Well, obviously not my first built, but since the C-Beam machine is already very well covered I decided to add a laser and share my add-on
After some conversation and thanks to contribution of Jay from J Tech Photonics, Inc.
I received a:
3.8W Laser and 2.5amp Safety Compliant Driver Kit
3.8W Laser and 2.5amp Safety Compliant Driver Kit | J Tech Photonics, Inc.
laser fan upgrade
Laser Fan Upgrade | J Tech Photonics, Inc.
Cooling can never to be too much with the laser so
I decided to give the laser more cooling and designed a mounting bracket that fits into the
the existing c-Beam router mount.
1. fully enclosed to enforce the air flow exactly where is should be (i hope)
2. the laser is mounted on an old pentium 486 CPU heat sink attached to the included laser heat sink. The heat sink dimensions are ~52mm x ~52mm with 27mm fin depth.
3. The laser focus is at ~2-4 cm in front of the laser.
When the bracket is installed the laser should be at around 3cm above the workpiece
(@the lowest Z-position)
4. and installed a 80mm fan on top ...maybe an overkill ;-)
In case you wonder why all the wholes are at the bottom:
- Print out the LASER HOLDER STL
- Tap holes into the CPU heatsink.
- Place Laser onto heatsink using thermal paste and attach with screws.
- Slide the new heatsink/laser assembly into the printed laser holder.
- Put the laser holder into the spindle mount and mount the fan on top. Route the wires to the laser driver attached in the back.
I thought that I could maybe mount some laser-shield here.
Which by the way, I forgot to order completely ;-(
There are also 2 wholes inside ( left and right of the laser).
The wholes are not straight down but at an angle!
The top diameter is around 5mm and at the bottom it is only 1mm.
Maybe this could be used to mount some 5mm LEDs and they should then mark where the laser-focus should be.
At least that was the idea - which I have not tested yet!
By the way, the whole laser mount prints (upside down) without any support!
That is why I chamfered most edges at a 45 degree angle - also to make a smoother air flow.
... and all the filet edges should make for a smoother printing - NO sharp turns for the printer ;-)
There is also a mounting bracket for the driver which is the mounted on the C-Beam of the Z-axis.
It is very simple and I was almost ashamed to publish something so simple.
...but here we go. It uses the original screws of the driver case and has a chamfer on one side for the screws.
It prints regardless which side is down
Here is a link for the Fusion360 file: Unsupported Browser ~ A360
I use the xPro V2 with plain GRBL V1.0c and connected it according to 2. Connecting CNC xPRO · Spark-Concepts/xPRO Wiki · GitHub
( D11 and the 12V output connected to the laser driver( using an ATX PSU!)
I also used the latest EDGE branch of GRBL. V1.0c
GitHub - grbl/grbl at edge
Important changes are:
New '$' Grbl settings for max and min spindle rpm. Allows for tweaking the PWM output to more closely match true spindle rpm. When max rpm is set to zero or less than min rpm, the PWM pin D11 will act like a simple enable on/off output.
The 2 new variable are $30 and $31 which I set to:
$30 = 255 (RPM Max)
$31 = 0 (RPM Min)
To control the laser, the commands will then be:
At the moment I am using GRBL Panel for streaming the g-code.
- Laser ON 100%: M03 S255
- Laser ON 50%: M03 S127
- Laser ON 10%: M03 S25
- Laser OFF: M03 S0 (or M05)
GitHub - gerritv/Grbl-Panel: A control panel for Grbl
GRBL Panel will soon add support for Grbl V1.0 enhancements
Add support for Grbl V1.0 enhancements · Issue #58 · gerritv/Grbl-Panel · GitHub
I also noted that the "3.8W" laser only becomes alive @~S20 (with the above range settings)
According to Jay from Jaytech: this is normal for the 3.8W laser.
The lower power lasers will start "lasing" earlier ;-)
Remark: Maybe I should set $31 = 0 (RPM Min) to 20??
I am not sure what will happen then.
Will the range then be 255 steps between 20 and 255?
will the laser just switch on and stay on a value of 20, between S1-20?
Be careful!!! Even at this low power the laser is already pretty bright!
Oh before I forget:
The 3.8 Watt laser should be very good for cutting and engraving, but it has a pretty large focused spot size.
According to the spec sheet:
Focused Spot Size between 0.008 - 0.011 Inches
which is about 0.38mm at max.
So when engraving bitmaps one might not get all the details that you would get with the lower powered laser!
...maybe I am wrong here but I did not think of that when I bought the laser ;-(
I also started using LaserWeb3! (github)
This software will support adaptive speed control for the laser which means:
Instead of changing the laser power the moving speed is changed!
LIGHT is for ex. 100 mm/s and DARK is @ 20m/s (clever thing)
The main man behind the deveopment is Peter van der Walt
Laserweb is on Google+ https://plus.google.com/collection/UbVXZB
This software is still under heavy development and currently only
Smoothiware is supported, but Marlin and GRBL will follow soon, I hope
They are also looking for anyone who can do some programming ( I think it is all JAVA)
I think that's about it
laser add-on for C-Beam machine
3.8 W laser add-on for C-Beam machine. Can easily be swapped with the router.
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution NonCommercial - CC BY NC
Reason for this BuildI wanted to cut something with a laser ;-)
Qty Part Name Part Link Comments 1 3.8W Laser and 2.5amp Safety Compliant Driver Kit https://jtechphotonics.com/?product=3-8w-laser-and-2-5amp... Link 1 Laser Fan Upgrade https://jtechphotonics.com/?product=laser-fan-upgrade-2-2... Link NOT needed if you decide to use the 80mm fan 1 80mm fan Link any standard 80mm fan - any hight will do 1 Pentium? heat sink 52x52x27mm Link 4 any M3 (or similar inch) screw 10-30mm will do Link to mount the laser to the heat sink & for the whole assembly to fix into the printed part 1 Laser shield. Size? Link Size depends on the mounting