Bluey Laser cutter Base Setup

I wasn’t sure if to post this here

So I’ve setup a seperate thread.
There was some discussion recently regards the creation of a base for the new Blue laser cutter
To try and avoid the discussion getting lost on telegram I’ve posted the comments from telegram here
regards the creation of a base out of plywood for the new laser


Very rough sketch of how this might work out (I've assumed m&t joints in the sketch since that's what's on the orange laser but can just do pockets).
I had a few questions though:
-The original sketch says "Open from back for air assist, motor, etc" , is the whole back needing to be left open or just the area behind the chilling unit? 
-What's required for the spot labelled as exhaust? I'm guessing we'll only know once we have the new chiller (I'm told it's not the one currently sitting on the laser) 

Either way what we would need is: 
3  120x150 plywood planks (sketch made assuming a completely arbitrary 2.5cm thickness)
4 Caster wheels (~£10/15)
Pocket screws if we go with pocket joints insteas of m&t

For shelving:
There should be a ~110x120x45 cm space left for shelves once chiller bit is in. We then just need as many 110x120 planks as we want shelves + 4 brackets per shelf

The laser team's original sketch for reference


ooh nice:
1) i'd go for 18mm ply, real strong and easily available
2) just the bit behind the chiller is open, but the shelves should have backs so we don't loose a4 pieces a meter away at the back
3) the exhaust can just be a cut out area and a bit of mesh over it to allow for airflow, i think the chiller has vents at the side and the back
4) i'd put a back on the area behind the chiller, for crossbracing reasons
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Looks great to me!

Couple of thoughts re: chiller and storage.


I can see on the Laser Cutter Maintainence Log - Bluey that we’re looking to purchase a “CW-5000 chiller” for this.

I’ve found a possible manual for it, CW-5000/5200 Industrial Chiller User Manual, which has a few useful pieces of info for us:

<1> Cautions, 6: Please be sure that the air inlet and air outlet are in good ventilation! There must be at least 30cm from obstructions to the air outlet which is in the back of the cooler, and should leave at least 8cm between obstructions and the side air inlet.

<1> Cautions, 7: The filter screen must be regularly cleaned! It’s essential to unpick and wash the dust gauze, or the serious blockage will cause breakdown to the chiller.

<6> Specifications, 1: … Dimension: 55X28X43 cm (L X W X H)

Key pieces of info I’ve spotted:

  • Chiller dimensions
    • Length: 55cm
    • Width: 28cm
    • Height: 43cm
  • Clearance requirements
    • 30cm on rear
    • 8cm on air-inlet side (achievable with a cut-out)
  • Access requirements:
    • Air inlet & filter (right side, visually guessing: half the length of the whole unit, and inset by 2cm?)
    • Water injection port? (top)
    • Water gauge level? (rear)
    • Outfall? (rear)

If I’m understanding the sketches & suggestions so far, there are a few tweaks I’d like to propose:

  1. Remove exhaust cut-out on right-hand panel
  2. Keep rear open, if structurally feasible (completely open, or large cut out?)
  3. Add large “air inlet” cut-out on right-hand panel, without wire-mesh (at least 27.5cm x 39cm)
  4. Add removable maintenance access panel toward rear of chiller (offset 57cm from front, width 30cm, height: 43cm), or the bulk of the right-hand board being an access panel
  5. If required, increase vertical piece height from 45cm?

Something like:

I don’t know how practical or structurally viable these tweaks would be, however. Probably worth somebody competent sense-checking them.


It looks like we’re ending up with a 110cm x 120cm x 45cm void for storage.

I’d personally prefer we store sheet material vertically rather than horizontally to make it more accessible. I struggle enough the few times I’ve need a piece of acrylic from the bottom of our current stack, for example. I think this’ll work as long as we’re stocking nothing larger than the 60cm x 40cm sheets we currently have?

If we’re thinking of stocking the larger 80cm x 60cm sheets (this laser can take 100cm x 60cm), we might want to consider increasing the base height? Or we might be restricted to storing them horizontally.

If we’re happy storing sheet material vertically, I’d suggest adding some more vertical braces to partition the storage space some more and provide extra stability.

