Full Spectrum MLE-40 (4th Gen) Restoration with Cohesion3D upgrade! (Start to finish edit)

Came out of my K40, it was replaced several months ago. The mystery will be revealed with my next update.

Continuing with my drag chain mount, did that photo of my old K40 bed/table pic throw you off?

Since the original drag-chain and bracket for the X-Rail were cannibalized for use on the previous owner’s K40, I had to come up with my own mount, so I thought fair play was in order and decided to cannibalize something from my K40. Many things I fix are accomplished using leftover parts from some other project, or just something I have that I don’t really need anymore.

I made my own adjustable Z for the K40 using perforated carbon steel and punk rock spikes (will also do that to this one) and certainly had no use for this thing anymore, so I thought I would cut a piece off of and make my own bracket from an area I hadn’t drilled holes in.

My phone blitzed out on me and some photos are missing, but this should be sufficient.

Clamped in the vise and marked where I want to cut.

MISSING CUT AND BEND PROCESS PHOTOS

Using the “tape method” to get the hole spacing I need for drilling into the aluminum I cut off. Unfortunately, I don’t have the photos of the cut piece before and during the process of drilling and bending.

Perfect! There are two different types of screws (temporarily) because the threads in the rail are damaged, but I’ll fix that before the final mounting. Just need to drill the holes for the drag chain, trim it, clean it and it’s ready to go!

Need to get some tapered screws.
NOTE: The mirror in the head was already like that when I got it.

Here it is mounted (10x10mm) with a couple larger screws. I left this bracket long for now, but may cut it down after I get my 7x7 drag chain from China that I’ve been waiting on for 60 days. They keep reassuring me China Post has it in transit.


I may put a spring around the hose where it looks to be pinching, or just pull it down a little and see if that takes care of it.

Next up: How am I going to mount that darn tube without grommets? The answer may not surprise you. Then again, think about a rotary.

3 Likes

So about mounting that tube. The large rubber grommets didn’t come with the unit and I’m not sure where you would get them in that size, so I thought of something else. I bought an o-ring kit from Harbor Freight for various other projects and the largest size just fit the tube. It’s a simple solution and I didn’t have to buy anything fancy to mount it. There are a lot of rotary setups using large o-rings and I’m going to make a simple one using some from the kit.





Coming up, using $0.99 self-adjusting pillow block bearings for the motorized Z table without using anything to support it on top. Won’t they just flop over? The answer is simple if you think about it and it’s not from the table itself supporting it because the whole thing could still flop over. I think it’s called balanced force.

3 Likes

When I created the adjustable Z table for my K40, I used self-adjusting pillow block bearings with one on the top that required drilling into the steel gantry and one on the bottom, which of course required drilling into the floor of the laser. This worked, but I found the top bearing to stick out a little too far and in some instances interfere with the material I was working with. Having a limited working area to begin with, this option was less than desirable.

So how do I make this into a sturdy, self-standing piece that doesn’t flop over once bolted to the floor?


By using two of course! One on each side of the sheet metal which tends to cancel each other out from being able to swivel, while still having the ability to turn freely. I could have probably found another method, but these are only 99 cents each, so why not do it this way if it works? Also, I’m mounting the stepper motor with integrated lead screw on the bottom of the unit in one corner. I’m always finding unconventional ways to do things, but this one is quick and easy.



I needed something to help stiffen the bottom a little and one of the aluminum (aluminium to everywhere else in the world) plates was still with the unit, so I’m temporarily utilizing it until I come up with something better.

I wanted to make sure my theory was sound, so I tested this out on my K40 first just to make sure it would hold up; it did.

These were only a few bucks on eBay. I don’t have very much money into this. No need to buy an expensive motorized Z when you can make one for less than $60.


The stepper motor is actually being moved to the front so I don’t have to run the wires as far.

I now just need to install the belt and stick my perforated steel spiked table in place. Check back to this thread, I may edit and insert that part once I have the belt.

Next up, the control panel! Here’s a sneak peek.

This was designed exclusively in LightBurn by both myself and @Starla . She said I didn’t have to give her credit, but she was a great help in figuring out the best arrangement for the buttons and huge current meter I bought for it. You, of course, would need to either buy the huge meter or edit to accommodate the smaller one.

If you would like the LightBurn file for this, please ask and I’ll be happy to pass it on.

2 Likes

Looking good Jamie. I like the layout you guys came up with.

2 Likes

Wait until you see it in operation! I have to redo it on thinner material because the studs won’t go all the way through and I barely have it attached to the lid.

Here’s a link to the LaserBoard install in case it gets missed due to an external search or other problem causing it to not show.

This panel is a draft. I’m not going to show the process of cutting the panel since it’s self explanatory, but basically, all I did was use two seperate pieces of acrylic. Top layer is transparent blue and bottom layer is plain acrylic that I painted with primer and then engraved. Illuminating the electronics compartment does the job.

I have a couple of 12v led COB lights in series that are utilizing the LPSU’s 24 volt line with one placed on each side in the electronics compartment and it works great!

Here’s some video of it in operation. Note that this panel is considered a draft because I need to redo it on thinner material, which is why there are aberrations, but I hope to have them eliminated with the final cut.

Okay, here I’m running at 200mm/s. Panel isn’t too clear in this shot, possibly focus.

Cutting process, it’s doing great!

HERE WE GO, BABY!
I did some configuration tweaking and was blasting at 550mm/s! I started at 600mm/s next to this one, (as you can see) but the acceleration was too much, causing it to jump teeth, so I reduced it to 550. I will probably lower the acceleration a little at a time (when I have the time) to get optimal settings because I had it cranked to 10,000 and I think that’s a little much. lol My original goal was go get 500mm/s and I surpassed that. I won’t run it at this speed all the time because it’s pretty hard on the moving parts, I just wanted to see if it could; it can! :smiley:

I currently have my LightObject nose cone on it (compatible, go figure) because it has a smaller hole and concentrates the air better. Sorry about the vertical shots, I keep forgetting to turn my phone sideways.

2 Likes

Well that is one fin machine you have there. nice to see you can hit your target speed.
Oh and love the dual layer panel, I may have to poach that idea from you.

1 Like

Here’s an early pic before everything was wired up. Until it’s lit up, it’s mostly just blue. That’s not a permanent scratch.

Inside view before everything was connected.

1 Like

I see what you are talking about with the acrylic being too thick. Those nuts appear to be only hanging on by a thread or two.

1 Like

That they are. It was very difficult getting them to thread.

I edited the first post to include all the other processes, including board installation. This cuts down on clutter for people wanting to see it from start to finish without having to go through our chatter. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Im doing the same install on MLE-40 and I have to say you’ve done a fantastic job documenting all your work. I appreciate it.
Your control panel looks awesome and Id also like to change out my control panel would you mind forwarding me that Lightburn file?

Thanks,
Scott

1 Like

Here ya go!

Fsl Control Panel