How to add ammeter to 50W Chinese laser cutter from eBay

Ammeter add-on was on my to do list for a long time. It’s important to know what current is flowing thru your CO2 tube so you don’t shorten it’s life. Ammeter measures current and in case of this SH-G350 machine you’ll want ammeter rated in the 0-30 or 0-50mA range because most CO2 laser tubes run under currents under 25mA.

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November 20th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|12 Comments

DIY Lighted Marquee Sign for Halloween

For this year I decided to do a Circus themed Halloween party.  One of the major props for the part was supposed to be a large lighted “Circus” marquee sign (also called dimensional lettering).

There are more than few tutorials on how to make such sign, most of them involve using some kind of thin sheet […]

November 5th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|Comments Off on DIY Lighted Marquee Sign for Halloween

First prototype of my micro 32×16 LED Display board is alive!

Today I feel like I won the lottery. My first prototype of the 32×16 LED board is fully assembled and working!

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August 12th, 2015|diy, In The Lab|1 Comment

Beginning of Xronos 3.0 and new LED Matrix display

This is just a quick preview on what’s “cooking” at LensDigital lab.

About a 2-3 weeks ago I started working on new Xronos Clock (ver 3.0).

Xronos 2.0 has been out more than two years, and for a long time I’ve wanted to update this platform. Things like better Real Time chip, smaller enclosure, less expensive design. […]

July 24th, 2015|diy, Site Updates|0 Comments

How to add beam combiner to SH-G350 laser cutter

CO2 Laser cutters are insanely cool, but there’s one problem. We cannot see infrared beam, so it’s always a guesswork where laser is actually will hit the work piece. Many laser cutters including SH-G350 come with a red laser pointer attached near head cone, but they are far from accurate.  One that came with my machine annoyed me to the point that I disconnected it completely. It never points to where laser is cutting (mine was about an inch off to the side) and it can only be adjusted up or down. Spot gets larger or smaller depending on where your z-table is located. And to make things worse,there was something wrong with mine as it kept on overheating and fading.

So what is beam combiner and why would you want one?

As you can see from the illustration beam combiner is a special lens that only let’s certain wavelengths thru, and reflects all others. In our case Infrared laser beam passes thru it, while visible red laser reflects. By adjusting angle of the lens you can get both beams to travel same path.  You can actually see where IR laser beam is going and where it will end up on the table!

No more guessing, where you cut will be. As added bonus this makes it insanely easy to align mirrors. You don’t have to burn pieces of paper anymore! But wait, there’s more 🙂 ZnSe lens will also focus red laser beam, so you can even see if focal distance to the object is ideal!

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July 10th, 2015|3D Printing, diy, How To, Laser machine|5 Comments

Bricked SMD ATMega328 resurrection tutorial

brick
verb

cause (a smartphone or other electronic device) to become completely unable to function, typically on a permanent basis.
“installing an unofficial OS voids the warranty and may brick the phone”

Lately I’ve been working on a custom “arduino clone” board that uses SMD version of ATMega328p microprocessor.  This is what it looks like, magnified.

 

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June 30th, 2015|diy, How To|0 Comments

3D printed Miter Saw to vacuum hose adapter

Recently I upgraded my Ryobi 10″ compound miter saw to a Dewalt DW17 (Type 3) 12″ saw. As I don’t have dust management system in my garage, I always hooked up my Craftsman 6HP shop vac directly to saw’s exhaust. Shop Vac’s hose is 2″ ID so it fit nicely my Ryobi miter saw (it […]

June 30th, 2015|3D Printing, diy|0 Comments

DIY Fume Extractor for laser cutter

If you have a laser cutter/engraver machine, you know how import it is to get rid of the toxic and stinky fumes it creates, especially if you are cutting and engraving plastics.

There are generally two options for getting rid of fumes. Either vent them outside, or use some kind of filtration system or both. Since my laser cutter is located in the basement and I currently have no simple way of getting ventilation to outside I knew I needed a recirculating fume extractor.   Device like that will intake all the fumes, filter them out and blow out clean air, all of it staying in the room.

One problem in getting one is the cost. These filters costs sometimes as much as laser cutter itself, sometimes even more.  And then you have to buy specific or propitiatory filters which also not cheap as well.

That’s why I chose to build my DIY extractor. There were about 3 designs I could find online, and the best one in my option was from this Instructable.  So that’s what I eventually build.  You might ask what am I writing about here?   Well original article was great, yet I found it lacked some details. My goal in this post is to document and explain my build, as well as provide missing pieces, basically a build log.  I’ll have more pictures and videos, so between this post and original instructable it should be easier to figure out how to build one 🙂

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June 11th, 2015|diy, Laser machine|0 Comments

Laser mirror alignment jig V2

Recently I created a 3D printed “target” holder to help with 2nd laser mirror alignment.  This is a much improved “jig”, that now allows to align both mirrors.

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April 29th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|1 Comment

DIY Pin table Update

Some time ago I wrote about Pin table (a.k.a. vector table) I made for my laser cutter.   It kind of worked, but I had issue with rivets moving slightly. This caused some issues when cutting/engraving at high speed, as whole work-piece shook.  I also wanted to have more pins to hold smaller parts form […]

April 8th, 2015|diy, How To, Laser machine|1 Comment