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Mach3 controlling Co2 Laser
« on: January 06, 2013, 03:26:04 AM »
Hi Guys.

 I currently have my x y table finished running under Mach3. It all works nicely. Now it's time to take the next step and install a 100 watt Co2 Laser. I have done some research but being a newbie I cant understand how to control the laser with Mach3. Could someone please explain it all in NEWBIE terms so I can understand it. I only wish to use Vector files for cutting lite ply. No rastering is necc. So all i need I think is an on off switch, although some way to adjust laser power would be a great advantage.

Thanks in advance.

Warped.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 controlling Co2 Laser
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 03:38:19 AM »
Hi Warped,

If it's any help, take a look at my article here http://hobbycncart.com/publ/cikkek/mach3_temaju_cikkek/switching_a_laser_under_mach_control/8-1-0-29 (also the following comments relating to the updates) then, if necessary come back with any questions.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Mach3 controlling Co2 Laser
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 08:57:13 PM »
OK, read all that and downloaded the latest Lock down version. Whats next.... ;)   ;D

How do I get these  E1P0 / E1P1 commands into my G code? Also what do I hook up to the actual laser. Is it controlled via the laser's power supply. I am using a Gecko G 540

I read I will need one of these..

http://www.homanndesigns.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=21

Also will the M commands you mentioned may suit me better. As I am only going to do Vector cutting. I don't think the delay will bother me.

Are they easier to install in the G code   EG: does it happen automatically?


Sorry for all the newb questions and thanks again for all your help. :)

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 controlling Co2 Laser
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 02:09:52 AM »
It all depends on your laser high voltage power unit, perhaps you could post some details of this item.

My PSU has 0 to 5 Volt analogue input for power control and this, internally, incorporates a simple DAC (digital to analogue converter) so it will also accept a 5 Volt PWM (pulse width modulation) signal (0 to 100%). As Mach3 has an inbuilt PWM spindle speed control this can be used. However it does have some problems of periodic variation which may not show when controlling a spindle motor but does show with laser control.
At this stage I would recommend that you get everything up and running by using manual control of the maximum laser current.

The on / off  M10P1 / M11P1 or E1P0 / E1P1 commands are inserted into the GCode by the post-processor used with your CAD/CAM software.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Mach3 controlling Co2 Laser
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 06:34:03 AM »
When you say Post Processor... do u mean V carve Pro ? As that is what i am using to import my 2D DXF files and process them into the cut paths/ Vectors.

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Re: Mach3 controlling Co2 Laser
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 08:39:15 AM »
When you say Post Processor... do u mean V carve Pro ? As that is what i am using to import my 2D DXF files and process them into the cut paths/ Vectors.

Yes, modify the VCarvePro post processor to include the M10P1 /M11P1 codes. (If you have any difficulty doing this then I am sure the guys on the Vectric forum will point you in the right direction).

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !