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BG221518125 2020-10-14 16:11:27
Five star build quality, all-metal-frame, easy to assemble, works great. Pros: - The fan is running all the time reminding you it's live and loaded. Great for reducing unexpected fires from forgotten lasers and the constant speed also extends the lifespan of the fan. - The laser is focused by raising/lowering the whole engraving head which is less fiddly than the alternatives where you have to grab a focus ring underneath the laser. For the best focus you have to lower the head as close to the material as you can. This also ensures the green plastic protection filter can do its job. - The green filter around the laser works acceptably well and I'm relying on it most of the time for small jobs below 20% laser power BUT there are still many ways (underneath the shield and by the heatsink) where laser light WILL escape and kill your eye. So definitely wear proper protection glasses despite the mini-filter. Especially if you work with reflective materials or above 20% laser power. Cons: - No limit switches. - No power switch. - Fan is a bit too loud. WARRANTY-VOIDING hacks I did: - Flashed Arduino Optiboot. - Flashed GRBL 1.1h. - Added 12V power switch. - Added limit switches (for the homing to work you also need to recompile GRBL with the Z-axis homing disabled). - Wrapped the laser head with PET tape to force all of the fan's air down the heatsink.
Comments (9)
  • BG114512534 I like what you have done re. the power switch and limit switches. am a bit of a newb about all this. Any way I can look up a complete description of the what and howmof your mods?

    Reply 2020-10-15 11:27:00
  • BG114512534 is there anywhere you could post a list of parts etc for your hacks?

    Reply 2020-10-15 15:33:44
  • BG221518125 @BG114512534 The switches are known as "subminiature microswitch". The ones I had in my parts bin are "roller lever" (but any would work as long you can make them meet with whatever toggles them). The sockets/plugs on the board can be found as "JST XH". 3-pin for the board-side and 2-pin for the outside world. The bits that hit the switches are just some random copper picture hangers I cut/drilled to size and then wrapped them in heat-shrink tubing to make them look nicer. The screws are M2 for the switches and M3 for the flaps (but that really depends on what screws/thread taps you may have around).

    Reply 2020-10-16 14:30:49
  • BG221518125 @BG114512534 The GRBL wiki has a page called "Wiring-Limit-Switches" - the wiring is the same as on the first picture. You can leave the Z axis out and - as the control board nicely provides a separate ground pin in each socket - supply both axes with their own dedicated GND line instead of sharing a ground (that doesn't really matter but it makes the wiring nicer and simpler). The board also has the extra bits in there already for the signal filtering so by doing the wiring from the 1st pic you actually end up with the more awesome 3rd pic. Plug your switches between the S[ignal] and G[ND] pins on the board - you can ignore the V[cc] pin. I recommend using shielded cables - I didn't have any so went with regular wires instead. Those should also do fine unless an arc welder comes nearby.

    Once the switches are in you'll have to tell GRBL about them (LightBurn/Console). First, save the output of the $$ command - that comes handy if you want to revert a setting to whatever it used to be or when a firmware upgrade bumps you to unexpected values. Then set: $5=1 and $21=1. Done! Hard limits can be a bit rigid though so I recommend going the extra mile with homing enabled (and thus: soft limits). The GRBL FAQ explains what you have to change in the source code to disable the Z-axis homing and how you can flash your own version to the board. Once you have an XY-homing-only firmware in place: $5=1, $20=1, $21=0, $22=1, $23=3, $24=1000, $25=3000. And that's it. Almost. With homing enabled GRBL will switch to negative coordinates and you'll have to copy-paste the magic from LightBurn's forum about "Negative Coordinate Machine Setup" to make them like each other again. If all went well: you can now click the home button in LightBurn and watch your laser figure out where it is on its own.

    Reply 2020-10-19 07:00:22
  • bernie Is there any way to run this via wifi?

    Reply 2020-10-25 20:45:46
  • BG221518125 @bernie If you plug it into a (WiFi-enabled) Raspberry Pi and install one of the many g-code streamers/UIs from out there (e.g. ChiliPepr's TinyG or LaserWeb's Server) you can go pretty wild with it. Note that those replace the UI you currently use and you'll usually have to export the g-code from your preferred UI over into the UI of the g-code streamer. If you don't want to juggle g-code files around and just want a remote serial port magically appear in your laptop then you're looking at a lot more duct tape and your success will vary based on the OS you're running as this is a fairly niche market...

    Reply 2020-10-26 07:08:55
  • bernie I went add a power switch but uh, nope! You spliced into a trace and soldered to it...way beyond my confidence! Nice work but a mod not for the faint of heart! ;)

    Reply 2020-11-07 21:23:30
  • BG114113165 Can this device cut through wood or can it only carve ?

    Reply 2020-11-14 12:25:08
  • BG451145751 great modification you’ve made! I believe, with your skill you can also add z-axis. I would love to see all your mods in a way of instructables so we all can benefit from your expertise. Thanks

    Reply 2021-01-10 16:23:16
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