I think CNC and 3D printing are important skill for future. So, I make one in order to learn the structure of 3D printer and how to generate G-code.
Building this machine does not need sophisticated skills and it cost less than US$100. I think u can build this within a day.
It is using arduino duemilanove with GRBL 0.8c firmware, 3 easydrivers to control X/Y/Z axis and IRF510 to control the on/off of the lazer diode.
Video : Cutting Paper – A
Video : Cutting Paper – B
Video : Cutting Paper – Small Rectangle
Video : Lazer Engraving – on Wood
Moreover, this 3-axis Lazer cutter can convert to Pen plotter just simply replace the diode by pen.
Video : Pen Plotter
Constructing the 3-axis machine
The 3-axis machine is divided into two parts, the body and the control unit (microcontroller).
The body :
The stages used in this machine has Acrylic base (fragile), so I screw it on a wooden block before connect to other components.
Since the gap between the slider and the base is little, we need to use flat-top screw.
The control unit (microcontroller) :
The control unit consists of three parts, the easydrivers, arduino with GRBL and IRF510 module (control the spindle). I put the easydrivers and spindle control module on a generate purpose board and just screw it on arduino protoshield.
Connecting Easydriver and GRBL
How to connect Easydriver. Please refer to this link.
How to use and connecting GRBL. Please refer to this link.
The arduino duemilanove using GRBL 0.8c as firmware (link)
Universal GCode Sender 1.0.6 as Sender (link)
Inkscape as drawing program (link)
Inkscape Gcodetools plugin to generate gcode (link)