It’s time I took the CO2 laser from the Chinese cutter and attached it to the gantry of my BlackToe CNC mill. Effectively increasing the size of the cutting bay from the tiny 5×8″ to a whopping 2′x 4′ – the small size of the cutting area was starting to become annoying – and it seemed ridiculous to have the larger gantry available and not be able to use it.
…the first task was to strip the laser tube, power and control systems from the original cutter.
The next step is to construct a heavy-duty housing to mount the tube alongside the milling gantry.
UPDATE : After a weekend of futzing around with lots of different combinations – this is the final configuration of flying mirrors I’m going with.
I split up the focus head and will attach the lens to the base of the milling head – so I can adjust focus with the Z axis control. I can also switch between spindle and laser without adding/removing anything…
UPDATE UPDATE : So… having very carefully removed the laser and power supply from the original casing I’m sorry to report that the PSU is dead. The flyback driver is no longer flying the way it should and the laser isn’t lasing.
I’ve put in a bid on a replacement PSU and we’ll see how that works out. Kind of annoyed about that, as I really didn’t want to buy another 40W PSU – I was hoping to upgrade to a full 80W system.
UPDATE3 : OK so the new PSU is on its way – should take a couple of weeks, in the meantime I’ll make some refinements to the optics.