Almost Ready for Independent Testing

Next Milestone

The goal is to deliver 2 complete 7W LaserBeam Systems to the test facility before Friday October 29th. There are a few tasks we’ve completed and a few tasks we still have to complete.

Completed Tasks

  • Iterated driver enclosure to ensure a proper fit 
  • Completed a rough safety and user manual
  • Prepared 2 full laser diode assemblies for test requirements
    • In case extreme test conditions causes one to fail, we don’t have to waste time sending another
  • Designed and made compliant laser safety stickers

Next Tasks

Safety and User Manual

  • Photograph driver and laser and create diagrams for safety and user manual 
    • Safety and user manual needs to be approved as part of the testing process

Testing 

  • Receive and assemble 2 test drivers
  • Complete testing paperwork for testing facility  
  • Package and deliver 2 7W LaserBeam Systems to test facility 
    • We will personally deliver this same day to save time in transit

Remaining Milestones

  • Pass IEC 60825-1 tests
  • Receive testing report
  • Order our driver PCB Assemblies in bulk 
  • File FDA reports
  • Assemble driver PCB enclosure 
  • Test each LaserBeam system
  • Pack LaserBeams – End of November 
  • Ship LaserBeams – Early December

Ordering Additional Safety Glasses & Lenses: 

Check out the link above if you need to order additional LaserBeam accessories that you didn’t order in your original LaserBeam preorder. You won’t be charged any additional shipping and your order will be combined with your LaserBeam Pre-order! 

Sienci LaserBeam Pre Order:

Place your Sienci LaserBeam Pre order here:  https://sienci.com/product/laser/

Answering your FAQ: 

Send your Laser Questions Here: https://sienci.com/contact-us/technical-help/

Check out our LaserBeam FAQ video, I take all your unanswered questions from the LaserBeam livestream and try to give you guys more clarity on the LaserBeam add on. 

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If you missed the last update, check it out here:

https://sienci.com/2021/10/13/prepping-5a-laserbeam-driver-for-independent-testing/

Prepping 5A LaserBeam Driver For Independent Testing

5A Working Laser Driver

I am very glad to announce that we have a working 5A LaserBeam driver. Although this is exciting and we can now begin to move forward, there is still a lot of work to be done before we can confidently begin shipping the LaserBeam out.

LaserBeam 5A Driver v7

  • Stable 5A max current 
  • Full power mode & PWM mode
  • Set max power (Current – A) with dip switch
  • Interlock switch option (add Estop .etc) 
  • Key switch 
  • Power reset button
  • Power on & emissions LED 

v7 5A Driver Test Results

New Enclosure Design

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Independent Testing

In order to ship our LaserBeam to our customers in Canada, United States & Internationally, we must comply with: 

  • RED Regulations: Canadian Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations 
  • FDA CDRH: 21 CFR 1000 – 1050: US FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health
  • IEC 60825-1: International Electrotechnical Commission Laser Regulations  

We are confirming compliance by having an experienced company test our laser.

What’s Left to Do

  • Receive and populate a cleaned up version of our v7 LaserBeam driver
  • Send completed LaserBeam product to the Test Engineer
  • Pass IEC 60825-1 tests
  • Receive testing report
  • Order our driver PCB Assemblies in bulk 
  • File FDA reports
  • Assemble driver PCB enclosure 
  • Test each LaserBeam system
  • Pack LaserBeams – End of November 
  • Ship LaserBeams – Early December

Ordering Additional Safety Glasses & Lenses: 

Check out the link above if you need to order additional LaserBeam accessories that you didn’t order in your original LaserBeam preorder. You won’t be charged any additional shipping and your order will be combined with your LaserBeam Pre-order! 

Sienci LaserBeam Pre Order:

Place your Sienci LaserBeam Pre order here:  https://sienci.com/product/laser/

Answering your FAQ: 

Send your Laser Questions Here: https://sienci.com/contact-us/technical-help/

Check out our LaserBeam FAQ video, I take all your unanswered questions from the LaserBeam livestream and try to give you guys more clarity on the LaserBeam add on. 

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If you missed the last update, check it out here:

https://sienci.com/2021/09/23/laserbeam-first-working-laser-driver/

LaserBeam: First Working Laser Driver

 

3A Working Laser Driver

I would like to share with the LaserBeam community that v6 of our driver design was our first operating Laser Driver. There’s good and there’s bad but this is a huge milestone, giving us a lot of confidence in continuing to improve and get the design where it needs to be.

