Laser Cutter 2.0 - safer, better, faster, stronger

The old [Laser Cutter thread][1] is getting a bit large at over a hundred entries and a lot of it pertains to the old version of the laser cutter, which is no longer relevant. It’s about time to fork it!

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve gotten involved with getting the laser cutter working again (mainly because I need to use it for a personal project). I’ve only put in a fraction of the time other people have (big shout out to @nogthree, @leon, @crofty, @lhovo, @devians, and others I’m sure I’m forgetting!) but I noticed there hasn’t really been any complete status updates on the whole machine and what needs to be done to get it working again. So consider this a complete update for better transparency - as well as a call for help if you want to get this machine running!

Stepping back to explain what happened with the machine: the power supply gave us troubles, then the controller board died, then the manufacturer essentially went MIA so we’ve had to swap parts with different ones we hacked together. This laser cutter was very cheap and had many shortcuts taken that we have already/should probably redo properly. Additionally, due to misuse by members (almost all of it completely unintentional and done with the absolute best intentions) both before and after these incidents, many other things have compounded together to impede its proper operation.

The more I work on getting this machine running, the more I’ve realised that we just can’t treat this thing like other HSBNE equipment or else it will be destroyed again in only a few months. We’re going to have to lock it down, because there are regular maintenance things that just simply cannot be done by the average member (even those who have been inducted on just how to use it) because they’re so delicate and if you don’t do them in just the correct way, you run the risk of not only making it worse but also permanently damaging parts we’ll have to replace. So things are going to have to be a little different the second time around and a little more restrictive, but not in any way that prevents people from making cool stuff - just ways that keep it running. For instance, after every hour or so of cutting time, the machine will need to be temporarily disabled until someone who is capable of maintaining the machine can give it a quick once-over service (this might sound like a short interval but an hour of cutting time actually represents a lot of cutting, especially now that it’s cutting much better).

To give you an example of how delicate this machine is - a large speck of dust in the wrong place can seriously impact its performance, and a single human hair or eyelash has the ability to outright destroy pieces of this equipment. Parts of it need to be regularly cleaned so perfectly that not only do you need to avoid touching them with your bare hands, but you also can’t even touch the cleaning equipment’s handles with your bare hands to avoid any secondary contamination. So you can see why I’m saying I think we have to treat this machine a little differently to everything else at HSBNE.

Anyway enough rambling, here’s the current status of the laser cutter!

-The new power supply is a 50W unit, and given we have a 65W tube in there, this is the thing that’s limiting our power output. This is also a cheapy, dodgy-looking power supply so you don’t want to push it too hard. I expect that one day it will fail on us, and at that time we can look at buying a better one capable of supplying the full output of our tube, but that’s a problem for future-us once it dies.
-The new controller board is a [Smoothieboard][2] (yes this machine thinks it’s a cross between a 3D Printer and a CNC mill). It’s all wired in, working beautifully, and is waaay more reliable than the old unit (in fact if you look at [the official Smoothieboard Gallery][3] you might see a familiar sight in the second video from the top!).
-Two of the three mirrors have been replaced and the third is what I’d call “acceptable” quality but not great. The lens is also only “acceptable” quality, with scratches and marks on it, and it will need replacing soon. These are basically consumables and how long they last depends upon how well the machine is maintained (which we’re hoping to improve because replacements costs ~$30 each, minimum). We have one spare mirror and one spare lens in stock, and we will need to order more soon. Please no one attempt to touch, adjust, align or clean the optics in any way at all unless you’re one of the few people that knows how & what you’re doing (and there only are four people at HSBNE who know the correct procedure - to put it another way, if you don’t have the black carry case, you do not have suitable equipment to work on the optics and shouldn’t so much as breathe on them).
-Once the new optics were put in, over the past few weeks we’ve been giving it a complete clean and recalibrate. Even with the remaining semi-dodgy mirror and lens in there, the machine is now far more calibrated than it came from the factory let alone after a few months of HSBNE use. Power output variance is now under 20% over the whole bed, though most is under 10%, meaning you can cut over the whole bed. It’s also now operating at 350-400% more power than it used to have. Yes really. Our test cuts are being made at half the power & twice the speed compared to just a month ago. It’s amazing what properly cleaned & aligned optics can do!
-Leon has written us a plugin for Inkscape that exports a design into Gcode. It’s still a little clunky and it does not support Raster engraving, only Vector, but it does work and he is amazing for doing this. We currently use Pronterface to push the Gcode to the machine (I told you it thinks it’s a 3D printer :stuck_out_tongue: ).
-If the above hasn’t made it clear, if you used this machine in the past then all your knowledge about how to use the machine or what speed/power settings to use are completely inaccurate. In addition, it’s really not ready to be used right now, even by those who know how to use it and are the ones repairing it. Some people tend to be a bit cavalier about ignoring Borked or Broken signs, but this time it’s serious. I’m going to say that again - if you attempt to use this machine right now you will undo many weeks of cleaning & calibration work. Even opening the lid could damage it. Do not use in any circumstances under pain of infractions and making me a Sad Panda.

There’s still lots more that has to be done to this machine before we’re ready to run inductions. But it doesn’t have to be done by just us, you can help too! Yes you! I knew nothing about laser cutters until around 3 months ago when I started learning whatever was necessary to get this machine going, so just because you think you don’t know anything that’s no excuse. If you want this machine working, be the change you want to happen. However please don’t just get to work on the machine without saying anything, come talk to us on a Tuesday or ask in Slack/IRC so we can tell you any “gotchas” or safety things you might not be aware of. I’ve thrown up a rough to-do list on [Trello][4] that doesn’t cover everything (none of the swipe interlock, billing or induction stuff is on there), but it lists most of the stuff necessary to make the machine either reliable or safe, and we need to cross off most of these before it’s open for use. [Here’s an example][5] of a fairly easy thing I’d love some help on - modify an air conditioner’s filter into the front panel so the machine stops getting filled with dust. Or [add more interlock microswitches][6] on the other panels to disable the laser when you open the other access panels - this shouldn’t be too hard because you can just wire them in series with the existing interlock’s microswitch.

Also some heads up - in the future when this machine is “ready”, everyone who wants to use this machine will need to be inducted before they can use it and this will be enforced with no exceptions and with a swipe interlock. Inductions will be a 3-hour course roughly equivalent to a cert-1 TAFE course because I really cannot think of any other way to avoid having this machine broken again. There will be homework you’ll be expected to read beforehand, plus an open-book exam at the end of the course, and there will be a small fee attached to inductions to cover both the paper booklet you’ll receive and also consumed cutting materials because you’re going to be making stuff. It won’t be just a quick “here’s the ON button now have fun” thing, it’ll cover all safety procedures and also show you how/walk you through actually making different cool things with the machine.

[1]: Laser Cutter - Setup, concerns, processes etc


To fellow HSBNE members and executive. I am a Laser Safety Officer level 1. I need to do a laser safety audit on the laser equipment, induction materials, laser safety equipment and procedures at HSBNE.
‘To make sure it checks out and so we know what needs work.’

Thank you Peter for your interest in our continued safety. When can we expect copies of receipts for your payment for the audit? We’ll need copies all other associated documentation as well.

We do have to make sure everything is above board when there are legal requirements at play, and it’s important that we keep our lease – it would be unfortunate if we ended up in GCTS’s situation.

Since HSBNE is a do-ocracy, your volunteering to champion fixing the laser cutter is welcomed. We look forward to the day we can proudly say that Peter Caelli successfully repaired the space’s biggest investment.

As a qualified LSO, you should know that it came into existance as a result of the government introduction of the safety standards as outlined by the Radiation Safety Act 1999. This act is specifically for the managment of “radiation sources and sealed source apparatus” as it applies to the Health industry. In particular that document states that it applies to “a laser that could reasonably be used to carry out a diagnostic, therapeutic, or cosmetic procedure involving irradiation of a person” ( page 9, section 7(1) ) .
It also states ( in section 69(1)© and (d), the Exceptions list ) that “an enclosed radiation apparatus used for its intended purpose” and a “cabinet radiation apparatus used for its intended purpose” are both completely except from any requirement under the Act. So, it’s a double wammy which clearly says that Act does not apply to Industrial cutting lasers ( as they are not pointed at a human during normal use), and it also does not apply to our laser/s that are inside a box/cabinet during their “normal operation”.
Also, please note that OH&S Laws do NOT apply at HSBNE, as under that legislation we have no employees, and as a not-for-profit we are not a business so we are not obligated by that law either.
If you think there are other australian laser law/s that I’m missed, please could you send me a link, as I’d like to review them.


In the interests of transparency, I thought I’d post a list of recent works performed on the laser cutter. This is a demonstration of just how much time and effort is constantly going into this machine, so hopefully general membership doesn’t think that we’re resting on our laurels delaying it or anything like that. Progress is happening pretty darned quickly, there’s just a lot of stuff that needs to be done!

Without further ado, here’s all the stuff that’s happened in the last two weeks since my previous post:

-Rubber sealing has been ordered to seal up the large gaps on the lid and access panels, to properly contain the beam in the event of catastrophic errors. Tracking says it’s left China and is due to arrive in the next few weeks.
-The fan on the electronics panel had its orientation reversed to pull air in, not push it out. The power control circuitry now gets a direct breeze onto it, which also passes through a dust filter before it enters the machine. This should increase the machine’s output consistency and reliability.
-Test filter material was ordered for the air intake. It’ll take a month to get here. No idea if it will be suitable, but the price was amazingly low so it’s worth a shot.
-All interior surfaces of the laser cutter have been thoroughly cleaned, excepting the honeycomb bed which needs a deep soak. We don’t think this has ever been done before because of the amount of crud we removed. This is one of the key things that will need to be done hourly as a maintenance aspect for this machine. Failure to do this will quickly dirty the optics and compromise the system’s output.
-The water cooler was opened up and cleaned of all dust. It wasn’t that bad inside here; we can get by doing this job less regularly than others. Note that this is not a chiller unit which means unfortunately that if it’s above 30’C that day, the laser cutter cannot be used. Just a fact of not having a full chiller. The cooler can be modified by changing its flow through the radiators to improve its cooling performance though, and we may need to investigate doing this during summer to keep things from overheating if people want to start cutting during a hot summer’s day.
-The air assist pump was opened up and had the dust filter cleaned. It also wasn’t that bad, so I think we can get away with doing this job less regularly.
-The Smoothieboard’s power source has been rerouted to use the machine’s on-board power supply and the USB cable has had its +5V line severed. This means the Smoothieboard is only powered when the laser cutter is on, and you can cycle the Smoothieboard by just turning the laser cutter off and on again. No more messing around with plugging and unplugging the USB cable, yaaay! Note that if you’re resetting the Smoothieboard, you need to count to 10 with the power off. Yes, really. I’m srs about waiting that long. It holds its state a surprisingly long time.
-We noticed the Y-axis belt was a bit loose and this was re-tensioned. We’ll check the rest next week.

As always, check the Trello for a list of jobs that need doing if you want to start helping out. There are many small tasks that don’t need a lot of skill, they just need doing!

@Wrexx, you’re more than welcome to inspect the machine any time. I’m not sure what value there is to doing a full audit right now because there’s so many places the machine can (and will be) modified & improved before it’s considered operational, and there’s so much that still needs doing that hasn’t even advanced enough to the point it’s hit Trello yet (like the induction material etc). I’d suggest something quick at this point in time, just so you don’t waste much of your time. :slight_smile:

Is the +5V line severed in the cable? If so, it might be wise to mark the cable / socket mentioning that using cables with working +5V lines could damage the USB voltage regulator in either the laser cutter or someone’s laptop (or the kiosk).

The 5V line is severed in the cable that connects from the Smoothieboard to the external socket on the laser cutter itself. This cable isn’t a simple male -> female USB extension cable, it has screw-in mounts and is physically screwed into the machine. The external USB cable between the laser cutter and the host computer is still a normal cable and that’s fully interchangeable with any other USB cable. :smile:

This panel is not considered end-user-accessible and will be locked before the machine is “operational” so having this modified cable in there shouldn’t be an issue. Worst-case though, if you did bypass this severed connector and connected a full USB cable to the Smoothieboard, it wouldn’t cause any issues. The +5V system is isolated to just the Smoothieboard so it can’t feed back anywhere else, and it’s a pretty precise +5V so it’s doubtful much would feed back into your laptop/computer to cause an issue. To put it another way, this is how it used to be wired up a few months ago - power came from USB and the onboard system simultaneously, and you had to disconnect both to shut it down. That was a pain, so the USB one was severed.

It’s been a while since I last updated this thread. It’s honestly really disheartening to be standing beside the laser cutter as I work on it, and hearing someone on a tour describe the machine as something that “is always completely broken” or “will never work again” (both actual overheard quotes). So to try and dispel these rumours yet again, here’s another status update.

-Rubber door weather sealing strips arrived and have been re-purposed to act as a seal around a lot of the edges of the machine. This has greatly improved the machine’s safety to help contain the beam. It turned out really professional looking and I’m quite happy with it!
-Borrowing more weather sealing materials, adhesive foam strips were bought and have been applied to all edges that don’t have rubber strips on them. This guarantees the laser isn’t going to be escaping from any gap or crack no matter what. It also means that when the extraction fan is running, aside from the front air intake this machine is now pretty much airtight. The room with the laser cutter no longer gets smelly when you’re cutting stuff, yay! This is also important because the front air intake is the only area we’ll be adding an air filter… And it’s important that all air entering the machine is filtered, to cut down on how much cleaning we’ll have to do!
-Speaking of, yet more cleaning of the interior. This time there were surfaces that I know we already cleaned but were already dirty again. Ugh, cleaning is going to be the bane of this machine.
-Ten micro-switches have been acquired, courtesy of @nogthree. We need to fit at least two of these to the front/rear lower hatches, as these will be left unlocked so members can clean up once they’re done using this machine. This means we need to automatically disable the laser in case someone does something silly and opens these hatches while cutting.
-We recently performed some more test cuts, cutting through whole-bed plywood, MDF and etching glass cups on a curved surface. All tests went beautifully and we’re amassing a list of known-good cutting speeds/powers. Also it seems the machine is far more powerful than we expected and what it used to be because we accidentally melted and cut some of the glass. Um, oops. Note this machine is not to be used to cut glass in the future because that’s a bad idea, but engraving glass is on the cards.
-The window into the laser tube was removed and thoroughly cleaned (there was still a lot of residue on it from when it was bought; this is another area that had never been properly cleaned since we bought the machine). You can now clearly see the tube light up when it fires. It’s kinda neat to watch.
-A “panel open” Indicator light for when the laser is disabled because a panel is open has arrived and needs fitting. Having this will help a lot during troubleshooting when the laser stops firing and you don’t know why.
-The black paint has been touched up in a few areas where it was damaged by vigorous over-cleaning to remove some sticky residue. The machine looks all nice and shiny everywhere again!
-Filter material for the front air filter has arrived. Now we just need to knock together some brackets and a cover to mount it. I didn’t know how much resistance it would offer until I bought it, and thankfully it seems pretty low-resistance so it’ll work just fine.
-It turns out that sealing up all those massive gaps and cracks meant the system didn’t have enough air intake. So, the front air grill was enlarged by just cutting it all out. This gives much better airflow inside the machine too, since the air has to flow over the material when before it just came in from all directions. The exposed metal edge was protected by painting it with red spray paint that’s close but not a perfect colour match to the rest of the machine, but it doesn’t matter too much because that area will be covered up by the new air filter anyway.

See how the machine has a big worrying hole in the front? It’s now literally just as unsafe as it was before. Yeah. Bit more obvious just how unsafe it is, right? :wink: That’s why we’re trying to make it better! We’re almost there with the safety and the reliability issues, but not quite there yet. As always, you can see our current to-do list on the HSBNE Trello, and we’d love some help.


Thanks for all the time and effort you and your team are putting in to it. I see the laser as a hell of a selling point to membership even more so after i got quotes to got some jobs done.

Will be up on friday and will have a good think about how best to organize the cutting stock shelving


I’m not yet added to the Trello group but thought it would be worth mentioning that I can bring some filter-foam that I found in one of these foam and rubber shops up the coast. I’m using it for a dust-extractor for my cnc. Have some leftover that could prove useful for the air intake? I’ll bring it on Tuesday.

We’re well overdue for another update on this machine. I had to step back for a bit due to other commitments, but I’m back to working on it. Here’s what’s happened since last time I posted.

  • All locks, hinges, latches etc have been greased (many came with zero grease from the factory so they squeaked under use)
  • Keys to the laser cutter have been found and all are accounted for. There’s two types - one for the interlock and one for the access panels. I have both types, @devians has both types, Wrexx has just an access panel key, and there’s just an access panel key in the server room on the Vending Machine keyring. We need to cut a few more of the interlock one for redundancies.
  • Safety shutoff microswitches were added to the front and back lower access panels were added by @niklas. This means that if you have one of those doors open then the laser will automatically stop firing so you can’t hurt yourself. Yay! Thanks Niklas!
  • To help manage the fact that there’s now three safety shutoff microswitches that can trigger, a “lid open” indicator light has been added to the front panel by @niklas. This helps diagnose problems quite a bit!
  • A flashing shroud was installed on the front air intake by Wrexx, redirecting stray laser beams to the floor. (btw, due to legal/safety reasons, enclosed footwear and long pants will be a requirement of using this machine once it’s open to general use)
  • Filter material was added to the front air intake by myself and @crofty. Now all air going into the laser cutter is dust-free which will help extend the time between major cleanings. This filter material is easily removable and washable, so future servicing for this task shouldn’t be hard.
  • The large gaping hole on the laser tube access panel has been sealed up. Now we just need to physically screw this panel shut to prevent access by untrained persons.
  • All belts were retensioned and set correctly. Should eliminate some bounce we were getting.
  • @pelrun has joined in to help sort out our software stuff, because the current software workflow is pretty poor. Right now he’s changed Inkscape to use an up-to-date version of Python, fixed all the crashing, and fixed the way that you need to manually set the document units to “px” too. Longer-term he’s looking at ripping it out and using Visicut instead, which has a much nicer UI and will give us more features. Thanks James! :slight_smile:

And now, here’s some pretty photos:

The new filter on the front air intake. It just sits there and these bolts prevent it from falling out, but you can undo them with your hands to remove & wash the filter.

Off-cut waste from a recent job. The joining parts of acrylic here are thinner than a human hair. This was accidental and unintended but still awesome!

An example of the amount of crud that gets deposited inside the machine every time it’s used. Yes really, this was the residue from a single cutting job! This is why it’s so important to clean it after every use, so we can keep this stuff off the lens & mirrors.


If you walked into the laser cutter room on Tuesday, you might’ve noticed that it was a flurry of activity. The whole room has been reorganised now, to a much better layout! We’re still sorting and organising things in here, but here’s some shots of what the room looked like at the end of Tuesday. And a reminder that because this room has to be kept neat & tidy as part of the Digifab cause, nothing should be placed in this room without clearing it first with the cause leader (even donations). At bare minimum we gotta dust it and find it a proper home rather than have it left lying messily on the table’s prime working space. :wink:

I was planning to name people to thank for their help with this task, but I’m so bad at remembering things I know I’ll forget half of you and I’d hate to do that. So, thank you to everyone who assisted with this room reshuffling! :thumbsup: :smiley:


Wow, that’s one pretty slick-looking digifab room!

I just discovered this software that might be perfecrt for our RED laser cutter… anyone want to give it a try?


Methinks it’s time for another update! I’m positive I’m going to be missing some stuff in this update, but I thought I should say something before I forget even more stuff.

  • @pelrun has done an amazing job by completely ripping out our old, clunky software workflow and replacing it with Visicut. This new software is awesome and SO much better at generating and sending Gcode - Pronterface is officially only used by us during debugging now! It will also let us do all sorts of new and exciting things down the track, which I’ll only mention once they’re fully working.
  • Speaking of new and exciting things it can do… We can now do Raster engraving. Yes really. :smiley: The feature still needs a LOT of testing and calibrating, but we have confirmed it works with some test cuts.
  • A bunch of settings have been optimised and calibrated on the Smoothieboard. The tickle power has been increased from 10% to 15% to give better cutting of short fine details, but more importantly the maximum speed has been greatly increased. It’s now capable of zooming around the bed so quickly that it rocked the entire machine, so we had to dial it back a bit. It’s that fast. This makes it super quick to move around the bed in between cutting lines though!
  • Because the machine is so fast and so powerful now and it uses new software, this means we need to redo all our material defaults again. It also turns out that it can’t be used to raster engrave paper. I spent around eight hours trying to do that on Tuesday and I just couldn’t get it to work right. It can be vector engraved though, and vector cut. I’ll try to see if it can be done another day, but paper may just be too thin and delicate to successfully engrave with this powerful machine.
  • Two belts in the machine have been re-tensioned, a third is due to be re-tensioned but I ran out of time on Tuesday to do this.
  • Cleaning fluid for the honeycomb bed has been acquired, and a wooden tray has been built from scratch by @crofty for cleaning the bed. We still need to acquire some plastic to line the tray, then we can let it soak for a few hours.
  • Spares of both the access key and the interlock key have been cut and distributed. I have one set, @crofty the Digifab cause leader has one set, @devians has one set I think, and one set is on the master keyring in the server room. Now that we have enough keys, for safety reasons this machine will be kept locked when not in use. Gotta make sure we meet all the safety requirements we’re supposed to meet with something so dangerous. Note that this key system is basically temporary and it will be replaced with the swipe interlock system whenever that’s fully working.
  • Efforts have begun to start documenting stuff for inducting other people to use this machine. Yes really, work on induction materials has begun! There’s a LOT to do before it’s done, but an official start is worth mentioning on this list.

