Life Expectancy of Laser

qa

#1

Hi there. Just wondering what type of life expectancy one would typically get from this type of lazer?

Also, will replacement parts be made available?


Discussion of March '17 update
#2

+1 for this question. Along these lines, I’d like to know the maintenance requirements and total cost of ownership. Thanks.


#3

Another +1 for this question.Also what other parts are expected to be “normal wear and tear”?


#4

I would also like some indication of running hours to expect out of the tube.
Also, does the power drop off in a predictable manner over time?

Thanks,
Josh


#5

The tubes we’re using are rated by the manufacturer for two years. They’re custom tubes, so we’re collecting our own lifecycle data on them; two years is likely for light use, but under heavy use, they might not last as long. We’re going to make replacements available - we don’t have pricing yet, but it will be under $500.

–dan


"engraving" paper? (And some tube life info)
Discussion of March '17 update
Glowforge Talk Show #5 - Maker Faire Bay Area Recap With Special Guest!
Maintenance tracking
March 2017 update
Feb 2017 Update
Question about the CO2 laser
Discussion of March '17 update
#6

Thanks for the update Dan!

Do you anticipate the replacement laser tube/unit will be able to be replaced by the user?

Thanks,

MakerBlock


#7

Yes! We have some really slick engineering from Mark to make that possible without much fuss.


Tube Replacement - Game Changer for Overseas buyers?
Discussion of March '17 update
#8

Will the system be able to report out % of life remaining on the laser tube, i.e. HP Ink cartridge levels?


#9

It’s much more like a lightbulb than an ink cartridge - when it goes, it goes. We may be able to do some lifetime forecasting based on output, but it’s not going to be a “43% remaining” type thing.


Question about the CO2 laser
#10

Ah, so it simply quits functioning v.s. slowly degrading over time.

Maybe it’s not a “percentage of life left” but an “number of hours used”, where the user can make their own rough calculation - should be easier to do.


#11

You will definitely see performance suffer as it ages. So any presets based on a fresh tube should account for the tube hours used, otherwise you’ll eventually start ending up with partial cuts. The software for our projector-based DLP printer does this to compensate for the loss of bulb brightness as it ages.


#12

That means the information is there already, the software simply needs to report it out.

Dan? Will the “hours used” metric be included in the UI somewhere?


#13

It’s actually both; the power can droop as it ages, but it can also drop suddenly. There’s no simple way to measure the power output, though. We have ideas for some some complex ways…


#14

I for one would love to see a little read out in my software that shows hours on the laser and possible hours the machine has run too. Maybe some more metrics like number of projects completed, and how much data transferred to the GF.


#15

@amos: Great suggestion, passed along!


#16

Could a “power test” job/mode be setup to fire the laser at different powers over a certain material and log the results using the cameras? As long as the same material was used each time, this might give some indication of when the laser may fail and help prevent down time from sudden failure?


Life expectancy of all consumables
#17

@amos… Our Brother industrial embroidery machines do something very similar. They track a stitch count, total hours logged & have a trip counter that is reset after each service from the dealer. This allows us to accurately track when it’s time to perform maintenance, just like a car. I would love to see this in the GF Pro that’s coming to me.


#18

I was wondering if something else break, not just the laser but some other components and I’m out of warranty… Are you planning to sell different pieces or there are some kind of assistance where I can send the machine back to be fixed?


#19

Assuming long term success, I would say that they would offer both spares and repair work as keeping units already sold operating is important to any company’s reputation.
I am hoping that the design will be such that 90% of repairs can be done by a tech savvy owner.


#20

This is a great idea. Much like farmers tractors. They don’t measure mileage, they measure working hours because it’s a more useful metric based on how they are used.