Positive Driver News

  • We currently have a working 3A Laser driver that can operate with the Longmill controller & gSender to produce high quality engraving and cutting results 
  • All safety features operate as intended (Key switch, interlock, power failure reset button, led status)
  • Control max current output with dip switches (up to 3A reliably right now)
  • Switch between full power continuous mode and PWM input mode working
  • Power your Laser cooling fan, driver cooling fan and air assist fan working

Negative Driver News 

  • We currently are not able to provide a stable 5A current to the diode (3A is the max right now)
  • Holding down the reset button turns the driver on (small error)
  • There is a small amount of power leakage; when in continuous or pwm mode there is a small amount of current running into the laser diode. This is an issue because unless a current is selected in continuous or a pwm signal is being sent to the driver there should be no amount of current available

v7 Driver Improvements 

  • Upgrade passive components and double copper layer amount in order to achieve a stable 5A 
  • Power and function switch changed to panel mount for more flexibility for driver design
  • Get rid of signal inversion mode and potentiometer in order to solve low power leakage and simplify design

v6 Driver Results 

Next Steps

  1. Test v7 Laser Driver
  2. Working on Laser Resources
  3. We are currently finalizing our air assist design and I’m very happy with the results
  4. New Update October 7th 2021

Ordering Additional Safety Glasses & Lenses: 

Check out the link above if you need to order additional LaserBeam accessories that you didn’t order in your original LaserBeam preorder. You won’t be charged any additional shipping and your order will be combined with your LaserBeam Pre-order! 

Sienci LaserBeam Pre Order:

Place your Sienci LaserBeam Pre order here:  https://sienci.com/product/laser/

Answering your FAQ: 

Send your Laser Questions Here: https://sienci.com/contact-us/technical-help/

Check out our LaserBeam FAQ video, I take all your unanswered questions from the LaserBeam livestream and try to give you guys more clarity on the LaserBeam add on. 

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If you missed the last update, check it out here: https://sienci.com/2021/08/30/laserbeam-driver-development-shipping-update/

LaserBeam: Driver Development & Shipping Update

 

When will the LaserBeam ship?

During my time at Sienci Labs, I have learned a lot about rapid prototyping, quality control, and listening and working with our amazing community. Andy & Chris our Founders have always advised me to always give myself more time than needed. It’s a lesson I have not fully taken in until now, I feel like I have learned to set more realistic expectations on the timelines it takes to develop a new product. I do believe for the price, we are developing the best laser diode attachment on the market. The last piece of the puzzle is a 5A laser driver that meets the standards of the company and my own. I have no doubt that we will get there but we need time. The driver needs to work well, be tested independently and then ordered in bulk. That’s all that is left with development. We are currently at version 5 of the driver prototyping, we may need 1-2 more before I am confident enough to send off for independent lab testing and bulk ordering. The original ship date I picked was the first week of July, then first week of August then end of August. Instead of telling you we can ship early  October. I need to take Andy & Chris’ advice and give myself and those I’m working with enough time to do this right and to not continuously push the date by small increments. Your support on this new product and journey to developing it really does mean the world to me. Thank you Sienci Labs community!  We do hope to ship earlier than the new listed date but I think it’s best to allow more time than I believe we need. 

*Final shipping update is December 2021 (absolute latest)*

What caused this delay?

  • I hired 2 international electronics designers, I misjudged their experience with laser diodes and constant current drivers. 
  • Neither designer was able to develop something that could perform the tasks we needed v1-v4.
  • The best design we received was v4, it had working safety features and delivered current to the diode, only issue was that is was not constant current and was not a high quality design
  • Slow design work pace: I hired these designers in April 2021 and only had received designs that could be tested in July. This is the root cause of our 3-4 month delay
  • I am now disputing the payments we made to them and working with a new local designer full time and he is working night and day prototyping the new laser driver design. 
  • I am working between the Sienci office and our new designers office in order to keep the project moving forward and continuously test and debug designs at a much faster pace
  • This ultimately stems from my own inexperience hiring electronics engineers and designers. This did teach me a lot

5A Laser Driver Update

  • With all that said, version 5 of the driver was tested last night and had some issues
  • To much inductance/resistance in the traces leading to the voltage regulator 
  • Reverse polarity protection was not included
  • The way feedback was provided to the mosfet was causing issues with the constant current
  •  Version 6 is being worked on as we speak and we’ll be placing a new PCB order tomorrow to fix all the issues listed above. 

Production News

  • We have finalized the LaserBeam Logo 
  • Both aluminum & copper heatsinks have been tested with great results 
  • Focus ring & springs have been tested and packaged with great results 
  • We have a stock of 200 7w Diodes
  • Fans have arrived and will be tested next week
  • New batch of power supplies have arrived and will be tested next week 
  • Extension cables are being prepped for packaging 

Timeline (8-16 weeks): What needs to be done?

