Introduction: LInear Laser Cutter Pointer Holder
I hope you enjoy this, and can put to use.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Especially if you can't use files.
The one thing I've not done and will probably rework is making a quick disconnect for the electrical parts.
That way I can put holder on each of my lens holders and not take time to disconnect each time other than one wiring connector.
Step 1: Making a Crosshair Pointer From Two Linear Laser Pointers.
OK, I had this idea as my laser pointer died due to a fleck of hot acrylic hitting it's lens. Was Just a blob.... Oh well, it was a very poor setup and it wouldn't fit my 38mm lens holder either. So I started looking around the web and found Joe's instructable:
Decent idea, nice 3D drawing, but I don't have a mill, Not going to buy a mill, and and the 3D drawing didn't give me enough information to just import and cut with my laser.
So I redrew the holder to my specifications. This included using acrylic for the holder. Thinking about how joe designed his, I decided mine would be two parts glued together rather than having to use my router and 'mill' the parts. The pointer holders are way too small to hold individually and route. And by going this way, ALL you really need is the laser cutter. You CAN make it tight enough to not drill and tap for set screws (or small screws if you want). But I DO suggest you drill and tap the 5 holes and insure that things stay tight while rocking back and forth in use! So you do need a drill, drill press is best, but you can use hand drill and the tap requires just a wrench to hold.
I have a different autofocus, I think more common than Joe's so that is small change also.
I'll list items needed next page
Step 2: Items Needed to Complete
Ok, you need these items to complete the pointer holder.
Laser cutter! DUH! :-)
Drill Press or hand drill for holes.
Tap - I used a 6-32 tap
and (5) 6-32 x 1/2" set screws for mine. You can use 8-32 if you have on hand but I wouldn't go any larger. Obviously you can use a metric size if you want. but keep them small!
Drill bit for the holes a #36 is needed for the 6-32.
Two of the laser pointers.
This is the description and link to the Linear Red lasers.
Focusable 650nm 5mW 3-5V Red Laser "Line" Module Diode w/ driver Plastic Lens (2 Pack) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012V3U3KK/
I ordered two sets so I would have a spare set just in case.
Acrylic solvent cement. I bought on eBay, Amazon sellers have it and local acrylic suppliers also.
I'll leave it to you to find, if you use acrylic, you have this.
Acrylic sheet, 1/8" and 3/8" or if you have metric dimensions, 2mm or 3mm and 9mm. I bought some cast, but either type will work. You only need a small piece of each, if you have a 6" x 6" piece of each you can make a couple easy.
Now once you have it all in hand, get to work!
Step 3: Cutting the Pointer Holder!
Ok, download the Corel Draw file from above or the RDL file if you use RDWorks. If you need a different file, let me know and I'll see if I can convert if you can't.
Some instructions are in the file. But I'll repeat here.
Just Cut one each of the parts. Then take the top or thicker of the actual pointer holders and slide on the pointer. Then take the bottom (thinner) piece and slide on below. You should be able to line up long sides to long sides.
If they fit for you (mine and drawings are tight!) take your cement and put a drop or two on one side and press together insuring things line up correctly. See Picture!
Then take the main holder and base and using your laser tube (I've a spare) slide them together making sure things line up correctly. Once you think they are aligned, slide apart and put cement between them and press together for it to initially set. See Picture!
Set all three parts aside till next day if possible for cement to set well enough to handle.
Step 4: Drilling and Tappin Holes
Mark main holder where you will drill holes.
Then using drill and #36 bit, drill the 5 holes. Then using the tap, and I place tap in vice in order to better hold onto the part, tap each of the holes to fit your screws or setscrews. Once done, try your screws to insure they are tapped enough.
Step 5: Aligning Laser Pointers
Once you have finished drilling and tapping step, you need to put the pointers into the holder.
Place the pieces together, as shown.
Once you have done this, if you have either battery pack or I used a scrap USB cable and I powered temporarily the lasers to do an initial focus.
You turn the front of the laser pointer to get the focus at roughly the correct distance you will be using.
On my laser, using a 38mm lens, I need to put the best, sharpest line at about 50mm.
Use ruler to roughly gauge this.
In addition, you need to align perpendicular to the long side of a holder.
The last two pictures show the proper alignment. I also put the front of the pointer flat even with the lower side of the holder. You can go lower, but you must keep the focus screw in place with glue if you do this. Friction holds it in place in the holder.
Step 6: Wire It Up.
See above picture of how to initially put things together. On this new holder, I used 6-32 screws in place of set screws. Easier to adjust with screwdriver. And you see base of pointers is flush with bottom.
I'll let you determine how you will wire up. In most cases, you will have a red and black or blue and black wire coming down to the old pointer.
Mine was blue and black. Reverse wiring won't turn on laser. If you are unsure, or have different color wires, then turn on laser, and touch the wires to one of the pair of wires for your new pointers. Once it lights, you know which direction is correct. TURN off your laser at this time. I slid pieces of heat shrink tubing onto the wires, soldered the pair of reds to the proper color coming down and the pair of blacks to the black wire coming in. Then pulled tubing down to cover and shrank with hair dryer or heat gun.
I also placed the autofocus back in place and resoldered it. ignore if you don't use autofocus
Step 7: Power It Up!
Now once wired together, and insulated, turn your laser back on.
To adjust position of pointers, just get close to your normal cutting height, place paper or something underneath to better see the pointers. Insure that they are focused, and parallel to their respective axis. You can pulse laser to insure they line up and adjust using the screws. As this is acrylic not metal, don't tighten too much or you will crack acrylic. Snug is fine!
Line them up and then go back to work!
Hope this helps you reduce waste from improper aligning.
Thanks for looking!