Hello all, just wanted to revisit this thread a few months later as I am preparing to pull the trigger on this.
Mounting the tube to one of the rails is a really good insight and seems like a great way to reduce shake. Also, having very short legs would mean the shake can be pretty much eliminated, at least for my build.
I’m curious if it’s necessary to fully enclose laser cutters. Of course, all the store bought ones are enclosed. And it wouldn’t be impossible to build a lid system. I also don’t know if this setup with a 40w co2 laser would be significantly more dangerous than the diodes that a lot of people seem to be playing with.
Looks like you can use an old radiator as a bed surface: http://hackaday.com/2014/02/22/a-cheap-honeycomb-table-replacement-for-your-laser/
What seems for certain is that this is an idea a lot of us seem to have played with and I think maybe we just need someone to pioneer it.
It seems to me that some of the existing brackets could be redesigned with laser mount points on them. I could probably get away with doing it in fusion 360, and I’m open to that, but I’m curious how you feel Ryan about working with me to try to design them. You probably have the most resources and knowledge about this machine.
I think there are a few main parts which need to be designed. In the direction of the laser light, they are:
A tube mount for the laser, preferably direction on one of the legs, although im not sure how that would work without interfering with the movement of the axis.
An adjustable mirror mount attached or built into one of the stepper mounts.
An adjustable mirror mount in the center assembly that is NOT attached to the moving Z axis, but instead to the center assembly which doesnt move. Maybe you could pass the light between the two z axis conduit tubes.
A mount on the Z axis for the optic head thing.
Edit: also, I want to disagree with the idea that this machine is not accurate enough for laser work, on the basis that there are loads of people who are already doing laser work with it, simply with lower powered lasers. If it is accurate enough for rasterization, it is good enough for whatever else. It may not be good enough for very high tolerance work, but I’m confident it’s pretty good, especially when no forces are exerted on it like they are from CNC cuts.