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:
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:
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)
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.
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!.
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.
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.