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Scalable Laser 2.x - Gantry, Frame, Skins and Drive Mods

by mesheldrake, published

Scalable Laser 2.x - Gantry, Frame, Skins and Drive Mods by mesheldrake Oct 24, 2011

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Summary

I'm really excited about Barton Dring's Buildlog.net Laser 2.x design, but I need the available cutting area to be just a bit bigger. What parts need to change to get a larger (or smaller) cutting envelope? These parts.

Given the x-y-z dimensions of your desired cutting envelope, this OpenSCAD script calculates the length of all the MakerSlide and other aluminum extrusions for the motion system and frame, as well as belt, drive shaft and leadscrew lengths. It also renders new skin panels to fit the scaled frame.

A dimensioned part list will appear in the OpenSCAD console window. Copy this to a text editor, clean it up, and use it in conjunction with the standard Laser 2.0 BOM at Buildlog.net to work up your part orders for a custom-sized machine.

(Copy hint - ctrl-C might not work. You may need to right click in the OpenSCAD console frame and use the pop-up menu to do "Select All" and "Copy".)

The skin panels can also be rendered in a higher-resolution 2D layout, for DXF export. (Press F6 for CGAL render, then "Design" menu, "Export as DXF".)

UPDATES

October 2012 : Made the Misumi order based on the output of this script, assembled the frame, and everything went together as expected.

I've also had one other report of a good frame built from dimensions generated by this script.

October 2013 : Finally finished the build and started cutting. It works!

Instructions

Download and unzip the file at the bottom of this page.

The folder will contain several supporting .scad, .dxf, and .stl files.

The one you want to open is "parametric_buildlog_laser_2.0.scad".

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I think that means we're up to four confirmed successful assemblies based on this script. Thanks for the report.

I was worried if this really works. I resized my laser a little bit and the tool itself works awesome. I sent the skins for being cnc milled and everything fitted as expected. Thank you so much!

So far my build is going okay. The frame is together with no problems and I cut a skin on my cnc router. Next is the tube mounts and electronics. Also the cable management.

Regarding huge dimensions, I just dug up this discussion on http://buildlog.netbuildlog.net mentioning issues that come up when you go too big with a design that's not sufficiently rigid:

http://www.buildlog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1495http://www.buildlog.net/forum/...
I don't know what the practical scale-up limit is for the Laser 2.x design. Personally, I wouldn't add more than a few inches. (I just needed to get up to a 12"x24" cutting envelope.) Maybe you can get away with more, but I have the sense that your risk of failure increases pretty quickly with each extra inch.

Some people have built larger lasers with different designs that worked. If you need to add 6" or more to the Laser 2.x envelope, do some extra research into other DIY machines of that size with different designs, and consider how you're going to manage stabiltiy and alignment issues. Maybe you go with a different design. Maybe you reinforce and modify this design.

If you pull off a big build and it works - or doesn't - let us know.

Glad the script worked for you too. You went huge with your dimensions. Hope that works. @wildseyed did it a few inches bigger still. You might try to find out if that worked for him, or what issues he faced at that size. He was going to put a 100 Watt tube in there. See his buildlog link below.

I'm in the process of building a 2.x with the work area increased to 24x36x9" and the frame is together without any problems. I'm hoping to put an 80watt tube in mine. Hope it fits if the diameter does since my length is increased.

just wondering how's this working out for you? have you assembled any of this yet - hows the expanded frame working?

Though your question was for @zachjowi and his much larger build attempt, I just wanted to note here that my build with a 24"x12" work area came out okay - I've cut a few small projects on it so far.

I can finally say It works. I cut down 2 pieces due to the plastic parts I printed.

Hi Mike,

This script is great. I have finally started to build my 2.x Laser and
really want to scale it up a bit. I have entered a working bed size of 600 x
400, I then compared the results with the stock BOM. There were a few anomalies.
So, I was wondering what size you built and if you could post your upgraded BOM
because then I would know that it would definitely work.

Many Thanks

Baz

I just started a build this week using your OpenSCAD script. So far so good. The frame went together just fine. One possible addition to the generated BOM would be to somehow cross-reference the original part # or length, so that it's possible to follow the printed directions with more ease. I may take this up myself, if time permits. Thanks for the great effort!

If you want to see it come up, you can check in in the evenings after 7:00 pm PST at http://wildseyed.comhttp://wildseyed.com:9090/ or keep track on the buildlog at http://buildlog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16http://buildlog.net/forum/view...
&
amp;t=1166

I'm mostly done with the frame, but for the lid, and the gantry. The panels will come eventually, but there is no rush at the moment since my laser tube (100 Watts) has been held up in customs, and will likely never arrive. At least not intact. :'(

Good to hear the frame went together as expected.

After my own laser build is pretty much mechanically together, I'd like to revisit this script to make it even easier to use. Cross referencing to assembly instructions and all the specific part numbers for extrusions in the BOM will be good things to add.

A configurable laser cutter in an OpenScad script!! I am truly amazed. So simple even I could use it.

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