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OpenBuilds ACRO Laser System

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by Mark Carew, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Mark Carew published a new build:

    Read more about this build...
     
  2. Kyo

    Kyo Master
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    Very cool system Mark :thumbsup: so many project possibilities once you have access to a laser. A nice addition to the lineup.
     
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  3. mcbuilder22

    mcbuilder22 Journeyman
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    Looks cool.

    Can you be more specific about which laser to buy that you're using.

    I'm completely new to lasers and would like the first try to be dummy proof.
     
  4. Jonathon Duerig

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    I was thinking exactly the same thing. My only disappointment with this project is that it doesn't come with a laser option. So now I'm trying to figure out what laser to get. I see this on the store page:

    Compatible Laser Diodes (Not Included):
    • Please note: There are lot of great choices when it comes to laser diodes so be sure to pick the right one for your application. Power choice is important as well as making sure your diode supports PWM.
      The ACRO Diode Mounting Plate hole pattern is designed to accommodate many available diodes. If the diode you choose has a different mounting pattern you can easily drill holes in the acrylic to mount.
    Here are a couple laser diode manufactures that may help.

    ---

    If anyone else here has experience with laser diodes, please let us know which lasers you might recommend and what the trade-offs we should look for are.

    -D
     
  5. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Another good design from the Crew. Well done. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Means I've got to find some more space to put one of these!! :rolleyes:
    Really Great video! Even the videos are getting better. :D
    Good Job. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Gray
    P.S. Can I buy one which doesn't SPIN around all the time? It'll save on an extra motor! :ROFL::ROFL::ROFL:
     
  6. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    A big thank you from the whole team here guys! This is going to be really fun to see all the cool things being made on the ACRO. I am looking forward to seeing some of the larger projects for sure. Please be sure to share your projects in the new Projects section please.

    On the diodes, there are really so many options out there that we thought it best to leave that door open and not to stick with an inexpensive low powered diode that may not work for your applications
    That being said of the ones I have here I really like the Opt laser 6W and the 2.8W looks like it would be awesome as well. I can attest for the great craftsmanship of Opt laser systems which is apparent in their pictures.
    If any of you guys are using different diodes please chime in here and let us know about yours please.
    The way they work is pretty straight forward in that they need basically 2 things, power to the diode and signal to control the power.
    You can use most controllers, as you simply hook the laser signal into the pwm spindle control of the board (please see diagram for a few examples)
    Hope this helps to get you point in the right direction. I am sure there will be lots of great helpful laser talk here as we begin to create with them so be sure to share your findings on materials diodes speeds, etc.
    Myself being relatively new to the laser diode world I would ask that others in the know chime in.
    Thank you
     
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  7. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    I would add that internally most +-2w diodes use the same M140 diode, and most of the 3.8-6w lasers use the same NUBM44 diode, regardless of source / manufacturer. So the key is to rather pay attention to the Laser Driver and Vendor support / warranty / documentation when selecting a particular one.
    You want to make sure the included Laser Diode Driver is a) good quality b) accepts PWM (otherwise you cannot do grayscale engravings) c) comes with good vendor support. The sub-$100 models rarely seem to come with a working PWM implementation. The giveaway is usually when the driverboard is inside the laser heatsink - small PCBs like that are usually not PWM capable. Look for lasers that have seperate Power and Control inputs (at least 3 wires, sometimes two seperate connectors) or clearly stated PWM support.

    I can personally vouch for L-Cheapo (kinda hackish but Matteo provides excellent customer service) and OPT Laser (overkill on quality... very easy to wire up) - have both on hand.

    The demo video at the end of the builds was with the Optlaser 6w mounted by the way...
     
