World's slowest laser cutter

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SnapFracturePop
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: Davenport, IA

World's slowest laser cutter

Post by SnapFracturePop » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:18 am

"You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have Shapeokos with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!"
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Too many of my stories (and letters from the bank) start with the fact that I was bored & in front of my computer with my credit card handy. This time it was a $95 800mw IR laser with TTL control: http://r.ebay.com/mK5NKN from China.

Pretty simple installation - I took an old PC power supply, hooked it to ground & 12v, connected ground & digital pin 12 on the Grblshield to the TTL, focused (~6" away is as close as I can get), and ran. Or tried to, the wire colors were reversed from the standards for the pinouts. Nothing got fried, so I switched them & it worked. The laser won't even mark white paper, but anything with color seems to cut. In this case, black paper plates left over from my 30th birthday party.
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It just runs at 2"/min feedrate.

Code: Select all

;Laser cut circle

G20 (inches)
M3 (Start Spindle)
G0 X0.5050Y1.0000 (goto edge)
F2.00 (set feedrate)
G2 X0.5050Y1.0000   i0.4950j0   z-0.0000 (draw circle)
M5 (Stop Spindle)
G0X0Y0 (Origin)
M30 (End of Program)
I can just about get it to cut cardboard at 1"/min. Now to find some designs to cut! My 'Oko has been out of service while I wait on parts (brass standoffs for the Acme Z upgrade & wire connectors for the dual-Y upgrade), so it was nice to get some use out of it while I wait, even if my apartment smells like burning paper.
Shapeoko #384: dual-Y, outside-belt, ACME-Z,1000mm Y, drag chain cable management, insert-nut style base board, 800mw IR laser cutter, & 3d-printing with Qu-Bd & Printrboard.

roberlin
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:12 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by roberlin » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:22 pm

That's awesome!

I'm sure your being very careful, but seriously make sure you don't put your eye out.

SnapFracturePop
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: Davenport, IA

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by SnapFracturePop » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:09 pm

Everybody loves videos!


And yes, I'm being careful. Nothing reflective on the table, laser only powered when mounted facing down, no unattended cutting, etc. No IR safety glasses, though - they're just too expensive for my budget.
Shapeoko #384: dual-Y, outside-belt, ACME-Z,1000mm Y, drag chain cable management, insert-nut style base board, 800mw IR laser cutter, & 3d-printing with Qu-Bd & Printrboard.

Tom Smith
Posts: 297
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:55 pm
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by Tom Smith » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:38 pm

SnapFracturePop wrote:No IR safety glasses, though - they're just too expensive for my budget.
OK, that just gave me a chill...

Nifty with the laser and all, but I think I will wait to take that step. Invisible high intensity light is not something I am ready to mess with! Be careful, and then more careful...

Tom
_______________
ShapeOko1 191

daveczrn
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:06 am

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by daveczrn » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:18 pm

What type of material are you trying g to cut here? Looks like you could use some optics here to get a smaller beam diameter. As well what size is the main circle?

JuKu
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:55 pm

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by JuKu » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:55 am

Do not look into a laser with your remaining eye!

fito
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:45 am

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by fito » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:31 am

Love the video. What software workflow are you using for generating laser friendly gcode? Thanks.
Adolfo Cortés
ShapeOko 649

SnapFracturePop
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: Davenport, IA

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by SnapFracturePop » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:16 am

The circle's about an inch and a half, and each smaller oval is ~1/8"x1/4". The material is a black paper plate, and I did focus the laser a bit better after this was taken. I had originally designed this as 1/8" tall in Sketchup to cut out of acrylic. I loaded it in CamBam & generated a toolpath with a .001" tool diameter & 1/4" cutting depth so it would only calculate one pass. Then I wrote a PHP script to remove any Z motion & add spindle enable & disable commands whenever it switched from a G1/G2/G3 to a G0 or vice versa. It's not a masterpiece, but it seems pretty good. No guarantees, but try it at http://www.qcgeek.com/laseroko/ or contact me for source code.

I can run it at ~3"/min cutting black paper plates, 0.75"/min cutting cardboard, or all day long without making a mark on white copier paper. I picked up some thin plywood & craft foam but haven't had any time to try them yet.
Shapeoko #384: dual-Y, outside-belt, ACME-Z,1000mm Y, drag chain cable management, insert-nut style base board, 800mw IR laser cutter, & 3d-printing with Qu-Bd & Printrboard.

willo
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:09 pm

Re: World's slowest laser cutter

Post by willo » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:07 pm

IR blocking plastic is NOT expensive. I suggest getting some. Even matte surfaces can reflect enough light to cause damage. A good option is Lexan. You can get it at HD or online.

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