Diode laser cut and engraved folding globe

Hello everyone, this is my first post in the forum. Rather than using a router with my X-Cave, I decided to attach a 2 watt laser diode to burn designs into wood. It is weak compared to CO2 lasers, but does a good job engraving and can cut thin wood veneer (.024" thick maple) with a few passes at lower feed rate. Before I put the X-Carve together I had been making large (18" diameter) globes of Earth, so I wanted to come up with a way to make one with my new cnc. It took a lot of figuring out to write the g-code program to trace the boundaries of the continents, but I got it. This is projected onto a net for a 30-sided polyhedron. The outer lines of the net are cut through the veneer, and the interior lines between adjoining faces are engraved deep enough to fold as a hinge instead of cutting all the way through. I posted a video on YouTube and have a link in the video description to my site where there is more information. Now I am thinking about some kind of vacuum hold-down to keep the veneer perfectly flat on the table while engraving.



Wow, using the Z pulley and a mechanical switch to trigger the laser is a really clever solution!
It’s amazing to see how many different ways problems can be solved.

I was getting frustrated trying to use a relay board and the spindle on/off control. Easy enough to change it back if I need to use the Z axis. A cam could be made to replace the motor pulley if I wanted to draw a dashed line. Probably better ways to do this, but I am just learning, experimenting, and playing with it.

Nice work Steve and welcome aboard :smile:

There are a few us running the J-Tech laser on X-Carves and more stuff for you to read on the Laser section here: https://discuss.inventables.com/c/laser-cutting



Thanks, Ian. I’ll look through that.