Check out http://www.buildcoolstuff.com/ to see more of his projects and info on the classes he teaches.
He's built two laser cutters so far.
Click on the little numbered pictures above to learn more about them.
Note: These are not fully detailed plans.
Included are part numbers of all the major components. If you have already built a CNC machine of some sort,
this information would help you adapt it for doing laser cutting. You should build a CNC router table before attempting a laser cutter. The book "CNC Robotics" from Tab books has good plans.
www.nutsvolts.com used to send you plans for two cnc machines with a subscription.
Zach recommends http://cnczone.com/ for homebrew cnc info. He likes Dancam cnc software.
Step 1: SAFETY
The laser beam is invisible. It can blind you and your loved ones in an instant.
Here are the safety glasses Synrad supplies to work with this laser tube.
Read all the manuals that come with your laser tube and do exactly as they say.
The laser can start fires and generate poisonous gases if it shines on the wrong materials.
Step 2: Zach's first lasercutter
Zach used the following components. Prices have changed (fallen) since '94 when he bought his, and some
of these things are no longer manufactured. Similar components are available, or you can look for
these on the used market.
Here are the components he used:
CO2 laser tube: Synrad G48-2-285 25 watt laser cost approx $2000
Power supply: Power One Model SPM3E2K 28 volt 27 amp switching power supply. cost approx $300
Mirrors: Four high quality front surface mirrors ~$20 each.
Focusing lens: must be made specifically for the laser wavelength. It must be optically clear to this
color light or it will etch and melt. Zach's lens came as a unit with a 45 degree frontsurface mirror
from Synrad for ~$600