K40 Setup and review

I have wanted a Co2 Laser for some time for the man cave as it’s a useful bit of kit. For engraving and cutting materials.

I got a great deal on what is known as a K40 laser these lasers are from china so don’t expect good quality.  If you do your research, you will know what you’re getting in to before you buy.

It arrived. Well packed in massive 42kg box.

What was in the box.

1 x k40 laser cutter.

1 x extraction fan. (rubbish Quality binning and upgrading)

1 x extraction tube. (rubbish Quality binning and upgrading)

1 x water pump. (rubbish Quality binning and upgrading)

1 x usb dongle. (Never used as didn’t use the supplied software)

1 x cd with Chinese cutting software. (Never used as didn’t use the supplied software)

1 x tube of something think its silicon

1 x double sided tape. (meant for mirror alignment)

What you will need to get this working is a bucket and some distilled water as you will need to keep the laser water cooled.

The setup.

You will need at least 5L of distilled water connect pump to water inlet tube and place in bucket with distilled water place the out let tube in there as well. the pump is rubbish some times works some times does not so have to tap it with something heavy.

Install extractor fan and attach extraction tube. again rubbish will need to be upgraded will cover this in a later post once have printed a new exhaust adapter

There is a earth connection that I didn’t use as being in the uk our plugs are earthed.

Then plug it all and switch on.

Make sure you set the dial down before testing the laser as up can possibly blow the laser tube.

Placed some plywood down and hit the test button the gauge registered 5ish mA lifted the lid nothing no marks on the wood. Left lid open and did it again saw the glow of the tube. So knew it was working.

Figured the mirrors were not aligned. Spent the best part of an hour looking at youtube videos and webs sights that all talk about adjusting mirrors but don’t talk about what screw does what.

I decided to sleep on it oh and a have baby. A month later having some man time as wife was away with our son. I came back from a few days working in Amsterdam to the house I decided to bring the laser in the house and work on it as the cave is cramped to work on big stuff. After 40 mins with the aid of some 3d printed parts I got the lens and mirrors aligned at last.  Link to 3d printed parts off thingiverse.com. i also brought and added a 3d printed air-assist and laser pointer for showing were laser was pointing at on the materal got this off ebay.


Moved the laser back to the cave and ready to action.

Now I bypassed the Chinese software as had been able to do some research on the machine. I had invested in a 3d printed air assist and laser maker. I also had installed k40 whisper instead of the hacked version coral draw and coral laser.

Cuts and engraves like a dream. Well worth the money.

The future modifications.

As someone who like perfection I have dumped some money on my machine and over the next few months. I will be upgrading the machine.

List of upgrades

New mirrors all around as the quality of the Chinese mirrors are ok but not the best quality. (Done)

New light object air assist and cutting head and cutting lens. (Done)

New Control panel for more functions.

Adding Motorised adjustable bed (Built) wiring loom and board upgrade first.

3d Printed exhaust vent

New exhaust fan

New water cooler pump

Adding Flow and water temp meter.

New controller board and software.

Adding lcd screen

This will be done over the next few months as have limited amount time as family time comes first.

Been busy working in the background

They say kids change life they are not wrong since having our son have only had time to order new bits and upgrades for equipment. have had not time to test out my new screenz streaming box or get the cameras up and working.

Creality CR-10 large format printer i got from gear best has been working well but as most who know me i cannot leave stuff alone so will be upgrading it shortly already added self leveling probe to the system but more to come.

New in the man cave is my k40 Chinese  Co2 laser cutter that  was OK out of the box. But as being a born to tinker i have already started to modifie the machine. will add a review and upgrade of the machine shortly.

as adding motorized bed new air assist and lens and mirrors as well as a Cohesion3D controller board. i will then be upgrading my control panel for the machine to make it super 

Have had some down time on 3d printing as my Prusa i3 Mk2s MMU kit has not printed right since i upgraded the machine hoping on Prusa support to sort this soon. see image below having jamming issues on second layer.

as the winter nights are still with us been teaching my self cnc cam and i have also invested in a cnc milling machine that should land any day soon need to make some space in the cave for this influx of equipment.

in short good times a head when i get some free time to do stuff will start posing some live video and video reviews of things i am doing soon.

