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Thread: Air assist cone - when do you use it ?

  1. #1

    Air assist cone - when do you use it ?

    Hello all,

    do you leave that little air cone installed all the time, or do you only use it for certain things ?

    I'm a little confused about when to use and when not

    Andrea
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  2. #2
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    I use air asisist ALL the time, raster and vector. The only time I dont use it is for example when cutting paper when the air assist would blow it around or when using cerdec on smooth surfaces as the air assist tends to blow it off the surface.
    At the very least , the air assist minimises dirt build up on my lenses and for that alone , it's worth while.
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  3. #3

    Pressurized Air Assist Cone

    Andrea, if you decide to leave your air assist cone all the time, you need to leave your air compressor running when the machine is on. If you do not have positive pressure blowing through the air assist cone, it tends to act like a vacuum cleaner and sucks smoke and debris up onto your lens. If you have the cone on, and the lens gets dirty, that cone seems to hold heat in, and you can break a lens pretty quickly.

    I have always been a little troubled about having one of those small air brush compressors running all the time. They are not too noisy by themselves, but when you add that sputterrr to the drone of muffin fans and exhaust blower to a small area, it gets deafening. Maybe I am just getting old, but all that noise makes me even more deaf.

    The other day I installed a Universal laser system that has an external air compressor that is swithced on and off by the machine. When I first hooked it up, and threw the switch, this thing kept running and every 10 to 15 seconds it would release pressure through a relief valve. Not good. Even noisier than those sputter pumps. After doing a couple of sample runs on the machine, I turned the on/ off switch OFF, so I could hear our conversation. We then sent another job over to the machine, pushed start, and half way through the job, we realized that the compressor was running. When the job was finished, the air compressor turned off. WOW, was that nice. The computer and the machine controlled the air assist compressor.

    For us older, ear sensitive people, this is a very nice option. Unfortunately, this is also a very expensive option, especially when you compare it to one of those $ 50 sputter pumps.

  4. #4

    Talking

    I also leave my Air Assist on all the time. When I cut paper or thin material that can blow away, I just turn down the air flow for theat job.

    The air assist pump I use is a continous duty diaphram pump made by Thomas Pumps. It don't get more than lukewarm after 12 hours of continous operation. I purchased mine used, and it had a lot of water marks where water has been splashing and drying over the years. I have been using it for 7 years so far, and it's still quiet, powerful, and draws less than 2 amps.

    I feel that using Air Assist is the reason I have never had to replace a lens yet, on any of my 3 lasers. Mirrors, a different story.

    -Robert

  5. #5
    I only use air assist as a flame damper, and only when necessary. Soot build-up on the lens or mirror has not been a problem at all.

    I make minimal use because I don't like the additional noise and I sometimes have a problem with chads blowing into cutting areas.

    Dave
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  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Robert,

    Would you mind sharing a website and/or model number on your pump?
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  7. #7
    I tend not to air when engraving glass. I have some champagne glasses and they engrave very well with a little dishwasher/water solution on them, when using air this is blow dried before its engraved

    I meant those little "valves" which are used to concentrate the air, I only have it in one size that came with the laser
    _______________________________
    LaserPro Spirit 40 W

    Who wants to hear the bells must pull the rope
    Wer die Glocken hören will muss am Seil ziehen

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Andrea,

    Just go with straight dishwashing liquid (no water)... same effect, in my opinion, and you don't have to worry about the water evaporating.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
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  9. #9
    Hi Andrea,

    I only use air assist when i cut something.

    I never use it when engraving even i get some small flames when i engrave paint on glass ( 0,5 cm height flames ).
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  10. #10
    I have noticed that using air assist when rastering acrylic tends to make the etching a little brighter (white). I was rastering some black acrylic and had the air assist on. Half way through the project I turned the air assist off, that was a mistake. When I looked at the finished acrylic you can see where I turned the air off. The etching went from bright to a dull more flat look. Real noticable. Have seen same effects on black granite.

    Jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Aldrich View Post
    I have noticed that using air assist when rastering acrylic tends to make the etching a little brighter (white). I was rastering some black acrylic and had the air assist on. Half way through the project I turned the air assist off, that was a mistake. When I looked at the finished acrylic you can see where I turned the air off. The etching went from bright to a dull more flat look. Real noticable. Have seen same effects on black granite.
    The change on acrylic doesn't surprise me (your cooling the plastic quickly), but the change with granite does... I would have expected no change with granite. Do you get the same level of whiteness if you turn down the power on the granite a bit?
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

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