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Question #: 13826

Question: Can i wire my drivers and motors in parallel to your laser controll system to add a laser unit on my router?

Current Solution

It is possible to add the laser control system to an existing CNC router but there are a few considerations:

All of the signal wires from the laser controller that connect to the drivers drivers and all of the signal wires from the CNC controller that go to the drivers will need to first pass through a tri-state gate buffer chip that will allow one set of signal wires to be switched off and the other set switched on.

We have a board that does this in development, but If you wish to accomplish this on your own, you will need:

- 3 Quad buffer line drivers (each one can receive 4 signal wires): https://newbiehack.com/categories/newbiehack-integrated_circuits-buffer-quad-buffer-line-driver-throughhole
- Some perf board, solder and a soldering iron, and some hookup wire.

If this doesn't scare you, please feel free to submit additional information and let me know if you would like more information.


Additional Information:
You will also need a physical switch to select laser control or CNC control.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • My plasmacam cnc machine has servo motors with an optical encoder to provide position sensing. Can the pokeys57 cnc controller and drivers run those servos?

    Yes, the Pokeys57CNC can control standard CNC or plasma machine servos as servo drives accept step and direction signals just like stepper motors.

    Click the link to respond:
    My plasmacam cnc machine has servo motors with an optical encoder to provide position sensing. Can the pokeys57 cnc controller and drivers run those servos?

  • I'm trying to build my CNC router 3m*1.3m, but i'm not sure what is the type of stepper motor i should pay, all my CNC body is Al. I need to bay 4 Stepper motors, 4 drivers, spindle, inverter, and i don't know what is the type of controller ?

    The size of the stepper motor is measured in holding torque, generally oz/in. You will determine the torque loads of your axes when selecting steppers. Once you know which stepper you need, the drivers and controller board are simple to pair with them.

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm trying to build my CNC router 3m*1.3m, but i'm not sure what is the type of stepper motor i should pay, all my CNC body is Al. I need to bay 4 Stepper motors, 4 drivers, spindle, inverter, and i don't know what is the type of controller ?

  • I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

    Here is how to connect your router to the parallel breakout board through the on-board relay. You will need a spare extension cord. You will need to remove a portion of the outer jacket of the extension cord to expose the white, black and green wires (white = neutral, black = live and green = ground), understanding that the neutral and live create the completed circuit.

    See this image of a similar connection. The terminal has the same connections.
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/vacuum-pressure-controller-relay-terminals-700.JPG

    Image of the relay terminal:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/breakoutboardrelayNONC.PNG

    The live/black wire would be cut and one end of the cut would be secured into the P terminal and the other cut end would be secured into the S terminal. The live and ground wire would be uncut and travel from the plug to the router.


    Additional Information:
    You can also connect other high powered devices to the breakout board using any of the output terminals. You will need to supply extra relays like the one shown here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-breakout-Relays-relay-board-250V-12A-5V

    Or you can find SSRs (Solid State Relays) that will accept 5v to drive the relay coil. Make sure the SSR will protect the 5V line from Back EMF as there is a coil in the relay. The one we sell contains a fly-back diode to protect the 5v terminal.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

  • can I purchase just the parallel controller board? I purchased the usb option 4 axis combo and would like to also try the system with my parallel port computer. Any help with this will be greatly appreciated; my goal is to implement mach4.
  • 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?

    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.

    Click the link to respond:
    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?

  • where on your mk1 usb controller is the input port i can use for pause or estop comand thanks

    On our USB breakout boards, the pins available for any inputs (e-stop/limit switches).
    Are x++ - a-- (x++,x--,y,z,a(same)) in the settings menu you will have to specify the pin!

    Here is a good forum on Planet-CNC.com to help setting up Planet-CNC software:(http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/machine_setup/)

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    In the planetcnc software the inputs are greyed out I have a licenced copy and I have all limits setup and working correctly id like to use the a++ or a-- as a manual program pause if my plasma fails torch ignition and id like it to continue after re ignition. When the mk1 controller is unplugged the inputs are available but when the controller is plugged in there greyed out is these options unavailable with your controller please help.

    Click the link to respond:
    where on your mk1 usb controller is the input port i can use for pause or estop comand thanks

  • I need to determine steps/inch mach3 setup information for my motors and drivers.

    blueChick:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    blackToe:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    blackFoot:

    X-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    greenBull:

    X-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/4 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in


    Scratch-Build / Book-Build Kit:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Scratch built/book CNC with NEMA 34 motors and CW8060 microstep driver

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    I need to determine steps/inch mach3 setup information for my motors and drivers.

