Georgios Michalis

Mechanical Engineer

Laser Cutter Design

On some of the side projects that i was working for, a need for a large laser cutter became apparent. Unfortunately after some research, it became apparent too, that my options were 3:

  1. Get an epilog, which would be a great choice, if it wasn’t 3 times as expensive here as it is in the states
  2. Get a Chinese laser cutter and spend a lot time repairing its shortcomings
  3. Use an open source design

I decided to use the option 3, which, again, unfortunately created some issues, since there were only 2 choices.

  1. The buildlog 2.0, which had many components in imperial units that were on now defunct stores, and some questionable design choises
  2. and the lasersaur, which relied on expensive components which made its selection in relation of an OEM machine, questionable

In the end i decided that the best course of action would be to spend a week and design my own version according to me specifications:

  1. Large cutting area, at least 1000x600mm.
  2. OEM DSP laser controller, so i dont have to reinvert the wheel.
  3. 80w CO2 laser with the ability to fit a tube up to 120w
  4. Garbage tray for easy cleanup.
  5. Garbage tray with a hard, inflammable material to minimize any chance of accidents. (like the laser staying open, and burning the base)
  6. Z axis for beam autofocus
  7. Adequate ventilation system.
  8. Closed loop stepper motors to minimize any chance of lost steps and for increased engraving speed
  9. X-Y axis on linear rails
  10. 3000-3500E budget

This is the result:

Laser Cutter

Outside dimensions are 1.5 x 1 x 0.5mm, not including the base.

Z axis mechanism. Also visible is the tiled garbage tray drawer

 

Y axis mechanism & blowers

 

Z belt tensioner
X axis mechanism, with laser head & autofocus mechanism visible

While all the components have been purchased, the assembly hasn’t been completed yet. When its ready i will also release the drawings on the open source community.

 

Disclamer about the renders: there are some obvious mistakes because of some performance issues that i encountered on FREECAD. Not all bolts are visible/or in the model. The energy belt on the X axis is unconstrained. The First laser mirror is missing from the model.

 

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