  1. Driver Development: currently working on v6 of the prototype (1-2 Weeks)
  2. Testing: send a driver off for testing  (1-2 Weeks)
  3. FDA Compliance: file our test reports with the FDA (1-2 Weeks)
  4. Order Drivers: order the drivers in bulk (4-8 Weeks)
  5. Ship: Package and ship LaserBeam Pre-orders (1-2 Weeks)

What If I can’t wait that long?

Please send us an email or give us a call and we will process your refund. I never want to disappoint community members and customers but at Sienci Labs we value transparency over everything. Some of you run your businesses with the Longmill and you anticipated having a Laser for certain projects/jobs, we understand if you need to make different plans and explore other options. 

For those of you who still want to  wait, first of all thank you. It’s because you guys have supported this project from day one that I get to develop a product that the community will use and hopefully enjoy in the very near future.  

Ordering Additional Safety Glasses & Lenses: 

Check out the link above if you need to order additional LaserBeam accessories that you didn’t order in your original LaserBeam preorder. You won’t be charged any additional shipping and your order will be combined with your LaserBeam Pre-order! 

Sienci LaserBeam Pre Order:

Place your Sienci LaserBeam Pre order here:  https://sienci.com/product/laser/

Answering your FAQ: 

Send your Laser Questions Here: https://sienci.com/contact-us/technical-help/

Check out our LaserBeam FAQ video, I take all your unanswered questions from the LaserBeam livestream and try to give you guys more clarity on the LaserBeam add on. 

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If you missed the last update, check it out here: https://sienci.com/2021/07/26/laserbeam-driver-complications/

LaserBeam: Driver Complications

Hey everyone, Ikenna here with another LaserBeam update. I’m excited to see parts continue to arrive, with little to no QA issues. At this moment the majority of my time is focused on the 5A Driver development, our first prototype did not work as intended. Fortunately we have 2 separate designs and will be testing the second design late next week when the PCB arrives. At the same time we are reworking the schematic for the first design so we have more options and will give us the best opportunity to provide the best driver for the 7W LaserBeam. 

We expect to begin shipping Monday August 30th at a pace of about 25-50/week. We should be able to clear the order queue within 4-6 weeks from when we begin shipping. The challenges are completing a working driver, receiving acknowledgement from the FDA of test report submission, and receiving a large order of driver pcbs from our overseas supplier.

Driver Development:

Driver A-v1.1:

  • Unfortunately this design was not able to interpret the 5V PWM signal that comes from the Longboard
  • Mandatory Safety features did not work as designed; Key switch, interlock and power off reset
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Driver A-v1.2:

  • We broke down each function that wasn’t working with Driver A-v1.0 and I’m more confident that this new design fix the initial issues we saw
  • DriverA- v1.2 Is being troubleshooted, then pre-tested before a new PCB prototype is made, assembled and tested against all functions that we need for the ideal driver

Driver B-v1.1:

  • Assembly has been completed and shipped
  • We had the manufacturer send the PCB early because we can finish soldering components very quick and that should save us a day or two
  • Will arrive July 29th 2021 and the goal is to  be fully tested by July 31st
  • If we find any functionality issues during testing we will begin to troubleshoot and rework this design
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Local Designer:

  • To help speed up the prototyping process, we have begun working with a local electronics designer that already has experience working with Sienci Labs
  • His main objective will be to work with our current designers and help change designs at a quicker pace
  • He will also be able to populate and solder components onto new PCBs for prototyping faster than our overseas manufacturer can. Allowing us to test new designs within 7 days

Driver Design Compliance:

We are working with TÜV SÜD in order to independently test our LaserBeam to make sure we are in compliance with Health Canada, FDA and International Laser Standards. Testing can only begin once a 5A Driver design passes our tests so it acts as our bottleneck. TÜV SÜD testing procedure will ensure all safety functions work correctly, and our user/safety manual has all the information needed for safe operation. Until then we will continue working on our user/safety manual so it is as detailed as possible. We have also been completing the necessary FDA registrations so we can submit our reports in a timely fashion.

Production Heatsinks and Lens Focus Ring:

The manufacturing of the aluminum heatsink, copper heatsink and lens focus ring has been completed. The aluminum heatsink and lens focus ring has been anodized (black) and is being shipped now. This updated design should allow the G2 lens to be easily focused and solve the issue we had with the prototype heatsinks. As soon as they arrive we will begin quality assurance then assembly of the 7w diode, heatsinks and exhaust fan. The diode/heatsink/fan assembly is 50% of the 7W LaserBeam and the 5A driver, enclosure and air assist  is the other 50%.

