MeCreator as a laser engraver-cutter for 25$

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JohannesDav
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:41 am

MeCreator as a laser engraver-cutter for 25$

Post by JohannesDav » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:37 pm

Hi ! I have bought a 25$ 250mW laser off ebay to add engraving capabilities to my 3d printer.
The hole build was done in a few hours and the results are stunning.

I am able to engrave non reflective and non translucent materials (wood, leather, chocolate, ...) pretty well and even cut through foam, cardboard, soft wood, etc.

Here is a video of my first try :

https://youtu.be/NmnGf2cVy68

How it's done

For the hardware, I use a 3 position switch, the circuit from a car 12v to 5v transformer, a potentiometer and a small voltmeter. I connected it to the nozzle heater power supply. I disconnect the Z axis motor while engraving but I use it to reach the laser focus point.

I used the default Repetier software with slic3r. I set the nozzle diametre to 0.2mm, the speeds to 2mm/s except for the travel that I set to 130 mm/s. That way I don't have to edit the G-Code manually to stop the laser when it's not supposed to engrave. I set the heat bead and nozzle temperatures to 0 and added M104 S200 as custom start G-Code and G1 X0 Y0 and M104 S0 as end G-Code.

The x and y axis of my model will be the engraved design and the z axis represents time and can be used for cutting. For example, a square surrounded by 4 wall will engrave the square and then cut around it. I use inkscape and convert the svg to an stl to give it a 0.1mm height.

Don't forget to wear the right goggles and have fun if you replicate it !
Feedback, suggestions, questions are welcome !
Johannes, Switzerland
Robotics, electronics, programming, 3d printing, multicopters, ...
Geeetech MeCreator

spikey1973
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:15 am

Re: MeCreator as a laser engraver-cutter for 25$

Post by spikey1973 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:04 am

i this actally enough power for laser cutting? i just ordered a rostock delta printer and was thinking a similar idea.
But when looking around i started to wunder if those lasers are indeed powerfull enough to cut through say 3mm berch triplex or mdf?

did you try someting like that yet?

kind greats

Matthieu

JohannesDav
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:41 am

Re: MeCreator as a laser engraver-cutter for 25$

Post by JohannesDav » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:53 am

Hi Matthieu,

From my experience it will cut through 5 mm of soft wood in about 10 slow passes. But I guess it depends a lot on the color and hardness of the wood. Mdf shouldn't be a problem but when I engraved some hard cherry wood the marks were so shallow that I could barely fell them.
If you don't care leaving it on all night it will be fine for some D.I.Y projects but if you plan on using it primarily for cutting i'd suggest getting a more powerful laser.

Check out this page, it helped me out a lot when I chose my laser : http://odicforce.com/Background-and-Pro ... /-Category


I used my contraption to cut a few designs of traditional Swiss "Scherenschnitt" in paper. Alongside with wood and chocolate engraving, it's my favorite use of it so far.
Here is an example :
http://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/97325 ... dnxKnv.jpg
Image
Johannes, Switzerland
Robotics, electronics, programming, 3d printing, multicopters, ...
Geeetech MeCreator

myattorneyusa
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:10 am

Re: MeCreator as a laser engraver-cutter for 25$

Post by myattorneyusa » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:28 am

Can you plz, be more specific on : "I connected it to the nozzle heater power supply" ?
Did you disconnect hotend power wire from board and use instead of wire from laser?
After that, you "set the heat bead and nozzle temperatures to 0 and added M104 S200 as custom start G-Code and G1 X0 Y0 and M104 S0 as end G-Code."

What type of file did you use to load pic. in to slic3r ? "I used the default Repetier software with slic3r. I set the nozzle diametre to 0.2mm, the speeds to 2mm/s except for the travel that I set to 130 mm/s. That way I don't have to edit the G-Code manually to stop the laser when it's not supposed to engrave."
How did you convert picture into file accepted by slic3r ? What software did you use for conversion?
Thx

JohannesDav
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:41 am

Re: MeCreator as a laser engraver-cutter for 25$

Post by JohannesDav » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:59 am

Can you plz, be more specific on : "I connected it to the nozzle heater power supply" ?

Here is a pic of the setup :
http://postimg.org/image/5cdpuivg1/
Image

With the 3 position switch on the side in can either turn on the nozzle or the laser with the 12v wire comming from the board.
On the top you can see a voltage regulator, a 2 ohm resistance, a potentiometer, and a voltmeter. I use those to fine tune the voltage of the laser.

How did you convert picture into file accepted by slic3r ? What software did you use for conversion?

I searched for the image on Google and edited it with Photoshop. Then I had to convert it into a vectorial file (.svg). I found that the best way to do this is to use an online converter, for example http://picsvg.com/ (I sometimes use inkscape to fix the .stl afterwards).
A .stl is nothing more than a 3d .svg and most 3d modeling software can handle the conversion. I imported it to my tinkercad cloud. This method allows me to easily send it from my main PC to the one in my "workshop" while I work on the model. It has to have the depth of one layer for slic3r to detect it, so I extruded it of 0.01mm.
If repetier doesn't accept my file because it isn't manifold I use https://modelrepair.azurewebsites.net/index.php.
Johannes, Switzerland
Robotics, electronics, programming, 3d printing, multicopters, ...
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