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Old Jul 17, 2012, 07:31 AM
CA...gimme the CA...
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Homemade CNC using DVD Laser

Hey folks,

My cousin the physicist sent me this article on making a laser cutter with a diode from a scrap DVD player. Doesn't seem to have a lotta power...the article says 150mW from a DVD burner, but they say it's strong enough to melt plastic and burn paper. Would most likely cut balsa....but they say a Blu-Ray player yields around 1W....so that would be the ticket.

Sounds interesting, but complicated? Doesn't look *terribly* convoluted...somewhat time consuming, but folks here don't mind that...!

Apparently one can use a piece of software called "Grbl", which is a hacked version of G-code....but I'll betcha there are others.

The author says "With free G-code generator extensions to various drawing programs, sending a page to an engraver is only slightly more complex than sending it to a regular laser printer."

One problem I can see would be the axis length. Some parts require a good stretch, so you'd have to come up with a way to lengthen at least one of the axis.

Still....an interesting concept.
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Old Jul 17, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Pretty interesting stuff... Remember the first PCs started as hackers creations in someone's garage....
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Old Jul 17, 2012, 03:12 PM
CA...gimme the CA...
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I'm still trying to figure out how Steve Wozniak built the Apple computer....I mean, HOW? It wasn't as if he had a buncha "how-to" manuals back then!

But with all the scrap PCs out there it should get easier to find a surplus Blu-ray drive. Maybe someone here will put one together and demonstrate. Hint hint hint....
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Old Jul 17, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by whowhatwhere View Post
I'm still trying to figure out how Steve Wozniak built the Apple computer....I mean, HOW? It wasn't as if he had a buncha "how-to" manuals back then!
Actually back then the hardware wasn't that hard to build. Several of my then co-workers were building their own S-100 buss PCs. The biggest problem was programming the danged things. Then your choices were pretty much machine language, or binary. I think Steve's biggest breakthrough was developing a programming language tht didn't require you to understand how the processor worked in order to program the computer.
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Old Jul 18, 2012, 10:24 AM
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The Woz was a bright fella....it's humorous to see him in line at the Apple store when a new device comes out!
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Old Jul 19, 2012, 06:49 PM
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I thought Al Gore invented the PC. Oh, that was the internet. haha.
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Old Jul 20, 2012, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Windrider53 View Post
I think Steve's biggest breakthrough was developing a programming language tht didn't require you to understand how the processor worked in order to program the computer.
What language did he develop?

Andy
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Old Jul 20, 2012, 08:45 AM
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[sarcasm]A hacked linux kernal[/sarcasm]
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Old Jul 21, 2012, 12:26 AM
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Lasers are tricky beasts. Those high-power diodes are tougher to find than you'd expect; they're worth quite a bit and people don't just throw them away.

A regular CD/DVD/Blu-Ray player will only have them in the range of a few milliwatts, which is about as much as a simple laser pointer. You need a disc BURNER to get anything really powerful, and then you need the appropriate focusing optics and driver for it.
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 12:51 AM
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United States, OH, The Plains
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Someone could try one of these - http://www.wickedlasers.com/arctic - if you don't have a DVD burner just laying around waiting to be cannibalized.
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 01:25 AM
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It would be cheaper and easier to just buy the correct laser diode/module. They can be had for relatively cheap, but it depends on the material and thickness you plan to be cutting.
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C₄H₁₀ View Post
It would be cheaper and easier to just buy the correct laser diode/module. They can be had for relatively cheap, but it depends on the material and thickness you plan to be cutting.
I would have to agree, and anything south of 40 watts won't do me much good.
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