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[How do I?] Help With Cnc Laser Engraver

GrandpawB

Swarf
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Jan 4, 2017
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#1
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.
 

Boswell

Hobby Machinist since 2010
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Feb 27, 2014
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#2
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.
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.
 

GrandpawB

Swarf
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#3
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.
 

JimDawson

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#4
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.
 

GrandpawB

Swarf
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Jan 4, 2017
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#5
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. :)
 

rdean

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Feb 2, 2014
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#6
There are several people on the Vectric forum that are doing it. You may want to ask the questions there.

Ray
 

wmgeorge

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Jan 10, 2017
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#7
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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