X-Y Stories.

So, I’m working on the laser engraver, and I have a half completed a big post about what you need, what to do and what can’t be done with a standard K40 laser engraver. (mostly a rant, and then the upgrades). Christoper tough, kindly asked about wire routing and air assist, so here’s a snippet about what I did (and found) about that.

Firstly, air assist:

I machined my own nozzle, threading it for the lens holder, so I didn’t have to fiddle with odd clamping systems (screws mainly). Be very careful with it, the thread in the chinese part is AWFUL. I had to machine a flat in the spline because the teeth haven’t been machined right: 116a - X-Y Stories

That example is not to scale on teeth tip removal, but it accurately represents the shape of the chinese part.

Here’s the plan for it:

124 - Air assist

I didn’t want to make a new lens holder (mainly because I suspected that I would find the same ill machined thread in the third mirror support…and it still worked fine, so there was no real need of overmachining pieces)

124b - Air assist
Remember to machine the insides first or the piece will wobble and, apart from damage itself, become dangerous!

124c - Air assist

You need tons of air for this. At first I used one of those 1,5HP compressors, but they are too noisy, and besides, consume too much power (1500W). I Bought two airbrush compressors, that consume about 250W each. They give plenty of air, and can get to a decent pressure if needed (4Bar, altough they’ll get really hot if you work at such pressures for long. I might buy a third, but I have yet to decide if that is overkill or not. You have 25L/min per compressor, and 50 proves sufficient for normal lasercutting. 75 might represent a difference in cutting thick wood, but for normal work on 1 to 5mm thickness, 50 is enough.

124d - Air assist

As for Christopher real question, the cable carriers, I used the smallest knockoff from ebay I  could find. At 7x7mm internal space, it was incredibly cheap (8 usd per meter, with 2 end pieces) so I bought two meters, fueled by greed. XD!.

 116b - X-Y Stories
Be careful!, I have reversed my head position to be backwards! (in case it looked odd to you)

7x7mm have enough space to easily carry a standard aquarium air hose plus six 1,3mm (AWG 16) cables. (only 3 in this photo). Drill, thread and screw at will. (you can barely see a screw just underneath the hose. It’s threaded directly to the plate, no nut

I also guided the X stage cables (on the Y direction) but made a slight modification. Sinte the endpiece has free movement to almost 180ª, I was worried that the movement of the stage up and down might break the cables, so I glued the first element in a forced 90 degree angle, so to force the carried cables to a maximum deflection angle of 45º.

116c - X-Y StoriesSorry for the overexposure.

I used the original screw hole for the end limit to attach the carrier, so I didn’t had to risk damaging anything.

If you want to know more about those strange end limits, look at the previous K40 post.



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