Getting started

A project log for Engraving laser in Silhouette Portrait Cutter

Custom mount for installing a 12mm laser module in a Silhouette portrait or Cameo cutter to enable engraving/cutting.

RetroplayerRetroplayer 07/17/2015 at 16:240 Comments

So my second iteration is shown in the project picture. It involves a clip holder to snap in the diode and enough room around the lens to accommodate a ring that slides on to the lens. This allows the lens to be twisted about 180 degrees. I am not sure yet if that is enough adjustment range because the lens threads are very fine. The holder is designed to place the end of the diode module at 30mm from the platen when the pen is down, however. So only small adjustments should be necessary. I would welcome some ideas for improvement on this.

In the picture, you can see the part that protrudes over the flat area. This is where a switch will be mounted. I am currently looking for an ideal switch/mounting arrangement. My next experiment will be to see if there is enough force to push a tactile switch.

As-is, there are too many overhangs for my comfort. As you can see the print quality turned out pretty rough. I think cutting it into multiple parts is the only way I can go to clean that up.

Still nothing for handling cooling or air assist to the diode. This is really going to be necessary for any laser 500W or more. My options seem to be limited for this since there is not very much room around the diode available. You would be my hero if you have a winning suggestion for this. One of the ideas I am toying with is to place the diode perpendicular and use a mirror to direct the beam down the barrel. This would afford me quite a bit more room for cooling. But it would necessitate removing the cover of the Portrait and possibly even the back (which I had already done.) I'd rather not force anyone to modify their machine. I'd like this to be just a drop in tool.

You can go take a look at the first iteration at the thingiverse link above. I will be updloading this second iteration there soon. It is not really 3D print ready yet, but I'd like to make it available for others to toy with and help improve.