DIY 50W laser build


(Walter Huwels) #1

I started thinking about building a lasercutter somewhere in november last year.
This should fill in a gap between my 3D-printers (ideal for complex stuff, but slow) and CNC-machine (good for 2D and a bit 3D, for metals, wood, plastics and : very noisy ad tons of dust).

From concept board to the working machine, it took me about 3 months. Working on it in the evenings and weekends and negociating extra time with my wife ! :wink:

I first made all the gantry parts with my 3D printer in ABS and once the machine was aligned and working I remade the Y-gantry parts in acrylic (10mm).

Some specs:

Movements:
XYZ : 690x460x110mm
reliable speeds : 700mm/s in X and 400mm/s in Y
X_Ysteppers are set to 8x microstepping giving a theoretical resolution of 25um in X and Y and 1,25 in Z

Gantry:
Steppers : 1,8° Nema 17 5kgcm
endstops X and Y : normal reprap style microswitches
endstops Z (min and max) : reed relay with a magnet mounted on the bed
X : 750mm MGN12 rail and slider on a 2020 profile, 1 stepper, GT2 belt driven
Y : 500mm MGN12 rail + slider on a 240 profile. 1 stepper, GT2 belt driven, using a 8mm rod to transfer the movement to the left side
Z : 3-D printed a special support for the steppers. using 2 steppers with 2 closed loop GT2 belts. Driving 8mm pitch ACME rods. I didn’t find any closed loop belt long enough for my config. But I considered this as not that critical and used a right and left side stepper+belt+2 rods config. The bed sits on 2 3mm alu L-profiles left and right. These profiles also prevent the laser from cutting the belts

Laser :
I ordered a tube via Ebay in the UK from MCW laser (did arrive before Brexit date!)
brand : http://www.cncoletech.com
theoretical power : 50W
power supply : Cloudray T-series 60W HY-T60

Cooling :
600l/min pump sitting on the same level as the laser to get max flow rate

Air :
Small, low-noise airbrush compressor. delivers 35l/min@6 bar. Since I do not intend to use it at 6 bar, it delivers more air then I’ll ever need. Air has a main valve opened when laser becomes actve.
Then passes a splitter with a flow reduction valve and then goes into a 3/2way valve acitvated by the air assis (wind) signal). So I have always a minimum airflow and if needed lots of air (cutting wood)

Extraction :
100mm tube with dual fans (push and pull) @ around 150m3/h
Will replace them with one larger fan as soon as I find a good one

Electrical cabinet:
60W laser power supply
24V power supply for controller and X_Y steppers
12V power supply for Z steppers and lighting
Controller : Ruida RDC 6442S
Stepperdrivers : TB6600
24V relays for : extraction fan, water pump and air compressor
You’ll see some loose cabling on the pictures. I’m experimenting with a ‘fire’ button on a long cable to ease alighnment. Will be detachable with a connector.

Control panel :

  • switch with a key for laser enable/disable
  • switch to disable X and Y steppers for whatever reason I would like to freely move the gantry like aligning mirrors
  • mA meter for the laser current
  • display water temperature
  • emergency stop
  • switches for : waterpump, air compressor, extraction fan and one spare for whatever use I might think of
  • USB connectors for USB-stick and PC connection
  • Ethernet connector

Main contruction :
A lot of 2020 and 2040 profiles
5mm colored polycarbonate with alu protection in the line of the laser beam.

Here are some pictures

Walter.


(Ray Kholodovsky) #2

See if you can upload/ paste the images directly into your post instead of the link :slight_smile:


(Isaac Barbary) #3

Nice job. I like it.


(Allen Massey) #4

That is very nice indeed. Yours is the first homemade high wattage CO2 laser I have seen. How much would you estimate you have invested in the parts?


(Eirik) #5

@WalterSKW that’s absolutely amazing work. The polycarbonate sides makes it look more like an art installation.


(mike ) #6

I’ve been thinking of doing this, but I have zero experience with Co2 lasers… I’ve already build a diode laser and tweeked the GRBL code for no Z zero so that I can home it correctly. I might have to pick your brain on setting up the wiring for the CO2 tube…

Very Nice build!!!


(Isaac Barbary) #7

Wring the tube is easy, it’s two wires.:grin: