K40 40W CO2 Laser Cutter
- 1 Overview
- 2 Software
- 3 Firmware
- 4 Upgrades
- 5 Replacement Parts
Generic Chinese "K40" laser cutter bought off eBay. It has been upgraded from the proprietary motherboard/firmware/software to an open source toolchain using a 3D printer Smoothieware compatible motherboard.
Here is the exact item that was bought on eBay:
High Precise 40W Co2 USB Laser Engraving Cutting Machine Engraver 300x200mm | eBay
Pay-for software, but cross-platform (Windows/macOS/Linux). There is a free 30-day full features trial. It's $40 for the version that supports G-code based open source laser cutting firmwares such as Smoothieware, GRBL, Marlin, etc. It's $80 for the version that also support the Chinese "DSP" RuiDa controllers. The software is very nice!
TODO add description and possiblly a page for a tutorial
Forest Darling wrote an Inkscape plugin that allows SVG files to be exported to G-code that can drive the laser cutter. It uses specially named "layers" in Inkscape to determine how the vectors will be engraved or images will be rastered.
We use the standard stable Smoothieware "firmware.bin" available here:
Instructions on how to flash the firmware:
Actually an MKS SBASE which is a Smoothieware firmware compatible Smoothieboard clone:
NOTE: post says there is no documentation yet for V1.3, I don't think it's very different from a user standpoint though:
MKS-SBASE v1.3 Schematic · Issue #39 · makerbase-mks/MKS-SBASE | GitHub
TODO: document the custom breakout board Forest Darling acid etched to adapt the original ribbon cable for the X axis and homing switches to 3D printer friendly cables. This special FPC connector was needed:
Low Voltage Power Supplies
Dedicated power supplies (not piggy-backing off the laser high voltage power supply):
For wiring the 5V power supply to the Raspberry Pi's Micro-USB port:
Additional Power Outlets
The included water pump is noisy and pathetic, and a replacement is very inexpensive:
NOTE: This has not been tested! This is a proposed attachment that allows the use of an in-line pump:
$5.99 -- POWERTEC 70150 Rectangular Dust Hood for 4-Inch Hose
Laser Power Supply
A higher quality alternative (with a different pinout) from a reputable US seller (still made in China):
High Voltage Cable
"KH Laser" 40W CO2 laser tube photos:
Test fire button:
TODO: post DXF for the Smoothieboard LCD interface plate.