Introduction: Aluminum Angle Panel for Laser Cutter.

Picture of Aluminum Angle Panel for Laser Cutter.

My laser cutter come with a honeycombed panel used to support materials for cutting/engraving. However, there are few issues with it. The edge is not flat with the panel. If the working material is too big, but not big enough that one side might be resting on the edge and another  resting on the panel. Smoke gets trap in it. Hard to tell if the material has been cut through. My biggest issue with the panel is that it is not completely flat. This is my attempt to level the cutting bed with the laser cutter following my guide on Leveling Laser Cutter Z-table.

I found a guide on making a pin bed and was set on making one. However, the pop rivets I found at Home Depot did not seem very suitable to be the "pins". Those pop rivets' length varied too much. I could do a bit of grinding/trimming to fix the pins, but the idea of doing it to 100+ times was not appealing to me. If anyone have any suggestion to what I can use as pins it would be great.

So I come up with the idea of using aluminum angles to make a panel. 

Material:
1/2 in. x 96 in. Angle 1/20 in. Thick Aluminum Angle (2 x $6.64)
4-40 Nuts & Bolts (size not critical here)

From the 2 aluminum angles, cut out 11x 10 in. and 4 x 15.5 in aluminum angles. 

It is not important if  bottom aluminum angles are not perpendicular to the top aluminum angles. What's important is to keep the top aluminum angles parallel to each other. I made some brackets to keep the aluminum angles parallel  to each other. Then drill the holes for the bolts. The brackets I made were short so I only did a few rows at a time.

Alternative design:
You can use a metal sheet for support instead of using aluminum angles. That way you don't have to do that much drilling. Two bolts at each end would be enough to hold it down. You can use 3  horizontal aluminum angles on the bottom for support instead of 4. 

Comments

stevenabird made it! (author)2017-05-04

I have this ready to take twice as many support pieces but I'm trying it out as is first. I am having problems so far with reflection from the horizontal portions of aluminum scorching the reverse of my workpiece. Working on a couple of possible mods to alleviate that.

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