I'm in. Having one set of instructions for both lasers is worth it.
I have the new laser set up and cut a couple basic shapes. Its operation is far from intuitive. I am working on getting it figured out and put together a new laser 101. It will be a steep learning curve from the current laser. It can certainty be used as is .
Based on my research the easiest way to get it going with LightBurn is the Cohesion3d controller that would cost around $420. I can't afford to do this upgrade for some time. My intention buying this laser was to use it for the Makerbus, however, I have no plans to get the bus going in the foreseeable future. My intention is to leave it at the space until then.
I am wondering if anyone would like to assist in the upgrade *full disclosure this is not a Kamloops Makerspace project nor endorsed by its members or board* This is a laser owned by me for the MakerBus also owned by me. It is currently on long term loan to the Makerspace*
Yesterday night I installed monitors and keyboard trays on both lasers. The keyboard trays are on tabs and can be removed to put on top of the lasers to use standing. The large laser has tabs to move the tray to the side of the laser. The monitors are on swivels and will need to be turned to open the laser lids. This system is not perfect, however best accommodates space restraints. Please do not put excessive force on keyboard trays.
I will be figuring out computers this evening. It looks like the small laser uses the M2 Nano controller and is not compatible with Lightburn. The LaserDRW software that comes with it is apparently really bad. Alternatives are K40Laser and MeerK40t and seem to be much better. I am going to try Meerk40t first.
I may consider changing the controller in the future.
Today I built a table and moved the 50 watt laser into the Fab Shop. Everything fits nicely. The computer for the big laser is underneath and temporarily the monitor keyboard and mouse is on the small laser. Next step is computer mounts for both lasers.
Did some cutting and it was quite smokey. John took a look and the filter was overfilled. If we have problems with both lasers hooked up we may need to add a boost fan to the big laser
Thank you to John for his help today prepping the laser infrastructure for the second laser. The filter has been relocated and hooked to the new exhaust fan. The chiller is now beside the laser. The big laser has been moved forward and over to allow more space around it. The laser scrap bin is now behind the laser The exhaust, chiller lines and air system have been tee'd for the new laser and plugged.
The air system for the lasers is hooked to the building air system with a solenoid valve. It goes through a regulator currently set at 15 PSI. The air and chiller are hooked to a switch on the wall with the KM logo in orange. The switch to the left controls the exhaust fan. Both must be on to cut. again
There is now more space to maintain the laser equipment. It is critical that nothing gets stored in this area. The big laser is now functioning again. Everything has been cleaned out, it was disgusting.
The next step will be building a stand for the new laser and sorting out computer for both lasers.
We figured out a location yesterday. It is approximately 26x40 and will be where the computer station currently sits. The big laser will come out about 6 inches from the East wall and move South a foot to be level with the exit door. The chiller and the cooler will go next to the big laser on the North wall with a bit of room to service them. The laser waste bin will then go in behind the big laser freeing up space in the room as to not crowd the exit door.
Computers for both lasers will go under the small laser (on a table) and monitors and peripherals will be on a stand similar to the CNC Mill and Router.
This project has a lot of moving parts and we aim to minimize laser down time. The first stage was moving the Hackables Bin. The desk that encumbered the hallway door has been removed along with the filing cabinet. Tools have been moved onto the pegboard and shadowed. The hackable laser material bin is now along the West wall and a lot easier to access.
What are the dimensions? Maybe we could walk around with a cardboard box to see where it can fit.
As discussed at last nights members meeting I am loaning a 50 Watt laser to the makerspace for an undertermined amount of time. It is about half the physical size of the current laser and designed to be placed on a table. To get it going we need to do a few things.
1.Hook up water and test tube
2.Find a location next to current laser
3.Hook to cooling, venting and air, power
4.Figure out software/computer for laser
5.Record a laser 102 for use of smaller laser
This laser is brand new and has never been fired. It has sat for at least 4 years and its funtionality is unknown. I will be at the space on Hack Night to get started if anyone would like to join me.