Wednesday, May 14, 2014

diy laser cutter honeycomb insert for epilog zing

Ever since we bought our Epilog Zing, I have been frustrated by the fact that we do not have a honeycomb bed to sit things on while they are cutting. I had inquired with Epilog about their honeycomb bed which they sell as an "add on" and they quoted me a price ($320.00) that I felt was outrageous for what you get. I decided to look around and see what I could find. I ended up with a large honeycomb bed that is sold by LightObject on Amazon. This particular bed is 400mm x 600mm so it is too large to fit inside our Epilog Zing that has a bed size of 12" x 16", but the price was $45.00. For that price I was willing to experiment a bit. After it arrived I was pleased to see solid construction and soon after taking some measurements, I determined that I could cut the honeycomb in half and I would have enough material for two beds for our Epilog. I apologize for not having process shots, but I literally started making this as soon as the honeycomb insert arrived. I started by grinding the existing rivets down so I could remove the aluminum channel surround. There are small aluminum tabs that are also pop riveted through the channel to allow the frame to be built around the honeycomb grid. I then removed one of the steel rods that gives the honeycomb it's structure. This just so happened to be the place where I needed to cut the honeycomb in half. I left the tube "rails" attached to the honeycomb (which is attached via the long steel rods) and took the honeycomb to the bandsaw. I was worried that the saw might be too aggressive and that it would really deform the thin honeycomb, but it did not. Once this was done, I cut down two of the aluminum frame channels to the proper length, cut the 45 degree angles and drilled pop rivet holes into one end of each piece (since one side was already drilled and had the 45 degree that end is left untouched). I then put the aluminum channel back on to frame the honeycomb and pop riveted everything in place. We now have a very nice honeycomb frame for the Zing. I just need to add some rulers along the side so we can square things to the bed. 

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