Edgar x As a long time designer and maker, watching a computer-controlled laser cut out my project was a transformative experience. Until that moment, many of my designs had been trapped inside the computer. The only output available was a mere paper printout to guide my traditional woodworking tools. Map Puzzles Like all tools, laser cutters have strengths and limitations.
Some valuable insights have been gleaned while working on it and I am planning to reuse many of the parts and the software in a different project. I have so many DVD drive parts now that it would be silly not to make another attempt at building a DVD CNC laser cutter, but it will definitely be designed differently, thanks to the lessons learned.
The project was tremendously helped by this Instructables which made me reconsider my previous idea of using more robust but very difficult to acquire anymore 5. I have made several airspace models designed to be cut on the tiny 1.
Especially so for airspace models where I could really use longer parts for the wings and the fuselage. So I decided to stack two linear stages with 1.
So far so good, right? I also added another feature: I wanted the piece of material being cut to be immobile so I can position a large sheet of foam and only cut 1. Also, I had my sights on a possibility to burn some designs on larger wooden plaques which was also easier to do if you eliminate moving the material around.
DVD CNC Laser Cutter — X below and Y atop axis I actually think that combining stacking of the linear stages with immobile material requirements has created the conditions that led to the failure of the project.
If your material is static, you have to move all of the hardware that comprise both axis around. That creates a lot of extra load on the linear stage that lies at the very bottom of that stack. I was never able to achieve anything close to the theoretically possible 0. Take a look at the picture of the test cuts to the left be sure to see the picture at full size.
Note how the slanted straight lines are not actually straight and are rather sawtooth shape. The vertical lines were designed to have the top be exactly 3mm to the right from the bottom, which for the 3mm pitch lead screw of a desktop DVD stepper motor means one revolution of the rotor.
In other words, one such line represents the full 38mm travel of the Y axis and one revolution 3mm travel of the X axis motor. Horizontal lines are shifted 2mm because the Y axis in my cutter is using a laptop DVD stepper, which normally has 2mm lead screw pitch. I have been experimenting for hours with various microstepping settings as well as voltage references of the EasyDriver bipolar stepper driver boards which you see on the picture and later with directly driving these steppers from H-bridges in half- and full step mode.
But I could never quite get rid of the sawtooth cut profile and that was the deal breaker. Combining the tiny size of the model with inaccuracy just does not work. So, as I look back at this project, I see it failed at no less than three different levels: I did not do enough initial research on the accuracy of the steppers.
Knowing how difficult it is to accurately drive these tiny steppers, I would not have designed it with everything riding on the single stepper of the X axis. Do more research before jumping in!
I was never able to make the system rigid enough and that just further exacerbated the issues with accuracy — having you laser swing back and forth from vibration does not help accuracy! There may be surprises hidden in there 3. This may not apply to everyone, but I went completely overboard getting the parts for this project.
I have started getting the parts in bulk most notably- old DVDs that became the base for the project before tearing down a single one of them. It turned out that they are all so similar that it makes no sense to have dozens of them, even if they are cheap in bulk.
Most of them are now cluttering by basement. Buy only twice as many as you need Interestingly, the project was not a complete failure. Quite a few things were done in the course of this project that I will use in the future.
The exaggerated inaccuracy of the little 16SPR and 20SPR steppers was quite illuminating in this respect DVD CNC Laser Cutter — picture of the complete setup In conclusion, despite the failure to achieve the needed accuracy, no regrets about starting this project whatsoever.
It was great fun, but I do really need space on my workbench! So, the little machine has got to go but the lessons learned will remain in this blog for my future reference. Hopefully someone else can learn how not to build a laser cutter from DVD parts from this blog post as well.Signage.
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Laser cutting is ideal for creating detailed and intricate designs using wood, acrylic, plastic, and other non-metallic materials. Feb 10, · Laser cutters were invented almost 50 years ago, but only became part of the home workshop in the past few years.
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Find this Pin and more on Laser Cutting Projects by Grace & Webb Limited. Jali Design Inspiration is a part of our furniture design inspiration series.
Industrial quality textile-cutting laser with a cutting area of about 3' x 4'. That's enough to make some massive projects. Over the course of a year I spent a fair amount of time with the machine, learning the ins and outs of how how to use it, developing safety protocols, classroom projects, and maybe (hopefully) exposing myself to some gamma.