Dremel Mounted and First Cuts

A project log for Laser Cut Mini Mill

Mini Mill that can be cut using a 3020 laser engraver

WudagemWudagem 07/06/2014 at 21:550 Comments

I finished the first iteration of the Dremel mount (added to GitHub), while doing that I found a couple more changes to the Z carriage that I want to make. The Z Carriage needs to be about 6mm taller, it doesn't currently clear the Z stepper motor, so the dremel mount needed spacers. I also want to make the outside bearing mount pieces protrude out from the carriage so they can act as alignment tabs for tool mounts as well.

Currently the tool is attached by wire tires, but I am going to make a bolt on bracket to hold the tool once I fix the Z carriage and tool mount. The tool doesn't sit perfectly vertical I didn't get the curves on the mount quite right, the bottom standoff needs to be a few mm smaller diameter than the top two.

Once I got the tool mounted and did some more basic movement tests to ensure the added weight didn't cause problems. I double sided taped a piece of 1/4" hard board to the bed and did some test cuts, the line and the box on the top of the piece were the first and second cuts. They were both cut with manually entered gcode, after they were successful I started trying to find a reasonable tool chain to generate milling gcode. I ended up with CamBam which isn't free but has a reasonable trial option. HeeksCam looks promising and is open source but isn't obvious how to use it.

I didn't get the origin coordinates quite right in the g code file for the logo, it ended up missing the piece by a little bit, but it came out better than expected for a first real cut. It was cut with a ~1.5mm diameter end mill I had for the dremel. It was a deeper cut than I was trying for ended up cutting a little over 1mm deep in one pass but the machine seemed to handle it fairly well. The logo is about 5cm square.

I don't have any PCB material currently, I'm going to pick some up tomorrow and try that out. Unfortunately I don't have any engraving bits for my dremel currently. I'll see if I can find any in local stores, but I'll probably end up using a diamond bit and see how that goes.

The next major hurdle will be getting the software chain sorted out and getting a web interface up and running on it.