Sorry for not posting

Have been tied up with the arrival of our son Macsen James in to the world that and my streaming solution has packed.up. i have got a new streaming studio via a kickstarter project i backed a while back.

I am  working on a new way of showing off the cave and projects being run on my 3D printers and laser Cutter.

more news and projects coming soon cannot believe its been since may since i last posted lol



Hyper PI Bar Top Retro Arcade. Part 2 Wiring part assembly

Right a little later that advertised in prior post. dident get wrapped up till the early hours and still waiting on perspex so i can mount the monitor in the box.

started off wiring up all the buttons using the quick wiring loom

you have 4 wires to connect yellow and black are on the actual button on and off. the red and the black wires are for the led power they will only light if connected the right way around there are no markings.  So i would connect usb board to a laptop and plug molex in to connector board and loosely connect the red and the black if it don’t light first way swap it over to get button to light.

After wiring all the buttons and joystick switches make sure all right if using windows pc to check open up joystick settings and then can test all buttons and make sure joystick is set up right as can revers up, down, left and right.

After wiring all the buttons time to build the frame.

I brought a 100mm set of speakers that were not designed to be installed in this type of cabinet as universal i wanted to make some stand offs so i fired up fusion 360 designed the stand offs and then exported to stl file which i then sliced and printed.

i then screwed these to the enclosure. i then started to slot the enclosure together as i am still missing the perspex i did not install this. hoping that i can do that today.  the joysticks were a tight fit as the screws i used were a little longer than needed so i cut down support bracket to get them to fit.

was fiddly but i manage to get it all together hoping on delivery of perspex today so i can mount the monitor.

i desired as i am screwing all components to the base board i would print my self a raspberry pi 3 case to screw to the base board.

found a nice nettfab case on thingiverse.com  will install this tonight.

was getting very late so i desided to bolt down the joystick pcb’s and call it a night.

will post more later today depending on parts arriving today.

started to test out my polysmoother last night as well, will leave you all with this image of the man cave at night.

Hyper PI Bar Top Retro Arcade. Part 1. Applying Graphics and Starting the Cabinet Build.

First of all the why am i doing this. well i used to collect arcade machines and hack mulit board systems. due to now running family business and life being a lot more hectic i had to shut down my xxxx-in-1.com site after it was taken down by hackers. i sold the office that was housing my collection. but miss my arcades machines so decided to build a small one for the man cave.

will cover full size arcade machines soon as will have 2 that i will be modifying in the future to build the ultimate PC driven full size machines.

Back to the build.

i ordered a flat pack kit off ebay. form http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/arcade_flat_pack

i went with a 24″ cabinet design as had a spare monitor kicking around in storage.

I then ordered a cheep set of red and blue led buttons with zippy joysticks can be found on ebay from http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/extreme-hardware  i ordered some extra buttons as the kit could support more than supplied went with white buttons for player 1 and 2 start

they come with usb encoders designed for raspberry pi as low voltage leds instead of the more voltage hungry 12v ones for main stream machines will cover them in other build.

For cabinet graphics i asked mark from arcade flat pack he recommended rockstarprint.co.uk  ended up buy some side art and 3d carbon fiber for other panels.

there are some other bits you will need. amps and speakers whent with 100mm speakers and some 12mm t-molding. from: https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/

You will also need a raspberry pi 3 micro sd card again size is up to how big a image your going to build  and 2 usb memory sticks or powered hard drive depending on how big of a install you want to do as its quite modular.

Recommend getting the pi 3 from http://www.thepihut.com

Sd cards and usb keys are available every ware


  • Craft knife
  • Screwdriver set
  • some 200 grit sand paper
  • Hex key set

Starting the build i have already test assembled the cabinet to make sure all parts fitted. there was a issue with perspex that is being replaced as 20″ perspex was sent by mistake.  its in transit as i type.  as the wife is out for a few hours thought i would apply artwork and make a start of installing all the buttons.

disassembled kit

removed parts  that i will cover in graphics and vinyl wrap sanded to scratch up the faces that the vinyl is going to cover and removed dust.

ruffly cut the vinyl to shape then started to peel.

