Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CNC Hacking

Thats hacking, as in building things...

Peter who works with Reprap has had two blog posts come across my screen lately...

First his entirely laser cut rack and pinion cnc axis.




Although having something cut with a laser cutter or cnc'd is still out of my reach (not by much). This does lower the bar for making a repeatable cnc machine significantly..

But there are still cheaper/easier options... And thats what his more recent post shows..

Reciprocating Laser Cutter

There's two innovations here. The use of Optical disk drive carriages makes for a low power and small scale axis. This uses three. 

Secondly he's using a low power (for a cutter) laser. It's a 1watt unit. He's reciprocating the laser on the Z axis to move the focal point through the material. Giving just enough heat to melt some plastic and cut a part. 

If Peter gets a chance to read this. I'd just like him to know I'm impressed and I have plenty of old cd-roms if he needs more. 

1 comment:

  1. The reciprocating cutter is a nice idea but not very easy to accomplish. Any physical movement of either the laser itself or even just the lens on the DVD-RW - type moving carriage is going to slow the process down and create vibration that's dangerous for any optics, let alone the so tightly focused one.

    Having said that, I'm also planning to do some experiments with multi-laser setups mounted on a regular CNC router rig (more info here http://elabz.com/laser-cutting-diy/ ) but I'm going to play with fixed focal points at various depth inside the material rather than making one focal point move. Don't know if it's going to work yet, we'll see. But anyways, thanks for the reference to Peter's post. I don't fully agree with his idea but it was a useful read nevertheless.

    Oh, and if he's to play with these, he needs high-speed DVD-RW units, not CD-RW and definitely not CD-ROM that has no laser with nay burning power.

    Thanks again,
    E-Nick

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