Power Supplies:

Power Supplies have arrived and passed QA tests, connectors have been attached. We will have to repackage them with the AC cables as the box they came in does not fit both the power supply and the AC cable. 

Safety Glasses:

Safety Glasses have arrived and look great with the Sienci Labs branding.  

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Designs:

  • Laser Driver Enclosure: We have a rough design set, small changes once the driver is completed to accommodate all connectors, switches etc. 
  • Air Assist: We have improved the design with a sliding pressure fit and an articulating nozzle instead of a funnel design. But we are reworking new designs until we are satisfied 
  • Packaging: I will start playing with packaging ideas, nothing concrete until more production parts begin to arrive.

Testing:

  • PCB Design A: 5A Driver A-v1.1 failed testing, currently working on 5A Driver A-v1.2 (schematics look promising)
  • PCB Design B:  5A Driver B-v1.1 will arrive Thursday for testing. I had the manufacturer ship with a few parts unsoldered in order to save a few days and test earlier. We are comfortable soldering the remaining parts inhouse
  • Laser Diodes: Testing a new 7w diode supplier this week

Supply Chain:

  • Thermal Paste: Samples will be ordered Monday
  • Extension Cables: Connectors have been ordered, we ordered a small batch of wire to test
  • Lens Focus Rings: Completed and are being shipped
  • Aluminum Heatsinks: Completed and are being shipped 
  • Copper Heatsinks: Completed and are shipped
  • Laser Diodes: Currently have 150pcs 7w Diodes in stock another 50pcs were shipped last week

 Ordering Additional Safety Glasses & Lenses: 

Check out the link above if you need to order additional LaserBeam accessories that you didn’t order in your original LaserBeam preorder. You won’t be charged any additional shipping and your order will be combined with your LaserBeam Pre-order! 

Sienci LaserBeam Pre Order:

Place your Sienci LaserBeam Pre order here:  https://sienci.com/product/laser/

Answering your FAQ: 

Send your Laser Questions Here: https://sienci.com/contact-us/technical-help/

Check out our LaserBeam FAQ video, I take all your unanswered questions from the LaserBeam livestream and try to give you guys more clarity on the LaserBeam add on. 

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If you missed the last update, check it out here: https://sienci.com/2021/06/23/laserbeam-moving-along/

LaserBeam: Moving Along

Hey everyone, Ikenna here with another LaserBeam update. We have made a lot of good progress since the last update. Most significantly we’ve tested our sample production heatsinks with great results, and our prototype LaserBeam drivers will be arriving from the manufacturer in the next week or two. 

5W Generic Banggood Laser Power Test:

When testing the 5W Generic Banggood laser we were able to confirm that the real continuous optical power of 1.9W-2.2W which is far below the promised 5W continuous power rating. These lasers have their place in the market but if you are looking for high quality at a reasonable price I believe the Sienci LaserBeam is the best offering on the market. In the pictures below the top mW reading is the true optical power reading for this specific laser system. (1.95W, 2.13W)

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7W LaserBeam Laser Power Test:

When testing our 7W laser diode we were able to confirm real continuous optical power of between 7.1W-7.2W @ 4.5A (recommended current limit for longevity) which will keep both the diode and driver running for a long time as well as producing the exact power we are promising you, which cannot be said about lower quality laser systems like the one in the previous section. In the picture below the top mW reading is the true optical power reading for this specific laser system. (7.17W, 7.18W)

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Sample Production Heatsinks and Lens Focus Ring:

Last week we received some sample production heatsinks and lens focus rings. Good news, the heat dissipation is great and was able to keep the laser system 6 degrees celsius cooler than the generic heatsink when running our max power test file. Everything fits well and was assembled with relative ease. The bad news is that the top of the copper heatsink was just 2.5mm too long for the G2 lens to properly focus, using a very thin 3d printed lens focus ring I was able to get the G2 lens in focus. This  confirmed that I needed to reduce the size of the top copper heatsink by 3mm to make everything work, as well as sliding the set screw location down 3mm on the Aluminum heatsink. These changes have been sent to our manufacturer and they have begun production again. 

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5A Driver Prototype: 

I have been working very hard with our PCB designers and our PCB manufacturer to find any potential issues and solve them before we receive the prototypes and begin testing and designing our enclosure. Over the next 2 weeks we will be working with experienced testing labs to produce a comprehensive testing procedure for all LaserBeam 5A drivers. We will also use the prototypes to start creating our safety and assembly manuals.

