Prusa i3 Laser Mount for Laser Engraving and Cutting (fits samelladrucker)

by samella, published

Prusa i3 Laser Mount for Laser Engraving and Cutting (fits samelladrucker) by samella Aug 20, 2015


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Turn your Prusa i3 (or if you have: your samelladrucker) into a Laser Cutter! It will cut though Foil and engrave Wood. Nothing too fancy, but still nice :D

This mount is a drop in replacement for a printing extruder. Fits X-Carriage from my printer and the i3 Rework set.

Mount will fit these Lasers:

500mW Laser: http://goo.gl/8TtSC9
2.5W Laser: http://goo.gl/kJqlwB BEST PRICE I could find for a 2.5W Laser!
2.5W Laser Laser on Amazon: https://goo.gl/ZiWV4a

Laser works without Firmware Modifications.

I used an Inkscape Plugin to generate gcode: http://jtechphotonics.com/?page_id=1503

Be careful when working with lasers. This is not a toy! WEAR LASER PROTECTION EYEWEAR and MAKE SURE YOU LOCK THE ROOM so your kids are not exposed to the beam.

Check out my other things too: http://www.thingiverse.com/samella/designs

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Hi! Would diode lasers be enough to cut through woods and acrylic or do I need to consider CO2. Also are their CO2 lasers or any other kind of lasers that would actually be feasbile for this application?

How to create gcode files? And how to send to machine? Ty!

Please read the Details page

Does this actually cut wood or it can just engrave it?

It does cut wood up to 6mm with a couple of passes and a 2.5W Laser.

Thanks for the fast reply.
How do you perform multiple passes? Do you actually "print" the item over and over till it cuts through?

Yes, that's how you do it.

Awesome! Does it work out of the box with an original i3 Mk 2?
(I'm not sure how the laser gets wired to the rest of the printer)

I've posted a Thing that works with the i3 MK2 - Hardware-wise that is. Not sure about the wiring as the MK2 is not using a RAMPS Board.

How do you connect it to a RAMPS board? Do you have some pictures of how it is wired by any chance?
Or is there somewhere a guide that describes the wiring?
I'd really love to mod my i3 Mk2 with this.

There is a link for you in the Thing Details tab

Hi, are you planning to add a blower to this configuration to avoid smoke on the laser lens?
Is this not an issue at all?

That's an interesting thought....! I'll add it to the list of the v2 Mount.

Hello. I would like to ask what z height do you use above the part? I'm trying to get an idea where to start before I turn laser on for first time and calibrate.

Just a couple of cm - start with 5cm and adjust focus. You'll figure it out once you see the light :)

thank you very much... having that as a start point will help a lot. have a good day.

Sure thing. Be sure to wear proper eye protection. The laser beam is much brighter as one may expect and even reflections of your printer bed can be dangerous.

I need this for the Anet A6, have someone an advice for me? :)

can you run the laser off of the heated bed circuit? Its rated for 12-35v 15a (525w max) and would allow for a higher wattage laser.
vs the stepper motors witch all share a 12-28v 5a fuse (140w total)

I don't think you have to: Available Lasers that fit the mount will consume no more than a hand full of watts, plus running on external power. RAMPS is only used to control the Laser Driver, not to power the Laser itself.

would it be possible to cut Acrylic or Plexiglas with this laser? If not, is there any low cost solution for that?

You will want to get a cheap CO2 Laser for such jobs. They sell on eBay for appx 500 USD.

this model it not solid its almost hollow i guess ill do it myself start from scratch

Have you increased infill in your slicer? That's how you control how solid it's gonna print..

can you design one for the prusa but keep the hot end.. you can make it so it goes on the motor it self on the left when your facing it

With so many different Hotends and Extruders it will be difficult to have such a mount.

yea but all youd have to do is keep the whole front clamp style and make another clamp on the other side to fit over the motor

so 2 clamps back to back.. one for the laser and one for the motor the motors are standard nema 17 or what ever prusa i3s come with..

so all youd have to do is mirrior another one or make another one on the back side where you have the plate .. it would look like hand cuffs basically the laser is alittle smaller widht other wise id just mirror it or even cut off the back plate and print 2 clamps then glue them together..

its actually pretty simple infact i might print 2 up and just do that and shim the one if need be to the motor to take up slack.. geesh sovled my own problem while texting it lol maybe not that simple but thats how youd do it.. 2 clamps back to back one bigger than the other prolly cuz of the motor and your done... then you can 3d print and laser i have a 3.5 watt laser right here wiating to put on i was going to use double sided tape but this thing is heavy im talking .5 of a lbs... if it dropped would smash the lens and hit the work i use that pei build platform so that would be fine but the lense woundt.. i dunno i might print 2 try my glue or screw 2 of them together method.. but really if you or the owner could make one that would be nice if i make one ill share it on this site...

I get your idea and I trust if works great for direct drive extruders. Think of a prusa with a bowden extruder. There's no motor to attach the clamp to on the x carriage.

well bowden accounts for the smaller portion of printers direct drive it 90% of the market.. im just saying if you could do that that would be awesome if not thats fine ill try my method

Your so determined do it yourself !

What infill should be used? 40% PLA breaks easily.

if 40% infill breaks easy, your not printing right.

