The Arduino board with the CNCC Laseraxe firmware
The best program for laser cutting and engraving with the largest variety of functionality is CNCC LaserAxe.
To use this program you need the Arduino board with this firmware.
Endurance offers the Arduino board with the CNCC LaserAxe firmware.
The price of the board with the firmware is 49.95$.
An additional laser power control board
In some cases an additional laser power control board is needed to connect the laser of more than 1 W to a 3D printer or a coordinate table. Its basic function is to power the laser when an external power source connection is used. This is the case when the board output current is 12 V, but the amperage is less than the laser input current.
- The 2.1 W laser consumes 1-2Аmps
- The 3.5 W laser consumes 2-3Аmps
- The 5.6 W laser consumes 3-4Аmps
- The 8 W laser consumes 4-6Аmps
In this case an external power source connection is required.
A 12 V 5А power supply unit
Many engravers and coordinate tables are complete with 12 V 3 A power supply units. To connect a powerful laser (of more than 5 W) it is necessary to install an additional laser power control board and connect it to an external power supply. We recommend using of 12 V 5 A.
When working with a laser engraver or a coordinate table with two axes XY it is worthwhile having a possibility to regulate the position of the work piece, so that it remained in focus.
It is possible to adjust focus manually, using an actuator or height adjustable table/engraver legs.
It is also possible to use a small height adjustable work table to lift or lower a work piece trying to focus the laser beam on the work piece.
A G2 lens
For a more effective cutting we recommend using of a G2 short-focus lens.
The G2 lens focus distance is 5-10 mm. It is optimal for laser cutting.
A substrate layer with a ruler
Precise positioning of the work piece for laser cutting or engraving is necessary in some cases.
It is important to define the cutting or engraving boundaries for Endurance DIY and Endurance Makeblock machines.
We recommend a mesh substrate layer. With its help it is easy to accurately position the work piece on the work table.
When you work with Endurance DIY / Endurance MakeBlock lasers and engravers use an aluminum sheet to cover the work table.
This will protect you from fire and protect the work table surface from damage. The painted aluminum sheet may be used for laser focusing. But you need to remember that focusing the laser beam on the work table surface you will need to correct the focus according to the thickness of your work piece.
To optimize the laser beam focusing you can also use for it a black metal plate and focus the laser manually. Do it wearing safety goggles. If you have a good vision you will easily see when the laser point becomes the smallest. This is your optimal focus.
However, there’s another method. Install an actuator on your laser. Almost all machines and coordinate tables enable to controll the third (Z) axe. In this case you can focus the laser in the program by means of lifting or lowering it. Using the actuator you can do it easily and accurately enough especially, when you engrave work pieces of variable thickness.
In addition, knowing the height of the work piece, you can set the focus, even without using the visual method. It is enough to calculate the necessary number of steps. Usually one step is 0.1 mm.
To fix a work piece, we recommend using niobium magnets.
They are very small and powerful and do not get magnetized to a coordinate table or engraver, which are made mainly of aluminum.
In this case we recommend using a steel sheet as a substrate layer and fixing the work piece with a magnet put on its top. It will keep the work piece in the desired position when the table vibrates.
A ruler is one of the most important tools when working with a laser engraver or CNC device. If there’s no metal mesh, a ruler must be used to precisely position the work piece and the start location of the engraving or cutting. Knowing the start location of the engraving and the size of the image, you can calculate the positioning of the work piece for engraving or cutting, so as not to spoil it.
A case for the engraver
When engraving at home or in a small room it’s better to encase the engraver together with the work table. This will minimize the risk of laser beam reflection and protect against accidents.
Price: from 95.95$.
Laser fastening / mount / holder
Secure laser fastening is, firstly, a guarantee of your safety and, secondly, of a good quality cutting and engraving.
A poorly secured laser creates a vibration, which results in a poor quality cutting or engraving.
If the laser mount breaks during the operation, it is fraught with tragic consequences.
That’s why Endurance pays special attention to the laser fastening. The laser mount is universal and suitable for almost any 3D printer or CNC machine.
Additionally, Endurance offers fasteners for coordinate tables and engravers of the Makeblock and DIY like.
Adjustable table legs
For small coordinate tables and DIY machines, it is possible to install small legs to adjust the height of the machine itself, which also makes it easy to put and remove the work pieces from the bottom. This can be used in case when the height of the work piece varies.
It is important not to lift the center of gravity too high to reduce the stability of the structure. We also recommend checking the quality of the fasteners so that there is no play.
An additional hood / air ventilation
In the process of engraving / cutting, combustion products are formed which must be removed. It is especially important when working with materials containing chlorine (plastic, acrylic, PVC, etc.). Chlorine is a poisonous gas that is hazardous to human health. When working with an engraver, we recommend using a hood. As a hood you can yuse a conventional corrugated pipe with a fan installed inside the pipe.
A substrate layer
When laser cutting we recommend using a metal mesh as a substrate layer. The metal mesh will protect the work table and the work piece from carbonization during cutting, which is possible if the surface of the work table or the protective metal sheet is excessively heated. In addition, using a metal mesh as a substrate, you can see whether the work piece is cut through.
Paste for engraving
To laser engrave on metal surfaces, such as: aluminum, zinc, copper, brass, gold, silver, steel, a special paste must be used, for example: Laserkam, Cermark LMM-6000, etc.
Apply the paste to the metal surface before engraving, let it dry and only then proceed to engraving.
Ferric chloride for etching and electrolysis
If you need a deep engraving on metal: steel, aluminum and such like materials, use electrolysis. To begin with, paint the work piece or cover it with a special film (an adhesive tape, for instance), then draw a desired image using your laser. The laser will burn the film, exposing the parts of the metal surface to be etched.
Then dip the work piece into a citric acid solution or a solution of kitchen salt (NaCl) or ferric chloride FeCl2 / FeCl 3 and let the electric current of 12V 2-3A go through the solution.
The reaction of chemical etching will take place.