LaserMan from FlyingBear
The gadget in moving pictures with sound
Buy the FlyingBear Laserman via one of my affilate partners:
How Open Is This Gadget?
About the gadgetFigure 1:
The LaserMan from FlyingBear can process workpieces with a size of up to 40x45cm.
The firmware of the device is based on grbl, with which the Laserman can be controlled via G-code commands. Totally in the spirit of "How Open Is This Gadget?", FlyingBear follows the rules of grbl's GPL license and offers the source code of the modified firmware for download. The download link is not hidden somewhere, but can be found directly on the page with the firmware's binary files - that's exactly how it should be!
Machine data can be transferred via WLAN, USB or micro SD card. If the data is transferred via SD card, or WLAN the LaserMan can be conveniently put into operation outside of your walls. When working with lasers, more or less harmful gases are inevitably evaporating and it is best to leave them on the doorstep. Although the LaserMan has an air filter, this can only hold back soot particles - the ugly smelling gases are not filtered out. Nevertheless, the filter device is also useful for outdoor use, because the extraction of smoke particles minimized scattering of the laser beam, which leads to finer engravings. When the fan is running at full power, you definitely can't ignore it. With a longer extraction pipe, you could place the fan motor outside and blow the exhaust fumes out of the window at the same time - it's definitely worth a try.
Package contentsFigure 2:
Included in the package are a power supply that delivers 12V output voltage at up to 4A, a micro SD card and an USB cable for data transfer from a PC, tools for assembly, and some materials that can be processed with the device. A "lathe" with which round objects can be engraved is available as an extra. Also included are safety goggles, which must be worn when handling the device!
The frame has to be assembled and the preassembled traverse for the X-axis, has to be attached. When it comes to electronics, only a few cables need to be attached and plugged in.
The assembly instructions in English are clearly written and contain many self-explanatory illustrations.
The axles are guided by plastic rollers with ball-bearings along the 20x20mm extruded aluminum bars. Backlash in this mechanism can be eliminated with the help of an eccentric nut.
The axes are driven via timing belts - the X-axis motor is on the right side of the traverse. By moving this stepper motor, the X-axis belt can be tightened.
Both sides of the Y-axis are driven by just one stepper motor - the pulleys of both sides are linked via a round rod. The advantage of this construction is that the two axes cannot get missaligned even while the machine is switched off. The toothed belts of the Y-axis are fixed with screws at the ends of the aluminum bars and the correct tension is simple to adjust.
One limit switch for the X- and one for Y axis are available. The laser head moves to the lower left corner when homing is triggered.
The working area is 40x45cm. If everything is properly adjusted, the mechanics runs smooth with almost no backlash.
The plugs on the mainboard are locked in place with glue and the wiring looks quite tidy.
The colored touch screen is on a makerbase board.
An infrared diode serves as a flame sensor, with which the LaserMan is cut off from power as soon as a given threshold is exceeded. The sensitivity of the sensor can be adjusted by a potentiometer.
The two stepper motor drivers are soldered to the main board.
The processor is type ESP32 with WLAN support.
The laser module included in the package works with a wavelength of 445nm. The output laser power is given as about 5.5W.
The laser is focused by adjusting the height so that the 2mm metal spacer plate just fits between the surface of the workpiece and the lower edge of the protective cover.
A "lathe" is available as an accessory, which can be used to engrave round objects. In order to be able to bring the laser to the required height, I raised the feet with four bricks - I know that this can certainly be solved more elegantly.
The stepper motor attached to this "lathe" is connected to the electronics instead of the Y-axis motor, which must be done with the machine switched off.
The cutting performance is tested on a stack of 2mm cardboard with the speed set to 60mm/min.
As to be expected with a 5.5W laser module, two layers are cut cleanly and the 3rd layer is only "engraved".
Detail on the test procedure.
Engraving is tested on stainless steel. You can see how finely engraved and what depth can be achieved.
The speed is gradually increased from left to right.
Detail on the test procedure.
More examples done with the LaserMan
My conclusionThe FlyingBear Laserman has not shown any weaknesses during my tests. Operation via the color touchscreen is convenient and thanks to the integration of WLAN and a card reader, operation is also possible without a directly connected PC. The air filter is not a bad approach, but it cannot prevent harmful gases from being emitted into the surrounding air.
Thanks to the open source firmware based on grbl, the necessary machine data for the LaserMan can be generated by common programs.