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Safety Glasses:

Our safety glasses are ready and being shipped now. I have been using a these exact glasses to run all our LaserBeam testing and can confirm with my own experience as well as laser power testing that these are great safety glasses and your eyes will be well protected. 

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Designs:

  • Laser Driver Enclosure: I am waiting to receive and test our prototype LaserBeam Driver, I will continue to iterate designs until I can test them with the physical driver boards. 
  • Magnetic T-mount: The standard T-mount design is finished so I will begin looking into designing a magnetic mount.
  • Magnetic Air Assist: The main design is complete, I am now sourcing neodymium magnets to test
  • Packaging: I will start playing with packaging ideas, nothing concrete until more production parts begin to arrive.

Testing:

  • Power Supply: 12V 7A power supply has been tested successfully, I will continue to test 12V 7A to make sure we get the right power supply for the 5A driver and all the fans. 
  • PCB Design: Waiting to receive the driver prototypes, in the meantime devising a comprehensive testing procedure. 
  • Laser Diodes: I am currently testing a secondary supplier for the 7W Laser diodes to ensure that we have a backup if our initial supplier has a shortage.

Supply Chain:

  • Lenses: Tested production order successfully, in stock.
  • Lens Focus Rings: Tested product samples successfully, currently being manufactured.
  • Aluminum Heatsinks: Made one last small change to the copper heatsink set screw location, currently being manufactured. 
  • Copper Heatsinks: Made one last small change to the top copper heatsink size to make it easier to focus the G2 Lens, currently being manufactured  
  • Safety Glasses: Production is complete, and has shipped. 
  • Laser Diodes: Currently have 100pcs 7w Diodes in stock, currently testing a 6W diode to offer a secondary power option.

 Ordering Additional Safety Glasses & Lenses: 

Check out the link above if you need to order additional LaserBeam accessories that you didn’t order in your original LaserBeam preorder. You won’t be charged any additional shipping and your order will be combined with your LaserBeam Pre-order! 

Sienci LaserBeam Pre Order:

Place your Sienci LaserBeam Pre order here:  https://sienci.com/product/laser/

Answering your FAQ: 

Check out our LaserBeam FAQ video, I take all your unanswered questions from the LaserBeam livestream and try to give you guys more clarity on the LaserBeam add on. 

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If you missed the last update, check it out here: https://sienci.com/2021/04/12/laser-development-update/

LaserBeam: What’s Next?

Hey everyone, Ikenna here with another LaserBeam update. Pre-order went live a few weeks ago and we are very happy with the customer response, we now have a pre-order page for any LaserBeam accessories you might want. Lots of testing, ordering and designing is still underway but we are making progress very quickly.

Preorder your LaserBeam!

Ordering Additional Safety Glasses & Lenses: 

Check out the link below if you need to order additional LaserBeam accessories that you didn’t order in your original LaserBeam preorder. You won’t be charged any additional shipping and your order will be combined with your LaserBeam Pre-order!

Answering your FAQ: 

Check out our LaserBeam FAQ video, I take all your unanswered questions from the LaserBeam livestream and try to give you guys more clarity on the LaserBeam add on. 

Designs:

  • Laser Driver Enclosure: I am waiting to receive and test our prototype LaserBeam Driver, I will continue to iterate designs until I can test them with the physical driver boards. 
  • Magnetic T-mount: The standard T-mount design is finished so I will begin looking into designing a magnetic mount.
  • Magnetic Air Assist: The main design is complete but finding a way to mount the magnets and optimize the design to print better.
  • Packaging: I will start playing with packaging ideas, nothing concrete until more production parts begin to arrive. 

Testing:

  • Power Supply: I am currently testing the LaserBeam driver power supply. 
  • PCB Design: Waiting to receive the Driver prototypes, in the meantime devising a comprehensive testing procedure. 
  • Laser Diodes: I am currently testing a secondary supplier for the 7W Laser diode to ensure that we have a backup if our initial supplier has a shortage.

Supply Chain:

  • Lenses: Currently being manufactured.
  • Lens Focus Rings: Currently being manufactured.
  • Aluminum Heatsinks: Currently being manufactured. 
  • Copper Heatsinks: Currently being manufactured.
  • Safety Glasses: Currently being manufactured. 
  • Laser Diodes: we currently have 50pcs in stock. Looking to order more as soon as possible.