  • 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

  • I'm building my own machine using your motors and drivers. What is the best dip switch settings for the 3.0 amp drivers powering the 425 oz motors

    The settings that you will use for your 3.0 amp driver to properly power and turn your 425 oz-in stepper motor will cheifly depend on your application and the mechanical parts you are using on your machine. In all circumstances, the amp setting for the stepper motor (according to the datasheet) should be 2.8 amps. Use the closest setting on the driver without going over.

    Here is a good rule of thumb for the microstepping which will correspond to the resolution, but wil also affect torque. You always want to try to achieve the best torque and resolution for the axis you are moving but go with the lowest microstepping possible. In cases where there is mechanical advantage, like a lead screw scenario, where for each motor revolution, the axis move a very small amount, you will want a very low microstep value. This is because the mechanical configuration will provide most of the finer resolution and you will not need the microstepping to assist in this. Increase the microstepping only in conditions where the axis is not moving smooth enough, or where there is a mechanical disadvantage. A mechanical disadvantage would be where the stepper motor is causing a great amount of movement in the axis and the resolutions suffers from this condition. Increase the microstep value up to your desired resolution, but don't go over since the torque of the motor will decrease.

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm building my own machine using your motors and drivers. What is the best dip switch settings for the 3.0 amp drivers powering the 425 oz motors

  • How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to respond:
    How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

  • 4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

    Yes, you can use the 4 axis kit and use two of the motors on the gantry. You will need to wire the gantry axis motors to the same step and direction signals on the controller interface. For example, if the gantry axis is the X axis, then on the controller step and direction terminals (CP and CW) is wired to both of the stepper motor drivers for the X axis.

    Click the link to respond:
    4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

  • Can I have two motors and drivers on a single axis?

    Yes, you can have two drivers connected to a single axis. If you want the two drivers/motors to work as a single, more concerted pair, then I would suggest connecting the two drivers to a single step pulse and direction signal.

    That is to say:
    driver 1 and driver 2 have wires connecting from the CP terminals of the drivers to a single step terminal on the interface board (USB or parallel breakout board), and the CW terminals of the drivers connected to a single direction terminal on the interface board.

    If the motors need to spin in the opposite directions, simply reverse one of the the motor A B coil connections (i.e. wires that would go to A+ and A- is connected to the B+ and B-, and the same with the B+ and B- to the A+ and A-). You can alternatively resolve this mechanically if desired.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can I have two motors and drivers on a single axis?

  • Does your 3 axis comboi have the same controller board (i.e. parallel option) as the 4 axis combo?

    Yes, you can select the price option for the electronics combos that include the interface board you desire.

    Go to the electronics category page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx

    Select the motors and drivers combination you desire and select the price option that contains the interface card you desire.

    Click the link to respond:
    Does your 3 axis comboi have the same controller board (i.e. parallel option) as the 4 axis combo?

  • 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.

  • got my stepper motors wired to the information on your website using USB Bob and the motors don't step they keep turning like an old drill until they stop

    So, if I understand correctly, the stepping motor will turn on command, but the motor will only turn in one direction. Check the output of your direction signal wire. Check the wire voltage when you command the motor to turn on one direction in the planet-cnc software. Then check the voltage when you command the motor to turn in the other direction. The voltage should be different in each case.

    Click the link to respond:
    got my stepper motors wired to the information on your website using USB Bob and the motors don't step they keep turning like an old drill until they stop

  • 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?

  • I bought your 3 axis combo and need to know what name brand is the motors and their ounces and the drivers

    Surely you know the brand motors you sold me?

    Click the link to respond:
    I bought your 3 axis combo and need to know what name brand is the motors and their ounces and the drivers

  • I just finished building my first CNC with the electronics I purchased from you and I am already thinking about improving it. I would like to build a 2 motor X axis solution. Is it possible to attach 2 parallel motors and drivers to the BlueBrew Breakout Board? If so, how?

    Attaching two motors in parallel is possible, but you will need another motor and driver for the opposite side. Each motor must have its own driver to work accordingly and fluently. The two can be wired together, to the same pins on your breakout board and set the dip switches on the driver to match the ones on your x-axis(ex). But remember to view the orientation of the motor and which way it spins, since it is on the opposite side it will have to be orientated correctly to move in sync with the other motor.

    Click the link to respond:
    I just finished building my first CNC with the electronics I purchased from you and I am already thinking about improving it. I would like to build a 2 motor X axis solution. Is it possible to attach 2 parallel motors and drivers to the BlueBrew Breakout Board? If so, how?