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Question #: 13989

Question: What are some good ways to control the vertical laser from a Linux machine?

Current Solution

There really isn't any good way to use Linux when using a traditional Laser Controller. If LaserCAD worked under the Linux OS, then that would work.

Would you like to know an alternative to use Linux using maybe LinuxCNC? There are ways to do it, but you will find yourself deep in g-code and out of the box wiring configurations, most likely.

Alternatively, you can create a dual boot scenario and put Window on the other part of the hard drive. This way, you would be able to run LaserCAD.

You can also "attempt" to use LaserCAD in the wine environment, but I have a feeling that will probably not work.

Additional Information:
We're a small family-owned electronics and hardware manufacturer, using LinuxCNC already for milling. Dual-boot into Windows isn't a sensible option -- it would greatly reduce the utility of the machine. I have more information about our use case in https://buildyourcnc.com/FAQ/13985.

Additional Information:
Ok, fair enough. Then let's get into the details on how you can use LinuxCNC to operate a Laser machine.

Do you have an idea what controller you will be using? Parallel?

Additional Information:
My first inclination was to use LinuCNC with the parallel interface board. Of that's the answer, then we might want to just add to the LinuxCNC discussion that's starting to firm up at https://buildyourcnc.com/FAQ/13985 rather than duplicate the information here.

I'm open to other alternatives and am happy to hack; we make PCBs and cable harnesses as a business, so that's not a limitation either. One answer might be to use one of the open source controllers that are starting to show up.

Additional Information:
My turn for phone typos. ;-) I meant to say "If that's the answer, then..."

Additional Information:
I've started a forum topic about this at http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8412&start=0

Additional Information:
Good idea. Thanks.

When a direct solution is realized on buildyourtools, I will post it here.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • WHAT ARE THE SHIPPING DIMENSIONS FOR VERTICAL LASER

    Shipping crate size 121" X 36" X 92"

    Weight 511 LBS

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT ARE THE SHIPPING DIMENSIONS FOR VERTICAL LASER

  • WHAT ARE SOME USEFUL MODIFICATIONS CAN APPLY TO THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    Temperature probe monitor. Very valuable. This keeps you up to date on your coolant temperature levels.

    Voltage meter. This will tell you the exact level of voltage/power you are running telling the laser to run at instead of an arbitrary mark on a drawn wheel around your POT.

    Ammeter sensitive to 1mA. This will be sure your not over driving your tube and reducing it's life significantly.

    Hour meter. This will tell you exactly how long your system has been 'on' giving you a more accurate bead on the length of your tubes life.

    Exhaust fan upgrade. The current fan included is 100CFM. You can buy 120mm fans that push 250CFM and I have included a guide on how to go about doing this here. http://buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewto ... 8cdd1802bf

    To push the exhaust fan even further, if you have the room/power, I would highly recommend investing in a 600+ CFM "Dust Collector" system. 250CFM is still not suffice to draw all the smoke that can come off of 3mm or 1/8 MDF cutting job.

    A cutting surface. I bought myself a aluminum 'egg crate' mesh from my local HVAC company. They are used a cover for fluorescent lights and work great for low impact cutting surface. They come in 4'x8' sheets and are easily cut to fit. The other side is if you can find a steel honeycomb cutting bed to fit. These can be quite costly or fairly affordable depending where you are looking. The benefit of a steel honeycomb is you can use high power magnets to hold material down.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT ARE SOME USEFUL MODIFICATIONS CAN APPLY TO THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

    The largest CNC machine we make at this time (12/04/2015) is the GreenBull 6'x12' model. This model has 2 options for Z-axis travel.

    The short-z option has a total Z travel of 5.75 inches. From that you would subtract the length of the end mill used and the thickness of the spoil board to determine the maximum material thickness. (Example: If the end mill extends 1.25" from the collet and the spoil board is .75", then the material could be up to 5.75 - 1.25 - 0.75 = 3.75 inches in thickness). This is good for most sheet-type materials.

    The long-z option, used mainly for large 3D carvings, requires a custom frame and allows for up to 36" of travel.

    The tolerance of our machines, like any machine, depends on several variables. The major variables include the manufacturing tolerance, the type of machine control used, the precision of assembly, the thoroughness of maintenance, and the initial and ongoing calibration of the machine. Because we sell kits only most of these variables are outside our control. Therefore, we are hesitant to guarantee a certain level of tolerance for an end user. However, in our experience, tolerances of .001" are readily achievable with our machines.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

  • WHAT IS SHIPPING DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT FOR THE VERTICAL LASER.

    Shipping crate size 121" X 36" X 92"

    Weight 511 LBS

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS SHIPPING DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT FOR THE VERTICAL LASER.

  • WHAT MATERIALS CAN THE GREENBULL MACHINE CUT? LASER ETCH?

    The Greenbull machine can cut a very wide variety of materials ranging from foam to aluminum. We recommend the use of our 2.2kW spindle to allow the greatest flexibility. Aside from that, the most important thing is to use an appropriate end mill for the material you are cutting and to use appropriate speeds and feed rates.



    BYCNC Response:
    Our 40W laser can cut up to about 1/4" materials ranging from wood and acrylic down through lighter materials such as leather, fabric, foam, etc. Speed and final cut are greatly enhanced by an air assist upgrade. We also offer an 80W laser which has approximately twice the capabilities of the 40W.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT MATERIALS CAN THE GREENBULL MACHINE CUT? LASER ETCH?

