4. Computer controlled cutting

Group assignment:

Characterize your lasercutter's focus, power, speed, rate, kerf, and joint clearance

Laser cutter


RS-1610L Value
Work area 1600 mm x 1000 mm
Laser power 90 Watts
Weight 320 kg
Dimensions 2,15 m x 1,5 m x 1,14 m
Laser tube life expectancy 10 000 hours
Maximum speed 1000 mm/s
Maximum resolution 0,025 mm
Bed/table honeycomb
Air injection Yes
Interface USB and ethertnet
Controller system Smoothieboard
Control interface Android tablet
Language G-code
Power supply 220 V
Cooling Closed loop water circuit

First test

As a first characterization test we cutted circles, squares and triangles at different powers and focus. The test material is mdf-like and around 2.3mm thick. I measured the outside square width and forgot (I take the responsibility of the group for it) to measure the inside square width. So we had to perform another test. Anyway, the first test gave us the oppurtunity to witness that the best focus is at 6mm. Indeed, the best cut and the best square precision (outside square width=5.0mm) is for 90% at a focus of 6mm.

Second test

On the second test we cutted only squares at different powers and focus. On the picture below, rows 1, 2 and 3 are the cutted part of rows 4, 5 and 6. The green square indicate the focus of the rows and the blue square indicate the power of the columns. Figures with the double arrow are the measured values of width of inside and outisde parts. Figures underlined in red are the calculated values of the laser kerf.

We found the laser kerf to be less than 0.05mm at 60% power with a 6mm focus. We used a caliper to do our measurements and it may have introduce some deviations.

Third test

Our intructor was still puzzled of the results and performances of the machine. By performing the regular maintenance he realized that the curved size of the lens was turned down. By checking the documentation, we realized that it was upside down as we can see on the picture below. Therefore we relaunched our tests and get to the conclusion that the best focus is, as adviced by the manufacturer, at 8mm. Our results about the laserkerf stayed at 0.05mm at 60% power.