40W C02 Laser Cutter Adventures

On July 2, 2016 by jw

I purchased this laser cutter off eBay knowing it would need some DIY love. I added a few upgrades to expand the cutting area and clean up the cuts.

The machine arrived in pretty good condition. The only major initial concern was the gantry was visually not square to the laser tube. But after a few test runs it became apparent the mirrors can compensate for the misaligned tube and gantry.

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giphy (6)

Air Assist: is really important when cutting materials greater than 0.5mm thick, which is basically anything thicker than paper. It keeps the flame down making for a much cleaner cut. I 3D printed a nozzle that can slip over the lens holder. I purchased a 1030 GPH air pump and a coiled airbrush hose. The hose didn’t quite fit correctly so I 3D printed an adaptor.

 

Larger Cutting Area and Honeycomb bed: The stock bed came with a small spring clamp that was intended to hold the workpiece but it had a maximum material size of 3.5 x 8.25 inches.  However the laser gantry is large enough to cover about 9 x 12 inches. I replaced the bed/clamp with a 12 x12 x 0.5 inch sheet of expanded 1/4″ cell aluminum honeycomb grid. This increased my cutting area by 274%.

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Exhaust: I didn’t have space in the back of the machine for a hose and fan so I re-routed the exhaust to the right side. I then 3D printed a few hose couplings to route the air out my apartment’s bathroom exhaust fan.

Paint: I want to eventually paint the whole machine flat black, but for now I only experimented with painting the main door.

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Some laser projects:

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