Is there a way to see the temperature of the GF, especially when it stops mid cut for cooling?
It’s warm in the UK at the moment, so I’ve been trying to do my cutting late into the evening, 9 or 10 oclcock, but I cant get through a 10 minute cut without it stopping for cooling and then it just never resumes. I’ve wasted 3 sheets of ply now where it’s partially cut the outside and then stopped, never to resume.
Last night I left it, with a fan blowing on it for 30 minutes and it still didn’t restart.
so it would be good to see what temperature it thought it was running at.
I believe that some folks have taken readings with an infrared thermometer…don’t know how accurate they are, since lifting the lid to take the reading on the tube would start to cool things off.
During hot weather, if the ambient temperature in the room is close to or higher than the operating temperature range, the machine is going to have a hard time cooling off enough to resume the print. (The operating range on the Basic is 60°-75°F, the range on the Pro is 60°-81°F). So it might be necessary to cool the air in the room around the machine to a lower temperature…fans blowing hot air into the machine aren’t going to cool the unit much. It will eventually resume the print once it cools off enough though.
There have been some very clever solutions to cooling issues posted in the Beyond the Manual section. (Up to and including blowing the fan over chilled beer cans and directing the air flow at the lower right side of the machine.)
For grins and giggles I use a IR temp gun on the right rear of my glowforge basic while it was going. It read around 80° and was still going strong. No pausing. But that kind of makes sense since the heat exchanged has to radiate to be removed.
i keep a little desk thermometer right on the tabletop next to the front right edge of the GF, since that’s where the intake is. and that’s the ambient air temp that is being pulled into the unit. i’m able to get my basic to work up to ~77 degrees. once i hit 77-78, that’s when i start getting intermittent cooling errors.
The temperature limit is annoying to say the least. One might even say , "crappy design " given that some of these are in workshops and many workshops are not air conditioned. Mine wont work on hot days without significant delays. Is there something in there that could not handle another 5 degrees F or so?
there are other laser cutters out there that can handle higher ambient air temps. those machines are not, as @jbmanning5 says, closed circuit, self-contained units. they have separate cooling systems that exist outside the main laser cutter and have water cooling units with pumps and are much more involved.
beyond that, several people have cobbled together external units to help with cooling.
that’s one example. other people have taken portable AC units, created a step down to a hose that runs from the output of the portable AC to the area right below the front/right of the unit where the air intake is in order to push cooler air directly into where the intake pulls from .
there are some ways to work around the ambient air temps, but… they’re workarounds.
The laser will work fine at a slightly higher temp but the longevity of the tube would suffer greatly. Sure, there is a optimum temperature range for best performance but more importantly it would be even more irritating to need a tube replacement in 6 months. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the original plan was for a less restrictive operating temperature range. Like many things in engineering, the equations don’t necessarily match actual performance. If it did, I would have been out of a job in operational testing decades ago.
At 90 the Redsail tube crackles and performance takes a nosedive because the chiller (commercial one) can’t keep the coolant under 30C. (It’s a 60W tube so it probably runs hotter than the GF but the principle is the same.) At some point it will arc & die. That happened on my K40
I don’t know about crappy design. It seemed the design intent was to have a machine that didn’t require external cooling that would work in a home. Target audience is an air conditioned home or office in the US. Bigger issue is marketing to folks who have different operating conditions and not having the environment conditions spelled out more clearly. Kind of fits with the venting and the noise. Yes, it’s got to be bad in Europe this summer for the Glowforge.