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K40 12x24in rebuild (In Original Case)

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by tshilling, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. tshilling

    tshilling Well-Known
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    tshilling published a new build:

    Read more about this build...
     
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  2. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Interesting build. I have been looking at these lately. They are only about $100 more than a good laser diode and can cut thicker material. Had you looked at Scorchworks K40 Whisperer software before deciding to go with the Uno and GRBL?
     
  3. tshilling

    tshilling Well-Known
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    Giarc,
    I had ripped the original electronics out when I first bought the laser about a year ago, and trashed them. I stumbled on K40 Whisperer sometime after that so I had no real option to use it when I found it. However, I have several machines running GRBL at this time and I love having a consistent workflow between them. I tend to use LaserWeb to generate the gcode, but then use cncjs for actual control as the later is what my big CNC uses and I'm comfortable with it. Had I found Whisperer sooner, things may have turned out different, but with recent releases of GRBL (1.1), Lasers are well supported.

    As to the K40 vs Diodes, I actually use both. I have a 3.5watt laser diode that I attached to my 4x4ft cnc. I use this for marking/engraving after cutting in wood. The K40 on the other hand finally brought the ability to cut with a laser into the shop. Having used up to 100watt CO2 cutters, I do miss the power, but in a home shop, 40 is pretty workable. I have successfully cut through 1/4in (5mm) acrylic and wood. It is forcing me to really rethink how I design and build things, its a rapid manufacturing capability I haven't had since college 15 yrs ago.

    Thanks for the interest and comment
     
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  4. Armadillo Works

    Armadillo Works Well-Known
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    I bought one of the 40 watt Chinese lasers and was able to scrap the crummy Chinese software and hardware key it requires to run the NANO M2 controller by using the Scorchworks K40 Wisperer software. Uses files manipulated or created in Inkscape and saved in its native .svg format for cutting, vector engraving or raster engraving. If you decide to get one; go for the one with the 0 - 30 mA analog meter. The digital shows laser power in percent which is meaningless. Knowing the actual current is more valuable.
     
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  5. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Thanks for the info on the analog meter. I am seriously considering modifying one of these 40 watt lasers. and making it bigger similar to this build.
     
  6. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I can't believe I just did this, but I ordered a K40. I have all the extrusions, steppers, and drivers I bought a year ago for my 1500 x 750 ORCA (my slightly modified Acro) I started a year ago, but was never able to get the diode to function properly. I think the laser driver board was fried. Also, it is way bigger than I needed. I also have an old CNC shield with DRV8825 drivers that I had on my CNC, but switched over to DQ542MAs when I realized the DRV8825s could not reliably handle the larger machine and steppers.

    I had at one time planned to build a CO2 laser cutter, but I can't help myself and I over size things. Your conversion along with a couple other K40 conversions done previously are inspiring and will constrain me to a size that will fit on my workbench by the window in the garage which will make for easier venting. Now I need to check out some of the other K40 conversions again. :thumbsup:
     
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  7. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    Craig: I hope we can all come along on the journey. :D
    I've been giving this some thought as well.
    The conversion makes a lot of sense. :thumbsup:
     
  8. Armadillo Works

    Armadillo Works Well-Known
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    I found a lot of useful information in and through links in the ScorchWorks web page. The one I ordered had the digital display; so I ended up having to buy a meter and cut a hole. One thing about the digital control is that there had also been some issues with the Laser On/Off button only turning off the display and leaving the laser still on. Very bad since the case did not have any of the safety switches to interrupt the power to the laser if you opened the lid installed. I do know someone who burned a hole in his finger. I have installed these in series with the circuit that senses when the cooling water is not flowing through the tube. Also, with the 0 to 30 mA meter you can regulate the current going to the tube and will find out that you do not need anywhere near 100% to engrave or cut something. Mine will vector engraves with 4mA and cuts 1/8" (3mm) plywood at 10mA. Good luck, have fun and make it a safe man-cave toy!
    Roger
     
  9. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Maybe I should learn Braille first...just in case.
     
  10. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    Just keep the video running. We'll tell you if it looks okay!! :ROFL::ROFL::D
     
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  11. Armadillo Works

    Armadillo Works Well-Known
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    Here is a sign you can use!
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. mario sanchez

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    hi excuse me what is the long of the belts?
     
  13. tshilling

    tshilling Well-Known
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    @ Mario,
    I am hesitant to give any exact numbers as there are a lot of variants of the K40. However, mine, for reference were:
    X: 62in (1575mm)
    Y (qty 2): 38in (965mm)

    If I were to buy them myself again (Mind you, I did this with scrap I had) I would be getting 1600mm + 1000mm + 1000mm for 3600mm total. I would of course recommend you get a little extra so you don't end up being short.

    @Everyone else,
    I am glad to see some excitement behind the K40 upgrade. I went back and forth, almost trashing the case myself and building a larger cutting area machine. However, preliminary designs showed it was going to be too big to fit on my bench and cost just too much for what I use it for. I am happy with my choice. I also haven't seen anyone mention it, but since we are talking about blinding ourselves, I did splurge and buy a nice pair of IR laser googles. I think they ran me about $50. I can dig around my email and see if I can find the order from a while ago. So, please, invest in a pair of googles if you are going to play.

    I'm excited to see the different builds and what improvements to the design people come up with.
    Happy building,
    Tim
     
  14. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Another quick question, can you fit a rotary axis in there now?
     
  15. tshilling

    tshilling Well-Known
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    As built, you will have ~65mm of vertical space between the MDF bed and the air assist (Which is adjustable by 10mm). If you remove the MDF and solve the flatness and mounting issues of the case, you can get up to ~75mm. Personally, I think this is too thin for a rotary system but it depends on what you are going to be making. Personnaly, if rotary is your goal, I don't think the original case is going to suit your needs.
    Happy building,
    Tim
     
  16. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Thanks. I am not 100% sold on rotary. I had thought of having a removable section of MDF in the center. I had even considered raising the case up a few inches and skirting the perimeter and adding a new metal bottom in the skirted area. Then cutting out a section of the bottom of the case where a rotary axis would be installed. But for now I need to focus on just filling a bucket with some distilled water so I can burn some wood for fun.
     
  17. Armadillo Works

    Armadillo Works Well-Known
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    I have one of each and they all have their issues.
    Laser you will have to deal with smoke or fumes.
    Rotary you are going to have to deal with dust and chips.
    Neither are good for your eyes or lungs.

    Both you will want to have as much room as you can get to be able to set up your work piece.
    Laser heads have a optimum focal length and any thing outside that is quickly degraded.
    Rotary cutters have their optimum operating parameters.

    The challenges keep the brain juices flowing!
    Roger
     

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