KickStarter Laser Engraver Head

A laser engraver/cutter for hobby or small CNC mills.

The idea is certainly not new and many have home-built a similar addition for their mills.  I know I did.

But not everyone has the tools or the skill set necessary to fabricate a really nice, sturdy and reliable laser head.  Some of us are just too lazy ! (ha ha) and would prefer to just click a mouse and have the post office drop one at your door a few days later.

While I have a mill and a mini lathe and many other tools of all types, I would need a few more in order to produce something of this quality in quantity.  Initial design and fabrication would be let to a local machinist to perfect the design and production methods before making the investment in tooling up in house.

Just as many decide to purchase a CNC kit rather than design their own, some would rather just have the hard work of design out of the way, all the faster to start engraving and cutting.

Here is the KickStarter Proposal

 

KickStarter

Laser engraving head for hobby and small CNC mills.

This project is to build either as fully assembled or kit form, a simple laser engraving head for fitting into the standard mount in hobby CNC mills normally holding the spindle motor.

The laser head will be made from a heavy wall aluminum tube approximately 2" OD and 4" in length. The exterior of the housing would be grooved to increase surface area to enhance cooling.

Within the tube, at the top, will be a small fan to draw air up through the tube. This will assist cooling the laser and driver and also draw smoke up and away from the work surface.

There would be a laser safety shield that can be lowered to protect the eyes of the operator and to facilitate visual focusing and observation of the progress of the work being engraved or cut.

This shield would be made of an acrylic window of a color specifically designed to shield from 455 nm radiation.

The complete head would include a 2W 455 nm laser diode, a choice of a TTL or Analog modulated driver circuit and a cooling fan.  As this progresses I may expand offerings to higher power or different wave lengths.

Funding is needed in order to develop this project in a manner that the cost of a completed laser head is very affordable for the user.

Initial machining and parts would be out-sourced to a local machine shop to perfect the design and production methods. Once funding has been reached a small lathe and bench top mill would be obtained to machine production parts in-house.

The laser head would be designed so that it can accept standard diode modules and lenses and offered as a kit for consumers to add their own diode or as a kit of all parts.

The head would likely not be offered as a complete assembly due to product liability concerns when selling a high power laser.

A few dollars of the funding will be used to consult an attorney to determine liability issues and product liability insurance to determine feasibility of offering a totally assembled and tested engraving head.

Obviously the cost of the final product if fully assembled would be somewhat higher if insurance is necessary to sell a working laser device.

The design including any files developed to use CNC tools will be made available at no cost on this site once completed and tested to assure accuracy and safety.

Every donor will be acknowledged on a credits page on  line and in documents ( unless you tell us to leave you out of this mess! )

 

Funding Goal: $9,500

 

$8.00    Nice quality certificate of appreciation, suitable for framing as a supporter of the project.

$15.00  Same as above PLUS a free coffee where you can meet your friends to discuss what to burn  with your lasers.

$25.00   All of the above PLUS a free snack to go with your coffee!

$99.00   All of the above PLUS a completed housing tube minus the inner workings.

$150.00 All hardware components with fan minus diode and driver.

$250.00 All components to assemble your own engraver head including diode, driver and fan.

$325.00    Same as above plus live customer support via phone, email or Skype for one year.


 

 

Quick preliminary layout of design.

I hope those who enjoy my passion for making stuff are interested in kicking in to help provide a nice product. When this comes closer to reality, I will decide if I want to sell via a web site myself or distribute them through a partner such as Inventables or similar outlet.