Lens Descriptions

Lens TypeDescription 
G2 Lens has the best efficiency (most power) and shortest focal length so it’s great for cutting and good for engraving 
3 Element Lens 3 Element has the cleanest beam profile (super detailed text, lines and image engraving)
G7 Lens has a good balance between the power of the G2 and the clean beam profile of the 3 Element.
G8 Lensis very similar to the G7 but it has a smaller focus length so you can engrave thicker material than the G8 because you would have more available Z axis travel. I will make a dedicated video for lenses but hopefully that gives you a bit of clarity until then.

Lens Test File

G2 Lens
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3 Element Lens:
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G7 Lens:
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G8 Lens: 
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Material Guide Chart

Youtube Video Guide: https://youtu.be/EizUVtjLsRw

MaterialCuttingEngraving
3mm PlywoodblankLens: G2
Speed: 2.2 mm/s
Power: 100%
Passes: 3
Z step per pass: 1mm 
For cleaner finish decrease power and z step per pass, increase speed and number of passes
Lens: G2
Speed :25.4 mm/s
Power:100%
Passes: 1

Decrease speed for deeper and darker engraving 
6mm PlywoodblankLens: G2
Speed: 2.2 mm/s
Power: 100%
Passes: 5
Z step per pass: 1.2mm
For cleaner finish decrease power and z step per pass, increase speed and number of passes
Lens: G2
Speed :25.4 mm/s
Power:100%
Passes: 1

Decrease speed for deeper and darker engraving 
1/4″ PlywoodblankLens: G2
Speed: 5 mm/s
Power: 100%
Passes: 16
Z step per pass: 0.4mm
Lens: G2
Speed :25.4 mm/s
Power:75%
Passes: 1
1/8th Acrylic (Opaque) blankLens: G2
Speed: 2.2 mm/s
Power: 100%
Passes: 3
Z step per pass: 1mm
Lens: G2
Speed :25.4 mm/s
Power:100%
Passes: 1
Organic Leatherblank
Organic Leather tends to shrink and deform when cutting is attempted. Although one may be able to cut organic leather. Beware that as the leather shrinks and deforms it can become a fire hazard as the laser is no longer focused. 
Lens: G2
Speed :25.4 mm/s
Power:75%
Passes: 1
3mm Corrugated cardboardblankLens: G2
Speed: 5 mm/s
Power: 75%
Passes: 2
Z step per pass: 1.5mm
Lens: G2
Speed :25.4 mm/s
Power:75%
Passes: 1

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Laser Pre-Order: May 14th 2021

Hey everyone, Ikenna here again for another laser update. Since my last update I have been testing supplier parts, finalizing our first PCB designs, testing suppliers and ordering parts for production. 

Designs:

  • Copper Heatsink: Design is finalized and sent to the manufacturer 
  • Aluminum Heatsink: Design is finalized and sent to the manufacturer
  • Lens Focus Ring: Design is finalized and sent to the manufacturer
  • Air Assist: I have updated the design but more fit testing is needed 
  • T-mount: Design is completed, if there is time I will redesign a magnetic mount
  • Laser Driver: I have our first 2 pcb driver designs. Will be ordering assembled prototypes this week
  • Laser Driver Enclosure: Now that I have a few pcb designs, I will begin designing an enclosure

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Supplier Testing:

  • Safety Goggles:Testing safety goggles is complete and I will be looking to place an order in the next week.  
    • To summarize the testing procedure: I used a laser power meter to measure optical power and then ran the same test with the safety goggle lens between the laser power meter and the laser. This effectively tested how much optical power made it through each lens of the safety goggle. Although most suppliers kept it under the FDA recommended limit of 5mw, there was one supplier that stood out. 

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  • Lenses: I have narrowed it down to 2 suppliers, will have a supplier selected by the end of this week
  • Fans: I have tested our fan supplier and am happy with the results. Our main fan selection needs more testing to find the perfect noise output to heat exhausting balance. Trying to make sure the main fan we select isn’t noisier than it has to be. 
  • Power supply: I am finalizing the connector type that is needed for the power supply. Will have samples ordered and tested next.  

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Supply Chain:

  • Laser Diodes: We placed our first order of diodes this week. I will continue to look for backup suppliers so that we can keep up with any future demand if needed.  
  • Aluminum Heatsink: Order has been placed for our very own aluminum heatsink design  
  • Copper Heatsink: Order has been placed for our very own copper heatsink design
  • Lens Focus Ring: Order has been placed for our very own lens focus ring design

Pre Order Launch: 

Our Pre order page will launch May 14th, price is set to $400CAD for the module + $60CAD for the safety goggles. Each laser will include 1 lens with the option to purchase more. Here are some of the things we still have to finalize: 

  1. Photorealistic product renders
  2. Finalizing a product name 
  3. Introductory resources so you may begin preparing to operate your laser module.

