130W Custom Build

So I’m heading down the road of a ground up build of a 130W CO2 Laser Cutter/Engraver with a Cohesion3D LaserBoard and LightBurn software. And here’s where I’m at as of today:

It may not look too exciting but since this is my first laser I’m pretty stoked!

I’ve got 95% of the rest of it ordered and somewhere between China and here. I’m working on the design in Fusion 360 to finalize the rest of what I need, but not expecting to start any serious build until the new year. Should get the LaserBoard in the next day or two, the bulk of the parts next week, but the stepper motors will be another week out. (I should have ordered them from China too!)

I probably won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of the build, but I will update this thread with milestones along the way and specifically information on the LaserBoard and how I set it up. I’ll also note any problems that I run in to and solutions to fix them.

Watch this space! (But not too often, and always with your safety glasses! :smiley:)

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That tube looks familiar. Look forward to watching your progress. I’m in the final stages of a similar build. :+1:

I am looking at doing the same. What laser tube did you buy? Thanks

It looks like a RECI W6. OP can confirm. ~$750 straight from china.

It is indeed a RECI W6. As for the price a lot of online searches brought up wildly different prices, even from the same supplier depending on whether they were quoting shipping or not. I got mine for $690 + $408 shipping via UPS to Alaska + 4% PayPal fee = $1098 total. I don’t know how this compares to what other people pay but it seemed reasonable to me at the time, and was by far the best deal I saw. I also got a RECI W2 90W for $459.71 incl. shipping. Most of the other stuff I got had free shipping, but of course I’m still waiting on a lot of that to arrive. :slight_smile:

Just waiting on my chiller so I can fire this sucker up! :grin: Turns out that they wouldn’t ship it from New Jersey to Alaska so I had to get that from China as well. :roll_eyes:

A bit off-topic, but after visiting Alaska in the winter a few years back, the wife and I have been wanting to move up. The shipping prices/ridiculous restrictions/extended times for anything not locally-made (which is many things) are definitely a consideration.

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It’s a pain for sure, but you soon learn the tricks needed to get semi-reasonable deals. And of course it’s a beautiful place to live. :grinning:

So I’ve got a working prototype of the X and Y axis. The Z axis will have to wait until I get a permanent location for it all. As you can see from the picture below it’s all temporary at the moment and space in my shop is a little tight during the winter. I’ve test fired the laser just for the fun of it, but if all goes well I hope to be able to do the first test cuts by next weekend.

This is just a prototype to get a feel for how I’m going to lay things out. Most of the parts I’ve 3D printed and nothing is permanently fixed so it’s not the most rigid of setups, but it will run at a decent speed without issues. The next job is to design and build the laser tube mounts and figure out how I’m going to mount the mirrors.

It’s a 1305 x 760mm bed (51" x 30") and I have it homing to the bottom right corner at 1310, -5 so that at maximum X / minimum Y the homing switches aren’t in contact with the gantry. Why I did this I couldn’t really tell you other than I’m used to homing locations being just outside the working limits, and so I stuck with what I’m used to. Other than flipping the logic for the homing switches and putting in the parameters of my bed size setting up the LaserBoard was a breeze and I don’t think I had any major issues at all. Although I knew that one Y axis motor had to operate in the opposite direction to the other I still managed to forget this when I wired them up which made for some horrible noises and violent shaking!! Easily fixed though and no damage done.

All in all I’m happy with progress so far, and it’s been fun doing the complete design and build process. My next update will hopefully be after some laser cutting action!

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it looks like you have another stepper on the other side for the y axis? Correct me if I’m wrong.

I would strongly advise against that. If one side skips a step for any reason (going a bit too fast, damaged/loose wire, bad driver, etc), having the mirror out of alignment could be catastrophic.

I understand this concern and I’ve considered the risks. Right now I’m sticking with this design although that may ultimately change after I’ve put it through its paces during the build. My shop is full of potential catastrophes, what’s one more? Besides, it could be spectacular!