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Software and electronic boards for lasers

Posted by Origamib 
Software and electronic boards for lasers
December 26, 2017 05:17AM
I was given a simple 1.5w laser engraver for Christmas. It's great fun but it has some obvious drawbacks. I'd be quite interested to strap the laser into a proper machine. I could take the electronics board from my current engraver, but without much knowledge of what it is, the motor drivers etc I have a feeling it won't do.

What electronics boards work well, as well as firmware and software for making g code files? I'm not interested in using a 3D slicer as this is just awkward and will not turn a standard image into one that is engravable. I currently use the software that came with my engraver (Scarve). It works well but you cannot control speed or pwm, in fact I think it uses speed instead of pwm to achieve grayscale. There are few options to modify.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/2017 11:14PM by Origamib.
VDX
Re: Software and electronics for lasers
December 26, 2017 05:53AM
... you can look into Inkscape for G-Code creation - there are several options for.

In some of my older threads I've posted hints and schematics how to drive laserdiodes ... here an old summary - [reprap.org]


Viktor
Re: Software and electronics for lasers
December 26, 2017 11:32AM
I was given a simple 1.5w laser engraver for Christmas. I won't tell you what brand it is or include any pictures so it is easy for you to reply.It's great fun but it has some obvious drawbacks. I'd be quite interested to strap the laser into a proper machine.Like a cooper mini! or Haas CNC machine I could take the electronics from my current engraver, but without much knowledge of what it is, the motor drivers etc I have a feeling it won't do. Since I want you to do everything for me I won't describe much --- just tell me how to do it in detail without using any other parts or money.

What electronics work well, as well as firmware and software for making g code files? I'm not interested in using a 3D slicer as this is just awkward and will not turn a standard image into one that is engravable. But if you can tell me how to do 3D laser engraving with my simple XY engraver that would be OK! I currently use the software that came with my engraver (Scarve). Here is the url for SCarve so you don't have to search for it, It works well but you cannot control speed or pwm, in fact I think it uses speed instead of pwm to achieve grayscale. It's only a $100 engraver but it should be able to perform like a $10000 machine with a few tweeks, There are few options to modify.

Oh and send elves to do all this -- elves with laser protection so I don't have a bunch of blind elves around!

angry smiley
Re: Software and electronics for lasers
December 26, 2017 11:04PM
Hi VDX,

Thanks for the info. I was not aware you could create g code from inkscape, I'll check it out. Are there any 'off the shelf' solutions such as ramps/marlin for 3D printing?

Im not against the total Diy option, but my level of effort for this little laser was to strap it into a decent XY gantry with (if possible) fairly similar electronics to what I normally use, eg, ramps or duet etc.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/2017 11:25PM by Origamib.
Re: Software and electronics for lasers
December 26, 2017 11:08PM
Quote
cozmicray
I was given a simple 1.5w laser engraver for Christmas. I won't tell you what brand it is or include any pictures so it is easy for you to reply.It's great fun but it has some obvious drawbacks. I'd be quite interested to strap the laser into a proper machine.Like a cooper mini! or Haas CNC machine I could take the electronics from my current engraver, but without much knowledge of what it is, the motor drivers etc I have a feeling it won't do. Since I want you to do everything for me I won't describe much --- just tell me how to do it in detail without using any other parts or money.

What electronics work well, as well as firmware and software for making g code files? I'm not interested in using a 3D slicer as this is just awkward and will not turn a standard image into one that is engravable. But if you can tell me how to do 3D laser engraving with my simple XY engraver that would be OK! I currently use the software that came with my engraver (Scarve). Here is the url for SCarve so you don't have to search for it, It works well but you cannot control speed or pwm, in fact I think it uses speed instead of pwm to achieve grayscale. It's only a $100 engraver but it should be able to perform like a $10000 machine with a few tweeks, There are few options to modify.

Oh and send elves to do all this -- elves with laser protection so I don't have a bunch of blind elves around!

angry smiley

What crawled up your bonnet? I'm having some fun and looking to strap it into a proper gantry. I need to know what most people use for electronics / firmware in this area, my expertise is 3D printing. Tell me a board and a open source firmware and I'll get out of your cave you horrid troll.

The current engraver is a piece of Chinese rubbish. didn't really find it necessary to list a brand as it is sold under many brands. The board is proprietary and has only 4 connectors for motors, fan and laser diode.

I never asked for your expertise to make me a mini Cooper, and I don't need it to make a simple XY frame either. My post is only concerning the title.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/2017 11:12PM by Origamib.
VDX
Re: Software and electronic boards for lasers
December 27, 2017 04:02AM
...for some of my laser-engravers I'm using Marlin4Due and Pronterface (my Pronterface version is higly modified, but more for GUI and import filters) - it's as simple, as feeding the STEP pin for the extruder als "laser pulse" to the diode driver.

For changing the power, to use it as engraver or cutter, I'm using a small Arduino (the Arduino Pro clone "Wattuino"), which receives the step pulse, and (depending on a trimpot set voltage while rebooting) gives out a varying pulse length -- I'm "engraving" with pulse lengths from 5µs to 30µs and "cutting" with slower moving speeds and pulse lengths of up to 300µs ...


Viktor
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