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Author Topic: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.  (Read 2642 times)
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Jerrywi
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« on: November 28, 2014, 05:35:48 PM »

Hello group;
I am debating whether to build a larger cnc router or try my hand at a laser engraver/cutter.
It took me years to get my cnc router up and running along with all the add-ons and features I wanted. However the cutting area is approx. 12 x 12 inches. My interests have grown beyond my wooden clock hobby to other wooden art that I can do with the cnc.
Iíve always wanted a laser engraver cutter but settled on a DIY cnc router that would cut my wooden gears. It was the cheapest way to go at the time.
While I was trying to wrap my head around the cnc community I feel I was left in the dust with all the other advanceme nts and interests . Such as the 3d printers.
Iíve noticed that the laser cutters have really come down in price, like the Chinese models for around $579.00.
Iíd like to jump on the band wagon and try my hand at the laser engraver/cutter. I like the concept of the 3d printers but I want to continue making wooden clocks. So Iím looking into lasers for under $700.00
My questions are:
What would be a decent store bought laser that can cut wood gears (how thick) and engrave photograp hs?
Can I convert my cnc router into a laser cutter?
Whatís the different between the 40 watt co2 lasers and the blue ray laser or any of the ones that donít use the co2 tube?
Whatís the differenc e in software, driver boards, break out boards,  Ardunino , etc, etc. ?
How much of my  cnc router can you use to cut out some costs of buying a complete Unit.?
Am I trying to combine two different worlds into one?
Do I need to learn a whole new language ?
What extension does laser code us compared to nc code?
Sorry for all the questions .  But I need to know if I should put one or the other or both on my Christmas wish list. (LOL)

Jerry
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DanL
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2014, 06:06:19 PM »

I have converted my emco pc mill 30 to a laser engraver.
the only hardware I had to get was a second bob, all the parts to make arts laser controlle r, laser driver,2W 445nm laser I will be manly using it for engraving as that about what the laser I am using is good for.

I am going to be making a second one for cutting thin materials what ever they may be using the same laser.

what I am doing is all DIY from recycled parts from printers.

your option of what to get or do is really up to you you could add a laser like what I am using to your router.

you could get a cheap chines CO2 laser and hope it works.

or you could get one any way rip out the controlle r convert it to M4 and use arts controlle r for it.

what size laser to get I don't now it depends on what you are cutting there are so many different ways to go its not funny.

just work out the thickest material that you would cut and what it is you can go from there
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Jerrywi
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2014, 08:48:36 PM »

Thanks DanL.
If I can adapt a laser head to my existing router than I could build a larger cnc router and keep the smaller one for laser engraving .
I'm using a gecko g540  and mack3 can I still use them or do I need something else
Jerry
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DanL
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2014, 09:28:33 PM »

you can use them look on M3 forum there are some posts on how to do it there
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tweakie
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 04:03:28 AM »

Hi Jerry,

If you have a fair bit of time to spare for reading my CO2 laser addition is here;  http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,12444.0.html

Tweakie.
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Jerrywi
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 08:23:36 AM »

Hay tweakie.
Thanks for the info. I'll read the link.

Thanks again
Jerry
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