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 !
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).
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
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
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
600l/min pump sitting on the same level as the laser to get max flow rate
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)
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
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