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[How do I?] Help With Cnc Laser Engraver

Discussion in 'CNC IN THE HOME SHOP' started by GrandpawB, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. GrandpawB

    GrandpawB United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I am looking for information on configuring a laser engraver using Mach3 and VCarve pro software programs. I have a self made CNC router I want to convert to a laser engraver. I ordered the laser, power supply and safety glasses. Now I need to figure out how to get things set up and running properly. All help is much appreciated.
     
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  2. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have never used a laser engraver but I would expect that it works just like a router as far as motion is concerned and instead of RPM control you need a laser Power control. I think you will find many people here ready to help out but the best way to get help is to as specific questions. Have fun and good luck.
     
  3. GrandpawB

    GrandpawB United States Swarf Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply. Maybe I asked in the wrong area. There has to be a way to tell the laser to turn on and turn off with the Z axis up and down movement.
     
  4. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Yes, there is a way to do that. The easiest way would be to treat it like the spindle motor and turn it on and off with a M3 and M5 in the g-code. Vcarve might be able to generate that code if there is a way to tell it that you are running a laser, not sure about that. The laser power also needs to be controlled in a range of 0 to 100% depending on your cutting parameters and materials. I think this can be handled like spindle speed in the g-code using the S (speed) parameter.

    I know that Mach3 can run a laser, as far as getting it setup I'm afraid I can't be too much help. You are going to have to do a bit of research.
     
  5. GrandpawB

    GrandpawB United States Swarf Registered Member

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    Thank you for your input. I was just reading an article about that. It was saying there is too much of a delay in on/off time and a Mach3 software revision would allow a M11 M12 and fix that problem. Still researching. Thanks again. Any other opinions are always appreciated. :)
     
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  6. rdean

    rdean United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    There are several people on the Vectric forum that are doing it. You may want to ask the questions there.

    Ray
     
  7. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Go to J Tech dot com and also try the Pic Sender / Pic Engrave dot com. Jtech has controllers for the laser module and lots of info online on whats needed for Mach 3 . I have a 6 watt diode blue light laser I have built up and successfully used. I used a Arduino board control system and it takes gcode generated from the Pic Engraver and Jtech programs.
    Having owned some real CO2 lasers with good software I am less than impressed.... but it does work.
    Jtech is a first rate company to deal with they have a plug in for the VCarve program also.
     

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