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Inexpensive 50W CO2 laser sintering

Posted by fullspeceng 
Inexpensive 50W CO2 laser sintering
August 21, 2009 07:32PM
We're making some medium power 50W CO2 lasers that would be useful for developing your own laser sintering system.

These have XY axis + motorized Z up/down table.

All inputs are simple step/direction stepper motors and limits switches on all 3 axes. Right now we're just selling them for CNC users but with a roller they could quickly be converted to reprap CO2 laser sintering. We run them on a mach3 and developed all electronics in house so can support the open source code to control it (but it's pretty simple).

12.5"x9.5" XY with 6" deep Z hole with 50W CO2 laser with is $1999US + $100 shipping.

Z axis table would be an extra $500. Maybe in the future we will have a powder rolling and opposing Z table but not right now.

More specs/pics to come. PM me if interested.
Re: Inexpensive 50W CO2 laser sintering
August 23, 2009 10:53PM
Considering most commercial systems are running 25 Watt lasers, you might be on to something here.

Unfortunately the SLS process is far more complicated than blasting a powder bed with a laser. The laser is used only to "edge" the temperature to melting point. The majority of the heat that goes into melting the nylon comes from sets of heaters set to just below the glaze point of the powder.

You could try to do the heating alone with the laser, but you'll certainly run into heavy bleeding and curling issues. It would have to be an enclosed solution with the ability to finely monitor and tune temperatures inside.
Re: Inexpensive 50W CO2 laser sintering
August 24, 2009 01:01PM
My thought was that lowered powered lasers were cheaper and thus more prevelant. This laser was built to cut/etch things. Once I saw how easy it was to modify, I hoped it could be a useful sintering platform.
Hi there - please send me some more detail on the CO2 laser - I have a very nice 3 axis rapid prototyping machine with outdated software and very finicky wax extrusion heads that I would like to upgrade.


Re: Inexpensive 50W CO2 laser sintering
October 05, 2010 10:41AM
Where are you located? I am interested in buying a lase cutter that is at least 24" x 12". Please get back to me as soon as possible, Thank You.
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