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Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:07 pm
by Zebethyal
I have been following this forum for quite a while now and have posted a couple of times in the other sections, however I thought it about time that I actually catalogue my build progress here as well as on my own Blog site.

I decided on a full Metric build and drew up the entire 2.x laser in Sketchup, I swapped all of the 1/4" pieces for M6 and replaced the MXL belts and pulleys with GT2-2, I also replaced the 1/4 floating PEM nuts with M6 cage nuts.

I decided to 3D print all of the plastic parts myself from my own Sketchup drawings as this was going to be far cheaper than any other option, I am all about saving cash on my builds where possible, even if, on occasion, this means I have to re-design the part from scratch to accommodate my choices (e.g. SAE to Metric).

All of the parts in both Sketchup (.skp) and Stereo Lithography (.stl) format, including the Sketchup drawing of the complete 2.x laser are available on my GitHub site.

Most of the parts suppliers I have used so far, I have referenced in the UK Suppliers thread here on the forum, they are also referenced in the relevant section of my Blog.

I have currently built the frame as far as I can without the Makerslide, this is currently on order from Amber Spyglass, they have only recently had a new stock delivery.


I am also building the rotary axis from mainly 3D printed parts (all files used are also on the GitHub site), the main 60 tooth gears were again changed from MXL to GT2-2.

All of the items I printed that use bearings had their bore printed slightly undersize and then bored to a more accurate size on my mini mill, rather than relying 100% on the fit against a raw 3D printed part.

I may yet use an X7 DSP, although in the short term I will have a play with GRBL.

I also acquired a slightly used 40W tube and PWM PSU on ebay quite cheaply, so I may end up selling on my unused Chinese laser cutter instead of using it for parts.

Re: Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:10 pm
by Zebethyal
I had printed some idler wheels, bored them to size and then fitted bearings.Image
unfortunately due to how thin they are and the stress of having the bearings pressed in, 3 out of 4 split
so I decided to try some penny washers instead
These seem to work just fine, my total cost for the 4 idlers including the bearings, nuts, washers, etc as well as the cost of the failed prints is £1.91, nearly half the price of just a single Delrin idler kit - this method also works just fine on my 3D printer.

I made some more progress on the mechanical build once my Makerslide arrived.

I was able to assemble the gantry and fit all of the Z axis parts.
The stand-offs are brass M3x25mm (£3.15 for 25pcs inc P&P from ebay).

You can also see the M6 cage nuts I used in place of the floating PEM nuts (M6 floating PEM nuts seem to be either silly prices, or need to be purchased in quantities of 1000+), this method was free as I have hundreds of them from installing servers in racks over the years.

I bought a couple of different sizes and also used some on the X axis.

Y axis motor, the smooth 6mm rods were salvaged from some scrapped inkjet printers
I swapped which side of the mount I placed the Y axis motor as one rod was longer than the other, I could keep the piece of 20x20 profile near the middle and not need to cut either of the smooth rods.

High voltage power supply fitted

This is the frame with all belts, end stops, feet, etc fitted as well as the rotaty axis in place (still awaiting a pulley)

I also have my skins, already cut to size, although I still need to drill all of the relevant mounting holes and make any required cut-outs.

Re: Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:17 am
by Robo
Where did you get your skins from, and how did you get them cut? I'm in Germany, so currently looking for more EU related resources.

Having a metric build sounds useful as well.

Re: Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:43 am
by Zebethyal
Hi Robo,

I bought my skins from a company called Plastic Source, they also sell on ebay as plasticsourceltd.

On ebay they were quoting £39.99 + 17.50 P&P for a 2440x1220mm sheet and will do up to 15 cuts for free.

Currently they are quoting £42.99 + 17.50 P&P, but no longer mention the free cutting.

I contacted them directly and was quoted £55.00 inc P&P which included cutting the panels.

I did have a few issues with them, despite my panels only using up about 2/3 of a sheet, I was charged for the whole sheet and never received the offcuts.

I chased them regarding the offcuts for about 2 months and eventually they sent me 4 pieces that were 420x295mm, which is still nowhere near the size of the remnants that would have been left after cutting my panels, and so small they are next to useless.

I would probably have been better off just having the large sheet delivered and then cutting it up myself as I have a track saw and a suitable aluminium/plastic cutting blade.

They did not cut any of the fixing holes, vents or other accessory holes, which for me was fine as I am still deciding exactly what I want positioned where and have no issue with doing these myself.

I also found a good source for the clear 3mm acrylic piece for the lid at £5.99 for a 750x500mm sheet (I bought 2) for that price with £3.48 P&P from ebay seller techsupplies12, although he no longer seems to have any listed.

Re: Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:06 am
by Zebethyal
As mentioned in my previous post, I have my skins and have drilled and fitted the base, left and right sides as well as the two larger top pieces.
My laser tube turns out to be 55mm diameter so needed to make some new mounts with a 60mm diameter hole
I decided to fit maximum and minimum limit switches to the X and Y axes to complement those on the Z axis.

I am using Modular RS barrier strips for the internal power connections, I needed some jumper terminals to be able to bus the connections together, so now I have 3 sets of 4 terminals for the 220V connections, which should be more than enough.
This also just happens to fit perfectly between the two lengths of 20x20 profile in the bottom of the enclosure.

I buckled and bought an AWC708C Lite DSP from AliExpress seller SanWeiHouse for $283.10 (£192.04 after exchange commission) with free shipping to the UK.
I paid them via paypal, even though this is not an official payment method for AliExpress and the DSP arrived on my doorstep 7 days later.

Bizarrely I was not charged any import duties as unbeknown to me, they had declared the shipment value as $10.00 and sent it in a box that had seen better days to disguise the value of the contents.

Re: Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:23 am
by Zebethyal
For a stepper driver board I have decided to use a clone of the Protoneer V3.00 board designed for GRBL on an Arduino, this cost me £3.10 inc P&P from ebay seller party-888.

Despite the original design intent, it also has all of the connections broken out so that can be used as a standalone board.

It also allows me to test out the motors using GRBL on a cheap arduino clone before wiring up the DSP.
My stepstick drivers are from ebay seller moncss and cost me $7.43 (£4.82) for 5 (I bought 10), so less than £1.00 each!

I decided I like the idea of auto Z height adjustment, so bought a 1mm inductive NPN 6-36V proximity sensor from ebay seller sellerbible that cost me £2.48 ($3.85) with free P&P
I now just need to work out exactly how I am going to mount it so that it does not interfere with the air assist hose.

My Wife, whilst extremely tolerant of my various projects, has decided that she does not want my laser cutter in the house, as such it needs to be relocated to the garage/workshop.

So I built a bench for it and attached some casters so that I can move it around easily.
The bench effectively cost me nothing as I already had all of the parts laying around in my garage as left over timber from other projects.

The casters were left by the previous owner of the house I have only just found a use for them 20 years later :D

On the plus side, now that the laser cutter is in the workshop, I have easy access to compressed air, from my workshop compressor, for the air assist and therefore won't need to buy an aquarium air pump.

Re: Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:28 pm
by sshwarts
Looks great!


Re: Zebethyal's 2.x Laser Build

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:45 pm
by Zebethyal
Thanks Scott,

Your build has been the inspiration behind many of my choices, even though I recreated all of the STL files from scratch.

I will be borrowing some of your other ideas in my build as well, for example the Arduino based touch screen.

I will also be making some more 3D printed parts, but I am out of blue PLA at the moment :D