Finally, here’s some pretty pictures!

One of the very first tests of raster engraving - a HSBNE coaster made out of MDF. The engraving is solid and pretty deep, and the fire burn marks on the flaming chip kinda works too.

Necklace design by @Stevie, made out of two layers of different coloured Acrylic, used to test layering effects.

As always, if you’d like to help with some of the work still needing to be done to make this machine available to all members, come see either myself or @crofty.


I’ve built a stepper drive mechanism for the Z table in the cutter; we just need to figure out how best to mount it and wire it up.(and maybe replace the untested tiny stepper I’ve got in there right now). I’d give you a photo but Discourse doesn’t want to let me upload any. Can’t even upload dickbutt in protest.

Edit: well, it decided to work again after that ascii art I originally posted here.


And here is the drive mounted in the laser cutter:

(that is after I vacuumed up all the crap that had accumulated in there: it’s amazing how much stuff got under the belt cover plate…)

My original mounting plan turned out to be a bad idea, so I needed to print a new bottom plate with slots to take the original idler mounting bolts. It sort of has to be assembled around the belt, but it’s rock solid even before the final bolts are added.

Unfortunately, it’s still not completely satisfactory. The bushings I used don’t really like the side loading from the tensioned belt, especially since I’m using a threaded bolt and not a nice ground shaft as an axle. I’m definitely going to have to do yet another top/bottom plate and put in proper bearings instead.

Also, I still have no idea whether that stepper motor is any good. :slight_smile:


I reluctantly redesigned and re-printed the top and bottom plates of the z drive mechanism to include skate bearings… which I could find none of in my stuff or floating around the space. So I stole them from the extruder in the space’s defunct sells mendel. Sorry!

Reassembled the drive and it’s just as rough as before. So all that work was mostly pointless, but it did imply that the problem is simply that I’ve over-tensioned the belt. Instead of trying to adjust the position of the drive mechanism, which is fiddly and inaccurate, the correct method is probably to move the plate in the centre of the bed with the two pulleys on it instead. I’ll do that when I next stick my head in there. Just wish it wasn’t a pain to remove the belt cover plates…

I’ve also been trying to figure out a way to use a visible laser to re-align the beam path. Unfortunately there really isn’t enough room after the laser tube to do this easily (32mm!). My next idea is to run the visible beam backwards - take the nozzle and collimating lens off the head assembly, and replace with a jig that holds a laser diode perfectly centred and firing vertically. The task then changes from getting the beam to the nozzle to getting the beam to the laser tube aperture. I think that’s going to be much, much easier.

I’ve also drawn a few diagrams to figure out which mirror movements are logically identical to adjusting the position of the laser tube, as it’s far easier and safer to move the mirrors than the tube. That said, it still might be necessary to replace the tube mounts with some finely adjustable ones - good thing someone’s already designed a printable set…


I suggest fundraising for a beam combiner + mount (Pelrun knows this, we have discussed and I am more enthusiastic than him, I’m just sharing) however it’s expensive enough that it’s a non-trivial investment.

Example implementation:

Mount, US$69

Beam combiner “lens”, US$89

FedEx Shipping; est US$160
International priority, 4lb (overestimate)
USPS Medium box; US$79

Minimum total;

Alternate source;
US$96 + DHL US$45 ~ US$140

Alternatively a mount could be machined

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It’d be great to have a beam combiner, but cost aside, there currently isn’t any room for another optic mount in the beam path. It’s pretty darn cramped in there. I think the money right now is better spent getting replacement/spare optics, as we’re completely dependent on the set we’re currently using.

Spent tuesday night going through hell fixing a belt tension issue on the right-hand Y belt; many thanks to Aaron for his help getting this sorted. It looks like it solved a major problem with the cutter binding and losing steps partway through jobs.

I got a new laser module for alignment purposes, and then fried it. That’s two green laser modules down - getting annoyed now!