  8. timrowledge

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    The list of cuttable materials includes carbon fibre. Would this reasonably include cutting say 3mm thick carbon sheet? And presumably that would depend at least somewhat on the exact choice of laser head, so which one would that apply to?
    My interest would be for handling assorted model building hobby materials, so balsa up to 10mm, lite-ply up to 6mm, carbon fibre in 1/2/3mm, acrylic 6mm etc.
    I understand that this sort of laser is not for cutting James Bond in half. Going to have to save a lot more money for that one.
     
  9. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    @timrowledge negative, i don't see Carbon fibre on our list... It definately would not do cutting of CF. Perhaps engraving.
    The specifics of material thicknesses can be obtained from the specific diode sellers (the ACRO itself is the motion platform, you bring your own Laser diode to the party), for example, the Optlasers : See Tests and adjustments for their test results. Acrylics, we do in around 20 passes for black, other colors less responsive with a 6w diode... Balsa up to 6mm or so. For your kind of work, I dont think a 445nm diode will do. 445nm is more effective on organics, and suited slightly more toward the engraving work spectrum than cutting. See our list of testing on OpenBuilds ACRO Laser System about halfway down. We arent adding max thicknesses yet as its very dependant on the specific diode. Refer to each diode manufacturer for exact expectations

    (; one of our Mill bundles will chew through CF, Acrylic and Balsa with ease though... picking the right tool for the right job (; - see for example, of Ronin cutting CF on his C-BEAM machine:
     
    #9 Peter Van Der Walt, Sep 13, 2017 at 2:36 PM
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017 at 3:03 PM
  10. Marc-Andre Leger

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    You wouldn't happen to have a part number for that laser ? I order the kit, but I want to order the laser and don't know what I should order. The site is not clear to me.
     
  11. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Laser head PLH3D 6W
     
  12. Winston84

    Winston84 New
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    Hi, very thanks for the design. May I know if I can use 1 motor at the base axis instead of one? thx : )
     
  13. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    It wont be reliable that way. The second motor prevent Racking of the Y axis
     
  14. Steven Yampolsky

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    Ordered the kit and laser. Can't wait to get started. I'm also a bit intimidated since I've never built anything like this before. I know I'll have a bunch of newbie questions so apologise in advance. Anyways, here's my question:
    I am planning to cut playwood and balsa parts mostly and would like to avoid the burn back. I've seen most commercial laser cutters use some sort of grate for the base on which to place the material. Where can I find something like that? I'm thinking aluminum 10mm high grate(10x10 or 20x20) would work but I'm yet to find a source for something like that. Any ideas?
     
  15. 3boysdad

    3boysdad Well-Known
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    Could we get an example of how the OptLaser was connected to the controller board? It seems, based upon the OptLaser manual we should likely connect the laser directly up to the PSU and use a controller board to control the laser via OptLaser's analog 0-5V connection. When you did this with the OptLaser did you wire the controller board's 12/24V PWN connection directly to the OptLaser's 12/24Vcc pins?
     
  16. Christoph_the_tall

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  17. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    This system is new and uses a smaller pulley to achieve higher resolutions then the one shown in the testing data. Thank you for bringing this to our attention as this data needs to be updated to account for this update.
     
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  18. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    yeah, I wondered about the same thing till I noticed that the pulleys in the list of materials are 14 tooth and fiddled with the GRBL settings calculator to see what the means.
    4.5 micron is what you get with 32x microstepping, 2mm pitch belt, and 14 tooth pulleys!
    and not all controllers can do that...
     
  19. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    VCC -> to V+ on PSU
    GND -> to V- on PSU
    TTL GND -> to XPRO GND
    TTL In - to Spindle pin on XPRO (or other Grbl 1.1 based controller)
    ANG in - NOT CONNECTED, we use PWM instead


    plh3d-6w-v2.jpg


    No, Power and control is wired seperately. 24v to POWER input. 3.3-5v PWM signal to TTLIN
     
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  20. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Which is why the XPRO is offered as accesory during checkout: Onboard DRV8825s capabale of 1/32.

