This is the list of LED Laser Upgrades

In addition to the 32 bit nano Black-N-Blue grbl 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. It has an 8 bit 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 requires replacement of more components for improving and upgrading.  15W or 20W for instance with the larger frame you'll have both mechanical problems and will not have modularity to upgrade your controller or stepper drivers.  If anything fails, you have to replace the entire controller board.  If you have the smaller frame version of Ortur, 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.  They are produced in parts of the World where getting your money is more important than truth in advertising. If you want high quality engravings you'll never achieve the full potential without basically replacing all key components.  Do your research. 

If using the Eleksmaker base, in the end after all of these upgrades you'll end up with original rails , laser module, and controller base, but Eleksmaker is just a better platform to upgrade.

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 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).

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.  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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