Just like this update, all future laser updates will be sent out directly to the mailing list as well as posted publicly to the Sienci blog & Facebook group

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If you missed the last update, check it out here: https://sienci.com/2021/04/12/laser-development-update/

Laser Development Update

Hey everyone, Ikenna here. Wanted to offer everyone a new update on the laser attachment and the progress on the development. I can break down what I’ve been doing into a few categories; design, samples and testing. 

Designs:

  • Copper Heatsink: Main design is completed, may make minor changes to offer better component fit.
  • Aluminum Heatsink: Main design is completed, may make minor changes to offer better component fit .
  • Lens Focus Ring: Main design is completed, testing fit with resin 3D printer before getting samples made.
  • Air Assist: Rough design is completed, will need to make major changes once heatsinks are finalized.
  • T-mount: Design is completed, if there is time I will redesign a magnetic mount.
  • Laser Driver: I have 2 PCB designers working on a laser driver design as we speak.

Samples:

  • Safety Goggles: I currently have samples from 3 different suppliers, I will test each one to ensure we are getting the optical density I need to ensure safe laser operation. Once I know which suppliers have the best quality safety goggles, we will place an order for a few hundred. 
  • Lenses: I currently have 3 sets of lenses from 3 different suppliers, I will test each one to ensure we are getting the best lens quality when compared to reputable North American lens suppliers. 
  • Fans: I have a sample set of fans from a very reputable overseas supplier being shipped this week. I am confident this fan supplier will provide high quality parts but if that is not the case, I’m in contact with a few other suppliers that I can work with. 

Testing: 

  • Software: Lightburn has been my software of choice, very simple, lots of features and reasonably priced. I will also begin using LaserGRBL for testing as it is a free option for customers and I’d like to be able to help with any issues that may arise with these 2 software options.
  • Laser Diode: I have been testing the quality of a particular 7W diode and am very pleased so far. I have been keeping current low when running tests but I will be running tests at full power going forward
  • Functionality: Currently I’ve been using mix parts from Amazon and North American laser suppliers as a proof of concept but as I get more into the supply chain the goal is to have a prototype that uses all parts from our final list of suppliers. 

Timeline Update:

  1. April 2021: 
    1. Test lenses at max current 
    2. Test cutting capabilities of G2 lens
    3. Confirm optical power with laser power meter
    4. Receive & test sample lenses, heatsinks, driver design, fans & lens focus ring
    5. Finalize list of suppliers using quality test results
  1. May 2021:
    1. Allow pre-orders
    2. Make last minute design changes
    3. Finalize all designs 
    4. Order parts in bulk
    5. Create quality control processes 
    6. Continue testing 
    7. Design and order packaging 
  2. June 2021: 
    1. Quality control incoming parts
    2. Create  assembly guide 
    3. Create troubleshooting guide
    4. Create project tutorials 
  3. July 2021: 
    1. Product assembly 
    2. Begin shipping pre-orders
    3. Focus on laser customer service/troubleshooting/community building

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If you missed the first update, check it out here: https://sienci.com/2021/03/26/laser-module-attachment-coming-soon/

Laser Module Attachment: Coming Soon

Hey everyone, Ikenna here. I just wanted to share an update about the new Sienci Labs Laser Module Attachment we will be launching this summer. Over the past 2-3  months I have been researching and playing with different designs, parts and laser diodes. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, we are now confident in our ability to provide the community with a great laser attachment. 

Over the last year and a half we’ve been building and shipping LongMills, we’ve seen a lot of users add lasers to their machines and so far it has been a very popular modification. However, we’ve also seen a lot of issues arise with the integration of aftermarket lasers such as:

  • A lack of documentation for installing the laser
  • Poor service and communication with sellers
  • Incompatibility between the laser and controller board
  • Poor quality and faulty lasers
  • The need for complicated wiring and splicing
  • Lack of software support in CAM
  • Questionable safety and protection for the user

We aim to solve all of these problems and have a simple, plug and play, Canadian designed and made laser for your CNC!

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These are the general specifications we are aiming for: 

  • Will be priced around $400-500CAD
  • 5A constant current laser driver with safety features
  • 5-7W optical power laser diode: 440nm – 460nm
  • 40mm x 40mm x 28mm turbo fan for diode heat dissipation 
  • Safety goggles with a protection scope: 200 – 540nm O.D 6+

The Sienci Labs Laser is designed to be: 

  • An entry-level to intermediate laser engraving/cutting attachment
  • High quality
  • Easy to repair or swap parts 
  • Replace the need for our customers to purchase lower quality lasers from sites like Ebay, Aliexpress, Banggood or Amazon.
  • Replace the need for our customers to purchase expensive lasers from companies like JTech Photonics, Endurance Lasers & Opt Lasers

What is a Laser Module Attachment?

