Saturday, 16 November 2013

Laser Cutter Build

Early days, but I'm currently spending a LOT of hours on a laser cutter build - heavily inspired by BuildLog 2.x and Lasersaur.  All of the design is in OpenSCAD, building on the excellent work by nophead on the Mendel90 - many of the vitamins are reused, with new vitamin libraries for:
  • Aluminium Extrusions (Bosch Rexroth 20x20 profiles) and fittings (e.g. gussets)
  • Openrail, and associated plates, V-groove wheels, etc
  • Laser Optics (tube, mirrors, laser head)
The project is on github:

Clone the repository and open axCut.scad in the latest version of OpenSCAD to view the WIP design.

Here's some of the latest images:

The first real parts arrived this week - a 40W laser tube, power supply and optics set from China.  Will be testing this over the next week or two, once I've sorted out a water cooling arrangement.

Full BOM is on Google Drive and will be published once finalised.  Will also publish to thingiverse once the machine is built/tested.

My particular requirements list:
  • 40W CO2 laser (with space to upgrade to at least 80W - i.e accommodate a 1000mm tube with water cooling)
  • Bed size to accommodate A1 stock - design files use 850mm x 600mm with 30mm margin all round
  • Fully enclosed
  • Allow for pass-through (i.e. very long items)
  • Allow for high/tall items and "autofocus" via motorised bed (150+mm travel)
  • Have unobscured front access for loading/unloading parts
  • Bench-top design (may integrate a bench at a later date)
  • Side connections for extraction and cabling (i.e. power, usb)
  • Investigate using reprap s/w stack vs Mach3 - I'd really like to leverage as much as possible from the reprap community (e.g. modified sprinter firmware)
  • Budget target of £1500 (max £2000)


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