The good news is, we are now onto v0.3 of the Lasersaur system!
Check out the video! (and http://log.lasersaur.com for ongoing build documentation)
There is still some waiting for parts (specifically limit switch mounts, laser tube mounts, paneling etc) until what we hope will be the final testing before we can finalize the alpha kits! The goal is for the kits to be shipped to backers by mid-March and have the community up and running sometime around then as well. The time then, is near!
Now, some details and versions updates:
First and most exciting perhaps is the actual laser has arrived! (oh how we love them):
We decided to do our initial testing with a 40W tube, it will cut enough to tell whats working and not, but isn’t strong enough to burn down to our neighbors below. Surprisingly, it shipped super fast, taking only four days to arrive from mainland China--quite phenomenal... This makes us quite confident that the 100W tubes will be quite painless to source as well.
As you can see, it sort of looks like a transparent missile, so we are going to give China cred for that one:
Also, in order to speed up testing we went ahead and ordered a water chiller. It uses a fan to cool the water as it is pumped through a long helical pipe. This should work well until we design our own water chiller.
We also updated the idler shafts. The older v0.2 idler shaft on the left, new one on the right (using cantilever pin with retaining ring)
Next you can see the new v0.3 drive shaft. They connect the y-axis stepper to the left and right drive belt. There is a step from 8mm to 6mm which makes positioning the ball bearing trivial and hopefully eliminates a possible building error.
Also, SOFTWARE: Finally, the first lines of firmware have been written and the the bare bone gantry is moving sweetly. So we have started writing some code, talking about it and so on and so fourth. Due to overwhelming push from the community we decided to use GCode as the core protocol. Developing different ways of talking to the system will be based off of that and we are very open to more input on this... We also feel the machine should handle dxf and svg files directly (thoughts? discuss.)
And, if you are still with us, we decided to send some schwag along with the kits, so look out for a little extra something something to feed your inner Lasersaur with . . .