Mini Laser Engraver Upgrade Parts

by profhankd, published

Mini Laser Engraver Upgrade Parts by profhankd Oct 31, 2016
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These are the 3D printed part designs that go with my Instructable, Making Your Mini Laser Engraver Safer And Better. They are designed to be used with any of the SuperCarver-style "Laser Engraver Printer Cutter Carver DIY Engraving Machine" units commonly sold for between $80 and $150, and I have applied them to a 1000mW @ 405nm unit branded HTPOW. See the after and before photos above. Here is a video from the webcam I placed inside the engraver -- it is not sped-up; this is the actual engrave speed.

These machines have the potential to very quickly cause significant harm. I'm not an expert in the law, nor in laser safety; I'm just a maker who sees the potential, both good and bad, of these little engravers. You bear all responsibility for safe configuration and operation of your laser. I'm just describing what I did to my machine in an attempt to reduce the risk and improve functionality.

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These parts are easy to print, but material choice is very important. Print them in PLA. Why? PLA behaves much better than most plastics when hit by a laser; especially avoid any chlorinated plastics, but also avoid ABS because the gas produced if it gets hit by the laser is pretty nasty. The color of the material also matters; enclosure parts need to be opaque to the laser light, and the jigs should be made of a color that minimizes scattering of the laser light.


Read my Instructable to understand how these 3D-printed parts are intended to be used; also read other materials so that you can understand the dangers and safely operate your laser. Avoid the temptation to try things first and read instructions after a serious problem has surfaced: I didn't even plug-in my laser's power supply until after I had built an enclosure for the unit.

How I Designed This

These parts were all designed using OpenSCAD. I might post a Customizer version once I'm sure the design will not change for a while -- for example, I'm still looking at alternative methods to make the vent filtering more effective.

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how thick should be the acrylic window?
Is there a supplier for laser safety windows?
I am located in Germany, and the certified laser glasses are heavy and expensive.

Various details are at http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-Your-Mini-Laser-Engraver-Safer-and-Better/

I used 1/8" thick for the panels, but got ones that are almost completely opaque -- which is why the little circular window. Now, I think I'd recommend simply using any opaque material, not bothering with a window, and simply using a webcam for viewing. The particular webcam I used for this isn't widely available now, but it's less than $10 to buy a USB endoscope camera that is tiny (so easy to mount inside) and has some surprisingly bright LEDs built-in that help light the part being worked on. The endoscopes can plug into either a cell phone or a computer. Still a good idea to put a little filter material over the camera lens, but it is usable without it.