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?

Within the Speedy flexx laser engraving machine is both a CO2 and a fiber laser source. This means that you have no limits with regards to applications. The CO2 laser source is perfect for engraving and cutting plastics, wood, rubber, leather and various other materials. The fiber laser is the tool of choice to mark metals and stain plastics.

The defining characteristic of the patented flexx function: Because of the Trotec-developed flexx function, both laser sources can work within a one-step process. Based on the material, each laser source is activated alternately by the JobControl® laser software in a single job without having to manually change the laser tube, lens or focus. Every CO2 laser application that you can think of, including annealing, marking or metal engraving, can be made in no time at all. This saves time and provides flexibility for your everyday tasks.


Which materials can the Speedy flexx laser process?

Fiber laser source:

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

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

Whether the CO2 or fiber source is controlled depends on which laser source is chosen as a parameter within the material database (CO2 engraving, fiber engraving, CO2 cutting, fiber cutting). This is automatically done within the JobControl® software.
Between the CO2 and fiber laser source is a focal difference of roughly 7mm, which is a constant value stored in JobControl that automatically adjusts the table when changing from one source to the other.

flexx lens for CO2 and fiber applications

CO2 applications require different lenses from fiber applications. Trotec offers its own lens for the flexx function that works for each laser source. The 2.85 inch lens allows for the most intricate of details in the highest quality on any material. If you use both laser sources in one job, you do not need to change the lens yourself.

How do I find out the parameters for multiple materials?

Place the 2.85" flexx lens into the machine and focus the material. Next, test the settings that are needed for each material as usual.
You can read below about how to easily determine the necessary settings.

Determine laser parameters

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

  1. Input the settings for material engraving and cutting
    Firstly, define each engraving and cutting setting for the material as usual with the 16 available colours. Put the laser parameters like performance and speed into the material dialog. The z-offset in the material process colour is used by the program to set the correct focus for different positions in your workpiece.
  2. Measure the thickness of the materials and calculate the z-offset
    This step is extremely important: Measure the thickness of each material to calculate the focus point. This means that the material that will be focused on first is the constant focal point, and the focus for the other materials is determined with relation to that. The difference is calculated within the parameters using the z-offset that was figured out above.

Note:

When you use the flexx lens, we suggest that you focus more on the fiber laser than the CO2, because its focal point is more important and needs to be very precise. Additionally, the focusing tool is set to the fiber laser. When JobControl® switches to the CO2 laser source, the work table will automatically lower to the focal point that is defined in the program (i.e., 7 mm lower).


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

The ballpoint pen's metal clip is marked with the fiber laser while the wooden casing is engraved with the CO2 laser. The settings we determined earlier with the 2.85" flexx lens are below and are what we will use to calculate the final z-offset value.

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

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

It's critical to know which material will be focused first to calculate the final z-offset. As we said earlier, we recommend starting with the material that will need the fiber laser source. In this situation, the metal clip will use the fiber laser, so we will start with it.
Between the two materials' surfaces is a focal difference of 3 mm. To level the focal difference and take into account the z-offset, we use this formula:

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

Note: Because the work table must be raised to account for the height difference, we set a 'minus'. The final calculated settings are:

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

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

If you'd like, you could focus on the CO2 laser source's material first. This is especially useful when the height difference is so large that the z-offset you calculate is smaller than 5 mm.


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