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DistortedDesigns Laser Engraver

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by DistortedDesigns, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    DistortedDesigns published a new build:

    Read more about this build...
     
  2. Jim Eicher

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    I like your way of thinking and I am pretty much on the same page when it comes to the special parts aspect. I currently have a 40 watt chinese laser that I purchased off of ebay and it does have limitations. I can currently only engrave up to a size of 8" x 10". Your idea here would be great for mounting to the top of my 42" x 18" roll cabinet toolbox. I would of course use all of my current laser engraver internals mounted separately.I have everything needed with exception to this framework. I think the biggest hurdle I will face is mounting the 40 watt Co2 laser tube.
     
  3. Jim Eicher

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    PS...anxiously awaiting your parts list.
     
  4. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    Sorry for the delay. I didn't get notified that someone had posted. I have added the BOM. I main reason I did this was so I could do full gray scale image engraving and not TTL. Check out Picengrave so you can see what I mean.
     
  5. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    I will be adding pics and updated CG renders of the build.
     
  6. Jim Eicher

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  7. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    I have added updated renders of the final design. I will take actual photos of how I ran all of the wire and alterations that had to be made to the motor plates.
     
    Mark Carew likes this.
  8. Jim Eicher

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  9. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    I see your using a Ramps board to run the machine with a DAC and Picengrave software. I assume your going to try the laser version of Marlin to run things? The reason i'm asking is i'm building a laser engraver now and am using the 2w JTechPhotonics Laser/driver combo. I wanted to run the Ramps 1.4 board with a Arduino Mega 2650 but the fellows over at Picengrave said I couldn't due to various Gcode problems and that I couldn't use Picsender with it either. (You'll see my posts in the forum over there) I would like to control mine the way your doing yours that way I can add homing and limit switches as well as a nice on board display and be able to load gcode from a SD card. I have a Uno and CNC shield 3.0 just in case, but from what I understand the Uno is maxed out as far as pins. If you could explain a bit more on your control setup I would appreciate it greatly.

    Thanks

    Gerald
     
  10. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    I was going to use the laser version of Marlin but couldn't get it to talk to repetier host software. For now I am using repetier host firmware. Picengrave should work with with a ramps board but you would have to use GRBL because that is what they send. I don't want to use GRBL because it is too basic and lacks a lot of functionality that laser marlin and repetier host have. Marlin and Rep are both based on GRBL and should have most of the same g-coding. I don't know what was removed or how Picengrave sends it's commands. At the very least you should be able to load GRBL into ramps and make it work. If not then I will have some coding issues to try and figure out. If you want to work together on this to figure it out that would be grand. I don't want to have to use a different board. It should just be a matter of making sure that the firmware has all of the same g-codes in it that GRBL does. I don't really know much about code so this could be interesting. Looks like I have something new to dig into.

    You could first try loading GRBL into your UNO and see if picsender work.
     
  11. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    I looked through your post on picengrave forum but didn't see where they said it wouldn't work. I am assuming you are talking about your post Arduino and GRBL. I didn't see where they answered your question about the ramps board. Maybe I missed it, there was a lot to read. I saw where they said something about M10/M11 commands being too slow if you are also trying to control 3 axis cnc movement and get the laser data as well, but that was it. I didn't see anything about ramps not working.
     
  12. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    Ok I see the other post you have there for PicLaser 3D. He said it wouldn't combine both spindle and laser codes. I don't need spindle control. You might try it with no Z movement or spindle control. We might just have to change a little code to make it work. I have to finish getting mine up and running and check the DAC to make sure I made it right. You might pic up a ramps board, they are pretty cheap on ebay. Ramps would be the best choice since it is the cheapest option with more of everything. The arduino cnc board is severely over priced, not to mention if an axis driver burns up, you have to buy a whole new board.
     
  13. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    I guess i'm not sure if Picengrave will generate a M106 S# for the ramps board. I have looked through all the info over on JTechPhotonics site about using the laser/driver combo with various 3D printers usings ramps 1.4 and no mention was made of Picsender or Picengrave only on the Arduino Uno/GShield setup. I'm running 2 cnc routers now, both with Mach 3 and pretty good electronic setups, i have yet buy a 3D printer to try out Ramps or Rambo board. The whole arduino/ramps/cncshield combo is pretty new to me.

    Here's what I have already to test with, 2 - Arduino Mega 2650's, 2 - Uno R3 boards, 2 - CNC shield 3.0 with 8 - DRV8825 drivers, a Ramps 1.4 board with 4 - A4988 drivers, 12864 LCD screen with SD card reader, and a 24 volt 15A switching power supply. As well as various Nema 17 and Nema 23 motors.

    My reasoning for trying a Mega 2650 with a Ramps 1.4 is in addition to being able to use homing and limit switches that from what I understand are commented out of the original grbl laser firmware due to not enough pins on the Uno, you would also have the ability to make the laser a standalone machine with the LCD screen and a SD card slot. I know it can be done due to this is a very popular upgrade for that cheap K40 chinese CO2 Ebay machine so I figured it certainly couldn't be too hard to make work with a LD setup. I never really got an answer on whether or not Picengrave or Picsender would work with a Ramps board just this:

    "What commands does the Mega & Ramps require for the laser intensity? M106 S (fan PWM)? If so, PicLaser 3D will not combine that code. Also I hope the streamer you use can run very large, fast changing gcode files. We have not done any testing with that type of control, so you will have to rely on others to support all of your questions. [​IMG]"

    I figured when he said "streamer" that was the same as what Universal Gcode sender or Picsender do. Am I correct on that?
    I would like to keep my design on the affordable side when it comes to software and electronics..

