Having just shelled out my wad of cash, I was in no position to be buying the accessories needed to actually use my new laser cutter, and I had large jobs backing up.
I needed an air assist cone. I also need to find a way to attached my air compressor to the laser with out having to purchase a $26.00 accessory adapter.
Step 1: DIY Versalaser Air Assist Cone
After a bunch of considerations and attempts had been made this final version is what I am currently using.
Step 2: Materials
You will need the following materials:
Large Sharpie or other marker
Micro irrigation 1/4 " T-fitting
Micro irrigation 1/8" barbed connector
Small length of aquarium air hose
M3 .05 x 10mm machine screw
Step 3: Tools
A well stocked garage shop is required for this build.
You will need a small bench vice
A drill press
1/16 " drill bits (i went through several)
Assorted hand tools
Step 4: Making the Manifold Screw
First thing you need to do is drill a hole through the center of the M3 .5 10 mm screw. I was able to eventually get one centered by use of a drill press and hand vise.
You need to drill a blind hole, that is one that does not go through. If you are lucky, the bit will exit the shank of the screw near the base of the head. If you are skilled enough to keep your bit centered, drill a perpendicular hole about 2 mm from the head.
Step 5: Making the Manifold
Cut the ends of the T off flush, clean up the hole with a drill bit.
Step 6: Make the Gaskets
If you have small o-rings you can use them, otherwise just use a couple layers of electrical tape. you can see the screw is passed through one already.
Step 7: Make the Air Cone
First, cut the cap of you marker to the proper length. For my 2.0 lens, I used a length of 1.75, that will put the air output at about .25 inches from the surface of my work.
After cutting the cap to length, snip a slit through the side with the clip (clip removed).
Use a small zip tie to clamp the cap to a smaller diameter. Once you have the correct diameter for your laser's receiving hole, use the super glue to glue and seal the slit together.
Step 8: Add the Hose Barb
Trim the hose barb to a fit snugly through a hole drilled in the cap opposite the slit.
Glue and seal this in place with the super glue.
Step 9: Final Assembley
Once all the glue has dried (24 hours) assemble all the pieces. Connect the hose barb to the T fitting with a 3 or so inch length of aquarium air hose. Slip a gasket on to the screw, the screw through the T and the other gasket.
Step 10: Installation
Install the DIY Air Assist Cone as you would the original. Be sure not to over tighten of cross thread the machine screw. Messing up the head end of a laser cutter can be a costly error.
You may have noticed that I never drilled a hole for the laser beam to emit through. The laser took care of that on the first use.
And after 12 hours of engraving and cutting. I am left with a sheet of snowflake shaped holes.
and 128 Snowflake ornaments to give out to my co-workers.