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Making a Laser Cutter, but I need some help! Answered

If there is one thing I do enjoy about making stuff, its when im making it out of cardboard. I wanna make better stuff out of this material, but my patience and skill with an Exact-o knife tend to lack or screw up when im trying to get dead on accurate cuts with large sections of cardboard. So if i'm gonna make some really good stuff i can be more than proud of, I figure i'll need a laser cutter.

Ultimately I'm  wanting to build a laser cutter that can:
-cut paper, cardstock, cardboard, and fabric without setting it on fire
-about a 2 foot square or 2*3 foot rectangular cutting bed
-parts that won't cost me more than $100 each

i know its possible to build a laser cutter with DVD/CD parts, amongst other things. And i do have one Raspberry Pi Model B board, 1 Arduino Uno and Mega boards, along with 1 Seeeduino: Motor, Relay, Ethernet, TFT Touch, and SD Card Shields. I'm still waiting for my Arduberry to come in the mail, but that's all the major components I have. I do have the necessary tools, soldering and desoldering irons, and a multimeter. Now all i need are the parts and programming skills.

I am more than willing to learn Arduino and/or Raspbian languages, and i have ways of getting the parts i'll need, but I have no idea where to begin on the CNC aspect. Can anyone recommend some good resources or parts for what i'm trying to build? I'm not asking for someone to build it for me, i'm just asking for some guidance on this project.


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6 years ago

There are good Instructables for CNC cutters and routers, this would be a start as the tool can be replaced with a laser quite easy.

I know these days it is all about fancy electronics but did you consider a more basic approach?

If your cardboard pieces are quite big you will need an even bigger routing table - that can get quite expensive in terms of materials to make it move.

In the good old days we used band- and wire saws.

As a most basic and no fuzz "solution" you could mount a jig saw upside down under a table and just have a cut through for the blade.

You get knife blades for jig saws as well, combine both and you have a quite fast and accurate cutting machine.

Downside is of course that you need to move all parts by hand to be cut, upside is that you don't have to programm the shape for your parts into a program.


Reply 6 years ago

I didn't even think of that method... hurmm...

I think i'll give that a shot instead, even though the laser method would have been pretty nifty.


Reply 6 years ago

I always wanted a laser cutter with engraving option myself but so far I always found ways to avoid the expense.

With thin jigsaw knife blades (or by grinding down dull saw blades) it is quite easy to make all sorts of fine cuts even gears to some extend.

And for me it is just easier to use a makeshift big table with a scrwed on jigsaw, plus a remote switch.

A laser cutter would sit in the corner usuned most of the year ;)