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Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone/ Expanding My Build Area
03-07-2015, 04:33 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-20-2015, 04:30 AM by ctcollins9.)
Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone/ Expanding My Build Area
Hey guys. I can't help but want to get a laser engraving tool head for my printer of some kind. I know that it's not gonna be able to cut through anything, except for maybe paper, but I was thinking of getting one of these: http://m.ebay.com/itm/141593058277?nav=SEARCH (I would probably order from the US though). I think it won't be too hard to mount, but I am wondering how I could run it, and what software to controll it. I seen where someone just used regular stl files and only did one layer to engrave.

Please tell me what you think. Thanks.
03-07-2015, 09:50 PM,
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
Things like GRBL have a spindle control that people usually use for laser enable. I know my RAMBo board supports two extruders, so I've got three heaters and three fans on MOSFET outputs. If you have the extra accessory outputs, that could control it via gcode. Depending on your slicer, you might be able to insert gcode to enable a fan output which drives the laser power supply. Maybe an extrude start/stop event? If not, you could post-process the gcode to manually turn the laser on/off when it would extrude.
03-08-2015, 07:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-08-2015, 07:31 AM by ctcollins9.)
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
Thank you for your reply. That makes sense. My ramps 1.4 controller board does have one extra accessory output for either a fan, or a second hotend.

What mW laser do I need? The one in the link I believe is only 250mW, but I have found some 500mW ones for a decent price too. All I am wanting it to do is simple things like this: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=snG6kVhzpG8, I would also like it to cut paper, in that YouTube video the guy is using only 200mW.
03-08-2015, 09:18 AM,
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone

Apparently it's doable with that range. Power's going to determine how much you can cut through and the speed at which you can engrave.

Also, someone has to say it: if you're going to be dealing with lasers make sure you get wavelength-appropriate safety glasses and an enclosure. If you're going to be keeping an eye on it cardboard should work to keep reflections at bay. Even at the 200mW range, you can do a number on your eyes.
03-08-2015, 12:32 PM,
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
Thank you for the link, very helpful. I am very aware of wearing eye protection, but thank you for being concered. It looks like I need at least a 300mW laser as the person in the link you gave me had.

Here are the options in which I think I may purchase (please tell me which one you think is best):

1) I could get this housing:
http://m.ebay.com/itm/111068814975 and a laser diode: http://m.ebay.com/itm/110896818957?_mwBanner=1 (I can buy any mW version of this I need)

2) This is an infrared 300mW laser: http://m.ebay.com/itm/191351985912?nav=SEARCH.

And, if I used either of these options, which other things would I need if anything. We have a fairly old computer tower, I may be able to find a diode in that and just purchase the housing.
03-08-2015, 04:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-08-2015, 05:07 PM by ctcollins9.)
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
Also, look at what I just found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:575523.

It is a mount that I may be able to use to hold the laser .
03-08-2015, 08:25 PM,
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
First link doesn't list any power requirements. The second lists power requirements, but mentions "pulsed light" with no mention of duty cycle. And the last lists a 75% duty cycle. They also have a range of frequency output, which will change how it works on various materials (some absorb IR well, some don't). Not sure which one I'd go with.

Given you're looking at less than 2.5V, might have to work out an adapter circuit for the 12V MOSFET drivers off of the RAMPS board, or use the output to drive a 12V relay controlling the adapter that comes with it. Lots of options.
03-09-2015, 06:31 AM,
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
Ok, thank you. Maybe I will come in Wednesday and I can figure out exactly what I need to do.
03-12-2015, 06:46 AM,
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
I didn't have time to come on Wednesday, seems like every time we have to do something, it is on Wednesday at about 5:00. I should have my hot end next week, and I hope to come in and see what everyone has got going. I am thinking about finding some way to get the magnetic ball joints so I can easily switch between a laser and my hot end. I haven't ordered a laser yet, because I don't know anything about them, so I am waiting till I can talk to someone. I found a heated bed for my printer for a good price ($18) and I would really like to use ABS, but then I would have to come up with a enclosure, and I think that would cost more than it's worth. (I remember last time I tried to print ABS with no enclosure on my TwoUp, it smelled really bad)
03-12-2015, 09:28 AM,
RE: Laser Engraving on My Kossel Clone
Check into the magnetic ball joints. I've seen a few people complain about them popping out momentarily during operation and causing print artifacts (just riding up then reseating). Given your love of printing at 300mm/s, I could see that happening. Could be they just didn't have them lubed appropriately, but something to look into before spending $40 on arms. Another option would be to design a swappable head. Mount the laser and the hotend on similar inserts then have them twist or click into place on the platform.

As for an enclosure, that should be easy to do for a delta. Try it with hotglue and cardboard first; nice and cheap. Hobby boards are similarly inexpensive at Home Depot. Usually around $5 to $10 for a 2' x 4' section. It's the spiffy acrylic enclosures that are expensive.

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