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Flashforge Creator Pro and similar JTech Photonics Laser mount

by discojon, published

Flashforge Creator Pro and similar JTech Photonics Laser mount by discojon Dec 24, 2014
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Summary

I have removed my left stepper motor and extruder and am replacing it with a 2.8W laser from JTech Photonics. This is the Alpha version (untested) of the mount. It should allow for the laser to shine through the removed extruder hole in the extruder bar. The top plate will need redesigned, i'm still working on that at the moment.

I am going to bring this out of Work in Progress Status. The mount, and case are installed and I have finally sorted out the code.

Update 4:

Part is printed and installed and has been for a few days. Still some minor tweaks but it is working as is. Development will continue. I have also added a case for the laser control board that can be mounted to the rear of the printer. I am working with Simplify3D developers to come up with a profile or method to easily generate a stl that works with the laser.

Update 3:

Combined both pieces. Have not printed the combined part yet but it should line up fine. I have the laser mounted with the individual pieces and everything lines up great. I'm planning on opening the bot tomorrow and finishing the wiring. Also working on a case to mount the board on the back of the bot. The filament feed tube on the right tool is designed to have a 6mm push lock / 9mm thread insert screw in.

Update 2:

This is the first print ready version. The laser should be here today and i will get this printed and test fit tonight. Eventually the top piece and laser mount / stepper mount will be one piece.

Update 1:
Made some changes to the left stepper replacement when i realized the laser didn't need to be centered. Still a WiP and unprinted. Still working on the top plate.

Instructions

Follow the instructions on JTechPhotonics website for installation and hookup. Print the controller case and laser mount both with support. You will need to remove: left stepper, fan, heatsink, extruder, heater, thermocouple. Mount laser on mount using 2 m3 nuts (included in spares bag) and some bolts from spares bag. Reuse fan mount bolts and 2 m3 nuts to secure mount to extruder bar. If you have an active cooling fan controlled by M126 / M127 ( the EXTRA header on the AT2650) you will have to disconnect it when using the laser.

To print with laser:

Install inkscape
Install Inkscape Unicorn to gcode plugin
Generate gcode
Manually edit gcode (See attached examples)

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Did anything come of working with the Simplify3D developers? I would love to add a laser to my FFCP

Feb 11, 2015 - Modified Feb 11, 2015

Very nice! You should talk to Jay at JTech and let him know you made this! Both of ours have their advantages! I like the center mount because I get more cuttings space (have the XL build plate) but I like your because you can get deeper cuts with it. Have you had any luck with actual cutting? I am still trying to tune mine in as well. Once again, great job!

PS can you post a picture of your laser heatsink and what it looks like mounted? I think that my heatsink is different than yours.

I'll post some photos later tonight when I get home. I have had decent results when cutting. I made some 1/8th acrylic plaques that turned out good. It is interesting though, I couldn't even mark the clear acrylic, but the red was able to cut all the way through. Gray was etchable, black and white were lackluster. But it does great on powdercoat.

Can you describe what controller you are using and how you hooked it to your flashforge? Also, how are you changing your g-code.

Jan 3, 2015 - Modified Jan 5, 2015
discojon - in reply to neoteric

Using the jtech 2.5a controller. I am still working on getting g the gcode to work properly but to control the laser with my setup I use m126 to turn it on and m127 to turn it off. I have experimented with several ways of creating the gcode and have had decent results, just not perfect yet.

Did you have to solder the extra FET to the board?

What will the laser do ?

Well it is advertised to be able to cut thin woods, foam board, cardstock etc, and etch most other items. I just posted a tested and working revision of the mount and am working on the fan mount now.

There is no reason that spacers and a fan can't be added where the original fan was located. I will work on spacers once the kit is in and installed.

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