Laser cutter Discussion

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There have been times when the main laser cutter has been out of commission or satisfying an urgent commercial order during the Tuesday open house, thus starving others from being able to use it. As it has proven to be very popular, there are various thoughts on how we can accommodate everyone's needs. This second smaller laser cutter would be small enough to fit inside the kitchen where the microwave used to be as an alternate cutting station.

Second Smaller Shared Laser Cutter

One suggestion might be to get a second low-cost smaller desktop laser cutter and replace the low-quality Chinese controller with an improved open-source one. After a bit of investigation and comparison of RAMPS and other controllers, it seems like the Smoothieboard running Smoothieware has a lot of pros and future potential as an intelligent and higher performance controller. We probably want to get an improved laser head and other things, but this gets us first started and on a solid platform.

Parts and costs

These parts include the laser cutter as well as the approximate costs of the conversion to a Smoothie-capable controller board. Smoothie boards work well with the open-source LaserWeb3 interface and the upgrade can be straightforward with the Scott Marshall ACR adapter board.

Item Description Cost
K40 Small Laser Cutter (Link to cheap used one) £300-500 new
Smoothieboard Controller £160 GBP (or 1/3rd of that for a clone)
Scott Marshall ACR Board for Smoothieboard $99 new (free S&H within the US)
Colour Touchscreen for Smoothieboard (optional) £27

Documentation & Links


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