Enclosure for laser engraver

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Finished up the enclosure this morning. I mounted the fan and vent covers, that went together pretty easily.


I then added the dust port. I had to print this one twice, the first time around I did not take into account the fan mounting bolts. They almost lined up with the holes in the dust port, but not quite. Rather than trying to get all to match I simply made it rectangular instead of square.


I'll be using a dryer hose to get rid of the smoke. I probably could use regular dust collection hose as well, but metal seemed a smarter option. Probably overkill.

Next up was some cable management. I thought about mounting a power strip at the back of the case for a cleaner look, but I really wanted an "OFF" button in case of an emergency. Plus, this gives me a spot to easily plug in my laptop as well. So I simply ran the cables underneath the case, the feet provide plenty of clearance. The clips are also 3D printed.

Here is the laser installed. It came with some simple brackets to attach it to the surface. I don't know how often I'll be removing the laser, for example to put it on top of the work piece if it's too big. For now, they are just screwed down, but I can always put in some threaded inserts and use a bolt instead.


Here is the case fully assembled. I still need to make a window insert for the window you can see in the background to exhaust, but that'll have to wait until next weekend.

All in all a fun project. Mistakes are less stressful when you can use wood filler and paint to cover things up. I was also finally able to use some hardware I bought on clearance 10 years ago. I am not a hoarder, I'm simply cheap and love bargains, but from the overflowing cabinets it's hard to tell the difference!
 

smallboat

smallboat
Corporate Member
Bas- that looks great! I just saw the brand name on the side and looked them up. Pretty sweet for the price.
Can't wait to see what the results.
 
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Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Quick update, finally got around to engraving my first piece. Tested it on plywood and it came out great, but should have turned the laser down for engraving cedar, I got a little bit of burning. All in all very happy with it. The fan does a good job clearing the smoke, there is a faint smell but nothing that doesn't dissipate within a few minutes.

The laser performs well, although I was stumped for a while trying to get things started. As it turns out, I had miscalculated a few dimensions, so when I instructed the machine to do a dry run and show the area to be engraved, it would move the laser head and then just shut down with an error light. Turns out, if you tell it to go out of bounds it doesn't warn you in the software, it just fails. Definitely a learning experience.

The logo I engraved has a lot of black in it, it's a 5" diameter circle, and it took 40 minutes to complete.

Short video:
 

nn4jw

New User
Jim
Bas, are you using Fusion 360 to design for your laser engravings? Is the laser engraver just another printer to it if so?
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Bas, are you using Fusion 360 to design for your laser engravings? Is the laser engraver just another printer to it if so?
No, nothing that fancy. So far just uploading an image into LaserGRBL and printing it. This laser doesn't have enough power to actually cut, so I don't see myself using Fusion360 for it. But it's an interesting question, had not thought about it before.
 

nn4jw

New User
Jim
Wasn't familiar with LaserGRBL since I don't have a laser, but looking at the web site I see it's a gcode streamer and also could send the gcode to an Arduino. Stick an Arduino on that engraver with appropriate software and you could probably free up your pc during those long burns. Just like your 3D printer. More fun.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
BAS, MY SAVIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL LOL I have an eleksmaker 3 pro, I am dead caues of a non computer literate ,idjit that owns it. I have trie to make sense of grbl, inkscape, etc zip nada, I need a whole lot of help if you are willing. 973 945 6686 way easier than trying to type it all. thanks.
I want to use it for the urns.
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Wasn't familiar with LaserGRBL since I don't have a laser, but looking at the web site I see it's a gcode streamer and also could send the gcode to an Arduino. Stick an Arduino on that engraver with appropriate software and you could probably free up your pc during those long burns. Just like your 3D printer. More fun.
STOP IT! I DON'T NEED MORE PROJECTS :)

I have an old laptop that's now for the shop for 3D printer/ laser stuff. But I really want to get a Raspberry Pi with Octoprint for my 3D printer. I can then dedicate the laptop to the laser, as well as use it to access Octoprint.
I like the idea of freeing up the laptop when doing a burn, but to be honest, I'm not yet comfortable enough with the machine to leave it unattended. Maybe after a few projects.
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Did you buy the 15w or 20w? What is your overall recommendation on this laser?
It's the 20W. But that's input, not output. This machine will engrave but it will not cut anything other than thick paper.

As for my recommendation, that's kind of like asking someone who's only been married once how good their wife is. I mean, so far, it's doing what I want it to do. Not too expensive either. And no surprise, it's far far smarter and more sophisticated than I am, barely discovered the possibilities. Always tempting to upgrade, but don't think I'd want a bigger one. Hasn't burned the house down yet. The instructions are a little cryptic, but if you're patient you'll eventually figure it out :)

But yeah, so far I like it. It was quick to assemble, and pretty much worked right out of the box. Not looking to do any kind of production volume or hit specific quality targets. It'll be nice to make a present for someone and engrave their name in it. Or use it to sign my projects, I won't have to buy a branding iron now. If you're looking to get started, this is a good one to get your feet wet. Between the laser, the enclosure parts (fan, safety glass, etc.) I've got about $250 into it. That's not nothing, but it won't break the bank either.
 

ck1999

Chris
User
I mean, so far, it's doing what I want it to do. Not too expensive either. And no surprise, it's far far smarter and more sophisticated than I am, barely discovered the possibilities. Always tempting to upgrade, but don't think I'd want a bigger one. Hasn't burned the house down yet. The instructions are a little cryptic, but if you're patient you'll eventually figure it out :)

Was this about your wife or laser?

Chris
 

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