Transform a conventional ink-jet printer into a 8000$ laser etcher?
I believe everything is possible, with a little bit of help and that's what I need now. I can't build out those fancy CNC machine found here, since it's beyond my knowledge and skills.
However, I thought about modifying a cheap ink-jet printer to make it into a DIY laser etcher this way:
-Replace the ink part with a custom laser - instead of giving a current in order to flow ink, the laser will be powered. Laser requires different power level depending on the material, perhaps a potentiometer knob on the laser power supply could do it?
-Remove any rolls and paper-only specification: instead, make THINGS able to go inside by simply destroying the printer, rising it up, and use the bottom paper rolls as the Y axis motorization. (The ink-jet head will be the X axis).
Why would I do this? I have no idea how to programm small electronic chips, even less how to hook them up to computer or software. I, however, am able to print black and white images, and believe the black can simply be a signal to "laser on".
I strongly believe this is possible. Since I can't, as stated above, mess with microcontrollers, I suggest adding potentiometers to the motors and laser and calibrate it myself, and adding physical marks (e.g: sharpie marks) to mark my settings.
My question is: Do you think it is? What else could be required? Did I miss some obvious point that would render the previous idea totally worthless, and is this point solvable?
Please comment :)