This is the list of LED Laser Upgrades

In addition to the 32 bit nano Black-N-Blue andgrbl controller upgrade, here is a list of upgrades.

Start with a good platform

First of all if you have the Eleksmaker A3, this is a very good platform for upgrading due to dual Y axes and 2040 stable extrusions. It has an 8 bit nano that can be replaced by the 32bit nano and with improvements below you can make it the highest quality. 

Choose the 2.5W for highest quality engraving.  If you want to cut you will need a higher power laser and will loose quality.  The higher power LEDs use more physical LEDs in parallel of similar size and the beam is therefore larger. 

If you have an Ortur the platform is also suitable for upgrades using the Black-n-Blue 2. I designed the Black-N-Blue 2 with Ortur in mind as it us fully modular as well as fixing some of the limitations and cheap design issues I saw on the Eleksmaker  Mana boards (both 2 and 3 axis designs).   I will be offering a dual axis upgrade kit for Ortur Laser Master 2 which includes the acrylic, extra rollers and extra cable.

If you have the smaller frame version of Ortur (Laser Master), you will certainly have less mechanical stability.  As stated earlier you need to choose a lower power laser module for high quality engravings.  You're mostly getting a 7W laser that you're overdriving to 15W or 20W and it will have a limited duty cycle (which means you should do very short term cuts at near 100% power) or you will have significantly reduced life.  It is well known that there is not a lot of truth or oversight in how these things are marketed.  Recently I've heard Ortur representatives indicate that they would start advertising based on actual power (optical power).  As probably the highest volume producer . If you want high quality engravings you'll never achieve the full potential without basically replacing all key components.  Do your research. 

Upgraded 3 element Lens

There are lots of names for these lenses G2, G7, etc.. very little documentation comes with them.  The late Jeff Woodcock of Picengrve.com is a true pioneer in the field of LED engraving with photographic quality.  He helped me in this area back in late 2018.  

Silent drivers

TMC2208, TMC2209's are mostly plug and play replacements of the A4988's that come stock with most controller.  TMC2100, TMC2130 need MS1, MS2 and MS3 pins clipped.  The direction of the motors will need to be inverted relative to your stock A4988's.  That's done with $3 and $23 (if you have homing enabled). 

https://github.com/gnea/grbl/wiki/Grbl-v1.1-Configuration

Also for the silent drivers you need to set Vref or Imax.  For the A4988 Vref/0.8=IMax but for these drivers Vref=Imax.  I have these set for Y is 1.1V (1.1A) with dual Y-motors and , 0.6-0.8V (0.6-0.8A) on X. You can try 20% lower for each.  Should not have to set these higher for the 0.9deg steppers as they are rated for 0.9A Imax.  You will measure voltage from the pad shown by the red arrow to ground (GND)

0.9deg steppers

This requires steps/mm to change from 80steps/mm to 160steps/mm (2mm pitch belts with 20 tooth pulleys).

I struggled once I got my machine dialed in.  I ended up with a canvasing effect.  Nicky Norton gave me a part number that worked well. These steppers give highest quality I am aware of.  Not all 0.9deg stepper motors will give good results. If you choose a differennt stepper, you're taking your own risk.

StepperOnline 0.9Deg 0.9A, 36N/cm.

Wiring for Eleksmaker (high accuracy stepper motor to stock wire/controller): Red to Red, Black to Black, Green to white, Blue to Yellow Solder and shrink wrap.

16 tooth pulley

This requires steps/mm to change from 160steps/mm with 0.9deg steppers to 200steps/mm

Steel reinforced belts

3D printed belt tensioners

Pulley couplers of Dual Y-Axis

This is necessary to ensure movement of these axes are coordinated.  Nicky Norton pioneered this machine tweak among many others listed here, but this one has not been even considered by other people trying to improve their machines.  I've said many times, "Nicky's the Russ Sadler of LED Diodes".

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