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Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:02 am
by wilson
Hey Chooch, haven't heard from you in a while. How's the Pflaser coming? you must be busy fruiously printing parts.

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:06 pm
by thechoochman528
LOL the pflaser...i like it!

Yes, i've been printing away...ran into a snafu with warping of the really thick parts, so i did some redesigns.

I did manage to print a beautiful air assist, looks just like Bart's design that was made on a lathe.

I'll try and update this on Monday.

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:20 am
by thechoochman528
It's labor day weekend and i've been working on several other projects that have closer due dates. So, This is going to be a quick update.

As I posted earlier, I ran into a snag printing large objects with the makerbot.

Even with a heated build platform I get some warping, it could be that I cheat and use blue painters tap to get the ABS plastic to stick to the platform, instead of using Kapton...but hey it beats trying to squish the first layer on time and time again.

I do have a couple of pics to show you all.



One of the Y axis sleds is done and I managed to print out the air assist after a few attempts. Also printed a few more parts, x&y motor mounts and a pulley.

I've done a bit of redesigning of several parts to conserve plastic, time and prevent warping. I'm sure once I have everything printed and start assembling more redesigns will follow.

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:28 am
by bdring
I wonder if plastic is good choice for the nozzle. If the laser is misaligned it might hit the edge of the plastic and with all the air, it could catch fire.

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:49 am
by thechoochman528
I've already thought about that.

The nozzle will be fire/laser proofed, or i'll be using it to make a mold to cast another nozzle, out of ceramic or a choice of whatever scrap metal I have laying around.

If all else fails... I know i can purchase one from you.

Also, from all the vibrations... Do you see a lot of misalignment after several uses? If so what typically misaligns?

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:20 pm
by bdring
Misalignment: One time it did drift enough to hit the inside of my nozzle. I noticed there was not much power and the spot was not too sharp. The lock nuts were completely loose on one mirror and it moved. I think I forgot to tighten it. It still took weeks to loosen. I think my last alignment was about 2-3 months ago.

Vibration: I don't see any real issues with cuts or engraves. I had a loosely screw on my extruder carriage and the nut did fall off. That was on a bolt that was pointed down, so gravity helped a lot.

I had some nozzles printed at Shapeways a while back just for fun, but decided not to use them when I though of the fire issue.

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:56 am
by thechoochman528
Fret not fellow onlookers, i haven't forgotten to keep everyone posted.

Laser cutter part printing has been suspended...

I am working on a automated build platform to speed up the process of printing laser cutter parts.

I did release a quick down and dirty ABP on, but am currently printing a Pfiercer one!

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:00 am
by thechoochman528
It's been a long time and I haven't kept this updated. I figure it's time to let the cat out of the bag. I've got a lot of emails and messages about this design. Folks, I've been busy building/designing other things, but I have been working on this. I don't have an immediate need for a laser cutter, so I've been taking my time to get it right.

After building the X gantry I decided...Wow, this is really complicated, very labor intensive and is very process sensitive, how are people going to make this? So about 2 months ago, I started completely from scratch and redesigned... Keeping in mind something Bart said ,"I can't believe you haven't changed more from my original design." or something like that. I've become a better designer since I first started this project and I think it really shows with this new design. I did a lot of research into best practices for CNC machines and learned different ways of doing things. I also saw in parallel, that Bart started making some of the same or similar design changes, with his second laser cutter design.

Some of the specifics and things i'm playing around with still:

-Way less parts; from 100's of parts with my old design to about ~30, I think it has maybe 11 unique parts from my last count.
-It's cheaper, $9 of 6061 aluminum for the gantries and 9 delrin v-wheels (you can get the wheels from
-It has a x31" X y16.5" X z5" cutting area, x45" X y24 X z12" machine size (the x may get smaller but the z may get larger)
-It uses 3d printed and some non-3d printed parts. The non 3d printed parts maybe CNC laser cut or milled.
-The case is the primary support structure this can be sheet metal, aluminum, aluminum laminated panels, wood with metal laminate etc. Doing this drastically cuts down complexity.

Now I shall rant...some of the emails/messages I receive are... “Gimme nows!” or “Where are the files!?”

Sigh, It's not done, yet.

So what's the hold up? Time and money. I'm designing/building 3 different machines right now in my spare time and on my own dime. So, I'm going to try something different.... If anyone wants to donate money/goods/services to the cause I'd appreciate it. If i get enough revenue behind this, I could finish this cutter by April, but right now I'm working on a few other machines. Doing this for free doesn't offer any incentives to focus on completing in a timely manner. I have thought about just finishing and then charging for the files & BOM or make kits for purchase. Kits will eventually occur for those that don't have 3d printers or the ones that are thinking logically and want the cutter to make the 3d printer.

What do I still need? The expensive stuff of course!
40watt laser
Laser power supply
3X 20mm Gold Plated Mirrors
18mm ZnSe Focus lens
2X Laser Reflection Mirror Mount
18~20mm Focus lens Mount
2X micro stepper motor drivers
Power supply
Interface card

And everything else I've forgot to list not to mention design time.

Bart, already donated to another project...more to come on that in the future somewhere on the internets. (Thank you Mr. Dring! I owe you and when you need help with that widget just let me know.)

Okay, with all that being said, for those that want to harass me and not help, just be patient and be willing to take the gamble that out of the kindness of my heart and belief that open source is right and in the words of Bre Pettis."If you make something really great, make it free and good things will come to you." That I release this for free.

Those that help me out, if you give $20 or more, you will get the STL files & BOM one month before anyone else does, after I finish the design, build & test. This ensures you'll get a head start on joining a new revolution in at home manufacturing, one month before everyone else does. You'll be able to create laser cut machines faster than your peers and possibly get that idea that you've been thinking about made before someone else does. If I hit $1000 in donations, before completion, I'll take off of my fulltime job and crank this out as fast as I can, working 10 hour days. Also, I may offer discounts for non printable parts to those that invested in this.

Every dollar will help make this a reality. Thank you.

To donate go to: and click on the paypal button to fund the pflaser project.

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:24 pm
by sandro
You should consider putting the project up on kickstarter to get funding. I've contributed to a couple of projects there in the past. Http://

Re: Chooch's 3D printable laser cutter

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:46 pm
by thechoochman528
You know what, I take it back I don't need money... i just need time.

The money will be there in time.