Month: May 2017

Modified Head Mirror block

Modified Head Mirror block

So the original head on my 50W laser was a design nightmare, forgot to take a pic of original, but here is one i found below, I only wished mine looked that open, as there is a large plate in back of it, the original knurled tips where greatly marked up from the factory also.

original.png

The problems with it where that the grub screws bite into a screw thread, and you carefully adjust the heights, lock it down, and you are now screwed, as the grub wants to bite into a channel of the screw, throwing it off. And thats if you could get the third grub screw locked down in the first place as the back one left like less than an inch of clearance to get to it.

So, was thinking on it, and came up with this re-arrangement:

mod head top.png
Mod Head Side.png

I only had to add 3 4mm screw holes in a reverse triangle of the original hole set, but was careful to put the single low one centered in the thinner area of the block so it still hit the below tube where there was meat. The other 2 where much easier, but I equally spaced them for an even triangle. Added new 5mm bolts and reused the springs, then added 4mm bolts with lock nuts. This works much better as there was enough slop in the block to accomodate movement around the new screw springs.

Unseen is the modified the screw to have a point also, as I originally tried it unmodded, and adjustment with a large flat area was not going to work.

adjustment screw.png

After all was said and done, here is my final burn result, a fairly round centered laser mark.

final_result.png

Upshot of this is you can remove the block to clean the mirror and inspect the tube, and put it right back on and get the same adjustment settings by just tightening up the spring screws, same as the other mirror mounts.

Final Gimly Dice Tower box

Final Gimly Dice Tower box

So, only had my laser for about 3 weeks, and have it getting near finished setup in shop, ie just have to finish the outside ventilation, but took some time with just a hose out the garage to do this:


Surprised that the dimensions came out all just right, ie no real kerf management. Fits just right with .1mm gap for nesting also. ¬†Guess I can make it for may gamer family now as gifts ūüôā

Engraving Tests

Engraving Tests

So, aside from getting a weird message on my laser, “no enough extend space”, which I took to mean that I was running out of system memory, and so I set about for several worthless hours to try and fix the image. ¬†Turns out, very badly crafted Chinese to English, all it wanted me to do was start farther away from the origin point so it had room to move about 3 inches in and down.

So first test was at just swag of 100mm/s @ 25% power on a scrap piece of maple.  I printed 2 images, and  was pretty happy with this pair of items, took me a while to get something I liked for a project upcoming, and was pretty pleased at the depth and detail.

 

 

 

Next up, i did a simple array of speed/power settings, think i was pretty jazzed about the last, as it is 2.4x faster than the initial, and gives similar results.

First project

First project

So, seems universal concern that a milliamp meter is required, and a temperature meter for the water bath.  So I added both, and thus first project, a small acrylic box to hold them:

 

still gotta glue it together and permanently mount it, but it is working, so I got that going for me.

New Home for Laser

New Home for Laser

So, made a proper height table for the laser to get the bed to a comfortable height. ¬†Still had room for the low table (I think only 24″ high) to have a home for the water tank and air assist.¬†

 

Had time to do a small first project after some initial current draw testing to home in on what works with 5.6mil and 2 mil acrylic.

Laser has arrived

Laser has arrived

So, it came early than I thought, and I was so wanting to fiddle with it, but alas work. ¬†I’d have to say I’m extremely pleased, it was packed well:

It had everything that was in the ebay pictures:

 

and after I it got a good checkup all around for electrical before turn on, all seemed fit enough. ¬†Did a mechanical check, and that went well also, a few door tweaks, mirror and lens cleaning, removing tape etc. ¬†Last I set it up to run, a new water bath and hooking up the air assist, then get nervous, will it fire? ¬†Yes it will :). ¬†Walked the beam around the mirrors to center it up, and through lens, and last and finally after 5 hrs of setup, here is it’s first test cut:

 

Just a simple line cut around an etched circle.  Simple, was default program, but pleased as punch.  I gotta get it back to the garage now, cuz that little cut was like smoke o rama.  Next up, garage move on to new table (gotta get a table or make one now).  After that, seeing if i can run it from my lappy to get my own first print.

Hello world! Laser Incoming!

Hello world! Laser Incoming!

So, I got a new ebay laser etching machine coming tomorrow, and am anxious and excited both.  Anxious to see condition, as it is a chinese manufactured 50 Watt laser for laser etching and cutting, and wondering what condition it will be in when I get it.  Excited because lasers!

The one I ordered is here and it looks like this: