I have upgraded my Shapeoko machine to use it as CO2 Laser machine
Step 1: Shapeoko 2 CO2 Laser Upgrades: Overview
Water Cooler System: used to cool the laser tube as the high voltage increase it’s temp. accordingly. There is full cooler system with a prices of up-to 350 USD but we normally use normal water pump with ICE bottles in the water.
Laser tube: in the market there is 40W, 50w, 60w, 80w, 90w, 100w, 120w, 130w, 150w, 200w and 250w laser tube, each material need certain watt to be cute it with as shown in power supply section, more power needs longer laser tube e.g: 150 watt tube length equal to 185 cm.
Power supply: each laser tube needs high voltage to run, power supply do convert high current 220 or 110 voltage to up-to 40K voltage with low current
CNC Control Board: this varied depend on the manufacturer, the major thing is to have TTL features to control over the Laser tube power.
Air Pump System: used to achieve clear cut without any burning edges, it’s like aquarium air pump but with more power, usually we use 18watt air pump machine.
Exhaust Sucking System: as laser burn generates lot of smokes we need to have air sucking machine to deflect the smoke out, we could use normal vacuum cleaner or use exhaust sucking machines.
Step 2: Shapeoko 2 CO2 Laser Upgrades: Laser Tube Setup
Laser tube: in the market there are several laser tubes with different power varied from 40 watt to 400 watt laser tube and even more .
More power needs longer laser tube e.g: 150 watt tube length equal to 185 cm, this may be default to be shipped as laser tube is a fragile product and it may got broken during the shipment.
Step 3: Shapeoko 2 CO2 Laser Upgrades: Laser Tube Setup
Your should select the tube that suits your applicable cutting/engraves need, Each material needs, certain amount of laser power to be cut as shown in below table.
Laser tube prices varied from 100 USD for 40 Watt tube to up-to 800 USD form 150 Watt laser tube
Step 4: Shapeoko 2 CO2 Laser Upgrades: Power Supply Setup
Power Supply: you have to select the suitable power supply that fits laser tube watt, the main concern in the power supply is to support TTL signal to control the power to the laser tube also connector to 5K resistance to manually change the power of the laser, you will need to do so in the laser alignment .
Power supply price varied from 38 USD for 40 watt Laser tube to 120 USD for 200 Watt laser tube.
Connection shown above show the ideal connection it may varied from device to device.