Laser cutter doubles as a 3D printer

[Bart] figured out how to use his laser cutter as a 3D printer. We’ve checked in on his open source laser cutter in the past and we’re happy to see he’s now done with the build. But rather than stop there he took it a step further. For less than $200 he built an extruder head and added¬†RepRap circuitry. You can see in the image above the laser tube is in the background and the extruder head with a line of black filament is mounted on the gantry. [Bart] has other plans for extensibility as well, including a knife cutter, a pen plotter, and a Dremel mount.

Comments

  1. Taylor Alexander says:

    This is a great idea.
    The hobby world will explode with better and better stuff when you can build your own CNC Mill/Laser Cutter/Knife Plotter/FDM machine all in one, for cheap.

    They’re all pretty similar, so it makes sense.

    Hell, at my work we have two nice HAAS CNC mills, but no budget for a 3D printer because we don’t much need one. If we could buy an extrusion head for our CNC, with software to run it, for less than $500, we’d totally buy one!

    It would be a good add-on for people like us!
    -taylor

    • Kevin says:

      the software is free.. use slic3r. use the mach3 output option. configure that output file for your haas.. transfer over dnc. to haas… make sure to lock spindle and no tool changes lol or it could be catastrophic!!!

  2. thatguy says:

    @Taylor

    You can already do that with the makerbot extruder mk5.

    The issue is coordinating the extruder controller with the closed source HAAS controller.

    Most CNC machines have a port for an A/4th axis.

    If you can interface the makerbot extruder electronics with the A axis port on the HAAS controller: you’ll be ready to go.

    Work on building an A axis controller for an easydriver/stepper motor first.

    Then once you know you can program for it: drop money on the extruder.

  3. Taylor Alexander says:

    Well, interfacing with the machine shouldn’t be tough – you could use standard gcode to move the head around. That code can either be “drip-fed” over the serial port, or just put on a USB stick. We do have fourth axis wiring, so if all the makerbot head needs is extrusion control, that shouldn’t be tough.

    I’d really love to see an extrusion head that chucks up in the spindle of a CNC and takes 4th axis move commands for extrusion. Then all you need is software to generate the GCode. Seems pretty straightforward for someone with the time. We’d pay $1000 for something like that.
    -Taylor

  4. Cheshire says:

    I would be more interested in changing the optics on the laser cutter to allow for laser sintering.

  5. kyle says:

    man i just got done drooling over all the machines at my local HAAS outlet… wow kids thats some shite. but man are they pricey.

    looked at an HMC that wont fit in my current shop (garage) but will do 99% of all the operations we would ever do.

  6. bdring says:

    Haas as a 3D printer?..fun mental exercise, but HAAS people should be able to afford a MakerBot.

    Here is some info….

    The program that creates the file for the RepRap motherboard is called ReplicatorG. It creates pretty generic G-Code for the movement then sprinkles custom M Codes for the heater and extruder motor. Free and open source, so you could run a little shape though and see the resulting file.

    The RepRap controller does not use acceleration, it just slams on the steppers. No big deal for light weight machines, but it could do some real damage to machines measured in tons. So, I would not try to use the RepRap motherboard. I would use the existing controller.

    Bart (aka bdring)

  7. Osgeld says:

    for less than 200$

    after the 10k laser cutter

    hey you know what, I can make my kia rio as fast as a Porsche, all I have to do is bolt the body panels to the Porsche

  8. bdring says:

    That laser ain’t no Porsche or Kia Rio…closer to a go cart. The cost was around 1k.

  9. bdring says:

    Laser Sintering….

    Just for fun Tweakie laser sintered a tiny sugar bicycle.

    http://www.buildlog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=255&p=1178&hilit=sugar#p1176

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