  • WHAT IS THE SYSTEM PASSWORD FOR LASER CONTROL UNIT?

    The password is: 608

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS THE SYSTEM PASSWORD FOR LASER CONTROL UNIT?

  • Are the linear slide bearings good quality? Should I expect all 30 to be equal in quality and use them to produce a very accurate CNC machine?

    Which linear slide bearings are you referring?

    The ones that come in the pack of 24 or 30

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Are the linear slide bearings good quality? Should I expect all 30 to be equal in quality and use them to produce a very accurate CNC machine?

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    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?

  • I just changed my X and Y to the ACME 1/2" 5 start lead screw. What are the motor tuning numbers. I have the book built machine.

    The settings that will have to be change will be your steps per inch in motor tuning (mach 3), or settings/axes(planetCNC). But we do not have the actual numbers/specs that will fit your 10 TPI 5 start lead screw, here is a tutorial video which explains how to get the exact numbers you need! (

    )

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I just changed my X and Y to the ACME 1/2" 5 start lead screw. What are the motor tuning numbers. I have the book built machine.

  • What is your shipping costs for the greenLean CNC machine to Perth Western Australia

    You can determine if the country is serviceable by:
    - selecting the items you want to purchase on the website
    - go to the cart (shopping cart top left of any webpage)
    - log in, or register
    - Enter the address and click on calculate shipping.

    The webpage will return the direct rates and whether your area is serviced or not. Feel free to enter any address as long as you are able to receive the package from that address.

    The shipping times are determined by the service you select in the shopping cart. If a machine is purchased, we generally have a one week lead time unless otherwise stated in the description of the machine's product page.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What is your shipping costs for the greenLean CNC machine to Perth Western Australia

  • HOW COMPLEX IS YOUR KIT TO ASSEMBLE, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - HARD IT SETUP CONTROL THE LASER WITH MACH3?

    The blackTooth Laser cutter and Engraver can be built in a weekend. Take a look at the build instructions and try to determine if you feel you have sufficient capability to put together the laser system.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW COMPLEX IS YOUR KIT TO ASSEMBLE, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - HARD IT SETUP CONTROL THE LASER WITH MACH3?

  • AND WHAT SIZES ARE THE PACKAGES OF MACHINE.

    the package sizes will be listed in your shopping cart, in the item detail. The site will also fully calculate shipping charges directly from the carrier, for each package you purchase.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    AND WHAT SIZES ARE THE PACKAGES OF MACHINE.

  • Are you using Mach 3 or 4? Do you ever use the etherenet outlet to control drivers?

    We still use Mach3 with a parallel port. We are looking into newer boards with USB/ethernet communication.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Are you using Mach 3 or 4? Do you ever use the etherenet outlet to control drivers?

  • WHAT IS THE SHIPPING COST OF MACHINE TO AUSTRALIA?

    You can determine if the country is serviceable by:
    - selecting the items you want to purchase on the website
    - go to the cart (shopping cart top left of any webpage)
    - log in, or register
    - Enter the address and click on calculate shipping.

    The webpage will return the direct rates and whether your area is serviced or not. Feel free to enter any address as long as you are able to receive the package from that address.

    The shipping times are determined by the service you select in the shopping cart. If a machine is purchased, we generally have a one week lead time unless otherwise stated in the description of the machine's product page.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS THE SHIPPING COST OF MACHINE TO AUSTRALIA?

  • WHAT ARE THE SPINDLE INVERTERS (VFD) INPUT AC CONNECTIONS FROM WALL OUTLET?

    Input to VFD:
    240V Active - R
    240V Neutral - S
    Ground - E

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT ARE THE SPINDLE INVERTERS (VFD) INPUT AC CONNECTIONS FROM WALL OUTLET?

  • What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

    The frame size difference of the NEMA 23 and 24 is very slight and, depending on the motor mount both will most likely fit. The bigger difference between these stepping motors is the torque. Make sure that the motor that you purchase has the appropriate torque for the axis that it will move.

    Is is safe to go with the higher torque? Or if the torque is too high for what i need is that bad?

    You can use a motor with higher torque. Just make sure to select the correct driver for that motor.

    Additional Information:
    The frame size has nothing to do with torque. Nema 23 means a 2.3" frame. Nema 24 means a 2.4" frame. That's all. Either could have more or less torque depending on speed and power.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

  • What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

    The frame size difference of the NEMA 23 and 24 is very slight and, depending on the motor mount both will most likely fit. The bigger difference between these stepping motors is the torque. Make sure that the motor that you purchase has the appropriate torque for the axis that it will move.

    Is is safe to go with the higher torque? Or if the torque is too high for what i need is that bad?

    You can use a motor with higher torque. Just make sure to select the correct driver for that motor.

    Additional Information:
    The frame size has nothing to do with torque. Nema 23 means a 2.3" frame. Nema 24 means a 2.4" frame. That's all. Either could have more or less torque depending on speed and power.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

  • WHAT CAN ADD TO MY BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER MEASURE THE TIME OF USE?

    Hour meter. This will tell you exactly how long your system has been 'on' giving you a more accurate bead on the length of your tubes life.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT CAN ADD TO MY BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER MEASURE THE TIME OF USE?

  • WHAT LEAD TIME CAN EXPECT FOR BLACKTOE SO PICK UP THE MACHINE?

    You can expect a one week lead time for our machines.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT LEAD TIME CAN EXPECT FOR BLACKTOE SO PICK UP THE MACHINE?

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