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L-cheapo lasers and Blackbox controller

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by Michael Yeomans, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. Michael Yeomans


    Jul 18, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide. :)

    I have some money left from a grant, about $380. The bulk of the grant money was used to purchase parts for a CNC router. The machine is intended to be used by art students in various disciplines to make art. Low relief sculptures, wood cuts, engraving multiple surfaces and creating stencils for murals/street art are a few of my use case scenarios. I managed to save money on end mills and have decided against a drag knife so that has left me with a bit of money.

    I was thinking about a laser for cutting stencils out of chipboard(not OSB) which is a cheap kind of 1.3mm card stock. The l-cheapo laser fits in my budget. But my concerns are the following. Will it work with the Blackbox controller as that is what the CNC is running? Will it need its own power supply or can it run off the same one used for the Blackbox? Will it actually be able to cut through the chipboard in a reasonable amount of passes(let’s say 3)?

    I am also concerned about support or I should say responsibility for the product when it goes wrong. There seems to have been an argument between endurance and the person behind the l-cheapo. So I am unclear about the dependability of either of those organizations.

    I would be grateful of anyone with experience with these issues to share insights.

    Thanks, Michael
  2. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Project Maker Builder Resident Builder

    Mar 1, 2017
    Likes Received:
    It will, see docs:blackbox:connect-3-wire-laser [OpenBuilds Documentation] or docs:blackbox:connect-4-wire-laser [OpenBuilds Documentation]
    The L-cheapo comes with three wires, Power, Gnd and Signal, Signal goes to PWM on the BlackBox, power can be grabbed from the Meanwell PSU - so kind of a hybrid between the two links above

    Mattheo (L-Cheapo) is a personal friend of mine (so the following is my own opinion, not OpenBuilds's) but you won't be sorry. The bad history with George (Endurance) is not something I can discuss (If you really want to know, PM me about it) but I would rather support Mattheo than George. His modules does feel a little "hand made" (single sided PCB, PSU is a XLSemi Buck converter like the ones on Ebay, Made out 3D printed parts, heatsink is hand-drilled (where the diode module presses into) but they work reliably, I've got two of them. For the price I'd accept that. The nicer ones are Engraving Laser Head - High Power CNC Laser | Opt Lasers but it is a big jump in price

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