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Author Topic: Laser build  (Read 7160 times)

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Re: Laser build
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 01:29:14 PM »
The laser head came in and I'm getting close.  I made a manifold to be able to deliver high or low pressure nitrogen to the head.  Sheet metal enclosure should be complete soon.  I have run the red pointer laser and am confirming the various interlocks and stuff.  Official setup will be Wednesday.

I realized that I can draw my parts in CAD the 3.6" in Y with a normal X to represent A and X, then output that code and simply insert a G51A100 scale command to make that work to the 360 degrees that the rotary is set to.  That gets back to eliminating error with a diameter measurement.  Does anyone have an idea if a compound rotary move with A and X will have the same feedrate as an A or X by itself?
Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
Laser build
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 05:08:50 PM »
Btboone-   

That looks like a sweet setup!   I can't wait to see it cut.   What thickness will it cut?

Steve
Re: Laser build
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 05:37:22 PM »
In testing, we went through 14mm of titanium at 3000 watts.  I've got 4500 to play with.  The trick is the fine kerf of either 50 or 100 micron depending on the lens used.  That's still less than a hair.  That will be the limiting factor.  I need to get through about 7mm of titanium on a ring on the stone holding side.  I'd be very happy with a reasonable cut that would take about 1/50th the time of it being milled.  Finishing needs to be done either way.   It will allow a lot of design freedom that I can't even contemplate making stuff like now.
Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
Re: Laser build
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 11:01:51 PM »
What would be the best way to do the variable timed dwell for the pierce?  Ideally, it would automatically happen on every M3 without a bunch of extra code.  It would be good to be able to either set it in a table or once in the code, but not every time the laser is turned on and off.  Anyone have insight into that?
Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
Re: Laser build
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 10:36:55 PM »
I was in a bit of a panic when I realized that the Tormach automatically adds about an 8 second dwell to get the spindle up to speed and about 3 seconds to stop it.  I need to run the "spindle", which has actually been removed, at full speed in order to get the 5 volt output signal that it takes to fire the laser.  The laser power settings are adjusted in separate laser software and I just need to fire it with a 5 to 24 volt signal.  I found I can get an M3 controlled 5 volts, but the spindle needs to be at full speed otherwise I get a linear fraction of that 5 volts.  It takes a real motor a long time to get up to that speed.  They allow a full 8 seconds, and I couldn't find a way to remove it. The laser would burn halfway to China with an 8 second dwell.  I looked for ways to use the m11p1 command as seen in this forum, but those didn't look to be compatible with the Tormach motion board, which has no extra input capacity as far as I'm aware.  The 5 volt signal was instant with an M3 command, but it was about 8 seconds before table movement could commence.   I was relieved to find that I could set the control to look at any dwell in milliseconds, so the 8 second dwell became .008 second instead.  I can then manually add dwell time for the laser pierce in the code.  I am still looking for a way to have the dwell stay the same throughout the code.  Maybe I could use a variable defined at the top of the program and that gets repeated throughout the program any time the m3 command is activated?  Not too elegant, but it might work.

Everything is set up including the enclosure, so I'm just waiting on a tech to come do the official install.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 10:42:53 PM by btboone »
Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
Laser build
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2012, 10:56:32 PM »
Btboone-

Can you just add a relay to control the laser ?  I have three relays on my flame cutter, and I can control the time for each one.  Just an idea.

Steve
Re: Laser build
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2012, 11:52:03 PM »
The big thing is that I'm using the Tormach setup with its control board and all its specifics.  I certainly don't want to mess anything up that they have working properly.  If I was doing it from scratch, I'd have little to lose by trying different things in the hardware end. 

I did find out that there's a macro that gets looked at when the m3 command is activated.  This must be where the elusive dwell resides.  I'll check on that tomorrow.  Maybe there's a way to specify a dwell at the program top and that variable could be passed through to the m3 macro.  I dont know all the rules on that type of thing in Mach 3.  I'm used to an Anilam 1400, which is PC based and more powerful and flexible than the Mach 3 seems to be, although the Mach has a lot of potential for tweaking in.

Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
Re: Laser build
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2012, 01:37:24 AM »
I ordered a USB controlled relay bank that has 4 independant relays.   You could just add this to your pc and add a few lines to your macro for m03.   

Steve
Re: Laser build
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 08:26:14 PM »
I'm up and running in continuous wave mode, which means only up to 450 watts.  In order to get to pulsed mode, it seems that I need to feed the laser a signal with a frequency in the range of 160 to 200 hertz and a pulse width variable from 0.1ms to around 2ms or so.  Is that something easily doable with the Mach 3 control?
Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
Re: Laser build
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2012, 10:27:26 AM »
Hi BT
May I ask who's laser and were you bought it, I'm very interested in doing one myself.

Thank you,
Ted