Let There Be Light Inside Your Epilog Laser Cutter

[Bradley Gawthrop’s] biggest gripe about his laser cutter is the lack of Mac support. We don’t think we’d have any gripes if we owned one of these (yeah, that’s a lie…) but we can understand his second biggest issue which is the inability to see the work piece once it’s inside the machine. He figured out a very easy way to light the area as the cutter gets to work.

It occured to him that the optical head is always directly above the part of the work piece he was interested in seeing. He had been using a flashlight to shed some light, but what if he just added lighting to that head? The circuit is certainly nothing hard; some LEDs, resistors and a power source will do the trick. But routing the power is where things get more difficult. You need flexible wiring strung just right so as not to restrict motion on the X/Y axes. Most of his time was spent routing some 14 gauge stranded speaker wire for this task. He added his own 5V DC supply to power the adhesive LED strip which enjoys a resting place on the bottom rail of the head unit. Boom, problem solved.

15 thoughts on “Let There Be Light Inside Your Epilog Laser Cutter

    1. I built my own laser cutter for less than 2K and I am a engineering student (I used some of the money I made from my Coop/Internship to pay for it). Take a look at this site: http://www.buildlog.net/blog/2011/02/buildlog-net-2-x-laser/
      And if you want to see more information about my build then take a look here: http://www.buildlog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=667
      I even installed led strips everywhere because you can never have enough light.

      1. i have built my own large CNC a few weeks back so a few mirrors a focus lens and … a 100W CO2 laser … i can probably come up with something … tho im short of a supplier for one of those :P

  1. @xrayspex damn you, I read the start of that and, to use the modern vernacular, shat brix. Though the aircraft design class I’m TA for this semester the lecturer has managed to find a local high school with a severely underused laser cutter that they’re letting us use to cut wing ribs. Hoping to get chatting to him, maybe he’ll cut me some pieces for a clock I have in mind.

    1. Visicut and the GPL Epilog hack that T. Hudson put together are both valiant efforts, and I wish them all the best, but as they exist today they’re simply not up to production work, at least not in our shop. We’d love to see them get there, but they aren’t there yet. Epilog needs to get on the ball about providing drivers for their products on more platforms.

    1. way to read.

      Hey guys! thanks for the link. Just a clarification, the resistors etc for the LED strip are all integrated, just feed it straight 12V and it’s a happy camper.
      -Bradley Gawthrop, FIVE GRAY POSTS ABOVE YOU!

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