Please vote for this for the Epilog Laser Contest!
bgerens (also known as Bob) and I were yammer-jammering about the jig I built here - > Having a "Bevel-ish" Good Time on the Laser! ...
We got to thinking, and he mentioned he had a small display turntable for showing his lathe-work. So we decided to figure out a way to use my 45degree jig and his turntable to make bevels and chamfers around a circle with the laser!
Again, this was built at TechShop - thank goodness we have one!
Step 1: Challenge #1 - Get a Bevel/chamfer Angle of 45 Degrees...
This was achieved with my previous jig -> Having a "Bevel-ish" Good Time on the Laser!
Step 2: Challenge #2 - Rotate a Blank Circle to Be Beveled...
Here's Bob's Turntable. Pretty simple. Runs on two D-Cell batteries
One speed, about 3 revs per minute, as timed with a stopwatch.
That's Bob in the background...
He made a sacrificial platter to place on top of the turntable's built-in platter. He also made a ring to have these align well. You can see the edges of the 1/8" "Squeeze 'n Sneeze" platter and ring which were connected and glued with a couple of dowels.
Step 3: Challenge #3 - Center a Disk on the Sacrificial Platter...
Bob added some alignment circles to the platter, and this made it easier to get a pretty-close center-on-center alignment between the platter and the disk to be cut.
This image shows the sacrificial platter after we'd run a few bevels. The out-of-focus (after passing through the acrylic) laser beam left its mark... Maybe we should call it Laser Guano!
There was also a thin sheet of aluminum foil between the sacrificial piece and the plastic disk of the turntable, just in case we had a more severe burn-through.
Step 4: Challenge #4 - Place the Turntable on the Jig
To make alignment a bit easier, we butted the 45-degree bevel jig up against the Y-axis side of the Laser engraver.
We used a bit of that same goop to hold the turntable in place on the jig.
And here you see where we are getting ready to focus the laser on the point which will rotate.
This is NOT the point we will use to decide where our vector will be. More about that later...
Step 5: Challenge #5 - Focus the Laser
As mentioned in the step before, we need to move the table to a point where the laser beam will be in focus.
Here are some action shots...
Step 6: Challenge #6 - Determine Where Our Vector Needs to Be...
We used the built-in Red LED to help us determine what X and Y coordinates will be used for the vector.
We took these coordinates to the next step...
Step 7: Challenge #7 - Build a Vector Line...
We used the coordinates from the previous step to set our X and Y coordinates for our .014" line in Corel Draw.
With some testing, we found that this length of line, when used with a speed of 1%, will cause the laser to stay in one place.
Step 8: Challenge #8 - How Do We Make the Laser Burn Long Enough in One Spot to Bevel or Chamfer the Whole Disk???
We cheated like big dogs....
When you use Duplicate with Corel Draw, you have an option to have the duplicate be offset in the X and Y planes and other object parameters can also increment or decrement.
I used Copy and Paste instead. That way, there is no question - the Paste will put the copied .014" vector right down on top of the previous one!
After testing, we found that around 200 individual vectors, one above the other, were enough to make the laser stay put long enough for the turntable to rotate one time and a tiny bit more...!!!!
I took advantage of the Key Repeat function on the keyboard - I just held down the CTRL key and then held down the V key to paste a bunch at a time.
Step 9: Challenge #9 - Test It...
And we did. We had to modify power settings a few times to find the best options... Nothing new - the same that often has to be done when burning with the laser.
And it worked!!!
Now! On to new challenges!!!