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Projects / Re: Self Contained Control Box and Power Supply
« on: April 27, 2017, 03:01:06 PM »
Very nice work...!!!

General Discussion / Re: Possible laser mechanics
« on: April 26, 2017, 02:02:51 PM »
Its a prototype, replace the arm with aluminium and throw some tapered needle bearings at the shafts and with 101mm pulley and 300mm arm length, my math says 0.1mm should be repeatable.

I like it has only 2 big joints, so throw a bit of money at them and non stretchy belts instead of on lots of rods and linear bearings.

I like that!!

General Discussion / Re: Possible laser mechanics
« on: April 26, 2017, 10:21:08 AM »
0.4mm isn't that good to start off with...after some usage it will probably expand to 0.5mm+ which, really, is very poor tolerance. The single arm design looks better on paper than in practice I'm guessing.

General Discussion / Re: Possible laser mechanics
« on: April 25, 2017, 08:14:01 PM »
I can't help but wonder if that arm sticking out has any kind of 'play' in it? Hard for me to imagine that at full extension it wouldn't have some play? That would obviously affect the accuracy of what is being printed.

Gantry Systems / Re: SiXYLaser
« on: April 25, 2017, 02:26:18 PM »
Awesome...!!! Great work...!!!

Z Axis / Re: Controlling Z axis
« on: April 25, 2017, 01:50:51 PM »
I didn't know what his question about backlash had to do with manual focusing. I turn the knob left or right until the focus is there and it remains set. The screw turn is very snug so (I believe) any backlash is removed by your last focus setting.

In other words, backlash with this device is a non-issue if the focusing screw is snug.

Z Axis / Re: Controlling Z axis
« on: April 25, 2017, 08:15:23 AM »
It looks to be a very tidy and effective design Ralph and no loss of area.

My only concerns are:
1. The thread pitch looks to be very coarse so isn't backlash an issue? It would have been nice if they had used fine pitch threaded rod giving the tidy 1mm movement per rotation.
2. Also, what is the free play in the sliding plate like; is it enough to cause issues when the the dives accelerate?


1. The threads are 1/4 28 (28 is fine pitch) and this works as an M6 size as well. I don't understand why backlash would be a concern for you? Can you explain in more detail?

2. I've eliminated almost all of the free play in the laser mounting plate, which is the focusing plate. Not all of it but most of it. As I use it, time will tell if it remains stable in place or if it moves with rapid X axis movements.

Note: while I can't recall exactly what I paid for this, it wasn't over $20.00. This is probably the best design you're going to get for that kind of money (even tho you can't buy it as a stand alone item).

I agree the whole design should work more smoothly and be nice and solid, but that would add to the cost and add to the weight. From a re-design stand point, I have not put pen to paper or keyboard to QCAD -- but -- I'd like to see some kind of bearing movement on two short rails such that the vertical movement is very smooth. And a finer thread count would be better too as you said. This re-design would be a combination of acrylics and metal. I'd probably also include my laser quick connect/disconnect design that I have already done and was previously using.

Z Axis / Re: Controlling Z axis
« on: April 24, 2017, 08:43:41 PM »
OK I finished modifying my manual Z axis focusing hardware. It works fine. Very easy to focus and the belt mounts on the top so access to it is really easy.

I ended up making three modifications:

1. I drilled slightly larger holes in the bottom wheel mounts. Two holes each on the two main acrylic mounts. I used a #14 drill size and it worked perfectly. The wheels are now not pinched vertically and the X axis now moves left and right like it was moving on grease!

2. The second modification I made is a little harder to understand what I did, but here it is. The large vertical screw that the focusing knob is attached to, is pushed through what I'm calling the brace plate. This is a small piece of acrylic about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. The top of the two main mounting plates have a slot cut out such that this brace plate fits into the top of each main mount. It secures the focusing plate that the laser head is mounted to. This brace plate used small C washers that pressure fit around the focusing threads and allowed the bottom of the screw to be semi-secured to the brace plate. I know this a long winded description and hard to follow, but there was too much play in the whole focusing mount. So I ended up using two M6 lock nuts and screwed them onto the focusing threads such that the brace plate has just enough room to allow the threads to be turned. The result of using lock nuts over the C pressure washers is that the whole focusing mount is now much more stable and secure.

