Making a CNC machine from a CNC machine

Hey! I recently had a thought after seeing the bobs Cnc machine: Can you machine the parts for a cnc machine from a cnc machine? Now I know the simple answer to that question is yes, but I mean would it be a viable option? Or would the cost of something like that be too great, and I should just purchase another Shapeoko? I ask because I want to make my own laser cutter, but I don’t want to spend over $1000. Right now I’m looking at the K40 laser engravers, but the big turnoff is the small cutting area. Any who this is purely theoretical right now and would love to hear some input. (Unrelated, but I would like to say thank you to everyone for helping me previously. I really love the shapeoko community!)

Yes, you certainly could. With the shapeoko you can machine aluminum respectably. Which would be good mount plates. Then it’s a matter of figuring out cross rails. Also what is going to control the cnc, and also the laser controller.
So laser cutter and laser engraving are a bit different. If you want cutting of thick pieces of wood you’re going to need a higher powered laser. The makerspace near me has a 100W laser from Boss, and if I recall correctly struggles with things in the 1/2 in range for cutting?
If you’re looking at the K40 and already have a shapeoko you should look at the jtech laser (or look up what JPL Richard did as well) and mount the laser to the shapeoko.
Edit: This thread Talk to me about adding a laser to my Shapeko and poster is Richard Cournoyer

2 Likes

I use the term “cutter” very loosely. I don’t want a diode laser, and I want to keep the stock shapeoko stock, for warranty purposes. I want at least a 40watt laser which is why I threw the idea of the add on away. I think I’m either gonna spend the extra 500 on the 50watt larger version, or make my own with a Ruida controller and figure everything out as I go :joy:. My thought would be to produce them as I know quite a few people who want a laser cutter. I just don’t know the first way I’d go about doing so.

Casey, Your thought of making and selling a product is very good. However the first step to any business is to research and understand what you want to do. There are a ton of videos on youtube about starting a cnc business and tons more videos about the subjects you need to make yourself an expert at. Also asking on forums is a good starting point but in the end you must make an investment in your time to figure out exactly what you want to do and then develop a plan to get your from novice to expert. Be sure you set reasonable goals that maybe start with making one for your self and then the steps to set up for a production run. Good Luck. I live in Texas and I know the general direction to get to New York but with a road map, a good plan, I can get there much faster than driving to California, Washington, Florida and then finally to New York.

1 Like

Yes, this can be done.

For making a laser I’d suggest looking at one of the established designs, the Buildlog or Lasersaur were both well-regarded when I last looked into this sort of thing.

Not sure what sort of marketspace is left since the Glowforge folks convinced everyone lasering was cheap and potentially profitable.

1 Like