Comgrow Z1 10W Engraver Project

This project started on another topic, Stuttering and Homing Issue With Comgrow Z1 (GRBL), and since it has been solved, I’ve moved here to continue posting on the project.

In short, I have a Comgrow Z1 10W Laser Engraver. My project’s purpose is to upgrade the engraver and share what I’m doing to help others along the way. I’ve added a camera and will be building an enclosure and plan to build an offline controller for convenience. My hope is that others will benefit from this and share their knowledge with the community also.


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It’s been taking me a while because I’m building a new bed for my engraver. When I’m finished, I will post photos. I’m using a piece of 3/4 inch plywood that I had in my garage because it was the only board that I had large and flat enough for the project. If I was buying, I would have chosen 1/2 inch.

I’m using a sheet of aluminum 24" x 24". It’s 22 gauge thick. I got it from lowes

I also got the spray paint there.

I clamped down the sheet metal and used a small hammer to bend the sheet metal over the ends to give it a more finished look. This wasn’t too difficult, but will need to be secured on the four corners to maintain flatness.

After painting it, I laser engraved a grid, planned my layout, and used an auto punch to make drilling easier.

I drilled the holes in the pattern that I planned and mounted these metal cones that LAHobbyGuy recommended (after having to modify more than half of the screws).

The need to modify was because I bought the cones before the sheet metal which turned out to be too thin. They would have worked well with a thicker metal sheet.

Photos are coming…

I’m finally done! I finished building the Bed O’Nails. As promised, here are the pictures.

But now it seems that I am experiencing a problem. I cut the same pattern three times now, each time decreasing the speed because the laser does not seem to be making it through the 5mm Oak plywood. Each time the cut appears to be worse. It is either because I now occupy a parallel universe where the slower the head moves, the less time the laser has to cut through. Or the laser is getting weaker as it is used. I cut the first at 190 mm/M, the second at 180 mm/M, and the last at 160 mm/M.

I fully expected the last one to cut through with little issue, but again it was the worst cut yet. If anyone has had any experience with the Comgrow Z1 10 Watt laser and could shine some light on this for me I would appreciate it. Or maybe this is something all diode lasers experience, I don’t know. Any tips would be returned by appreciation. Anyway, here is the last cut on the new bed.