K40 air assist

One thing I want to talk about In this post though it the k40 air assistwhich will turn your K40 from a rough blue box, to an engraving beast. I Shot over the Amazon, Paid my money and crossed my fingers that the thing would actually arrive and in actually fire up first go. Because I live in a residential unit with little to no space to actually use my K40, I was nervous that the K40 would be a fire hazard without a K40 air assist.

Here is a short run-down on my experience with adding a K40 air assist to the K40 arsenal. With the advent of over-the-counter laser engraving machines—such as the trusty K40—anyone can be a master engraver. The artistry that comes to life with these machines is spectacular. Lookout, Etsy? Here we come! Other than the initial cost, there are a few hurdles that will present themselves during operation. The K40 machine is a watt laser engraver. It is considered one of the most basic and affordable laser engravers on the market, not to mention one of the first machines produced for private use.

This post seeks to answer some of those questions by highlighting a few significant problems and point you in the right direction of an easy fix for many of the operating issues you may come across when using your K40 Laser Cutter with or without an air assist. Have you ever found yourself experiencing any of these problems?

Stopping work habitually to clear the engraving surface or change the lens on your laser can be incredibly frustrating. These things slow down efficiency and production and create added stress. Along with stress and added effort, there is a financial cost incurred by these difficulties.

But, these issues are easily avoided. How may you ask?

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The simple answer is that you can install an air assist. However, some of us may be new to the world of laser engraving. This stuff can get confusing.

And, purge air that refers to another device that specifically evacuates smoke and other potentially harmful fumes away from the laser lens. All of these are topics for other posts. The term air assist typically refers to an attachment to a standard laser engraver that provides a steady flow of air from some type of air compressor that runs through a hose connected to the laser-cutting mount.

For an air assist to function properly, the hose must be small enough to direct a fine stream of air onto the engraving surface at the point where the laser hits. It must be attached to the laser mount directly so that it will continuously feed air the area being burned by the laser. An air assist will save you countless hours of cleaning and frustration.

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Attaching one of these mechanisms will also give you far superior results on a wider variety of materials. Without an air assist, you can expect an approximately four percent diminished output every ten minutes until the laser is rendered nearly ineffective.

Eventually, the lens will begin to heat up from the amount of energy dispersed across its surface. If not cleaned regularly, you run the risk of the lens shattering during the engraving process, which will, in turn, delay work even more and cost even more money.

To put this simply, an air assist will nearly eliminate all three of the problems mentioned in the previous section. The first and most obvious way to install an air assist into your K40 laser engraver would be to purchase a premade nozzle for your laser lens with a built air assist port from a manufacturer.The exhaust should only do the work of transporting the smoke from the exit to the end of the hose, nothing else. The smoke assist helps moving the smoke from the cut area to the exit where the exhaust fan takes over.

With the smoke assist you can use less powerful exhaust fans, as the exhaust doesnt need to put the machine casing under negative pressure to clean out the smoke, the smoke assist helps with this.

Later on i added more fans inside the machine on my laser head to keep the lens clear. For bigger machines you need bigger fans, like mm computer fans. This laser head is custom made by me, not a original product. Here is the intake fans in my lid.

You can mount them in the bottom or front piece, just add fans to help out with the input of air. I am considering putting 2 smaller computer fans, maybe mm in the front of my machine with holes cut for air intake, along with a cfm squirrel cage fan at the exit from my building, will this work well? My thinking is if I seal the lid better and have a larger exhaust fan that having the two little ones sucking in fresh air to blow over work piece would move the smoke out fast with less escaping into my house.

Yes, anything that helps the exhaust will do better than no fans at all.

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Pushing air in will increase the pressure a bit so the exhaust has less negative pressure to make to pull the air out. The best ratio is somewhere about If you already have the squirrel fan, use it.

k40 air assist

If you going to buy one check out the inline fans instead, and keep it at the end of the hose, not back of the laser. Thanks I already have the fan, it was off a Pellet stove that failed, so its free. I was going to mount it right at my window exhausting outside through a dryer vent type setup. Never used to exhaust so much before but all of a sudden it seems to look like the side of house is on fire when we have the machine cutting.

Having to cut at night as to not be so noticeable to neighbors. Similar to breathing in cold air, or boiling water. The bigger temperature difference — the more it will be visible. And the humidity plays a big role too i beleive. Our temps are actually increasing as we are in southern hemisphere. Think this would still be same issue.

Correct, this is the newer design of the K40, often named K40D but its beefier both on the steppers and controller boards so no problem with the movements. Less than 1A power and 0. If you have upgraded the controller you can use bigger motors. The original board will burn sooner or later with 1,5 or 2A steppers. I agree with your assessment. Without the air-assist, my lenses would require constant cleaning and wood would often catch fire. However, I was on a search because my newly purchased 25mm focal distance lens does work with this assist the geometry of that system cannot bring the work piece close enough without interfering the x-axis.We have done hundreds of hours of research on every aspect of these units and, with great input from many great people, have navigated through the initial rough waters of getting a poorly made Chinese clone of a machine to run far beyond our expectations.

The reason I reference this unit in that manner is that my first experience with a laser engraver was spent on my ULSE. An American made, precision, workhorse that was built in Please make note of these observations and suggestions:.

Beginners Guide To The K40 Laser Engraver

If that sounds fun to you then you will love it! Put it up for safe keeping. Take the included exhaust fan and ductwork out of the machine and very carefully place it into the nearest trash receptacle.

Then see the alternatives below. They are poorly designed and poorly wired. Use a proper power source. More on that later.

There are many options and we cover a cost-effective solution in this article. A well made, surge protected plug strip is highly recommended for the accessories, upgrades, and peripherals.

