Introduction: DIY Laser Engraver Machine
This document presents all necessary information for the assembly and start up of a laser engraver, with the purpose of engraving wood, glass, bamboo and others compatible materials.
Here, you can find the instructions for the assembly and necessary sets to make our engraving without problems with T2LASER software. At last section, we talk about how to correct possible problems which we can have when we assembly our kit.
Step 1: Required Parts
List of materials and pieces that we will need to make our laser engraving:
- 3D printing pieces: Motor’s supports, base where we put the material and we engrave and a 3D piece to the laser.
- Screws and nuts.
- Laser: 250mW – 5V (or 12V).
- 7805: Positive voltage regulator if we have a laser of 5V.
- Eleksmaker: It has two A4988 and an Arduino NANO.
- Supply wire of 12V.
- USB/USB micro for the Arduino’s communication.
- Methacrylate structure. We will need a welding equipment and tin.
Step 2: Testing the Motors
First of all, we should test if the motors work correctly. You do this, connect the motors to the EleksMaker and try the program attached.
Step 3: 3D Printing Pieces
Here you can find all the 3d printing pieces that we're going to use in our laser engraver:
- Axis X motor support
- Axis Y motor support
- Laser's support
- Eleksmaker support
Step 4: Assembly of the Structure
We put the Y axle support on the methacrylate structure base. Place the piece in a position which the holes are in the same place and screw on the screws and put the nuts below.
After that, we’re going to put the X axle support. To do this, we place the piece in a position which the two holes are in the same place and screw on next to the nuts. For the placement of the PCB’s support, we put the screws that bulge behind the structure (screws of the axle X) into the holes of the PCB’s support. Later, we put the nuts tand screw on the engraving piece’s support when we place the motors. The same with the laser’s support.
Step 5: Assembly the Motors
To put the motors we make pressure on and it fits in perfectly.
Later, we put he supports. To do it, unscrew the screw of the Y axle structure. Then you use it to hold the base of our future objects. We put it on in the position that the holes are in the same position and screw it.
IMPORTANT: It’s better if you cut a little bit the screw, not too much, but is for a good holding and motor movement.
When we have the base placed properly, screw the base of the laser to the laser heatsink (the holes that we are going to use to hold the laser must be outside).
IMPORTANT: The laser must to point toward down.When we screw all, we hang the laser on the screw head.
When we're going to adjust the current that the eleksmaker supply to the motors, we have to adjust it at 1.5A max.
Step 6: Assembly Eleksmaker
Screw on eleksmaker PCB on the back support that you placed in the step before. To do it, put the holes in the same place that the screws.
Step 7: Hardware Connection
We are going to connect the motors. The wires must be connecting in this order:
A+ → BLACK
A- → RED
B+ → WHITE
B- → GREEN
The 7805 regulator connection is:
IN: it's connected to the red wire of laser's output.
GROUND: It's connected to the black wire of laser's output and laser.
OUT: It's connected to the red wire of the laser
Step 8: Software Installation
You can download the program T2LASER to use the laser machine:
When you download the program, run it. You can get it without a licence but the engraving has to take less than 30 minutes, so, if you have to do an engraving which needs more than 30 minutes to finish, it could be a problem. It’s an inconvenient, but the free software has the same functions.
Here you c an find some useful software for engraving with your laser machine:
Step 9: T2LASER Program
- Open picture to engrave
- Generate G-Code
- Set size of base.
- Autotrace picture
- Edit picture
- Automatic zoom
- Laser's details: Laser's power, speed and resolution
- Engraving in three different types of resolution
- Horizontal engraving or diagonal engraving
- Engraving speed
- Power of laser
- Scaling picture
Step 10: How to Use T2LASER
- Load G-Code, load firmware (we use 1.1e firmware), disable laser's power, set origin, disconnect…
- Sets; autoconnect, axle's inversion, arduino's microcontroller, calibration and another advanced settings.
- Presets and home
- Arduino's com port, comunication's speed in bauds (115200) and the button for connect.
- Set steps of motor (to test and colocate): 1, 5, 20 or 50 steps
- Direction of steps
- Power and pulse of laser
- Laser on
- Test laser's pulse
- Laser off
- Emergency stop
- Send G-code to the machine.
- Procedure followed by the engraver.
- Time of machine funcionation and how many time it has to end.
Whatever, if you have some doubts you can watch this video:
Step 11: Well, We Have Done Our Engraver Machine!
Now we are ready to use our engraver to, for example, write our name on wood or draw an animal on a steel's surface.
I did the first try with a piece of wood, in the photo you can see the result :)