Robots, with Frickin Lasers…

Wow, It’s been far too long since I’ve updated the site.  It’s not that I haven’t been doing stuff, I’ve just been bad at documenting them.

Well, the latest project really deserves a post.  For a while now, I’ve been wanting to do 2 things.  1) be able to make my own PCB’s, and 2) get started in using CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines (robots!).

NEJE 500mW Desktop Violet Laser Engraving Machine Printer

So I find one day searching the interwebs there is a method for making PCB (printed circuit boards) that uses a laser.  The basic process is you take a blank copper pcb, paint it with black paint, use the laser to etch off the paint where you don’t want the copper to be, then use acid to remove the copper.  And then I find this little laser kit online.  Not too expensive, so I take a shot on it.





Shipping from China it took a little while to get here, but it made it. The parts all seemed to be pretty solid and everything was there.  It was basically just a box of parts, with no instructions, no documentation at all.

Assembly was straightforward though and went quickly.

Gotta say I’ve got no complaints.



20150820_143040Ok, Maybe one complaint.  At some point during the first day, the laser quit being able to shut off during use.  It appears that the SMD mount transistor on the board that controls the laser went bad.  In my attempt to replace it, I managed to screw up the board a bit, but finally just soldered some jumper wires in place and plugged in a replacement transistor I had laying around.  Bada Bing, Bada boom, I’m back in business.  It looks a little goofy, but it works fine now.



20150820_143032Here it is all together. I printed a little grid on the backing board.  Really quite a lot of fun.

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