Design and testing of components for a low cost laser cutter
Author(s)Ramos, Joshua D
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Daniel D. Frey.
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The main goal of this thesis is to document the design and testing of various components for use in a low cost laser cutting mechanism for hobbyists and recreational designers. Different electronics were used to assess the cutting potential of a laser diode, a small silicon chip based laser light producing unit. A test rig was constructed to evaluate the cutting potential of the laser diode, and several tests were conducted on different materials. In addition, a low cost positioning machine design was also explored, which used servo motor actuators to drive the system and was used to evaluate the potential of using a potentiometer for position feedback. Tests with the laser diode using different cutting strategies revealed that the cutting potential of the diode is limited and not likely well suited for cutting through materials of useful structural thickness (0.125 inch to 0.25 inch thick materials). The tests of the potentiometer feedback were positive, indicating that potentiometer feedback is a good method for low cost position control. However, the mechanical designs tested proved insufficient for positioning the system to within 0.01 inches of the commanded coordinates so further improvement is necessary.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 51).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology