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First Laser: Machined Aluminium Labby

691175002

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I received a few sleds from Jake on Friday, but I don't generally keep aluminum tubing around so there isn't much I can do until I get time to pick some material up.  Was itching for a project though, so I grabbed a scrap block of aluminum and a sample of derlin I had laying around.

I don't do much machining but a lathe and mill are the kinds of thing you find yourself wishing you had every month or so for miscellaneous projects, and due to a freak pricing accident with the store I bought it from (They honored it, even though they really didn't have to) I ended up with a full sized lathe for the price of a mini-lathe.  I picked up a mill just to finish up the setup.

I suppose I could have just drilled a hole through the block of aluminum but there is something about a machined finish I love.

Before:


After:

Front, loosely press fits an aixiz.


Back, enough room for wires.


Bottom.  I didn't have any even remotely similar screws to what I needed so I ended up using the scrap nylon.  The screw was a pain in the ass to make, you have to thread it before you cut it, but once its threaded you can't stick it in a vice to cut.


With module.  This is just a PHR at 130mA. The heatsink gets slightly warm after ten minutes or so, but its real purpose is to look nice.

I figured all of you have seen a million beam shots before, but I couldn't resist a diffraction grating through some smoke.


I think I like this hobby; I'm looking forward to putting together a pointer next.
 

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691175002 said:
[quote author=[ch12290] link=1232938623/0#2 date=1232939564]what store honored that deal?
It was Busy Bee Tools a few years ago.[/quote]

how much would you charge to make me a heatsink just like that, but with deeper fins?
 

L@z3r

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Mohrenberg said:
[quote author=691175002 link=1232938623/0#3 date=1232939802][quote author=[ch12290] link=1232938623/0#2 date=1232939564]what store honored that deal?
It was Busy Bee Tools a few years ago.[/quote]

how much would you charge to make me a heatsink just like that, but with deeper fins?[/quote]
Yeah just like it, but with Radial like fins, and thinner fins to allow for more air.
 
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L@z3r said:
[quote author=Mohrenberg link=1232938623/0#4 date=1232942732][quote author=691175002 link=1232938623/0#3 date=1232939802][quote author=[ch12290] link=1232938623/0#2 date=1232939564]what store honored that deal?
It was Busy Bee Tools a few years ago.[/quote]

how much would you charge to make me a heatsink just like that, but with deeper fins?[/quote]
Yeah just like it, but with Radial like fins, and thinner fins to allow for more air.[/quote]



The deeper fins would add more surface area for the heat to radiate from. Air is an insulator, if you want more air, skip the heatsink :p
 

691175002

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Thanks everyone, I initially wanted to have thinner fins along the sides instead of the top, however I didn't really have a plan when I started and took too much off the sides.  The fins were cut with the thinnest end mill I have (3/8") but were still pretty thick.  The depth of the fins was more a matter of convenience, at that depth I could cut them in one pass so I did not have to reset the height of the cutting bit between each fin.  Otherwise I would be worrying about getting it exactly symmetrical, and my calipers were out of batteries...

I'm planning on picking up some smaller end mills and if possible an 11.9mm reamer or drill bit for an even better module fit.  I'm also playing around with the idea of getting a rotary table, I've wanted one for a while and it makes it easier to do cool things like radial fins.

With this laser, at least, the fins are more for show than anything.  There is so much aluminum that even after running 10-20 minutes the heatsink is barely warm to the touch.  If I was running an open can or some more current things might be different.

I have been toying around with the idea of selling just to help the hobby maintain itself, but machining is a pretty long process.  The heatsinks for flashlight hosts are just a few cuts on a lathe and go for around 20$, the mill is a fair deal more time consuming (just count the number of separate surfaces on my heatsink compared to a lathed one) especially when everything needs to be square and symmetric (symmetry happens automatically on a lathe).  I will probbably play around a bit as I get some better tools and see how things go.  I have a plan for a hybrid copper/aluminum labby which I might make a few of.
 

billg519

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Very nice machining work!!! It's not hard to anodize aluminum after you machine it, either. Gives the part some scratch and scuff resistance, as well as color, if you so desire. I have a Busy Bee lathe that I got a few years ago, too. It's the 9x18 with change gears. I also have a Cincinatti 30 taper vertical milling machine, you will like getting a rotary table, and indexing head. These are handy to have. Great for grooving or fluting a laser barrel, and making nice looking c-mount laser heads. You would have no problem doing a c-mount based handheld burner. (like my 2w 808nm handheld with fluted barrel)
 




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