2nd Laser Cutter

Currently we have a 2nd laser cutter that we could setup
however it has some kind of issue with the driver board to the laser (I think there is two of them)

So what I propose

  • rip out the existing electronics, keep the existing servo’s / mechanics
  • replace the electronics with a 32bit control board
  • retrofit the laser with a c02 one with it’s own electronics, the same as the orange laser.

For the electronics
I think the LCD on it may be a bit faint anyway.
I’d probably go for a 32bit control board like the duet wifi as it also has the option for an LCD

I’ve actually got 2 of these already at the moment one for home and one for the cnc in the space (which I haven’t fitted yet), although I need to fix the LCD on the 2nd one

For the laser
make this the same as the orange one
there are two existing laser elements with it, but tbh even if we got them working I don’t see them as ever being replaceable in the long term

Things to investigate

  • Will the optics be the same?
  • Is it using some kind of fancy servo with feedback? or steppers?
  • Need to test visicut with the duet board

This is all hypothetical at the moment due to covid anyway

Many Thanks

Thanks Richard, really like this idea. Seems more hacky and less dependent on 3rd parties / less risk of spending money and it not working out maybe.

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What about going with a controller which would allow the use of https://lightburnsoftware.com/ which can be installed on the mac in the space as lightburn is easier to use.

The lightburnsoftware is something you have to buy btw.
They list Grbl, Smoothieware, Grbl-LPC, and Marlin

The duet board supports everything Grbl does and more so I’d imagine it should work
Typically they try and support a lot of G-Codes including curves since it’s a 32bit board
the cheapo Arduino 8 bits boards struggle with curves due to the calculations needed so tend to approximate using bits of straight lines.

There’s also a built in web gui for it with wifi in addition to the lcd

And the trinamic stepper drivers which means they can use 256microstepping, but set in 32bit microstep mode for a smoother motion of travel

The main question I have at the moment is what kind of motors it’s using for the axis, if it’s a special servo then that might complicate things a bit

Many Thanks