Speedy flexx: One laser system, two laser sources

Mark and engrave different materials in one step: How does flexx technology actually work?

What is flexx technology and how does it work?

The Speedy flexx laser engraving machine has both CO2 and fiber laser sources integrated. This makes for unlimited application options: The CO2 laser source is ideally suited for engraving and cutting plastics, wood, rubber, leather and many other materials. The fiber laser is the right tool for marking metals and staining plastics.

The characteristic feature of the patented flexx function: Thanks to the flexx function developed by Trotec, both laser sources work in a single process step. Depending on the material, the two laser sources are activated alternately by the JobControl® laser software – in one job, without manual changing of the laser tube, lens or focus. Every conceivable CO2 laser application, as well as a annealing marking or metal engraving can be realized in no time. Time savings and flexibility in everyday work are thus guaranteed.


Which materials can be processed with the Speedy flexx laser?

Fiber laser source:

  • Plastic
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Titanium
  • Galvanized, Nickel-plated surfaces
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Platinum

How do I use both laser sources for the same job?

The CO2 or fiber source is controlled depending on which laser source was selected in the parameter in the material database (CO2 engraving, fiber engraving, CO2 cutting, fiber cutting). This happens automatically with the JobControl® laser software.
The focal difference between the CO2 and fiber laser source is about 7mm, which is stored as a fixed value in the JobControl® software and automatically drives the table when switched from one source to the other.

flexx lens for CO2 and fiber applications

CO2 applications and fiber applications need different lenses. Trotec provides its own lens for the flexx function that is suitable for both CO2 and fiber laser sources. This 2.85 inch lens lets you create the finest details in the highest possible quality on any material. If you are using both laser sources, it is unnecessary to manually change the lens.

How do I find out the parameters for multiple materials?

Insert the 2.85” flexx lens and focus on the material. Then test the parameters needed for each separate material as usual.
You can read here about how to find out the parameters quickly and simply.

Determine laser parameters

How do I find the correct focus for multiple materials with different thicknesses?

  1. Enter the parameters for material engraving and cutting
    First, define the engraving and cutting parameters for the material as usual by using the 16 available colors. Enter these laser settings, such as performance and speed, in the material dialog. The z-offset parameter in the material process color is used to set the correct focus for different positions on your workpiece in the material dialog.
  2. Measure thickness of material and calculate z-offset parameter
    The next step is important. Measure the thickness of the different materials for calculating the focus point. That means, the material that will be the focus is the (fixed) focal point, and the focus on the other materials is in reference to that. This difference is calculated in the parameters with the z-offset determined earlier.

Note:

When working with the flexx lens, we recommend focusing for the fiber laser because the focal point is more critical here and must be very accurate. Also, the focusing tool is set to the fiber laser. When the software is switched to the CO2 laser source, the work table automatically moves to the focal point for CO2 entered in the software, i.e., 7 mm lower.


Example: Setting parameters and calculating z-offset using a ballpoint pen

The clip on the ballpoint pen is marked using the fiber laser, the wooden housing is engraved using the CO2 laser The parameters determined earlier using the 2.85” flexx lens look as follows and serve as a basis for calculating the final z-offset value:

  • Metal clip (fiber engraving): P: 80%, v: 50%, 20 kHz, z-offset: 0mm
  • Wooden housing (CO2 engraving): P: 50%, v: 60%, 1000ppi, z-offset: +2mm

Calculate the focal difference: Material for the fiber laser source as starting point

It is important to know which material to focus on first for the calculation of the final z-offset. As mentioned earlier, we recommend focusing on the material that will be worked using the fiber laser source, i.e., the metal clip in this case
The focal difference between the two surfaces is 3 mm. To even out the focal difference and take the offset into account, calculate as follows:

3 mm (tolerance/height difference between materials) - 2 mm (determined z-offset) = 1 mm

Note: The table needs to be raised to even out the difference, which is why a ‘minus’ has to be set. The final parameters are thus:

  • Metal clip (fiber engraving): P: 80%, v: 50%, 20 kHz, z-offset: 0mm
  • Wooden housing (CO2 engraving): P: 50%, v: 60%, 1000ppi, z-offset: -1mm

Calculate the focal difference: Material for CO2 laser source as starting poin

Generally, you can also focus on the material for the CO2 laser source first. This is particularly helpful when the height difference is large enough that the calculated z-offset is less than -5 mm.


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