I started this laser build project by experimenting with various materials, in an attempt to build a larger frame CO2 laser engraver. My first attempts were with wood (oak & bamboo), extruded aluminum, and various types of LM guides. Unfortunately the entire project quickly became cost prohibitive due to the need for larger LM guides. Also the framework of wood and aluminum made it difficult to achieve the precision and accuracy I was looking for.
The project stagnated for a few months while I researched various guide and actuator options. After several dead-ends, I was directed to the Open Builds web site by a fellow member of the CNC Zone. With a little additional research I decided to go with a Mini-V actuator bundle to play with and possibly get some ideas. After "playing" with it for a week or two, I went ahead and bought two more actuator bundles...with only a vague idea on how I was going to use them.
After staring at a pile of parts for a few days, I decided to go with a "Bed frame and Head board" design. Which in a nut shell means the V-slot extrusions provide the precise laser movement frame work, while the wood structure provides the enclosure and support for peripheral parts...and style.
From that point forward, the project became a cross between engineering, furniture making, and stage craft. Unfortunately once a project gets rolling, I have a problem stopping to take pictures. So here is how the "Functional Steam Punk" laser engraver turned out. I would consider the project 90% complete, with infinite 1/2 steps still to go.
Fun and Functional Laser Build
A very fun and fulfilling build. I can't say enough about the whole Open Builds site and Open Source movement. I strongly believe this is the fastest and most creative way of getting ideas out of the mind, and onto the floor.
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution - CC BY
Reason for this BuildNeeded a bigger machine...and because the parts were there.