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Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:12 pm
by picengravertoo
Hi everyone,

this is my first post here. I acquired a Shapeoko 2 for the sole purpose to add an analog modulation laser diode engraving setup on it. After getting everything up and running, here is the results of my build.
BjornAn.jpg
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I did some slight modifications to my Shapeoko so I can setup my laser engraving projects even easier. I made a t-slot table for clamping my engraving materials in place and stops to bank the material against for the starting X&Y zero reference points.
DSC04453s.jpg
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I'm using a 9mm Nichia 445nm LD with a Flexmod P3 laser diode driver and it's all attached to the spindle clamping mount. The 0-5v analog meter gives me a reference where to zero my Z axis and starting laser power. The heat sink is a 1/2" plate of aluminum and a cpu heat sink which has the laser diode module clamped between them. The fan blows down and cools the heat sink, blows the smoke away from the laser beam burning the material and keeps contaminates from collecting on the focusing lens.

The analog modulating is being varied by an US Digital MA3 10bit magnetic shaft encoder tied with a timing belt to the Z axis motor. The Z axis depths in the gcode varies the intensity of the diode by rotating the encoder and outputting a 0-5 analog voltage to the modulation input on the driver. This configuration also allows me to raise and lower the Z axis to maintain the focal point of the laser diode based on material height/thickness.
DSC04454s.jpg
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The image was edited in PicEdit Lite and then brought into PicLaser Lite to generate the gcode for raster engraving. I then used PicSender to stream the gcode to my 9g flashed Arduino UNO. The stepper motor controller is the original grbl shield v5b that came with the Shapeoko 2. The engraving was done on Poplar.

Jeff

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:49 am
by twforeman
Cool. I still need to hook up my laser. I have to figure some stuff out and find some time.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:07 pm
by picengravertoo
porsche911s.jpg
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Shapeoko in action.

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:34 pm
by briankb
This is great! Are you pre-treating the metal with anything to get the engraving to work?

Any plans to share more details about your project including the laser components and setup?

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:36 pm
by cvoinescu
briankb wrote:Are you pre-treating the metal with anything to get the engraving to work?
That looks like plywood to me.

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:30 pm
by picengravertoo
briankb wrote:This is great! Are you pre-treating the metal with anything to get the engraving to work?

Any plans to share more details about your project including the laser components and setup?
Thanks. I pretty much explained the laser components I used in my first post. Here is a PDF with some more laser diode information that may help.

http://www.picengrave.com/Pic%20Program ... Setups.pdf

Another thing I did change on the Shapeoko was the timing belt pulleys and they are MXL 15T and MXL Kevlar reinforced timing belts. I also lowered the Z axis stepper motor by 13MM.
cvoinescu wrote:
briankb wrote:Are you pre-treating the metal with anything to get the engraving to work?
That looks like plywood to me.
Not plywood, 1/4" Poplar from Lowe's. Here is one I did today on the same Poplar material. Still experimenting with the settings and they keep getting better every time.
mm1.jpg
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Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:43 am
by fjohn624
Wow that is really cool. Nice work!

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:59 am
by picengravertoo
fjohn624 wrote:Wow that is really cool. Nice work!
Thank you. It's sure has been a fun project!

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:00 pm
by picengravertoo
Did some TTL laser engraving testing today and here is the results. The file was 1,566,629 lines long and PicSender streamed the code flawlessly. Dithered the image using Atkinson Algorithm to B&W first, then set Z depth to Z-.001" to pulse the laser ON in black areas and back to Z.000 to turn the laser OFF in white areas. This was done on Poplar.

Re: Another Laser Diode Engraving Thread

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:46 pm
by philc
Very cool. What power is the laser you're using?