Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: rainnea on September 01, 2019, 06:48:00 PM

Title: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: rainnea on September 01, 2019, 06:48:00 PM
I've been looking at fiber laser engravers as they seem to be able to engrave finer detail than I can achieve with a high speed spindle and they have pretty reasonable prices for say a 30W machine.
However, the software that typically comes with them seems to cause users a lot of issues for rotary engraving, never mind full 4 or 5 axis work.
So, I'm wondering how feasible it would be to attach a fiber laser source with simple fixed focus optics onto one of my existing cnc machines similar to how many users have done using a diode or co2 laser source ?
Are there any particular issues with controlling a fiber laser source ?
There an example module here;
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32960062748.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.588d7765V9G1B0&algo_pvid=086b3b84-9a1a-481b-a05d-a9d6759e58b3&algo_expid=086b3b84-9a1a-481b-a05d-a9d6759e58b3-1&btsid=c3382929-2c03-4a09-9030-17a477e0befd&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_10,searchweb201603_52

thanks,
Rab
www.cnc-toolkit.com
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on September 02, 2019, 04:46:44 AM
What a lovely MOPA laser and what an excellent project it would make.
I have never actually seen a MOPA mounted on an X-Y machine as they are normally used with quite small table area galvo scanners.
I do not think laser control would be a problem but something that may be of concern is with >50,000 hours lifetime would the delivery cable stand up to that much flexing ?

If you go ahead with the project please keep us updated on your progress.

Tweakie.
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: rainnea on September 02, 2019, 05:04:44 AM
Hi Tweakie,

I'm thinking of mounting it next to the spindle on a small milling machine, so the XY and rotary axes would move beneath it, just leaving the movement in Z to flex the fiber cable. However, maybe be better to keep the cable / beam expander fixed and just move the focusing lens.

I've found just one laser module designed for fitting to an existing cnc machine, however it seems a little overpriced and underpowered with a relatively large spot size, but it's still interesting;
http://endurancelasers.com/an-endurance-brand-new-fiber-marking-module-for-metal-engraving

Rab
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on September 02, 2019, 06:10:01 AM
Quote
I'm thinking of mounting it next to the spindle on a small milling machine, so the XY and rotary axes would move beneath it, just leaving the movement in Z to flex the fiber cable.

Hi Rab,

That sounds good, the small amount of Z movement compared to X & Y,  I am sure it would last forever  :D
 
As you say, another interesting laser but I think a MOPA would be a more useful tool.

What are you planning on laser engraving ? 

Tweakie.
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: rainnea on September 02, 2019, 06:34:05 AM
Hi Tweakie,

I'm hoping I could put together a system to engrave titanium, silver, gold and platinum.
I get pretty good results on these materials with a high speed spindle but have to keep the design quite simple on small scale items, whereas lasered examples I've seen have far more detail than a rotary cutting tool could achieve.

If budget was less of a concern I'd be looking at the likes of these;
www.spilasers.com

Rab
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: rainnea on September 02, 2019, 09:48:04 AM
Info and pinout connections on the example JPT laser interface;
https://www.astron-japan.co.jp/pdf/JPT_YDFLP-LP_User_Manual-Oct_C2015.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0XzXvmGabKFQo59PsMcwlv0f0Q8x7y_SIuAv8bdor7plyZKk1zt7p2lRA
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on September 02, 2019, 10:16:08 AM
Just reading about that MOPA is starting to make me broody  ;D

Tweakie.
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: rainnea on September 02, 2019, 02:34:22 PM
 :)
Yeah, seem potentially pretty good for the price considering I was getting quotes for high speed engraving spindles for more than this !
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: rainnea on September 02, 2019, 02:36:03 PM
I've not found out much about options for the optics yet, but here's a link that seems to have that covered;
https://www.edmundoptics.co.uk/
Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on September 03, 2019, 02:18:27 AM
Those optical systems look good.

Getting a good quality lens is important and this can be an issue because, visually, the good and the bad all look alike. It is only when they are used that the difference is revealed.
For my C02 lasers I have always purchased my optics from II-VI Infrared and I have just started using a GaAs meniscus which is absolutely brilliant. I don’t know if II-VI make anything for the MOPA wavelength, you could perhaps check.

One thing to bear in mind is that any quality lens system is not going to be cheap so I think you should also consider a galvo system and F-Theta lens system. This would effectively make a new machine rather than be an addition to an existing machine but it is perhaps something to think about (if the Minister of Finance will allow it).

Tweakie.


Title: Re: Controlling a Fiber Laser engraver with Mach ?
Post by: rainnea on September 03, 2019, 04:15:08 AM
I was wondering about using a complete off-the-shelf fiber engraver with galvo head and then just moving the workpiece beneath it with the galvo turned off. That would cover the optics at least and I could still use the system in it's original mode when required for flat work.
Using Mach for moving the workpiece would be easy enough although the beam wouldn't move as fast as using a galvo.
I'd still need to tap into the laser source control circuit for on/off, power, frequency, etc. to be controlled from Mach.

Rab
www.cnc-toolkit.com