[ Log In ]
[ Register ]
NEW: CNC Router PLANS Available for all of our Newest CNC Models!! Click here to "Design Your CNC".

Question #: 10065

Question: Can the Planet CNC USB controller be used with a laser engraver/cutter? Can the build your own CNC based on the Planet CNC USB controller accept a Laser head instead of a router?

Current Solution

The PlanetCNC USB software, like most machine control software, can be used to control a laser engraver/cutter. The typical modification is to use the Z axis down signal to fire the laser, analogous to an endmill cutting into the workpiece from an initial position above it.

For the second question, it is important to note that BYCNC machines are not based on PlanetCNC software, or any other particular machine control system. The machines themselves will accept standard signals from a wide variety of machine control systems, not just PlanetCNC or Mach3. This allows maximum flexibility for the customer to choose their own preferred software for this part of the toolchain.

That said, our machines will accept a laser head either in lieu of or in addition to a spindle. Here is an example of a combination spindle/laser mount for our greenBull machine: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head. We have all the parts you would need to add laser functionality to your machine here: https://buildyourcnc.com/LaserComponents.aspx, if you feel comfortable assembling your own package. Also, feel free to contact our sales department for a quote if you need a custom assembly.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • I have your USB controller sitting here and want to control it with something other than PlanetCNC control software?

    The USB controller will only work with the Planet-CNC software. This software is well made and will provide great functionality. The planet-cnc software delivers instructions to the microcontroller on the board and the microcontroller will send out the pulse trains needed to move the machine correctly.

    There are two main alternatives if you want to use the mach3 software:
    First, get a parallel port card and add it to your computer and get a parallel breakout board. If you have a laptop/notebook computer, this will not be possible.
    Second, if you have a laptop, or really want to use the USB as the main interface for controlling the machine, you will need to get the smoothstepper board which works with mach3. The price combination is much higher than the USB controller with planet-cnc, but will work with Mach3.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    The planet cnc controller can be prone to electrical interference and has been known to cause such problems. In the first instance try to use a quality double sheilded USB cable, hopefully this will fix your problem. Alternatively you may need to sheild your limit switch, estop and or motor cabling. My pick is that a quality USB cable will fix it though, worked for me.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have your USB controller sitting here and want to control it with something other than PlanetCNC control software?

  • I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

    The USB controller will only work with the Planet-CNC software. This software is well made and will provide great functionality. The planet-cnc software delivers instructions to the microcontroller on the board and the microcontroller will send out the pulse trains needed to move the machine correctly.

    There are two main alternatives if you want to use the mach3 software:
    First, get a parallel port card and add it to your computer and get a parallel breakout board. If you have a laptop/notebook computer, this will not be possible.
    Second, if you have a laptop, or really want to use the USB as the main interface for controlling the machine, you will need to get the smoothstepper board which works with mach3. The price combination is much higher than the USB controller with planet-cnc, but will work with Mach3.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    The planet cnc controller can be prone to electrical interference and has been known to cause such problems. In the first instance try to use a quality double sheilded USB cable, hopefully this will fix your problem. Alternatively you may need to sheild your limit switch, estop and or motor cabling. My pick is that a quality USB cable will fix it though, worked for me.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

  • I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

    The USB controller will only work with the Planet-CNC software. This software is well made and will provide great functionality. The planet-cnc software delivers instructions to the microcontroller on the board and the microcontroller will send out the pulse trains needed to move the machine correctly.

    There are two main alternatives if you want to use the mach3 software:
    First, get a parallel port card and add it to your computer and get a parallel breakout board. If you have a laptop/notebook computer, this will not be possible.
    Second, if you have a laptop, or really want to use the USB as the main interface for controlling the machine, you will need to get the smoothstepper board which works with mach3. The price combination is much higher than the USB controller with planet-cnc, but will work with Mach3.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    The planet cnc controller can be prone to electrical interference and has been known to cause such problems. In the first instance try to use a quality double sheilded USB cable, hopefully this will fix your problem. Alternatively you may need to sheild your limit switch, estop and or motor cabling. My pick is that a quality USB cable will fix it though, worked for me.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

  • I would like to build a low cost laser engraver/ cutter, can your 40w laser power supply be controlled with an arduino or is it only controlled by the controller sold here?

