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Author Topic: Mach3 new user, help with laser.  (Read 382 times)

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Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« on: January 13, 2020, 07:11:55 PM »
Hello there!

I'm new to this whole practice of the dark arts. I've gotten stuck in a deep hole of not finding the info I'm searching for. This will probably be a newbie question.

I've recently bought a Sainsmart MX3 with a blue 5.5w laser and spindle. I've spent a couple of weeks trying to learn Fusion 360 enough to create what I want and I would like to say that I have learnt what I need to at this time. The problem I have right now is that I want to etch but I can only get the laser to start and stop on the M3 and M5 commands and I've read and seen that it's to slow for the laser. The gcode comes out of Fusion with M10 and M11 commands but nothing happens. Can someone help a new user that's on the level of recently figuring out what commands are?

I will add pictures of the hardware I've got in case it's important.









/Mathias
I've no idea what I'm doing and I pressume it's going great.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 04:54:15 AM »
Unfortunately your USB motion controller does not support the M10 / M11 commands so they will not work.

You could replace your controller with one that supports these commands - you would also need to fit new stepper drivers etc.

A reasonable solution may be to modify your Post Processor to replace the M10/M11 commands with say B0/B1 then configure the B axis within Mach3 and then use the B axis Direction pin for laser switching. (an axis movement command will, like M10/M11, operate without breaking the constant velocity chain - so no delay like M3/M4).

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 05:09:19 AM »
Thank you for the answer!

That's what I was afraid of. As etching is a big part in my current project I really need it to work, it's one of the reasons I bought a laser instead of just going with the spindle and engraving. What would you suggest that I buy to be able to use the M10/11 commands?

/Mathias
I've no idea what I'm doing and I pressume it's going great.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 06:14:22 AM »
When it comes to external motion controllers I think general opinion prefers Ethernet over USB connection and I think you should choose one that also supports Mach4 (you may wish to move to Mach4 in the future) and please avoid any of the cheap controllers that are made in China.

The ESS is good https://warp9td.com/ and so is the UC400ETH http://www.cncdrive.com/UC400ETH.html - I use both of these motion controllers (on different machines) but there are others which you could choose from.

Hope this helps.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 06:17:49 AM »
Thank you, I've got something to go on now.

/Mathias
I've no idea what I'm doing and I pressume it's going great.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 02:05:28 AM »
One more thought, if you intend using the M11 / M10 commands…

Because Mach3 is obsolescent (development ceased 6 years ago in favour of Mach4) you should check with the manufacturer of any motion controller you may wish to purchase that it’s Mach3 plugin does indeed fully support the M11 / M10 command set before you commit to buy.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 05:57:32 AM »
Ok, thanks. I've just bought Mach3 which was a bit more expensive than I felt comfortable  with but I was in need of it. This means that I will probably be using the software for some time before I start looking at Mach4.

I can see that Mach4 has a much better/newer design which is tempting but do I need some extra hardware, not counting the controller board? Think I've read somewhere that you need an external control for moving the different axis around. This might be info from an uninformed user so I'm unsure if I should trust it or not.

/Mathias
I've no idea what I'm doing and I pressume it's going great.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 new user, help with laser.
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 06:56:57 AM »
Quote
Think I've read somewhere that you need an external control for moving the different axis around. This might be info from an uninformed user so I'm unsure if I should trust it or not.

If it’s within reach you could just use the keyboard for moving the axis but it’s useful to have a hand held pendant.  ;)

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !