SPONSORED BY ENDURANCE LASERS
I am sure that many of you have never ever thought that you can use your 3D printer as a laser cutter as powerful as a CO2 engraving machine and as efficient as a fiber laser machine.
The thing is that powerful diode lasers appeared on the market not long ago.
Now there is a great variety of powerful up to 10 watt (10000 mW) 405 / 445 / 808 nm laser diodes. They open an opportunity to do laser cutting and engraving on almost any material including wood, plywood, leather, plastic, anodized aluminum and even stainless steel.
What is a laser diode attachment?
The laser diode attachment is a laser diode inserted into a heatsink with a diode laser driver to control the laser power via using TTL (PWM signal).
It is important that a laser heatsink is good enough to draw off heat from the laser diode itself. The laser diode with less than 1/3’’ size generates heat up to 25 watt that has to be removed. If the temperature of the laser diode exceeds 60-70C the laser crystal starts to degrade, that is why it is ultimately important to have a very good heatsink. Next important improvement is a laser driver that stabilizes the current and voltage keeping smooth operation of the laser.
How it converts your 3D printer into a powerful laser cutting / engraving machine
Adding a laser to a 3D printer does not require soldering or complicated upgrades. All 3D printers have a FAN 1 and a FAN 2 pin outputs to connect the laser.
To learn more about pinouts for different 3D printers you are welcome to visit this link.
Another good thing is that in most 3D printers or CNC routers you do not need to remove extruder or mill. You can hook the laser just nearby since it is small and light enough.
Perhaps you think that after connecting of the laser you will need a special software for engraving. But NO! No additional software needed. You may use Inkscape with the J Tech Photonics plugin or Endurance G-code plugin to prepare an image for laser engraving or cutting.
It is quite easy to do.
Just make sure you have the proper M command to turn on / off the laser.
You can change the laser speed using the F command and adjust the laser power from S1 up to S255.
What is the difference between diode lasers present on the market?
This is a crucial and important point. I guess, many of you use Aliexpress, Ebay, DHGate and other sites to buy useful things. But unfortunately, these marketplaces do not provide their customers with decent support. No, I’m not saying the seller does not reply, he does, but how prompt and how efficient your communication will be.
We are still growing our community of mentors and supporters.
Also when you buy a laser on Ebay, Aliexpress, Amazon, you have no idea if it was tested after assembling and what is its real power output. Measuring of a full laser beam power might be a complicated process since it requires a pretty expensive equipment but making measurement like this would help potential customers to understand better nuances of diode lasers.
A 10 watt and 10 watt+ laser can easily cut wood, plywood and dark acrylic, up to 1/3’’ thick with a few passes, but with white acrylic or plastic it might be a problem since the 445 nm wavelength beam will be more likely reflected from the acrylic surface and will be unable to cut at all. 445 nm lasers are good for cutting and engraving almost any materials of any color but white and transparent. Engraving works on any colors including white and transparent.
How can you use various laser power outputs?
I think it’s a stuff for a new article: parameters that you need to setup for laser cutting and laser engraving using different lasers… The parameters depend on many factors. Here is a full guidance we prepared a few months ago in Endurance laser lab (PDF).
As I have already explained laser hooking and connecting to a 3D printer board is not a big deal and you need also to do laser focusing.
The better you focus the laser beam the more powerful tool you get. We know that if a laser beam is unfocused even a little bit it is unable to engrave stainless steel or anodized aluminum. So remain on focus all the time you do laser cutting and laser engraving.
The easiest way to focus the laser is by way of burning lines while changing the z axis height. The finest line will correspond to the optimal focus.
Here is another full guidance of laser beam focusing that will help you a lot.
Key features of 10 watt and 10 watt+ diode laser attachments from Endurance
At the end I would like to specify key features of our 10 watt laser+.
10 watt laser has relatively the same features.
Laser Type: Nichia diode
Laser Optical Power Output: 10000mW ± 15%
Focal Length: 2-10 cm (variable) for a 3 element lens | 2-10 mm (variable) for a G2 lens
Laser Wavelength: 445 nm
Lens Type: 3 element long focal lens / G2 short focal lens
Operation Time: 48-72 hours of non-stop operation
Voltage: 12V DC (step down DC/DC converters available)
Total Current Consumption (including TEC cooling): ~10 Amps
Cooling: 60 watt TEC cooling with an advanced heatsink and high speed fans
Mount: Ultra compatible and universal
Minimum Laser Pixel (spot) Size: 0.1 mm (100 uM)
Power adjustment: Endurance MO1 PCB
Lifetime: 10 000+ hours
Maintenance: Not required
Additional power: Required for fans, TEC cooling, laser box
Laser abilities (engrave and cut):
Stainless steel (engrave only)
Ceramics & synthetic stone
Aluminum (engrave only)
Natural stone & Glass
Hardboard & Cardboard
Fabric & Felt & Leather
PVC & ABS & PLA
Wood & Plywood & MDF
An Endurance 10 watt+ “Invinsible plus” laser
5 key improvements comparing to a 10 watt laser
An air assist.
A laser box replaced a laser control board.
An advanced TEC cooling system.
A big focusing ring for easy focusing.
A polished aluminum housing.
A laser box allows to monitor the temperature, voltage and current of the laser diode.
A TEC cooling system keeps the laser diode safe from overheating.
A big focusing ring allows to setup focus with less steps and make it more accurately.
A polished aluminum housing of the laser looks good to the eye.
A 10 watt laser+ goes with a laser box which
Stabilizes the current and voltage
Enables to operate the laser: full power / TTL control
Protects the laser diode from an unexpected voltage jump
Measures the laser temperature
Measures the incoming and outgoing voltage & current
A programmable Arduino board allows to setup the power (duty ratio) & laser beam frequency (impulsive mode)
Use a special coupon “35% off 3DprintingingIndustry” when placing an order.
Any questions and comments are welcome: [email protected]
Cell phone: +79162254302 (WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, SMS)