Cutting Plastic

I finally started laser cutting the plastic pieces for the chassis. I happened to have some orange 3mm acrylic and thought it would make a nice accent color. Unlike the standard shell, mine is cut in three pieces and glued together.  I had some worries that this wouldn’t be very strong but it turns out…

Laser Rebuild – Part 7 (Finishing Up)

Now that the laser is firing all the way through the beam path and the path can be controlled by the computer, we’re down to the detail: Controlling the Laser I don’t have too much to say here because I got incredibly lucky and someone else did all the heavy lifting for me. Users on…

Laser Rebuild – Part 6 (Alignment)

Since my tube mount is completely custom, I have to manually align the tube with the first mirror.   The C02 laser is invisible (and dangerous) so aligning it correctly can be a trick.  I saw a solution on buildlog that I thought was a very clever hack.  The guy used a reprap to print…

Laser Rebuild – Part 5 (Bench Testing)

Not much to say about this.  It’s scary cool!   The tube glows pinkish purple and the wood block ignites instantly.  The only thing I’ve seen ignite faster was the imagination of my 12 and 10 year old sons.  Something about that glow inspires a guy to try stupid stuff.  Fortunately eye-protection was the order…

Laser Rebuild – Part 2 (control)

I started looking around for a board to replace the original controller electronics.  My priorities: Has to work with EMC2.  That’s actually pretty easy to do since EMC2 is so flexibile, but I was looking for something a little more “off the shelf” compatible.  I’m not afraid to hack on an EMC2 configuration, but it’s…

Laser Rebuild – Part 1 (Research)

My first step in resurrecting this machine is research. Less than 5 minutes of hunting around on Google has uncovered a couple of incredibly useful sources: I don’t have any experience with lasers and I’m rather fond of my ability to see so I started by reading A LOT on the grandaddy of all internet…

Sliptonic has a (frickin) laser!

Well, not quite….yet. I found an old Universal Laser Systems model 25A for sale at a surplus auction.  It looked to be in good shape and went cheap.  After I got it home and cleaned up, I found that I couldn’t get the laser head to fire.  I called in some expert assistance from Columbia…