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Author Topic: Laser Cutter and PPI  (Read 4227 times)

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Laser Cutter and PPI
« on: October 12, 2017, 11:22:19 AM »

we are currently building a laser cutter (in the middle of france),
in our fab lab ,
and our other CNC already run under Mach3.
(one big cnc router, 1 big plasma cutter, 2 small but high precision cnc router)
we have a good cnc controller board,
but mach3 doesn't support the PPI for the laser : the puls per inch.

is it possible to implement it ?

because we don't want to use *********y chineese software for our laser cutter.

or there is somewhere something i don't know in Mach3 to do it ?

thank you.
Re: Laser Cutter and PPI
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 11:31:28 AM »
PPI sounds like the laser version of spindle speed. Can you use the PWM output?

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Re: Laser Cutter and PPI
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 02:30:41 AM »
Please check out the M11P1/M10P1 commands for turning a laser ON/OFF and as Gary has mentioned the spindle 0% to 100% PWM signal can be used for controlling laser output power. M11P1/M10P1 and  PWM

Mach3 was never really designed to operate a laser so there is no actual provision to synchronize an adjustable digital output to axis velocity therefore d.p.i and p.p.i are not implemented.

However, the Mach3 Impact / Laser engraving plugin does a pretty good job of overcoming this limitation. It’s operation is considerably different to DSP systems and it takes a bit of practice to get its operation just right but, in my opinion, it is well worth the effort. Engraving.pdf    

If you skip through this thread you may find some items of interest. http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,12444.0.html

Hope this helps.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 10:09:06 AM by Tweakie.CNC »
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Laser Cutter and PPI
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 05:08:18 PM »
PPI is not the same as the "laser" spindle speed ^^
it need to take care of the axis velocity.

we use a 170W laser tube,
it's not safe to juste use pwm control.
that is why i ask.

i will look at that big page (and i come back in a week when i have finished reading it ^^

the question between the lines is :
- does it is possible for arcsoft to update the software to implement that ?
because there is a lot of people with laser cutter around the world.
Re: Laser Cutter and PPI
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 05:41:20 PM »
how much does a 170W laser tube cost to buy and operate?

Industrial Mach4 is more likely to provide a solution. Additionally Mach4 is still developing, Mach3 development is discontinued.

My wife left with my best friend...
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Re: Laser Cutter and PPI
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 06:06:37 PM »
i prefere not to count yet :-)

i bought the laser tube brand new second hand for 700€
(a guy who didn't have time to prototype, because making cnc for business).

and for the other parts, (laser included in the sum)
i'm at about 2100, because i prototype and learn too.
and i will have to add the laser controller board,
that i don't have bought yet,
because i still don't know which one to choose yet.
and the hardware is not yet finished.

i'm in the open source mouvement (fablab founder!),
but the open hardware is not yet good enouth for me.
maybe later i will go back to it if it will be better.

but nothing is perfect. cheap chinese board with *********ty software, but good result,
perfect open hardware, but not best laser exploitation.
or mach3 with your solution ^^
i don't know.
Re: Laser Cutter and PPI
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 07:59:32 PM »
Mach3 development has ceased and it won't be revisited. Tens of thousands still use it and will for a long time yet. But what it is, is
what it is.

Mach4 is where things are happening. At the moment milling and routing operations are right up to speed and lathe ops very close behind.
Mach4 is best with an external motion controller and there are four manufacturers with stable Mach4 plugins and another two manufacturers
have added Maach4 plugins within the last two months. All of these manufacturers have been around Mach for a while, a good long while in
most cases. Some of the plugins are still missing some of the functionality that was expected as the norm in Mach3, all have probing but few
have lathe threading sorted for instance.

Mach4s ability to be customised far exceeds Mach3. If there is a means to extract the behaviour you require from Mach then Mach4 is the
right solution.

I'm not quite sure you mean by PPI. My best guess is that the laser output is tied to the combined axis speed?

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!