I've printed it with 10% and it worked flawless. There is very littel stress on the part when laser is clamped and it shouldn't break easily. I'd suggest to increase printing temperature to make PLA stronger.

What infill should be used? 40% PLA breaks easily.

I've read everything, but I still have one question I'd want to ask you.

Did you use a laser driver board or you just connected the laser to the D9 output? (limiting the power to 40% as I read).

Thanks for sharing the design!

Yep - that's exactly what I did. Please note that some driver do not like PWM and could break. This should not happen when you only turn the laser on and off (...and don't use PWM values in between for grayscale engraving)

The file you’re looking for has been moved or deleted.
Please see this article for details on why a shared link might stop working.
(Firmware..) can you share again?

Could this be added to an i3 as a "secondary" unit, i.e. in the way one might add a second extruder head?

(point being to avoid messing with those four screws :-) )

It oculd work but you will loose appx. 10cm on the X Axis.

Sounds like an opportunity to develop a "quick change" head mount then ;-)

How did you connect a 5V laser to a 12v-35v output on the RAMPS board? did you just use a step down?

you can take care of that with a step down. I used the Inkscape Plugin provided and set the maximum power to 40% (which is roughly around 5v)

Cool i will look at that but id worry that one careless 100% setting and boom (or more likely a bit of blue smoke)
Just prime'd one of these, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Car-Power-Converter-Display-Supply/dp/B008VORADW will hopefully keep it protected in the case of max-volting/PWM setting.

That thing should do the trick. Have your eye protection ready and post some pics of your work!

Regarding Eyewear: i'm incredibly skeptical the 'laser proof goggles' on sites like banggood and even on amazon. i got the 500mW 405nm laser from banggood. its a rated classIIIB... and here's the blurb from an official UK laser company on laser safety:
Class 3B Medium / high power Visible / non-visible Direct intrabeam viewing of these devices is always hazardous. Viewing diffuse reflections is normally safe provided the eye is no closer than 13 cm from the diffusing surface and the exposure duration is less than 10 seconds. AEL = 500mW for a CW laser

Now im not going to run it without glasses (im not stupid) but im wondering if you only need to protect against refracted light would any tinted lenses that can reduce intesity work?

Simply do not do it. The beam is so bright even when reflected from a wall - you will know what I mean when you turn on the laser for the first time.

I don't doubt it :-) So where can i find out what 'legitimate' laser proof goggles for 404nm should look like and what i need to look out for when trawling amazon/bangood/ebay?

You see a log of acronyms like YAG and IPL im also looking at a lot of them and i think that they're only appropriate for laser-hair-removal applications which is high intensity pulsed light which is different from continuous beam stuff we are dealing with.

If in doubt, don't do it. This is not a toy. It's the only advice I have, sorry. You will find answers on the net.

How fast you change from 3d printer to laser engraver?

Comments deleted.

It's a matter of removing 4 screws and you're done.

Thanks for fast reply
I'm a new of gcode stuff
I have 3D printer works with marlin , i downloaded the file from the links i just download it to my Gt2560.
How can i connect the laser module

Here is how to connect the laser: http://jtechphotonics.com/?page_id=1503

You will most likely not need to change your Firmware.

Did you bought TTL laser module or you connect the laser to the main board?

The laser has a build in driver you can use.

thanks for your fast reply
Can you send me the link of you bought the laser from

It's all posted in the Thing Details already.

Few questions.

  1. How is the laser connected to the Ardunio board?
  2. What are you using to design what you want to etch with to create the gcode?
  3. Could you show an example of the results using the laser on your printer?
  4. How did you go about focusing and adjusting the z height position?


I've posted more details here: http://fpv-community.de/showthread.php?67660-Baubericht-Umbau-Prusa-i3-zu-Laser-Gravierer-(inkl-Firmware-f%FCr-samelladrucker)

You may want to use google translator or just visit http://jtechphotonics.com/?page_id=1503 for more.

Focusing is done by adjusting the lasers' lens or the Z height via gcode or display if you have that connected... Or just turn the two Z couplings manually. After all this is not much of a problem.

You say it will cut foil. Have you tried it with copper clad board PCB?

You will need a much more powerful laser for that, at least if you want to burn away the copper.

Standard household foil is typically 0.016 mm thick and the copper on PCB clad board is 0.035mm. Do you think a couple of passes with a 2W laser would do it?

It not the thickness of the material but also IF it can be burnt (or even cut) with a laser at all. I haven't done any test with copper so far.

Thanks for the reply, maybe I will save up and buy one then. It would be higher precision that cnc milling a pcb right? I wonder if it could re-flow solder also?

That's something worth considering. I have no experience with re-flow, but I believe you can solder with a laser (at least that's what google is telling me). Good Luck and keep me posted on your progress.

Happened across this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye2c0nWxksA Can you make aluminium transparent with laser?

Solder melts at 183°C. Aluminium melts at 660.3°C and the melting point of copper is 1085°C. There is a post on reprap forum where laser was used to etch the pcb mask made of black paint instead of the usual UV curable mask. http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?133,235148

Good point - I have added the laser I purchased and the FW I have used.

What is the information on the laser? Mfg, part#, link, etc