    I figured it might be possible to remap the extruder drive letter in the firmware to A or B rather than E then the Gcode shouldn't be a problem with a DAC or even a stepper with the MA3 connected to axis.

    I'm just throwing possible ideas and work arounds out there, just not sure how feasible they are, it sounds like you have more of a handle on the Marlin/grbl thing then I.

    I'll be more than happy to help and test things..

    Thanks

    Gerald
     
    #13 Hytech2k, Jun 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  14. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    "What commands does the Mega & Ramps require for the laser intensity? M106 S (fan PWM)?
    That would matter if you were not going to use a DAC and the Arduino would be controlling the laser intensity. I will be using their DAC board so there will be no M106 S commands just the feed from the Z axis which will be controlling laser intensity.

    I figured when he said "streamer" that was the same as what Universal Gcode sender or Picsender do. Am I correct on that?
    Yes, but with an implied "Not ours" so it would be a different Gcode sender other than Picsender.

    I figured it might be possible to remap the extruder drive letter in the firmware to A or B rather than E then the Gcode shouldn't be a problem with a DAC or even a stepper with the MA3 connected to axis.
    Remapping is very easy in Marlin and easier in Repetier Host. Both of these were written as a modified version of GRBL. Yes I think it will work but I think you will have to use the DAC or MA3.

    it sounds like you have more of a handle on the Marlin/grbl thing then I.
    What I know about programming an Arduino could fill a thimble. I am a definate noob but I have read enough on forums and can alter the programming to make it work..... eventually.... I know nothing about GRBL because I can't open the program. GRBL program has no ino file so you can't open it with Arduino. It has to be written to an Arduino board with a special program. I just yesterday opened the Ramps version of GRBL to see some of the differences.

    It will be a couple of weeks before I am ready to test. I have a lot going on and haven't had time to work on my laser. I will be able to mess with the programming and will continue.
     
  15. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    That was my plan all along to use a DAC or MA3 encoder. Thats why in the controller thread over there I was trying to find out if you could do that or if it has already been done with an Arduino setup. The only one I could find was their shapeoko build with the MA3 on the Z stepper: Shapeoko laser I like the way it was done with a separate stepper just driving the MA3 (or a DAC run from that same axis) I guess that's what I was trying to getting at in the PL3D forum, if you remapped the extruder letter to B or C would that not work with a DAC or MA3. I guess i'll have to figure that one out on my own.

    I'm reading up on Marlin/Ramps/Repetier and how all these things work together. If i can just sort out the work flow i'll be in good shape. Like with my cnc's I design first, the software generates the gcode, I load up Mach 3, home my machines and zero the workpiece then load the gcode and go. I like ramps because of the LCD display and the SD card slot, seems like it wouldn't take a whole lot to make it a machine that could stand alone or be tethered to a PC.

    I appreciate the help and i'm going to keep plugging away testing....

    Thanks
     
  16. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    Repetier Host is very nice since it has it's own front end software. Then you make the firmware you want, with the options you want and it makes it for you. The laser version of Marlin was a bit of an issue. It was made on a much older version of Marlin and you had to use an old version of Arduino to edit it. It was a bit of an issue because I am running dual Y motors. I like the laser marlin but with no front end software that I could actually get running.... Pronterface..... I moved to Repetier Host. Not to mention Repetier the person is very active on the reprap forums. If you have issues he is very good about answering questions and helping.

    I looked at Ramps GRBL firmware. It seems ok but they do some strange things. They move limit switches to a different location....? and no display... of coarse...
     
  17. Endurancerobots

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    Indeed this is a bright tool.
    If you want not only engrave but also cut you can add Endurance 2.1W and 3.5W laser cutter (aslo engraver)
    That can be put almost on any CNC router and 3D printer. Looks like this
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    Looks great, nice engravings... Glad to see you got it working... I'm thinking about upgrading mine to a 6 watt laser diode and driver so I can increase the speeds of the engravings and cut a little thicker materials. What version of grbl did you go with? What feed speeds did you use to engrave Yoda if you don't mind me asking?
     
  19. Endurancerobots

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    What 6W diode do you use?
     
  20. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    I haven't purchased it yet, just kicking it around first.... DTR carries it along with a nice driver...
     
  21. Endurancerobots

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    Very interesting to see it in acount, what is wavelenght?
     
  22. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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  23. Endurancerobots

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    Thanks, appreciate it!
     
  24. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    No problem...

    Gerald
     
  25. daveclausnitzer

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    That is classy! You really get points for style. Did you use a laser engraver for the Death Star print?
     
  26. DistortedDesigns

    DistortedDesigns Well-Known
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    Yeah, I did. My engraver will etch black though. I have only done a quick experiment but what I etched didn't turn white like the etch on the death star.
     
  27. Mauricio Solid

    Mauricio Solid Journeyman
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    Yeah, I have your same problems with ramps, triangles, like the gcode didnt turn off the laser and lines , I switched to grbl too, but I'm trying to get a good pwm control for shades engrave. I'm very cheap too :p. I build a machine almost same like yours but without Z and just 2 motors for all the machine :p
     

    Attached Files:

    Ronald van Arkel likes this.
  28. Mauricio Solid

    Mauricio Solid Journeyman
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    Can you give me more info about your hardware? specifically your laser driver for 8 bit shade of gray engrave
     
  29. nano

    nano New
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    Looks great!!!
     

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