t-slotted aluminum extrusions for a bigger size (bigger size would be better for more powerful/longer laser tubes).
I had to add a big heatsink to my Mosfet Switch because it would get so hot during cutting that it would stop switching the laser on and off.
Where did I get (certain item)?
Stop the video at 1:16 and look at my list of parts. I didn't include links to specific items because those links can either expire or simply not be the best deals out there and usually the best deals for things are found by doing your own research. I provided a parts list so you can simply type that part name into your favorite online store and see what prices there are for that item. However, I do get all of my parts almost exclusively off Ebay.
How did I connect the tube up?
Electrically speaking, the tube doesnt really have an orientation (positive or negative terminal) because it works both on HV AC and HV DC but as to which HV is better I'm not sure. I made sure NOT to SOLDER the wires on but just twist them on tightly with pliers and insulate with electrical tape, otherwise the heat from soldering could crack the glass. Physically speaking, the tube rests on a block of carefully measure wood that I attached garden hose clamps to with screws. I layered foam padding on top of that so screw is hidden and glass tube rests on something soft. The way the wood is attached to the extruded aluminum is with more pieces from the metal toy kits I mentioned in the video. I want to replace this construction because its still shifts around too much.
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25 nov 2018