Reci CO2 Laser Head Direct Mount

by 3DTOPO, published

Reci CO2 Laser Head Direct Mount by 3DTOPO Sep 14, 2012
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This thing is for mounting a focus lens directly to a Reci W6 laser tube. I think it should work as is on any Reci tube, but it parameterized, so it can easily be adapted for other tubes.

Why would you want to mount the lens directly to the tube? I suppose for most setups it would only be used for testing the laser. For my purposes, I plan on moving the whole laser tube on my large CNC machine, so I should be able to put this to good use (I am not going to steer the beam, I am going to steer the whole tube).

Works great. Very snug fit on both the laser and the laser head. Video of it in action here (it is the green part):

The laser head I am using is this one: http://lightobject.com/1820mm-Laser-head-w-air-assisted-Ideal-for-K40-machine-P701.aspx

Special thanks to TrevM for making the really useful thread library!


Printed at 101% (for PLA shrinkage), use slic3r (0.1 layers, 100% fill) and fits the laser tube and laser head perfectly.

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A chunk of plastic connected directly to the output of an 150 watt laser does not seem like a good idea to me. It will heat up - quite a bit.

I think hot plastic mere millimeters away from the output window is going to mess it up.

It is critical that the output window be kept clean. Anytime you have to clean it you risk scratching it and drastically affecting the laser's efficiency You can't replace the output window, once it is damage
d, the whole tube must be replaced.

Well the Laser head I purchased (the black part and the end of the laser) is plastic.

It also has air running through it (air assit) that should keep things cool. That is what the tube hanging down is - and that helps keep the window free of contamanation.

I think they had a much lower powered laser in mind for that laser head.

A 150 watt Reci is not cheap, I wouldn't risk destroying it by sticking plastic on it's most sensitive part.

Regarding air assist; if you don't have very dry air you will fog up the lens. The air assist won't do anything for the laser tube's output window since the air comes in on the other side
of the lens. If you make another connection then it would help - but only if it is filtered and dried air. Using air straight from the compressor will end up ruining the delicate output window.

Something else, if you are moving the tube rather than using flying optics keep in mind that the tube is
quite fragile. The central glass channel is long, water filled (significant mass) and supported on the output end by only one point. You will need to take that into account when setting up the takeoff speed and accelerations.

I have only fired it briefly so far as I am waiting for my chiller. Once I am able to run it for extended time I will put a thermocouple on the output mount to make sure it is not too hot for the plastic.

If it is, one option is I could make a new version that is water cooled since I the water outlet is just centimeters away. Or I could cast the part out of aluminum using the print as the mold (I had great success doing a lost plastic casting my first test last week). If I cast it out of aluminum I
could add heat sink fins or make it water cooled. If I do, I will update this thing accordingly.

As far as moving the tube, I realize it is a big fragile glass tube and will accelerate accordingly. It will be mounted at three points along the lower half wrapped with rigid foam at all the contact p
oints as well. Even filled with water it is about the same weight as my 5HP router.

Just to be clear, it is not moving the whole tube that is the issue. It is the narrow glass tube inside the laser tube that will break first. The narrow tube is the one that carries the water (so it's heavy and has a bit of inertia) and is very poorly supported. The end near the output is supported by a single piece of glass tubing (the water outlet), the spring on the end provides no structural support.

I see what you mean. Bummer - the other end (postive anode) looks quite stout in comparison. Hmmm, I wonder what a safe aceeleration value is, and I don't see a way to find out what a max safe value is without first breaking it. I guess I need to find someone with a burnt out tube!