Small Footprint Scara Laser Engraver Has Massive Build Area

One of the limitations of the conventional Cartesian CNC platforms is that the working area will usually be smaller than its footprint. SCARA arms are one of the options to get around this, as demonstrated by [How To Mechatronics], with his SCARA laser engraver.

This robot arm is modified from the original build we featured a while back, which had a gripper mounted. It uses mainly standard 3D printer components with 3D printed frame parts. The arms lengths are sized to fold over the base and take up little table horizontal space when not in use. It can work in a large semi-circular area around itself, and if a proper locating and homing method is implemented, it can be moved around and engrave a large area section by section.

One of the challenges of SCARA arms is rigidity. As the cantilevered arm extends, it tends to lean over under its weight. In [How To Mechatronics]’s case, it showed up as skewed engravings, which he managed to mitigate to some degree in the Marlin firmware.

Another possible solution is to reduce the weight of the arms by moving the motors to the base, as was done with the Pybot or dual-arm SCARA printers like the RepRap Morgan.

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