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Old 11-16-2012, 02:34 PM #1
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Default Mini CNC laser etcher

Big thanks to DTR-LPF (ebay user on here) for answering all my questions and the great support!

This project ran about $200 total and took me a few Sundays to finish. Its made from 2 computer CD roms and a 700mw 405nm laser. The 3 axis CNC controller was from ebay and included control software.

Total cost breakdown:
$140 700mw laser
$45 3 axis CNC controller
$15 power supply
$8 (2) CD roms
$4 laser driver circuit
Total: $212.00

This rig will cut through ABS pretty easily and with proper control can etch most materials quite well! Total work area is about 1.5 inches square so it's not huge but does pretty good all things considered.
I made this more for proof of concept before I make a larger 24" x 26" 40 watt C02 laser CNC.


So check it out and tell me what you think
Intro:
PB150005 - YouTube

Working:
PB150004 - YouTube


Mods if this is in wrong section please move as needed!



Last edited by lucky; 11-16-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:29 PM #2
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Hey you are welcome. Looks like it worked out well for you. That is a really compact unit. The 405 diodes are some real burners. I would suggest some heatsinking for the diode though. It could overheats if run just in the module. Anyway great work. Enjoy.


Also here are your video's embedded.


Last edited by DTR; 11-16-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:46 PM #3
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

DUDE! That is SO damn cool. It makes it possible for anyone to own an etcher on a budget. Well done sir. Coolest thing ive seen thus year by far.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:22 PM #4
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky View Post
Big thanks to DTR-LPF (ebay user on here) for answering all my questions and the great support!

This project ran about $200 total and took me a few Sundays to finish. Its made from 2 computer CD roms and a 700mw 405nm laser. The 3 axis CNC controller was from ebay and included control software.

Total cost breakdown:
$140 700mw laser
$45 3 axis CNC controller
$15 power supply
$8 (2) CD roms
$4 laser driver circuit
Total: $212.00

This rig will cut through ABS pretty easily and with proper control can etch most materials quite well! Total work area is about 1.5 inches square so it's not huge but does pretty good all things considered.
I made this more for proof of concept before I make a larger 24" x 26" 40 watt C02 laser CNC.


So check it out and tell me what you think
Intro:
PB150005 - YouTube

Working:
PB150004 - YouTube


Mods if this is in wrong section please move as needed!
That is so neat....amazingly

I like the scavenging of the Drives to make the
structural shell and using the Drive motors as the
X/Y axis motion control...

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Last edited by lasersbee; 11-16-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:20 AM #5
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

This is really cool for a first post here lucky! I have a lot of old CDROM drives and have imagined doing something like this or to use the mechanisms to move optics into a beam..
Yet 1.5" working area does not seem very fun, hooking 8 drives together for a six inch area would be so much better, what is the resolution with that Mach3? would this be hard to do?

Or maybe modify 2 of them so they have a longer travel?
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:51 AM #6
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Cool, I've been trying to build one for a while but never really got it into working shape. I'm curious about the resolution too.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:55 AM #7
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

I love the ingenious creation! Can take items you can basically get for nothing, and turn them into something actually useful and productive.

Now we just need some giant CD drives so yo can have a bigger work area. I probably would have gone for a similar approach (But maybe using flatbed scanner platforms) if I didn't need so much cutting space. Building a machine capable of cutting 1200x900mm has come back to bite me in the ass after just recently moving!
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:54 AM #8
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Well that turned out well!

Excellent work.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:11 AM #9
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Things View Post
I love the ingenious creation! Can take items you can basically get for nothing, and turn them into something actually useful and productive.

Now we just need some giant CD drives so yo can have a bigger work area. I probably would have gone for a similar approach (But maybe using flatbed scanner platforms) if I didn't need so much cutting space. Building a machine capable of cutting 1200x900mm has come back to bite me in the ass after just recently moving!
You'd probably want to build a traditional CNC type machine if you need something that size. Something like those Zen Toolworks CNC machine (not exactly that but designed somewhat like it) or a Mendelmax.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:06 PM #10
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

I'm impressed, I must build one for me too. What's the working current of the drives motors?
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:40 PM #11
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

That's just amazing. great work!
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:50 PM #12
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Yep Nice Job. What controler did you use? I used an arduino on mine but I still have yet to get it working properly and my s06j died at 400ma last time i tried to get it going. Anyway's great job gives me incentive to get mine going. I thaught it would be great for cutting stensils for solder pasting boards.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:48 PM #13
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Thanks guys for the kind words!

To answer a few questions:
I have a rather large fan blowing in the laser and thus far it hasn't gotten past room temp, however a heat sink has been fashioned and I'm fitting it shortly.

Resolution is quite good and is at least down to 0.003 inch if not better, I only have digital vernier caliper to measure so I'm not 100% sure on it's accuracy. The Mach3 software suggests resolution is controllable to 0.0007 inch which makes some sense since the CD rom drives have to have pretty high resolution to burn a disc.

I'm using Mach3 software on my latptop to control the Toshiba CNC driver. That's all that is required to run the setup. The Z directional pin on the driver board is used to switch a TIP 125 power transistor that controls the laser on/off.

As for driver current, the power supply is set to 10v which is about as low as the CNC rig can go but the CD steppers are only rated to 5v so they get a touch warm at 10v but have been doing pretty well so far. Currrent consumption is pretty low from what i can tell but haven't measured it directly.

Safety goggles came in last week so I make sure to wear them when I'm working with the laser

For now I'm using this rig to laser mark some products that I make for my small business "ARD Tuning"

If there's any questions I missed let me know!

Last edited by lucky; 11-22-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:12 PM #14
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Lucky, why don't you add a few silicon diodes in series with your steppers? Each of them will drop you voltage by 0.7V independently of the circuit resistence.

EDIT:

I didn't believe when i found an old PC at my girlfriend's ville today, it had 3 cd burner drives, a working PSU and two great heatsinks. I'm using all them for this project.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:17 PM #15
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

If you put together a kit with 2 cd drivers that are known to work, a controller, a power supply, and the necessary hardware, as a just add laser and driver kit, I would pay $125.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:51 AM #16
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Default Re: Mini CNC laser etcher

Quote:
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If you put together a kit with 2 cd drivers that are known to work, a controller, a power supply, and the necessary hardware, as a just add laser and driver kit, I would pay $125.
The controllers alone are $60
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