Setting up a L-Cheapo

Setting — up a laser on a 3D-printers

Laser connection process

  • Depending on your printer, add a header to the L-Cheapo’s terminals. This will connect in place of your extruder’s heater.
  • If you have a CNC tool with a spindle, rather than a 3D printer, the LcheapoAssemblyCNC instructions show how to switch between laser and spindle.
  • Mount the L-Cheapo on your extruder, either by screws or zip ties.
  • Lower the Z axis. If you have a kickstand, lower it in place.
  • Screw the lens assembly on the bottom of the laser module almost all the way out — it should not come off (if it does, just screw it back in a little), but it should be all the way extended.
  • Put your protection plate on the print bed, if you have one (if you don’t, the laser will burn through Kapton tape, if you use it).
  • With protection goggles on, disconnect your printer’s extruder and connect the L-Cheapo instead.
  • Send the M104 S100 command to your printer (or otherwise turn on the extruder heat). The laser will light up. If it doesn’t, switch the + and — contacts around; the extruder heater is resistive, so there is no standard configuration for it. The L-Cheapo has a protection diode and is safe to connect backwards, although it won’t work, so just try again with the connector flipped!
  • Use the crown on the bottom of the laser assembly to focus the laser by screwing the lens back in. Optimal focal distance is 3 to 4 inches, depending on your printer or CNC setup. We recommend using a piece of paper or cardboard as the target — when you see smoke, your laser is focused!
  • Send the M104 S0 command to turn the laser off!