VIGOtec VG-L7x: Introduction

As I previously posted I bought a VG-L7X laser unit and started the project.

I have started the investigation and learning part of this journey.
I was impressed with how simple and small this thing is. We will see how well it actually works, the Bangood video ad was impressive. I can see that at double the power and the right add ons this could be a player for many shops.

General impressions:

  • The unit is attractively simple, Nice not to have HV, water, pump, coolant etc…
  • Comes with the essentials to get started
  • Do to preassembly, build time, <10min

The unit looks well built:

  • Keyed connectors on controller, steppers, laser.
  • Aluminum Extrusions
  • Protected cable harness & management
  • Solid controller mounting with integrated control panel buttons
  • Good gantry mounting, wheels, and bearings
  • Properly sized hardware

The missing [I plan to provide these]:

  • Replacement parts list
  • Schematics for controller
  • Wiring diagrams
  • Source code
  • Fume extraction
  • Air assist
  • Enclosure & safety interlocks
  • Focus adjustment
  • Mechanical CAD drawings
  • Laser temperature protection
  • Laser alignment instructions. The slop in the side plates and laser mounting allows the laser module to be tilted.

Software: (I plan to use Lightburn after tinkering with VIGOworks)

  • The software VIGOworks in a simple executable
  • VIGOworks documentation is cryptic
  • VIGOtek almost did it right. The base firmware is GRBL and the machine interprets Gcode with an Arduino. They added an ESP to the front end when they added wifi and used a proprietary protocol??? There is an alternate ESP firmware or a hardware hack that supposedly uses standard protocol or bypasses the ESP.
  • The ESP firmware or hardware hack makes it Lightburn compatible.

Here is more detail:

Don's Laser Cutter Things: Research the VIGOtec ecosystem

Thinking out loud

  • I am thinking of making a small fume filter box with this filter and an airconditioner recirculation fan. Want to keep it portable. *
  • The enclosure should be straightforward. Plan to attach the enclosure to the side plates with a hinged lid, bottom open. All openings with laser interlocks. The current frame is not stable (tilts) when the gantry is at its extreme. Surfaces will be made using light-filtering plastic. Maybe I can create a shrowd on the laser module as protection???
  • The unit needs an accurate way to adjust the focus. Plan a ramp test to tell me where the focus needs to be relative to the frame.