Introduction: CNC Laser Engraver.

Picture of CNC Laser Engraver.

After looking at other peoples Laser Engravers on Instructables site for some time, I decided to make my own.

Most of the parts I already had laying around in my shed.

The only things I had to buy were the 2 Easy Drivers for the stepper motors, an empty laser module/housing, and a genuine Arduino UNO, I don't mind clones but wanted to be sure this would work.

The engraver is made more or less the same way as a lot of others on Instructables, but a bit my way.

The Arduino is loaded with GRBL 0.9j

It was made with 2 old DVD drive platforms complete with stepper motors. The Laser Diode is from one of them.

I removed the ribbon cables from the motors and soldered my own wires on.

The laser diode driver is based on the popular LM317 adjustable voltage regulator, which supplies a constant current to the laser.

This is how I soldered the leads to the tiny pins on the laser diode:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Way-to-Solder...

I use Inkscape with 305 Engineering Raster 2 GCode Generator extension and J Tech Photonics GCode generator to convert image or text to GCode. Then I use GRBLControl to engrave.

I actually had a problem with GRBLControl when using 305 Engineers and J Tech extensions.

The problem was that the when loading a job in to GRBLControl the gcode showed up in the list of commands but not the actual image.

I found out why and fixed it. I did a couple of Instructables about the problem, which are here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fix-for-Image-Not-...

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fix-for-Image-Not-...

I don't have any drawings or plans, and it does look a bit of a mess from the back, as I just cobbled it together really.

It works as it should and although it is only and old DVD laser diode, it does engrave on the reverse side of mirrors providing I coat the back with a permanent black marker. I just have to remember to reverse the image before engraving if it has text in it. Otherwise it is back to front when viewing the mirror from the front.

Comments

StuartB44 (author)2016-11-21

@Rebelxxx.

This is the voltage rating for the motor power on the Easy Driver boards.

"M+ : Connect this
to the positive power supply lead. This should be a 6V to 30V,
2A"

Mine are set to 16 Volts, straight from the laptop power supply that runs everything.

Also read this from the Easy Driver designers website.

"Q1) My motor says it can only take
2.1V at 2A. Will the EasyDriver (running from up to 30V) blow up my
motor or damage it in any way?



A1) Nope. You're safe.
Motors are specified with DC flowing through their coils. But what
we are concerned with is maximum current. The voltage spec of the
motor doesn't really matter, using the EasyDriver. (Or any chopper
driver, for that matter.) The EasyDriver will ramp up the voltage to
the coil until the _current_ reaches the maximum set with the pot
(max of 750mA). Then it will cut the power to the coil until the
current dips down again, then re-apply power, over and over again,
about 20,000 times per second. Any motor that's rated for 150mA/coil
(or more) will work with the Easy Driver just fine, no matter what
it's voltage rating. Note that if your motor is rated for less than
750mA/phase, you should adjust the current set pot on the EasyDriver
to dial down the maximum coil current to match your motor."

Rebelxxx (author)2016-11-21

what power source is used to feed steppers? How many volts?

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More by StuartB44:CNC Laser Engraver.Fix For Image Not Showing In grblControl When Using Inkscape With  305 Engineers GCode Generator Extension.Easy Way To Solder Wires To DVD Laser Diode.
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