How my Chinese Co2 Laser almost got destroyed.
I had ordered some really cool glitter plexiglass that I wanted to use to make Unicorn rings. I am starting to make a line of stackable rings and of course, with the unicorn craze going on, I figured it would be a great idea to have some of those as well.
So I am designing the ring, putting the plexi into the laser and it was set to speed 10 and 3 cuts. I figured the glitter plexi would be a bit denser than the regular plexiglass and hence I would have to cut more than once. After 3 passes, the glitter was still not cut all the way. So I dialed the speed down to 5. Well the result was not a good one. I was sitting at my desk and heard a crinkly noise, I went to check and see if one of my cats was playing with something they should not. But alas, nope, smoke was coming from the front room and as I got closer, I would see flames thru the lid. So I opened the lid and sure enough, the plexi was on fire.
What does a woman do? Well she grabs the towel that was used to seal the vent and get the fire out. I was panicking quite a bit. My heart raced and I am a bit surprised I kept the cool and got the fire out. It wasn’t a big fire, but it was a fire. Once it was out, I got to look at my laser and I was in tears. I had thought it was destroyed. I posted about it on my facebook page for my customers to read. And the love and support that I had received was overwhelming.
The aftermath of the Laser Fire
Upon closer inspection by my husband, we figured out that the laser tube itself had not taken up any damage. But all plastic parts, like the X-Axis timing belt, the carriage wheels were melted, the Exhaust fan also was no longer working and the lens took a hit as well. These are minor things, that I was able to get replaced for under $100. Which is so much better than having to look at replacing the whole unit.
Now we are waiting to receive all the parts and hopefully, I get to be back in business by this week.
I learned two things from this experience:
- so not set your laser that low, without standing there to make sure it will be ok.
- this could have been so much worse.