laser MIG welder

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bLouChipBlacksmith
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laser MIG welder

Post by bLouChipBlacksmith »

again at the PRI trade show, I got to demo weld with this
https://lasersystems.ipgphotonics.com/p ... ing-System
FREAKING AWESOME!
robertspark
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by robertspark »

how much do they go for?
bLouChipBlacksmith
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by bLouChipBlacksmith »

LOL but good question. starting at $20K without the wirefeeder, so it also functions as "T"IG, although there is no tungsten.
Weld.com has a great demo/review of it on the mfg website referenced in OP.
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by robertspark »

sounds like high maintenance to me as the laser will have a short lifecycle and cost most of the 20k to replace
bLouChipBlacksmith
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by bLouChipBlacksmith »

Good question. I didn't ask about mean time to repair or laser source longevity. I understand they can have a finite life expectancy depending on duty cycle. I was so freaking impressed with how it performed, ease of welding, quality of weld, and versatility I didn't think to ask. IPG is following up with me so I'll post what I learn.
bLouChipBlacksmith
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by bLouChipBlacksmith »

IPG, the mfg of the LightWELD Laser Welder in the OP, wrote me re. mean time to failure of the unit and said the laser light source is good for 50,000 hours of service. There is some low cost PM that is performed on the laser head (gun) concerning the laser optics and that's it. I did chat with them about weak links of the system and the hand gun was high on the list, it has a high speed prism that fans the laser light up to 15mm for cleaning the weld seam, and also for a feature called wobble where the weld width (pool) can vary from 1 to several mm, not sure if its also 15 or something less. IPG claims to have 25 years of fiber laser development and production, medical and industrial field, including the 30KW lasers precision cutting 2 inch steel plate. I've seen that laser unit also, its bigger than a bus, plate steel in one end, parts cut and cleaned out the other. Not much of a surprise they finally made one to fit into a man's hand. The surprise is how well it works and how good of a job it does with little to no training. Simply awesome.
mechcnc
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by mechcnc »

I also saw these laser welders and am blown away too. Imagine welding thin sheet with that much smaller heat affected zone and at that speed. Then switch to cleaning mode to finish it off. The largest one handled up to 10mm penetration in steel too iirc. I really want one.
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SegoMan DeSigns
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

50,000 hours of service x $100 / hr would yield enough profit to pay for the $20,00 purchase price. Sometimes you have to ask yourself if you can afford not to have it. The question is do have the business skills to pull it off?
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tinspark
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Re: laser MIG welder

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bLouChipBlacksmith wrote: โ†‘Sun Dec 10, 2023 1:39 pm Good question. I didn't ask about mean time to repair or laser source longevity. I understand they can have a finite life expectancy depending on duty cycle. I was so freaking impressed with how it performed, ease of welding, quality of weld, and versatility I didn't think to ask. IPG is following up with me so I'll post what I learn.
I just got back from 1 week of training on this machine. There is no duty cycle on it since it is basically just a light light beam (100% duty cycle at max wattage). But there are lenses that are consumable, and cots about $120 for a pack of 5. We never had to change it out. I am by no means an expert on it but did do a lot of welding with one. I could teach anyone to use it in a matter of minutes. The pull tests are amazing. And our union has satisfied the requirements to actually certify on it. It has it strong points and its weak points. Just like all welding processes. Our training facility purchased on last year, and now we can finally pull it out of the box and start teaching it to our apprentices along with the other normal welding curriculum. Ours was about 35K with the feeder. The training center in Vegas (also part of the sheet metal workers union) has 4 of them in order to train the trainers. Right now the weak point is teh gun. Drop it and it costa 3k to fix. But miller and Lincoln will be coming out with them soon and should be able to beef things up a bit, hopefully! Rumor has it that Miller might be buying out IPC laser welders. They actually specialize in other areas, and are not well suited in robust welding machines.. as an example. the wire feeder hooks into the laser with a speaker jack wiring setup which seems pretty cheesy for a $35k machine. Prices will be going down as more companies enter the market
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bLouChipBlacksmith
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by bLouChipBlacksmith »

@tinspark- great info, thanks. based on my comparative very very brief hands on with it, I can relate to your description of 'fragile' robustness with the hand gun. This technology literally in our hands is definitely a space to watch in metal fabrication realm.
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SegoMan DeSigns
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

X2 on the great review tinspark, like most technology the price will probably drop on these in the future. Do they still require a shield gas on certain metals like AL & SS?
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tinspark
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Re: laser MIG welder

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SegoMan DeSigns wrote: โ†‘Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:28 pm X2 on the great review tinspark, like most technology the price will probably drop on these in the future. Do they still require a shield gas on certain metals like AL & SS?
Yes nitrogen on stainless steel and mild steel. Argon on aluminum.
For kitchen work and food process work this thing will be a game changer. The cleaning function is awesome too. We threw a tee weld down with 308 wire and flipped it to the cleaning function and in 45 seconds made a food grade passivated weld 6โ€ long. That was both welding and what used to be grinding. I guess it would have taken me 5 minimum to TIG weld the sane joint and die grind it out normally..
It takes a while to train a decent welder that can do a food grade weld. But this can now be done with someone on the street in a matter of minutes. Safety training will take longer than basic welder training, which is one of the draws
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tinspark
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by tinspark »

I can see how the military can use these things to shoot down drones. With a quick mod. We figured out how to turn this thing into a star wars light saber and, boys being boys we blew up a water bottle, scarred some stainless from a few feet away and jacked up the block wall in the welding booth. Yeah these things are pretty cool!! Our excuse was we needed to know what not to do back home with ours!! Especially in front of our students. :)
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Re: laser MIG welder

Post by cuttinparts »

๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ sounds like a good time
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