What else can we put on this guy?

I am watching this print next to my desk. I can’t help but wonder that it is moving pretty fast, and it seems very flexible. I am wondering if I can use this basic structure to build something else.

  • I’m wondering about attaching a pen to this printer. It would be a big waste to make a new one just for a pen, and I have a CNC machine that I have a pen holder for. But I think there’s some utility in using it for drawing up to 12"x12".

  • I’m wondering about a laser diode. This would be more work than a pen, and I worry a little bit about safety here. I am pretty sure I could CAD up a mount to replace the extruder. I could probably use the part fan output which has a connector at the hotend right now to do it. But it would still be a good 10 minutes to swap them out.

  • I’m really wondering about building a second one, and changing the shape enough to have about a 12"x18"x3" CO2 laser. The way the linear rails are laid out, I would use two of the 400mm rails like I have right now, but use a longer one in the middle. Or, if the longer ones were cheap enough, then it would be less moving weight to have the longer ones on the edge. Having this bed drop a few inches would be NBD for this bed platform. It would be useful for focusing, and for keeping the focus if I had a variety of different thicknesses of material. A CO2 laser would need to have more safety features. But the idea has me intrigued. I bet I could even have a pass through. I would need to learn a lot more about CO2 lasers though.

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I’m working on a swappable print head. Adapting that for a pen or laser shouldn’t be difficult.

My concerns with lasers are proper ventilation and blocking the scattered light. Both require a full enclosure. You could just cover the whole thing with a big cardboard box when running :wink: But you still need to connect a fan and duct it toward people you don’t care for very much.