Good input, i have a couple of bits that might need more thought though:

  1. Storing thin sheet goods like laser food vertically will cause them to bow significantly unless they’re kept under pressure, which makes them far more difficult to laser cleanly - my hope while drawing the original sketch was to have lots of shallow shelves (similar to a map chest) so that pieces can be kept horizontally, and we don’t end up with our current 10kg stack of materials. This could possibly be worked around with a wedge at each side so the pieces are still kept ‘flat’ by gravity but are easier to manoeuvre to get to one in the middle.

  2. its vaguely planned to stock bigger material than we currently do, especially given the capabilities of the new laser and the fact things bigger than 600x400 won’t fit on personal storage shelves.

  3. when i did the original sketch i envisioned us sliding the chiller forwards for access to the top (water) port

  4. we should definitely measure the height of the cw5000 and use the minimum height which the chiller will fit in - the measurements above are from the cw3000 i leant to the space for initial testing so its likely slightly shorter.

  5. If we make it too tall, using the laser will be difficult - being able to reach the lid / across the bed etc obviously becomes more difficult for shorter people the higher you have it. The ‘500mm total’ height in my sketch aimed to put the bed of the laser cutter 90cm off the ground, which is a typical height of a kitchen worktop.

  6. The ‘shelf’ area should have a back panel, which will provide way more bracing - the ‘no back panel’ note in the sketch was only intended for the ‘chiller chamber’

Oh, actually we can fit both horizontal 80x60 stock and vertical / diagonal other stock if we split the stock chamber like this:

Also provides a lovely little central brace :grin:

Does the Chiller need to live under the laser? The one for the orange laser is by its side.
If not we could turn the sheet storage 90deg and have two slots underneath for storing 1m x 0.6m sheets.

If not I’d suggest we make life a bit easier for maintenance and just omit the side panel and instead have a ‘C’ shaped pieces (red bit) at the front, middle and rear for supporting the top while keeping it all open as per quick sketch below. The plan by Nathan (Ribbonfarmer) would need a piece perpendicular to the three vertical parts as any side force and it would collapse.

Using the plot plan it looks like when putting the two lasers side by side there is about ~600mm space till the stairs so we could build some shelving there for the A3 and A4 stock. If we had several shelves it would help mitigate having to lift large piles to get to the piece you want at the bottom. This would need to be checked though, the plot plan can give a good rough idea but there may be something I’ve overlooked.

Also since the table saw is out of action and we’ve not completed the track saw purchase proposal, I’m sure if we asked Emerge nicely, since were buying the plywood from them already, they’d be happy to build this for us. Plus we know they’re interested in getting a laser cutter themselves so we could offer some technical advice to sweeten the deal

Thank you so much for providing valuable feedback! A few thoughts:

  1. I think that Marc’s suggestion of involving Emerge in building the base is the way to go here. Our next step would be to create a purchase proposal to request a base from Emerge, which would involve creating a detailed plan of our requirements and obtaining a quote from them. I understand that Peter Roberts has a good relationship with the folks at Emerge, so perhaps we can request his assistance in communicating with them about this?

  2. We still need to decide whether we want the storage as a separate unit, or as part of the base. I agree with thinkl33t that there is probably some benefits to keeping things horizontally stored. I’d add to this that we still have the storage under the orange laser which could perhaps be used for smaller pieces, and the “storage for ongoing laser projects” space under the main VA table, straight opposite the orange laser (which as far as I can tell is currently only used to a minimal extent by me) which might be repurposed for larger piece storage. However, we should also consider that we have (at least to my understanding, I might be wrong here) intentionally maintained a very limited stock of laser materials, and it might be worthwhile to discuss if we want to change that approach before adding additional storage.

Do we have any finalised designs for this? If not I’m happy to contact the people here and try to amalgmate these suggestions.

It looks like the shell shape and size is nearly there, just the internal shelving is up for debate, so might try a modular design where the shelves could be adjusted after the main shell has been built.

Final designs are ready to go and I’ll be going down to emerge tomorrow to start things off.

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I spoke to emerge and spent a few weeks (yes weeks) trying to get them to give me a quote or even just give me wood that’s close to the size we need. Didn’t get anything back from them apart from being passed along and long times with no responses.

We are now looking elsewhere for our wood.


Thanks for chasing and sorting Harvy!