laser focused on material

One laser system. Two laser sources. Endless possibilities.

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 engraver offers both the fiber and CO2 laser sources integrated into just one machine. With a flexx system, you can process an unlimited amount of various applications. Using the CO2 laser source allows you to engrave and cut plastics, rubber, wood, leather and many other materials. The fiber laser source is then the right tool for marking metals and staining plastics.

The patented flexx function will offer you endless possibilities: Thanks to the flexx technology developed exclusively by Trotec, both laser sources operate in a single step process. Depending on the material being processed, the intuitive JobControl® software activates each laser source alternately in just one job and eliminates the need for manually changing the laser tube, lens or focus. This means that every application can be realized in no time, regardless of the specific material being processed. Saving you time and offering flexibility unseen with any other technology.


What materials can a Speedy flex laser machine process?

Fiber laser source:

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

How do both laser sources operate in the same job?

The fiber or CO2 laser source is controlled automatically with the JobControl® laser software using the parameters in the material database (CO2 engraving, fiber engraving, CO2 cutting, fiber cutting), depending on which laser source is selected. The focal difference between the fiber and CO2 and laser source is about 0.7cm, which is stored as a set value in the JobControl® software, and automatically drives the table when switched from one source to the other.

flexx lens for fiber and CO2 applications

Depending on the application being processed, CO2 and fiber applications will require different lenses and the flexx function also offers its own lens that is suitable for both laser sources. This 2.85 inch lens allows you create even the sharpest details with the highest possible quality on just about any material. Additionally, if you are utilizing both laser sources in one application, manually changing the lens is unnecessary.

Where can I find individual parameters for multiple materials?

Verify that the 2.85” flexx lens is installed and focus it on the material being processed. Then, make sure to test the parameters for each separate material as needed, and you can also read here about the easiest way to locate your ideal settings.

Determine laser parameters

How can I locate the correct focus for several materials with varying thicknesses?

  1. Enter the parameters for material cutting and engraving
    First, determine the cutting and engraving parameters for the material as usual by using the available 16 colors. Enter these laser settings, such as speed and performance in the material dialog. The z-offset parameter in the material process color is utilized to establish the proper focus for varying positions on your workpiece in the material dialog. 
  2. Measure material thickness and calculate the z-offset parameter
    The next The next step is important and will need to be completed accurately. Measure the thickness of the various materials for calculating the focus point. This means that 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:

We recommend focusing for the fiber laser when working with the flexx lens, because the focal point is more critical here and accuracy is extremely important. Also, the focusing tool is set to the fiber laser and when the software is then toggled to the CO2 laser source, the work table automatically adjusts to the focal point for CO2 as entered in the software, i.e., 0.7 cm lower.


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

The clip on the ballpoint pen is marked using the fiber laser and the wooden housing is engraved using the CO2 laser. The laser parameters are determined earlier using the 2.85” flexx lens and are used as the 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

Establishing which material to focus on first is important for the calculation of the final z-offset. We recommend focusing on the material that will be worked using the fiber laser source first, which in our example would be the metal clip.
The focal variances between the both surfaces is 0.3 cm. To even out this difference and also take into account the offset, 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 level 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

Calculating the focal difference: Using the material for the CO2 laser source as starting point

Typically, focusing on the material for the CO2 laser source first is also an option, and can be particularly helpful if the height difference can accommodate the calculated z-offset of less than -0.5 cm.


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