The main power for the laser engraver needs to be a dedicated outlet with a rating of at least 15 Amps. Most household outlets will suffice. We did, after checking the wiring to these outlets, decide to hardwire our air assist pump to the feed for one of the outlets since we mounted our pump inside the chassis.

We are using a commercial aquarium pump that has a relatively low current draw. That mod will be in another KB Article. There will be more information on the electrical system coming soon. It is not very robust so we are looking for a more suitable replacement. Distilled water should always be used as it is less electrically conductive than tap water.A few weeks ago we bought this Chinese K40 laser cutter on ebay and explained here how to set it up.

If it cuts wood or cardboard the material could catch fire. This simple device is constantly blowing out the flame. Most people use compressed air with the air assist but we wanted to see if we can get away using one of these fans as they are cheaper and not so noisy.

We created a model in Fusion that was too large in quite a few areas. The main body is just a combination of cubes and cylinders.

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That kind of object can be created easily in OpenScad. The cone was modeled as a separate object in order to make it easier to print. On the CR 10 printer we have to add supports for the cone to ensure proper bed adhesion. After the cone is printed we also print the main body. I will leave a download link in the description if you want to print the model yourself. The cone has a lip at the top that makes it easy to center it on the main body and glue it in place.

With a drill and a file we taper the tip of a M4 machine screw that fits in the groove at the laser head and will hold the contraption in place.

The last thing we add is the fan. We secure it with two screws and any gaps are filled with hot glue.

K40 laser machine air & smoke assist

Crimping a connector on the cable of the fan will make installation and maintenance easier than soldering the connection. On Thingiverse we found a nice dragchain with connectors for the K We printed this one and installed it so that we can route the cable in a protective fabric mantle through the drag chain in the electronics compartment.

k40 air assist

The board is mounted on this quick print with two threaded inserts — which is then hot glue to the case. Two LED strip offcuts from a previous project are also connected to the 12 volt power source — which is improving the lighting in the case massively.

After using the air assist for a few test cuts I realized that thin paper is easier to cut without the air assist. This was another step to improve the cut quality of the laser and make it safer. We tested it with different materials and it seems to work great. Skip to content In this article we 3d print an air assist solution for the K40 laser cutter.

Modeling the air assist We created a model in Fusion that was too large in quite a few areas. With new measurements we recreated the model in OpenScad. Assembly of the parts The cone has a lip at the top that makes it easy to center it on the main body and glue it in place. We also glue a metal thread insert in the hole at the front.

k40 air assist

For power supply these two connectors offer 24 volt. We can connect a step down board and adjust the voltage to 12 volt. Installing a switch After using the air assist for a few test cuts I realized that thin paper is easier to cut without the air assist. Next Article Festool OF I also ordered a well-reviewed aquarium air pump from Amazon.

But before we get too far… I have a free LightObject Air Assist Nozzle, and the first person to send me a message below may have it free! The design is quite straightforward—just bent steel wire acting as a re-positionable armature, plus air tubing secured by heat shrink.

With the Air Assist installed, I began getting way cleaner, more precise cuts—the difference was nearly night-and-day! Buying from a link on this page may earn this site a commission. About every every three months, only four times a year, I send out a brief email with only the best updates from this site.

It's a great way to follow projects without clogging your inbox, and it'll always be effortless to unsubscribe! August 19, Casual Tinkering. Air Assist Upgrade The advantages of Air Assist on a laser cutter are huge: it minimizes open flames, blows away hot gasses, and prevents smoke from interfering with the path of the laser beam.

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k40 air assist

Acquarium Tubing. Galvanized Wire, 20 AWG.Air assist is the help of a air stream keeping the cut or engraving clean from debris and smoke. The laser beam works similar to your headlights on the car, too much fog and the visibility goes down. Same with the laser, too much smoke or other obstacles the power will go down and the quality with it. When you are cutting? Cutting through materials a air assist helps you keeping the cut clean. When you are engraving?

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The air assist just push the smoke back to the material, Here is a Smoke assist better to use, preventing the fumes destroying the work. At this time there was only a few laser heads available. Since then there has been a few better ones released that actually works pretty good. On many groups and forums the air assist is the same as a nozzle, like this one. This text has been edited and shortened. When this was written in the laser head in the picture above was one of few heads on the market.

Smoke assist on your k40 laser machine

And it was really bad causing the head acting like a vacuum cleaner, pushing air out in the bottom and sucking smoke in at the top creating optic damages and a lot of cleaning. Since then it has been released a lot more heads on the market, so this text has been deleted about this nozzle due to this.

If you want to cut wood or do a lot of engraving, a bit more flow is needed. On the end of the hose, add a metal or plastic pipe you can bend. Aim the pipe to where the cut hits. This solution has more airflow in a single jet than the nozzles can produce with the same pump. Picture of my air assist.

The laser beam is about 0. The only air assist nozzle i approve Since this article was written i have been busy testing a bunch of air assist laser head combos, and found one that actually works. This laser head is not perfect, but can be modded to perfection. With a movable neck you can set the proper height and focus of your machine with the twist of your hand. Easy to set proper focusgood protection for the lens and a fairly good mirror holder.

Read this article how to upgrade this type of laser head. Using a air assist nozzle can have good results when engraving wood, i would rather suggest you optimize a smoke assist system in your machine than buying a nozzle.

Skip to content. Contents 1 What is air assist? This article will help you optimize your air flow settings for your machine.In Web Designer Express we feel that we have found a solid and professional design partner whom we will use not only for additional internal work moving forward, but also as a consultant for our customers in need of excellent design and development work.

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