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Buildlog Title: Ivan's 2.X Laser Build, #1

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Builder: evokanivo
Member Since: 2010-05-31

Saturday, January 19th 2013 - 2:35 AM

I finished a couple months ago but never got around to a final post:

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The laser, water mini-fridge water cooler, and computer running EMC2 control software. I vent outdoors through a panel wedged in the sliding door. I can't do anything permanent because I'm in an apartment.

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I put a front panel across the front of the fridge and then just used some plastic sheet to waterproof it. The water stays cool enough.

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Don't do what I did! Perforated sheet metal has too much surface area and the laser beam reflects diffusely and burns the backside of whatever you're cutting. I'll eventually get some aluminum egg crate.

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Since I did the electrical stuff without a PCB, I just used switches, but a PCB would be nice for automatic pump, air, and exhaust control. But this was simpler and got me going faster.

Anyway, I learned a lot and am slowly planning my second one of my own design.

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Tuesday, September 4th 2012 - 11:24 PM

Just a quick update. I added all the electronics a few weeks ago (some rewiring is still necessary) and have just been waiting on the skins. I actually ran it a little bit even without the skins, but had to hold the exhaust intake near the cutting area since there were no skins to regulate the air flow direction. I haven't had any problems with EMI and am running directly off a parallel port. I've been using EMC + SheetCam TNG on Ubuntu, which is free and uncrippled (only on the Linux version).

I made some horizontal cuts while moving the Z axis to figure out the proper cutting height and to nail down the proper PPI for cutting 1/4" mdf.
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The top panel is just going to have the current meter, machine power switch, and 3 smaller switches for air, water, and exhaust. I didn't want to wire these in until I cut the panels, so that will have to be redone. For now they're not controlled by the machine.
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A mini-fridge is being used for water cooling. I put a panel across the front and then covered the inside with plastic to water-proof it. The tubes have quick-connect fittings to speed up swapping out the laser or pump.
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Anyway, once I get the skins I will be a happy camper.

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comment Buildlog Author Comment: evokanivo on Thursday, August 2nd 2012 - 8:25 PM
Comment From Buildlog Author
StigOE wrote:
evokanivo wrote:The assembly drawing on the Wiki has one of the carrier chain ends free-floating. I just fastened it to a short piece of 2020. If you do the same, remember to buy square m3 t-slot nuts (HNTT5-3), since the carrier chain spacing is too small for the cheaper rectangular nuts (HNKK5-3).

The free-floating end is actually secured to the bottom skin. If you look at the drawing of the skins, you would see two small holes for securing the cable-carrier. In the latest drawings I think it is actually 2 sets of 2 holes, to make it possible to mount the cable-carrier pointing either forward or back.


I'm hoping this will show up as a collapsible comment. If not, would someone explain how to do that? It's a little weird that depending on how you arrive at a build log (forum vs links at the top of the home page), it will show or hide others' comments. I used the "comment" button to encapsulate the entire entry.

StigOE, thanks for pointing that out. I suppose I didn't notice because 1) the chain end isn't near to the holes in the skin in the assembly and 2) I usually hide all the skins when I'm looking at the machine in Solidworks.
reader comment Comment from: StigOE on Thursday, August 2nd 2012 - 5:57 AM
evokanivo wrote:The assembly drawing on the Wiki has one of the carrier chain ends free-floating. I just fastened it to a short piece of 2020. If you do the same, remember to buy square m3 t-slot nuts (HNTT5-3), since the carrier chain spacing is too small for the cheaper rectangular nuts (HNKK5-3).

The free-floating end is actually secured to the bottom skin. If you look at the drawing of the skins, you would see two small holes for securing the cable-carrier. In the latest drawings I think it is actually 2 sets of 2 holes, to make it possible to mount the cable-carrier pointing either forward or back.

Wednesday, August 1st 2012 - 9:47 PM

I've got most the mechanical components assembled. It's all pretty standard, so I will just go over a few things. Now it's time to start wiring.

The bolt spacing on my carrier chains are not the same as the sheet metal hole spacing, so I had to drill an additional hole in each piece of aluminum. Changing the design to use slots seems like an improvement. I also had to knock out the mirror lens plate standoffs and use my own spacers to attach the carrier chain.

The cover window is polycarbonate/Makrolon. I think it filters light in a CO2 laser's IR range, but I couldn't find any transmittance graphs that went up to that wavelength. I will just do some burn tests and swap it if necessary.
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The assembly drawing on the Wiki has one of the carrier chain ends free-floating. I just fastened it to a short piece of 2020. If you do the same, remember to buy square m3 t-slot nuts (HNTT5-3), since the carrier chain spacing is too small for the cheaper rectangular nuts (HNKK5-3).
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I added flats to the threaded z-rods and Z and X motors. The Y-motor doesn't need it because it is using pressure clamps, and I had Misumi add set-screw flats to those rods. My setup for doing this was makeshift, but things turned out pretty well. I prevented the motor shaft from spinning by holding a pulley on the other side. Very useful having double-shaft motors!
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The table surface is 16 ga steel perforated sheet with 1/8" holes staggered at 3/16", off ebay. I cut it to size on a table-saw with an abrasive disc and am pleased with the results. M3 machine screws hold the corners down. There is very little flex when I push down in the middle.
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PS: My "train derailed"-UPS box made it to me after all, just a couple days late.

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reader comment Comment from: sports.racer on Monday, July 23rd 2012 - 1:39 AM
reader comment Comment from: Techgraphix on Saturday, July 21st 2012 - 10:59 AM
Image

This one looks serious enough...

Kees
reader comment Comment from: steppenshoe on Saturday, July 21st 2012 - 2:26 AM
I had one of those once and the items did make it and only one day late, don't despair!

Saturday, July 21st 2012 - 2:06 AM

Handle is from Home Depot - I saved a whole $6 bucks!

My motor and pulley shipment from the Makerslide store might not make it. Never seen a UPS notification like this before:
Attachements...
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UPS Exception

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reader comment Comment from: awesomenesser on Thursday, July 19th 2012 - 1:48 PM
evokanivo wrote:I am plan to make two laser cutters. This one is to give me some experience before I make a second. It will be pretty much exactly the same as posted designs. It won't do DSP, so it'll just do cutting. I plan to use linux/emc2. Maybe later I'll upgrade to DSP. The second cutter will be larger and with DSP and probably higher wattage.

Right now I just have the frame assembled as I wait for the 2.x parts kit. Everything else has been purchased - I hope. I think some of the pre-assembly insertion nut counts are off in the diagram, but I won't know for sure until I'm done.


I like the handle.

Thursday, July 19th 2012 - 1:24 PM

I plan to make two laser cutters. This one is to give me some experience before I make a second. It will be pretty much exactly the same as posted designs. It won't do DSP, so it'll just do cutting. I plan to use linux/emc2. Maybe later I'll upgrade to DSP. The second cutter will be larger and with DSP and probably higher wattage.

Right now I just have the frame assembled as I wait for the 2.x parts kit. Everything else has been purchased - I hope. I think some of the pre-assembly insertion nut counts are off in the diagram, but I won't know for sure until I'm done.
Attachements...
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