We’re making things now with the laser cutter. The software toolchain I’ve been using is all free:
Draftsight (exactly like AutoCAD but free, 2D only, fine for laser cutting patterns)->Inkscape (vector graphics editing)->CamBam (CAM software)->CNC G Code Controller (RepRap/Marlin controller).
Some of the things we’ve made: a laser cut wooden puzzle:
A couple of clock faces:
And some letters that will be placed on Cayta’s sign:
Now we’re cooking with gas!…or rather lasing with a mixture of CO2, Nitrogen, and Helium.
We got the laser up and burning this Friday. We are getting very close to joining it with the XY Table to create amazing etched / burned art work. Check out the details here…
First drawing using the penlift mechanism to raise and lower a sharpie at the right time (in sync with position on XY table). Made using a solenoid salvaged from an old iomega zip drive.
Made a working pen lift mechanism for the XY table. Now drawings can be made with a sharpie or pen, or maybe even an Xacto knife can be used with it to cut out intricate designs.
Now we can verify designs before hooking it up to the new (old) laser. The pen up/down gcode commands will be used to switch the laser shutter Off/On.
Using the ‘brains’ of RepRap printer to control stepper motors. Will be combined with a huge old school 50Watt laser to make a computer controlled laser cutter.