The laser module attachment consists of a laser diode, focusing lens, heatsink, cooling fan and a laser diode driver. It allows you to engrave and cut thin material with accuracy and quality. The laser diode is a semiconductor device similar to a light-emitting diode in which a diode pumped directly with electrical current can create lasing conditions at the diode’s junction. Laser diodes can directly convert electrical energy into light.  Laser diodes require a special set of specifically designed electronic control elements. This set of control elements are combined to produce what is commonly called a laser diode driver or laser diode current source. Essentially, these elements determine how the laser is turned on and driven to produce a specific wavelength and output power. A good driver accomplishes this without damaging the laser diode and offering the user multiple safety features to keep everyone protected.

What’s Next?

  1. January: Market research/technical research
  2. February: Order prototype parts/create production plan
  3. March: Testing components
  4. April: Test working prototype & finalizing production parts 
  5. May: Pre-orders launch (Limited 20-25% discount) 
    • Order production parts based on customer interest
  6. June: Quality assurance & product resources
    • Create laser tutorials, troubleshooting guide & documentation 
  7. July: Product launch,  assembly & shipping

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Working Prototype V1

How do I use it?

Using your laser module attachment can actually be a little easier than using your router because designs are only 2D. This is a rough guide for those who see laser operation as a daunting task. Hopefully you can see the huge similarities between operating your Longmill CNC Router and operating your Longmill CNC Laser Module Attachment 

  1. The Laser attachment mounts to the side or front of your Longmill Router Mount with M5 hardware 
  2. You can then run the wires through your drag chains for proper wire management
  3. Connect  your laser and fan to the proper connectors, connect the other ends to your driver 
  4. Turn your driver on
  5. Connect your driver to the spindle/ground inputs on your Longboard
  6. Put your machine interface software in laser mode/confirm all EEPROM settings are properly set
  7. Fire your laser with 5% power and focus the lens of your laser until the spot is as small as it can be
  8. Use software to generate your laser Gcode file (Lightburn is recommended)
  9. Put on your laser safety goggles 
  10. Load Gcode file into your machine interface software
  11. Fire your laser with 5% power, move your laser to your project start point, reset your zero and begin your job

Community Laser Projects

Safety

When you think of a laser, safety may not be the first thing on your mind but I want to emphasize that this is not a toy and can seriously hurt the operator or damage property.  Just like running your Longmill comes with risks, as long as proper safety precautions are taken you have nothing to worry about. 

  • Proper Ventilation 
    • The laser module will produce smoke & other particulates 
    • Use a smoke/fume filtering system or open window or garage door for sufficient airflow
  • Fire Safety
    • Have a fire suppression plan 
    • Have a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Eye Safety 
    • These laser are very high powered, without proper laser eye protection you can damage your eyesight for life
    • Each laser module will include Safety Goggles with a Protection Scope: 200 – 540nm O.D 6+
    • This range corresponds to the range of optical density and what wavelengths you are protected from
      • The higher the optical density the less light passes through the material
      • 10^-OD x laser wattage = optical power let through 
        • 10^-6 x 7W = 0.000007W or 0.007mw
        • FDA recommends no more than 5mw to avoid eye damage
        • We will be exposed to significantly less power than the FDA recommendation
  • General Safety 
    • DO NOT CUT/ENGRAVE: PVC, ABS, Fibreglass, and any other materials that emit toxic fumes when cut
    • Never leave your laser running unattended and always make sure your driver electronics are turned off when not in use

FAQ

When can I purchase one?

We plan on opening pre-orders to the public May 1st with a discount  

When will it ship?

We plan to begin shipping July 1st 

How much will it cost?

We plan to sell the laser module for $400-500CAD (pre-orders will get a 20-25% Discount) 

What Software do I need?

The laser will be compatible with any GRBL based machine interface software that has a laser/spindle pwm control mode like gSender/UGS/CNCjs

Will there be any Addons?

We plan on having an air assist attachment available at the time of launch. Other addons we’re looking into are; magnetic mounting options, and a Pro version of the laser (more optical power)

Do I need a Longmill to use it?

Short answer no, there is a lot of complexity that goes into making laser drivers universal but that is our goal. Compatibility with other Grbl based CNC machines and 3D printers. 

Can I cancel my Pre order?

You can cancel your order with no penalty any time before your order ships. Please contact us through our website or email us with your order number and a request to make a cancellation. A refund will be processed through your original method of payment.