    In this case though, motor resolution aside, you are going to see plastic edges melting or wood charring a little further off your planned path anyway

    For raster engraving you'll also never set it to run a 45 micron line spacing (unless you want to wait forever for a job) - practically for raster engravings you purposely defocus the lens a little (to get a feathered edge which looks better than a deep cut on an engrave) which results in say 0.1 - 0.15mm spot size, therefore typically you raster at 0.1-0.2mm line spacing.

    Fact is, precision on this machine, is way better than some of the competition out there running LM8UUs on plain stainless roundbar, or shower wheels in T-Slot (;
     
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  21. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    With the CO2 lasers you have soo much power coming out the back of the cut that it reflects off the cutting bed, or base of machine, and still has enough power on the way back up to char material. Not going to be an issue with diodes. If you have a highly sensitive use case, apply masking tape over the faces before cutting. After the cut, peel off the tape and it takes any soot or smoke marks with it leaving a clean surface
     
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  22. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Here a couple quick shots of the opt 6w laser
    20170915_085512.jpg
    So the red and black wires are the laser power wires [Vcc 12-24 (red) and GND (black) ]
    These run from the laser as you see here and piggy back into the power connection (pic below) of the power supply (you could also connect the directly to the power supply as well. I just did it this way)
    The white and yellow wires are the signal wires to allow the software to tell the board how much laser power is allowed to the laser given at any time [ On mine I have it set up as white going to the ANG/TTL GND and Yellow is the actual signal wire TTL In] These wires go back to the board where the white [ANG/TTL GND] hooks to the ground of the pin outs and the yellow connects to the (-D11 PWM) of the board I beleive its maked with an M on the xpro I am using. (see pic below)
    20170915_085604.jpg

    Edit: Ok cool, looks like Peter got to this already :thumbsup:
     
  23. 3boysdad

    3boysdad Well-Known
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    Thanks everyone...the answers are very clear. I wonder if the OptLaser will handle the 3.3VDC coming out of my Azteeg X5 Mini V3. Their specs seems to suggest it might, but I have to wonder if it will be interpreted as a "only turn on at 66% power" I'll have to play around to find out or figure out how voltage level translators work...
     
  24. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Just watch out for the known comms issues between Smoothieware and LaserWeb - you wont get optimal Rastering with the Azteeg unless you switch to Grbl-LPC
     
  25. 3boysdad

    3boysdad Well-Known
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  26. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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  27. chuckd

    chuckd New
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    Hey Peter,
    I plan on using this system for a high speed micro dispensing system and have a need to elevate the Z axis (4-12in). Is there any recommended existing prefab hardware that will do this without compromising stability?
    Thanks
     
  28. Plotter

    Plotter New
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    Just a quick question from a Laser Dummy...
    On the PLH3D 6W LASER HEAD site they give this parameters for cardboard for example.
    5-layer cardboard (5 mm): 10mm/s, 4 (1,25mm step) passes.
    My question - how do you step with the ACRO? Manually or in the software?
     
  29. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    In the stock Acro configuration, there is no motorised Z axis, We did however not yet need it - a couple extra passes on usually does the same. Again though, 445nm lasers are more effective for engraving than cutting, depending on the material. You could of course add a motorised Z axis (; as the system is modular you should be able to make some minor adjustments to fit a V-Slot actuator onto the X carriage, and then mount the diode to that in turn. (; remember you can always use the laser, to cut parts to then upgrade itself with.

    Once you have a motorised Z - LaserWeb has a simple depth-per pass and number of passes setting in the Files tab to achieve this
     
  30. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi chuckd

    Can you elaborate on what you need exactly? Do you need to elevate the machine off the table? Or do you need a movable Z axis to mount the dispenser too? If it's the latter, the reply just above this one may relate to you as well. Depending on the rigidity needed / weight of your dispenser, you may also want to do a custom build using our modular parts instead, as a long z axis may have some deflection on a light weight low cost frame like the Acro
     

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