3. The third mod was done by accident. I previously used hot glue to secure the brace plate to the two main mounts but this turned out to be a bad idea because I couldn't remove the laser mount if I needed to. So I took the whole assembly apart and pulled the brace plate out and removed as much of the hot glue as I could. Turned out when I pressed this brace plate back down and into the open slots, there was just enough hot glue left over that the brace pressed in nicely and fit perfectly! Just pure blind luck.

BenCutLaser / Re: BCL: Shortest distance for jog setting ?
« on: April 24, 2017, 10:57:07 AM »
There are arrow key and ctrl-arrow key jog values you can set in the ini file.

You can also change the green jog arrow icons to move a different distance...also set in the ini file.

Please see attachments.

Cutting / Re: Cutting Plywood with 2.5W
« on: April 24, 2017, 10:21:53 AM »
>is it unusual to get a much larger burn line?

No its not unusual. The line cut will be larger than a surface engrave line burn. That's just the way it is with low power lasers.

Cutting / Re: Cutting Plywood with 2.5W
« on: April 24, 2017, 09:42:22 AM »
I set my focus once and cut all the way through. I don't stop to refocus.

You must have an air blower of some kind to do cuts...otherwise, the 'trench' from the cut passes will fill with the burned charr and make the burn line wider than it needs to be.

I cut 3mm Craft Plywood with my 1.6 watt laser in about 10 or 12 passes. When I was using my 2.5 watt unit, it took me 6 to 8 passes. I don't recall how Birch differs but you should not have to manually stop the cut to refocus.

Cutting is where a software controlled Z axis would help and BCL supports that feature if your laser machine has it. I personally find cutting 3mm plywood is fine without needing a Z axis, but if I were to cut thicker wood, it would be necessary to have.

In BCL what is the laser power setting in Setup? 255 or 1000? To make sure you are getting the laser power you have set, do some test shape burns at 30% 50% 80% and 100%. They should all look darker and darker. If not, change your laser power setting in Setup and repeat the test. Some users need 255 and others need 1000.

Z Axis / Re: Controlling Z axis
« on: April 23, 2017, 09:18:34 PM »
Well, I'm in the middle of trying to install the manual knob Z axis focusing hardware. See attachment.

It looks like I'm going to have to do some modifications: drilling larger wheel holes on the two lower wheels. Their is not enough vertical play and the assembly does not slide left/right smoothly because the wheels are too tight on the rails. The wheels are pinched too tightly vertically. I will drill larger holes so I have some vertical play to try and get smooth X axis movement. I think my modification will work.

Modification Two: The part of the acrylic that holds the laser head, slides down and kind of 'snaps' into the other main acrylic part. There is too much play between these two major acrylic parts and I ended up having to use my glue gun and glue the small acrylic piece that snaps down, onto the main mount, to make it more solid, so the laser head would not wiggle. While this is an improvement, it only reduces the wiggle by about 80% to 90%. I think it will work OK but obviously I have to get to the point where I'm done and can test it.

Z Axis / Re: Controlling Z axis
« on: April 23, 2017, 09:03:00 AM »
He sent it to me because I'm the Admin...I didn't ask for it for free, I paid for it and I didn't say I was going to do a review of it...I was asking as a normal, paying customer and he sent me a link for it. I didn't know it wasn't a separate product that they sell.

Anyway, I will install it when I get the time and I will report on what I think of it.

Z Axis / Re: Controlling Z axis
« on: April 23, 2017, 07:47:19 AM »
No this is not a posted, separate part but you can order it if you want one.

I'm getting a URL link and price from them and will post it here for anyone who is interested in ordering it (I order a lot of laser parts and I cannot remember what I paid for it).

AliExpress->Novel Life told me they don't sell this as a separate product  :(

Z Axis / Re: Controlling Z axis
« on: April 22, 2017, 09:33:35 PM »
No this is not a posted, separate part but you can order it if you want one.

I'm getting a URL link and price from them and will post it here for anyone who is interested in ordering it (I order a lot of laser parts and I cannot remember what I paid for it).

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