Then start in one corner to peel the vinyl and wipe with a cloth.

now trim off over hangs using sharp craft knife position blade at angel cut out any holes and features.

sides done

Insert t-molding and cut to length then tap in to slot using back of a screw driver handle.

now for other panels.

Part 2  Wiring up the buttons and installing speakers and all pcbs coming Monday the 8th time allowing.

Please note all links are people i have brought off and i am not affiliated with all my views are mine and not sponsored.

Right Lets get started

RIGHT time to lunch the site and get things going sorry for the delay but been ill then busy with work.  but i am back will be kicking of my next post shortly. starting with building a cheep retro arcade bar top using a raspberry pi and Hyper pi to give you the ultimate retro arcade with out a expensive pc.

Then will do a upgrade video on my Original Prusa Mk2 to Mk2s once it arrives

i am having a clear in the cave as have a influx of bits i wanna review but have very little space to do so. i have a few days next week to box up and bag up all the extra stuff i dont need in the cave then should have some more room to build stuff.

Up Coming reviews

Trunis 3D printer / Lazer engraver.

Polymakers Polysmoother and polysmooth PLA.

So whats been happening in my cave

I built my first printer.  My original Prusa i3 Mk has been printing some fun stuff over the last few months. just a few images some of the cool stuff i have built.

Retro Mario Cube Link: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1721234

The chaos of the man cave with some new figures i have printed awaiting paint need to clear and re organise.

Candy machine  Link: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1453445

Fidgit Spinner with 9.5mm ball bearings and 608ZZ bearings Link: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1970961

Will start the build of arcade cabinet later and start posting some images.

LED Have landed so lets get them prepped for the print and build.

Right as i am waiting for my printer to ship have been getting prepped for adding some mods.  so first project will be adding some LED panels so i can light up the printer and monitor the printer remotely. the reason for doing this is the printer is housed in the man cave and as much as i love watching my prints. i also have to do other things when printing. with  octo print i can keep a eye on prints and stop failed prints before getting a big mess.

Will cover octo print set up on a raspberry pi 3 in a build project in the near future.

have already sliced the print in slicer for some black PLA  the led panels were brought off ebay for a cheep price form Hong Kong and took around 2 weeks to come they are so cheep £2.08

the connectors supplied were for interior lights. luckily the 2 pin connectors that they join to are easily available to buy and have already made up 2 x 1 meter leads.  I have been talking with Scott Smith from prusamk2.com who did the remixed on this design for the lights and he has recommended hooking them directly to power supply so when printer is on lights are on. might add a switch in the near future. have seen several other designs but ended up with these as in have ordered the multi material upgrade for printer so will need the space on top bar.

Tools Used:

  • Wire cutters.
  • Wire stripper.
  • Crimping tool.

Connectors / Materials Used:

  • 2 x 12V Car 48 SMD White LED Lights
  • 2 Pin Dupont Housing Female Free Terminal Connectors.
  • 1 Meter red wire x 2
  • 1 Meter black wire x 2

Cut wire in to  lengths of 1 meter.   Strip tips by 5 mm twist and place in to the crimp connector now for the fiddly bit crimp small crimp part on front of connector to hold the wire then crimp the wire sleeve in the second one.

will add some images of the crimping process.

you can then insert them in to connector they will only fit one way.  Once i have my printer will document connecting them up to the power supply as apparently theirs a 12v spare connection on it.

Setting up the studio

Been a busy week, in the man cave setting the studio up. its not been with its failures as my old trust 32″ monitor went poof.

Lucky I have managed to find temporary monitor not as impressive but hay it works. have managed to test the live stream for a brief rambling of a mad man. I have ordered all the bits I need for assembling my first project.

the Mancave should be  broadcasting its first live stream soon. Approximately around the 20th Feb post when i have a confirmed date of parts arriving.

To start things off I will be building a new 3D printer as my current one is awaiting new extruder. will review my Trinus in a video soon as Being a Kickstarter funded printer having some teething issues. I’m sure it will be all up and running.

So will be building a Prusa i3 mk2 to start the streaming off. yes I know its been done by a few people already  but hay I got to start some ware.

then will start printing some cool mods for it.

I’m also looking for some suggestions of fun things to build and print.