Latest toy – a laser cutter

This CNC stuff is addictive! A new toy has joined the CNC mill and the 3D printer – one of the cheap laser cutters you see all over eBay (of you’re looking for 40W infrared lasers of course). It was genuinely shipped from the UK as promised but it seems I’m now dealing directly with China to sort out some niggles.

These lasers are renowned for turning up with broken tubes, etc. so I feel I’ve got away with it in OK condition. Having said that it wasn’t anywhere near operable out of the box. The extractor fan had fallen to bits. A wire carrying 20,000V had come loose and was in contact with the casing. (Good job I didn’t test fire it!) The main problem I have is that the belt driving the X axis is not connected and either the belt is too short or more likely the belt tensioner is missing. I’m sure I’ll get it sorted but this is what’s preventing a test firing at the moment.

UPDATE: belt bodged, mirrors aligned and laser fired! Lots of bits of paper and masking tape have burst into flames.

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4 thoughts on “Latest toy – a laser cutter

    • I use one of the many 40W CO2 lasers you see on eBay for around £500. They’re cheap but not without their problems. 3mm MDF would not be a problem. You can get similar spec but better quality lasers from a few places, but expect to pay at least double.

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