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Messages - sapling

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General Discussion / Re: Addons
« on: April 16, 2019, 04:21:48 AM »
I just run mine til the job is done. Technically speaking if you run it at a lower power setting it helps the lifespan of the laser as well as if your project doesnt have a lot of huge solid areas. If you were to cut a box with the laser as the laser will stay on the entire time its doing the box it is more damaging than doing some of the longer projects I do where it takes a long time but as the laser gets to shut off even if its only for a really short bursts.
I have had my 2500mw for several years now and if I have run it for a total of 500 hours of projects if I had to estimate the numbers. I dont run projects back to back though accept in certain cases.
My typical project involves running a "fast light burn" to check on the sizing of said image and location to make sure that the item is going to be where I want it to be etc... Short runs for me usually take about an hour using things like 2000-2500 speed 60% max laser power. This all done on my plywood board
After I am satisfied i usually do the same on a blank of my material I plan to work on only this time I do it a little bit higher so if I know my project is going to need to go at about 1000 speed I change my new speed to 1500-1800 and set power max to 80% using a blank of my material. If all looks good I carefully mark my location and put the final piece I plan to do. Putting my final values I tend to never use maximum on my laser 90% is usually my max if its got a lot of solid spaces where I know the laser will be on for longer periods of time.
Thats pretty much all I can say personally as I never use it to do any cutting dont see a point. I if I wanted to cut materials i would just buy a CO2 40 watt and expand the bed with some of the tutorials out there.
Hope that helps I am sure Zax has more experience as he seems to have all the toys and spend a ton of time with engravers.

General Discussion / Re: Addons
« on: April 15, 2019, 09:16:43 AM »
Is your beam focused? That looks huge!
I know if I dont focus my beam in it wont burn as hot because the power of a laser will be cant think of the right word but shared between the rest of the surface area from what I read in the past.
Also try something really easily burned like paper that should help you determine if the diode is indeed dead if the other settings are correct.
What power is the head you are using and you up for a bit of soldering? You can buy replacement diodes for dollars from china to replace it out without buying a new head but it requires a lot of soldering etc...

General Discussion / Re: Control board differences?
« on: April 12, 2019, 05:24:09 AM »
The board revisions are pretty standard. The newer boards tend to switch over to a PWM/TTL connector for the laser but still offer a 2 pin connector that you can connect up with. The latest Eleks Mana for instance now offers a bluetooth module pinout so you can connect an external bluetooth up to it and remove the need for cables while you engrave. I personally wouldnt do it unless I had a reason I couldnt have my laptop that close just incase some signals are missed etc...
For connecting up without TTL you would need to use the motor connector instead of the laser connector.
You may find it tough to find anything other than the eleksmaker mana se boards as most people have stopped making the older boards and selling them by themselves.
I believe in one of the other sections of the forum there were indepth discussions on the very specific details to the differences in certain older L board revisions. Feel free to look around there.

General Discussion / Re: TTL Controller Boards
« on: April 10, 2019, 06:19:37 AM »
Does anyone have Agastar's latest design files he hasnt been active in over a year and his profile link is dead. If anyone can PM and share them with me directly I would appreciate it greatly. Curious to see the design file information and see if its work having a few electrical engineers I know look at it and potentially improve it more or if I should just buy the chinese stuff and call it a day. 

EleksMaker Mana SE / Re: Switch under the Arduino on the Mana Se 3.2
« on: April 10, 2019, 05:06:33 AM »
Thanks good to know what it does so I dont "test" it and break it :)

EleksMaker Mana SE / Switch under the Arduino on the Mana Se 3.2
« on: April 08, 2019, 08:43:25 AM »
Anyone know what it is? It just says on for one direction nothing for the other and by default it was delivered with it off. So not sure what to make of that.
Also is the barrel jack on this smaller than the older Eleks Maker boards L2 -L5 etc...?

Spare Parts Sources / Re: replacement Delrin wheels
« on: March 26, 2019, 09:29:19 AM »
Its funny you mention this as I ran into similar issues when I upgraded to a larger rail set. You have two other options in my opinion without breaking the bank depending on how much space you need.
You can buy other wheels but the prices get crazy expensive from my experience. If its just the a-axis you can have someone 3dprint you an adjustable x axis which will allow you to make it slightly larger
Otherwise there are some Eccentric Spacers might do the trick for you.
I think when I bought some new wheels the $%(*^ers cost me 40 bucks with shipping for 4 wheels of different sizes.
Measure your original wheels to the best of your ability and see if any of the sizes they carry work for you and your needs.
keep in mind the ones at openbuilds are much thicker so they wont sit in the channel as much.

Yeah Tug I think what he is talking about is that the grips arent connected together in a way to make sure that each are even. I believe the style Thotloki built has two pieces on the end that as you rotate it the connections slide together to make sure they are even.
I think thats more what he is getting at if I am correct on how thotlokis works.
I am curious have you posted any pictures of things you have done with your rotary axis?

