I’ve been working on a self-designed scratch-build CO2 laser. I want a laser, and I like designing things. Rather than just doing a one-off, I’d like to make it a project that others can work from. Here were some of the key goals I had in mind:
- Parametric: The design should scale well to a substantial range of sizes; I’m trying to use 1 and 1.5 meter OpenBuilds components with minimal need for precision cutting. Scaling is easy within the range supported by cross section of chosen extrusion types.
- Space-Efficient: Uses its space envelope well.
- Cost-Efficient: Choose where to spend money for results.
- Accessible: Require only reasonably common or inexpensive shop tools, plus a 3D printer, to build.
- Utilitarian: My effort, at least, will focus more on results than presentation.
- Flexible: Designed to adapt to a range of fittings, such that (for example) it is easy to change out optics, motors, etc. for experimentation.
- Interesting: Do something new, don’t just create a copy of an existing design and give it a new name.
I’ll post here about my journey; if anyone wants to join me I’d love to work together and share ideas. I mean, even working alone I intend to post about my build process here, but working together is more than twice the fun.
If you are on the fence, what min/max size and max cost would make it interesting to you to join in?
Here’s a recent view of the first iteration of my CAD model showing the general layout: