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      I´d like to start saying I am not an engineer nor an electrician, CO2 Lasers are dangerous things to play around with. I´m learning as i do this build, and I have people near me with great experience and knowledge who i can ask for advices. If you have just a little doubt on your knowledge or are unsure, ask someone who knows this stuff! Don´t risk yours or others peoples lives!

      PART 1 - Designing and scrapping items

      So to start with i have been designing the frame in Autodesk inventor, and for now the design is not done to a 100%. I am still thinking of the Z-axis and the motion at the axises, im thinking of using LM12LUU bearings for the Y-axis and MGN15 bearing for the x-axis.


      The goal is to have somewhere near 120x80 cm cutting area, and also to be able to replace the tube if i´d like more power without rebuild the whole thing. Today i got a hold of two refrigerators to source the steel frome for the enclosure, stainless steel so i belive i will have a good time cutting them to slice to fit the body. Maybe its possible to use the refridigator-element to cool the system as well.


      Today i used an angle grinder to cut the refridgiator to pieces, man that was nasty, one of the fridges had not been cleaned and out in the sun for at least a month, it smelled of dead animal! :p


      But i had some luck, i found lot of copper pipes and chilling blocks, anyone who have an idea of what i can make of these? would the "blue" block in the bottom be enought to chill a 80-100w tube with active fans blowing at it?

      Ordering parts
      I have been looking around and reading quite a bit at the internet for parts, the parts used can be found in the BOM in the file section. Im thinking about to get a 90-100W Reci-W2 tube. I will try to start ordering the parts for the frame and brackets next week, then i will have vaccation for 2 weeks, so hopefully the parts for the frame will have arrived when im back home again. Anyone have any experience in shopping at Wavetop sign, do you recomend them to get the laser parts from?

      Have ordered the everything except the tube and PSU today, still not sure if i will go for the RECI W2 Tube or the EFR ZS 1250 80w. So now its just start waiting for the stuff to arrive. And then start the assambley! :) Will proberly turn the tube the other way to be able to get the full length of a 80-130W tube

      Yesterday I realized that i would not fit a regular standard board since the Z-axis bracket was taking space from the cutting area so i made the lid 50 mm wider, so total size of lid is now 1248 and the gap is 1250, i also decided to go with a ruida DSP 6442G controller, drivers and motors for it, and a linear rail on the X-axis to be able to get higher speed at that direction. I also have a friend that offered me to try his bruschless motor with the odrive chipset, that would be pretty cool as well, but i haven´t decided yet. Since i want to be able to access the tube and electronics i wish to be able to remove those panels easy,and plexi got to expensive so i went for the stainless sheets i scraped.

      Back from Vaccation
      So im back to my build again, i recieved most of the parts i ordered, im waiting for the laser tube and the aluminium profiles to arrive, proberly i get the profiles at friday. I decided to go with the Reci W2 Tube, so i hope i will get satisfied. I decided to try out if my water chiller would work today by assambleying the parts, since it will be a passive cooler i guess that it will not go bellow ambient temperature, but since i live in Sweden, 8 months of the year i will not have more than 20C inside.


      So I will give this a try. Seems okay thought fans and the cooling block will be optimized in a box so the fans only blow on the cooling block. The temperature went down with 0.5 C in a open room at 50 seconds so i have some belivee for this idea.

      Check out the video below:

      Though I made a mistake I hooked up the cooling block to the pump and started to pump water through it and within a few seconds i realized that the block was full of refrigerator oil, so now i have refrigerator oil in my bucket, water tubes and pump. Quite a mess, but i could have been worse i guess, it could have been hooked up to a laser tube ;) But now i cleaned everything with warm water so i hope there will not be any problems. Im thinking about buying new water tubes and a new bucket but maybe im just paranoid? any opinions?

      Part 2 - Assambley
      Day 1
      So today i recieved the profiles for the frame, so i started to assamble the frame for the laser. I didnt realize how big it would get i guess, but the bigger the better! ;)
      Im having problem to find Plexiglas for the lid in the right dimensions, hope i can find something next week for it. It´s pretty **** expensive, would like to have a 5mm sheet at least. Also i recieved some corner brackets with wrong dimension, so i hope i will get some more next week aswell. But now the build is on!

      Day 2
      Today I got some panels cut out of some leftovers, got some of the profiles cut to length and put the lasertube mount in place, also did some measurements for the mirrors.
      There are some things i will try to optimize before continue the assambley, also im short on the corner brackets. Hopefully they will arrive during next week and the tube and PSU will get here by the 13th of august. Tomorrow i guess i will try to cut out the bottom to the laser and continue mounting the mirrors

      Day 3
      Did a test of the DSP-controller absolutly amazing workflow there! Useing Lightburn to send the files to the DSP. Having an exam on friday so if i can stay away from the build this week i will need to study :/ but its hard to stay away.


      Day 4
      Got the plexiglas for the lid today, assambled it, think its a little bit to shakey, so will get some extra aluminiumprofile there, need to update my assambley soon as well and figure out how to do the motion for the X and Y axis. Realized yesterday that i have ordered the wrong belts and pulleys as well.

      Day 5
      Had a conversation with a guy who is an flow and therodynamic engineer, he was willing to help me with my laser chiller build by giving my some lecture material and help with some temperature measurments, also had som inputs on how to design the box for the chiller.

      Day 6
      I have reinforced the lid by two extra aluminiumprofiles and i started to cut the stainless steel sheets to fit my enclosure, realized that the plexiglas would be to expensive for me, at least in sweden so i decided to go with stainless all over the place. Sick that i got the sheets for free, otherwise it would have been quite expensive.



      Day 7
      Today i started to try figuring out how to maximize the cutting area and how to do the laserpath. 3D-printed at cylinder with the same diameter as my tube and put a hole in the centrum for a laserpointer, and started this way. If i put the tube the other way i can have better cutting area since the mirror would take space if i put the mirror to the right in the machine.


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      GeoffH and Mark Carew like this.
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