Trouble Shooting / Re: X-Carriage Movement Issue (Eleks-A3)
« on: March 12, 2019, 04:42:48 AM »
Well if you are close to any of these hackerspaces (really they are maker spaces) Get to know them join and I am sure someone has a 3d printer and could assist or they might even have the tools necessary to help you build a new one if the vendor isnt going to fix / replace the issue.

That also might assist you in finding someone to print the adjustable setup. I have a coworker printing me one up just to make this smoother on my machine.
Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: Laser foil what type to look for
« on: March 12, 2019, 04:31:32 AM »
What is your goal here? I googled and saw a guy doing just foil sticky paper that the diode seem to do just fine but are you trying to do something like etching on glassware or something?

I am sure with the reflection of the light foil is going to be tricky to begin with if not impossible although he seems to do it somehow. This might be a trial and error for you my friend most of the laser foil engraving sites show it for 40w CO2 tube engravers as they are more capable being the they operate at a different light frequency. As seen here on this plastics website for tips on using the laser foil

General Discussion / Re: Laser stepper smoothers or replacements
« on: March 11, 2019, 09:51:50 AM »
Thanks for the response Zax. Any idea what the maximum is going to be on that Nano?
Wondering what my best option is going to be at this point. Are you using the 4988's still on your rig or have you upgraded or swapped out for something different?

General Discussion / Laser stepper smoothers or replacements
« on: March 11, 2019, 06:38:11 AM »
I was looking around and noticed a few things that supposedly smooth out the waves on the stepper motors themselves. Obviously I could just upgrade to the tmc2130's these are predone with the pins on top for the modifications that are required to make them work on the eleks board by default.
Without buying those I was thinking my default A4988's might benefit from just adding in either the or the
Not sure if either of those types of modules will be of value or not so was wondering if anyone else has done any mods like that to smooth out the steps etc... As far as the silent aspect of the 2130's I really couldnt care less if its quieter as long as it seems to step nice and smooth.
I dont have a scope to test the differences with these in place as well as testing some of the other drivers out there such as the DRV8825's , MKS-LV8729

The main thing I really care about is plug and play as much as possible and smoother steps.
I am using T2 software not sure if that will play into any of this as well not sure how deep a microstep it can go into etc...

Trouble Shooting / Re: X-Carriage Movement Issue (Eleks-A3)
« on: March 11, 2019, 04:17:56 AM »
You could print up some of these or pay to have someone print up these adjustable roller axis.
The guy in this video shows similar but not quiet the same issue of it just being kinda tough but not sure if that will fix your issue unless its tight everywhere and not in just one or a few spots. Just realized these were designed by another forum member Nottingham82

Trouble Shooting / Blew out the arduino...
« on: March 09, 2019, 08:18:21 AM »
So as some of you know I have been upgrading my rails to a larger scale unit. I finally got a chance to start testing that everything was in good working order and so I was moving the motors around 50 steps at a time to make sure it was able to smoothly move etc... For safety reasons I have the laser disconnected so that it wouldnt accidentally test fire as I was not prepared for that to happen.
So after about 200 steps forward the comm port showed disconnected and I saw a small puff a smoke. The Arduino seemed to die and even disconnected from the main board it doesnt show up. I reset it etc.. no go.  BTW I was using T2 software through all of this
So the question is before I replace this sucker what do you think caused the arduino to pop like that?
The only thing that sort looks like it could be fried is the USB diode on the back under c7 capacitor.
I just tested the diode and it seems to be dead its reading .958 in one direction and 1.290 in the other indicating its no longer working properly its so small I dont want to resolder and a replacement should be cheap.

Anyone have any ideas how that popped?

Ordering off Amazon 3 new nano's 16mhz presoldered for 13 bucks hopefully it doesnt happen again or worse another component fails or failed at the time...

Laser Parts / Re: tapped rails for sale and rotary setup?
« on: February 25, 2019, 05:00:44 AM »
I ended up spending 40 bucks on a few different size bearing wheels 20 for shipping 20 for the bearings 2 different sizes going to try and replace one side of the bearings to see if that gets me what I need to fit in there.
I did like the shaving idea but I think if its not as precise as the machine milling that is already there it might not move and or engrave as well was my concern. I almost ordered from a Chinese manufacturer but didnt want to wait the 3 weeks to get it so hopefully I will get all the components I need to get the new rig up sooner.
Wish I had saw the eccentric spacers that might have given me what I needed for a much lower price point but enlarging the holes just like shaving makes me afraid that it will not have the accuracy as the laser might not sit as well is my only concern.

Thanks though guys and I dont have a 3d printer or I would consider printing a new mount for all of this. Atleast that would be fairly accurate compared to other options.


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