    You can control our 40W laser power supply (which controls the laser tube) with an Arduino, if that is your intention. The trigger for turning the laser on and off uses a 5V level. To control intensity, you can use the Arduino PWM output. If you want the Arduino to move the machine as well (providing pulse trains to each of the stepper motor drivers) then you will need to make sure you consider the processing speed of the Arduino so you will be able to run the stepper motors at the speed you need for the laser engraving/cutting.

    Our laser controller do all of these functions. Here is a link to our laser control system:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Laser-Component-Laser-Control-System



    Additional Information:
    Thank you! I am building a 3 axis cnc/ engraver and I think this would be a good option as well as the router head and the 3d printing head. How heavy is the tube? I may mount it directly onto one of the axis of the machine to eliminate the need to line up all three axis, similar to what you have with your xl engraver.

    Additional Information:
    The tube isn't that heavy, but when filled with water, it can get up to a few pounds. The key is to use the axis moving the nozzle for engraving as this requires fast back and forth motion. The cutting is generally dependent on the axes moving from vector to vector at a relatively slow motion, so this is not a problem.

    Click the link to respond:
    I would like to build a low cost laser engraver/ cutter, can your 40w laser power supply be controlled with an arduino or is it only controlled by the controller sold here?

  • How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

    The instructions on how to use a plate for z-axis homing (moveable sensor) can be found here:

    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/moveable_sensor/

    Click the link to respond:
    How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

  • This USB controller: https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout is based on PlanetCNC controller. It states to use their software. Does this mean PlanetCNC API is fully compatible too? Is any API functionality missing?

    Inquiries about API functionality will need to be addressed to Planet-CNC. BuildYourCNC offers hardware support for the board, but software licensing is handled through Planet-CNC.

    Click the link to respond:
    This USB controller: https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout is based on PlanetCNC controller. It states to use their software. Does this mean PlanetCNC API is fully compatible too? Is any API functionality missing?

  • I am building a cnc mill using your USB controller and i would like to know what is the specification of potentiometer used for adjusting manual axis jog speed

    Dealing with our USB BoB, the potentiometer that will be used in the key jog, is a 5V, 5k - 10k Ohm potentiometer.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am building a cnc mill using your USB controller and i would like to know what is the specification of potentiometer used for adjusting manual axis jog speed

  • I AM PUTTING TOGETHER THE BLACKFOOT AND USING A PORTER CABLE ROUTER. CONFUSED ON HOW TO RELAY ROUTETR WITH USB BOARD. IS THERE ANOTHER SWITCH THAT GOES BETWEEN BOARD ROUTER SO PLANET CNC CAN TURN PERHAPS VACUUM OFF?

    We are currently working on a relay board that will connect to USB breakout board, and the router/spindle for both the on/off function. Unfortunately we still do not have it completed or ready to be placed on our website, but it is in the final stages of testing. Please check back regularly for updated stock!

    Here is a link to a tutorial for a DIY relay circuit:



    There is no vacuum control on the Planet-CNC program, however you could use the same concept of the router/spindle on/off using the relay circuit. Although you will have to use either the flood or mist function for the vacuum.

    Click the link to respond:
    I AM PUTTING TOGETHER THE BLACKFOOT AND USING A PORTER CABLE ROUTER. CONFUSED ON HOW TO RELAY ROUTETR WITH USB BOARD. IS THERE ANOTHER SWITCH THAT GOES BETWEEN BOARD ROUTER SO PLANET CNC CAN TURN PERHAPS VACUUM OFF?

  • Why is BuildyourownCNC selling outdated Planet CNC USB controllers?

    We will be deprecating these controllers soon and recommend our mach3 USB boards instead. Planet-CNC is a good CNC control program, however, the boards that we offer was designed in-house to feature a more compact design, but the boards on the Planet-CNC website is more feature filled.

    Click the link to respond:
    Why is BuildyourownCNC selling outdated Planet CNC USB controllers?

  • Using USB Controller Board with Planet-CNC software. The S/W recognizes limit switches but not soft limits. Help?

    "Soft limits are used to decelerate machine to stop before machine is stopped hard way at limit switch or before it crashes. I recommend "Soft Limits Decelerate" and "Soft Limits Strict" settings are also checked. Sometimes we need to disable soft limits and there is a command for this in menu "Machine/Soft Limits". When soft limit is triggered position display will be yellow."

    Are the soft limits "grayed out"?
    Here is a link to a very useful forum post from the Planet-CNC crew:
    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/machine_setup/

    Click the link to respond:
    Using USB Controller Board with Planet-CNC software. The S/W recognizes limit switches but not soft limits. Help?

  • I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

    On the Planet-CNC board, the Mist, Spindle and Coolant outputs will require a relay to switch on those devices. Test one of those terminals with a multi-meter (Mist, Coolant, or Spindle). Each of these terminals have a GND next to the terminal for the device.

    Test the voltage across the GND to the terminal with the arrow that you want to test. Go to the software and click on the device you want to test (mist, coolant or spindle) and note the voltage. If no voltage is output then check under the board to where the terminals are soldered. Re-test the terminals across the solder joints rather than the terminal block wire inputs. If you get a voltage, then there is a problem with the terminal block. If you don't get a voltage, then the board is not functioning properly.

    Additional Information:
    I activated the output signal.. I did the tests indicated and I did not get voltage. I heated the welds of the three outputs and now works coolant but no mist or spindle, what should I do?

    Additional Information:
    There are probably cold joints on the board at the chip or the resistors on the traces for those terminals. You can send the board back to us and we will repair and test the board.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

  • I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

    On the Planet-CNC board, the Mist, Spindle and Coolant outputs will require a relay to switch on those devices. Test one of those terminals with a multi-meter (Mist, Coolant, or Spindle). Each of these terminals have a GND next to the terminal for the device.

    Test the voltage across the GND to the terminal with the arrow that you want to test. Go to the software and click on the device you want to test (mist, coolant or spindle) and note the voltage. If no voltage is output then check under the board to where the terminals are soldered. Re-test the terminals across the solder joints rather than the terminal block wire inputs. If you get a voltage, then there is a problem with the terminal block. If you don't get a voltage, then the board is not functioning properly.

    Additional Information:
    I activated the output signal.. I did the tests indicated and I did not get voltage. I heated the welds of the three outputs and now works coolant but no mist or spindle, what should I do?

    Additional Information:
    There are probably cold joints on the board at the chip or the resistors on the traces for those terminals. You can send the board back to us and we will repair and test the board.

    Additional Information:
    If you want to troubleshoot this yourself, take a very close look at the traces from the terminal and follow them to the tiny resistors, then to the legs of the chip. If you see any bad or bridged solder joints, then those will need to be re-touched. It will take a somewhat experienced soldering individual to accomplish this task and will require flux to make sure the solder joints are fully joined.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

  • How can i get a complete list of all the components (electronics) I need for a CNC laser cutter with the laser controller? A wiring Diagram would probably be very helpful.

    All the options for and variations of our blackTooth laser cutter/engraver are available on our website here https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx#prettyPhoto. The wiring diagram is available here: https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx#prettyPhoto/0/
    We do not offer plans or a bill of materials for our machines at this time, but if you are interested in doing your own from scratch you can learn a lot about the design and build process from our tutorials. We wish you success in your endeavors.

    Click the link to respond:
    How can i get a complete list of all the components (electronics) I need for a CNC laser cutter with the laser controller? A wiring Diagram would probably be very helpful.

  • I trying to setup your USB Controller card. The planetcnc does not load the card, no driver for usb card. Using windows 8.1.

    To install the USB breakout board, there will be no driver to install nor any pop-up will be viewed in your windows task-bar, except only to notify that a USB device has been connected.

    If you have planet-cnc installed it should automatically ask for a license number, which if you don't have you will continue without entering any numbers. Please read carefully since there is a pop-up that can erase the entire firmware on your board, and you will basically have a dead board.

    Please email customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for further assitance.

    Additional Information:
    For Windows 8.1 you need to follow special driver installation steps. Download Planet-cnc software MANUAL and scroll down to that paragraph (without it you will not be able to install and use your board).

    Click the link to respond:
    I trying to setup your USB Controller card. The planetcnc does not load the card, no driver for usb card. Using windows 8.1.

  • I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", how I can connect a signal to turn on a mist?

    If you need to control mist, coolant or spindle using the USB Planet-cnc controller, you will need to connect that specific output terminal to an SSR (Solid State Relay). The solid state relay will act as a switch when the output signal is engaged.

    Additional Information:

    I did it, I activated the output signal in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", how I can connect a signal to turn on a mist?

  • Are there plans to release a USB Controller to work with the Planet CNC Output Board for more advanced spindle control from within Planet CNC?

    At this time we are working to release a new USB controller board that will be compatible with Mach4 software and do not have any immediate plans to update the Planet-CNC USB board.

    Click the link to respond:
    Are there plans to release a USB Controller to work with the Planet CNC Output Board for more advanced spindle control from within Planet CNC?

  • Requirement of laser cutting CNC Router having working area: 100cm x 100cm x 300cm, Belt driven motion, servo motor controller

    This is an open ended question to which there could be many possible answers.

    The requirement of a laser cutter is having a laser with enough energy output to cut the intended material. Generally, the laser function is not tied to the working area unless the laser tube is stationary, where the farther the beam has to travel, the less energy results at the intended area (on the surface of the material).

    We don't use servo motors here. Rather, we use precision stepping motors instead.
    https://buildyourcnc.com/category/nema

    We do offer timing belts.
    https://buildyourcnc.com/category/pulley

    Our blackTooth Laser Cutter:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx

    Our greenBull Leaser/Spindle Head:
    The CNC Machine: https://buildyourcnc.com/greenBullCNCMachineKit.aspx
    The Laser/Spindle Head: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head

    Click the link to respond:
    Requirement of laser cutting CNC Router having working area: 100cm x 100cm x 300cm, Belt driven motion, servo motor controller

  • Can other types of laser tubes work with the controller you are selling, for example, the 80W Reci tube?

    Yes, other CO2 laser tubes will work fine with our laser controller (including the Reci tube). Our laser controller is a digital based controller that controls the laser tube power supply, the motor drivers and other peripherals by outputting digital signals to these devices.

    Laser controller URL:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Laser-Component-Laser-Control-System

    Click the link to respond:
    Can other types of laser tubes work with the controller you are selling, for example, the 80W Reci tube?

  • Do you sell the 3 axis electronics combo , for heavy gantry , with the new Planet CNC usb controller ?

    Unfortunately, we don't sell the planet-cnc controller anymore. They made a change to their software that prohibits us from creating the open source board.

    We do sell three other boards that may work for you.

    The Pokeys57CNC board is the mose feature rich and will work with both Mach3 and Mach4:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    The MAch3 USB board is a good inexpensive interface that will work well if you need the interface to be USB only:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Our in-house parallel breakout board (ytou need a parallel port for this interface to work):
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay
    Most motherboards have the parallel port connector on the motherboard, but not as a connector on the back of the computer case.

    Click the link to respond:
    Do you sell the 3 axis electronics combo , for heavy gantry , with the new Planet CNC usb controller ?