Anyone got any new/updated ideas on CAD programs for builds? Probably freebies or low cost. A few years ago I used Sketchup for some vehicle customisation, got pretty good at it in a short amount of time (good enough for what I needed anyway), now have a Reno needy house and wanted to import and build the house so I could try different layouts. Went back to sketchup and it’s gone online except for pro subscription bollocks, which I’m loathe to pay for just so I can noodle around dreaming.
Searched and found an old PC install and thought I’d just check whether anyone had any updated software to recommend prior to relearning an “obsolete” program.
submitted by Metal_Hound
[Need help] Designing a 2 axis Laser Cutter
Hello guys and girls.
As an architecture student, my wet dream is to own a laser cutter. Making models with parts cut by a laser is so enjoyable, fast, cheap in terms of materials, and fail proof, that it makes me wonder why i don't own one yet. Well, I don't really wonder, since laser cutters starts around 1k€ even for small, kickstarted projects.
So I was thinking that maybe I could build one. I spent the last few months wandering on the internet trying to gather as much informations I could off youtube, forums, reddit threads, etc. First thing I did was asking myself "what do u wanna cut bro?", and I answered "Dude, cardboards n shit" I think i now have a pretty clear understanding of how to build and operate a chassis with 2 axis. I already own (and learned the basics of) and arduino uno card, on which I plan to mount an A4988, driving two NEMA 17 Stepper Motors with 57 oz/in holding torque. I have a lot of ideas for the design itself, and started to sketch some in sketchup. But I got the feeling I need to get to the core of the problem first: how hard is it to make a laser cutter?
Indeed, I have read somewhere that Laser Diodes, no matter of which power or frequency, and even properly focused will not cut anything more than thin paper, and are more suited for engraving. I read pretty much everywhere that CO2 laser tubes are the best options if you plan to cut something stronger.
But everytime I look at a CNC CO2 laser machines, I get terrible headaches. Considering we use a laser housed in a glasse tube with a CO2 tank and a vacuum pump, that shoots a deadly laser on 3 (at least) successives gold plated (for examples) mirrors, and then needs to be aligned to somewhat end up in a small lens to get focused, I see so many things that can end up going really bad if not fully mastered.
But I see a lot of DIY CNC machines that use those tubes without problems. Maybe i'm too anxious? Idk.
TL;DR: I want a 2 axis laser cutter CNC to cut cardboards and thin wood/plywood. (How original! :kappa:). Already confident with motors/linear motion/electronics problematic. I read that what I need is a C02 laser tube.
Here are my questions:
*I have no idea how to determine what the power should be, but I guess I can't take a too powerful one since all i have to do is run it on lower power.
*Is there any good build log/guide/tutorial available to understand the basics of CO2 lasers, the safety ofc (again i'm so scared of lazors), and most importantly how to assemble precisely and effectively the mirrors/lens, etc?
*(Ok, Maybe I should have asked this one first) do I really Need CO2 Tube? I feel like a classical laser diode would be so much cheaper and safer regarding the overall build, but I guess 20W or 40W laser diodes don't exist. :/
submitted by BIG_ASS_HEAD