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.
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.
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?
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.
My turn for phone typos. ;-) I meant to say "If that's the answer, then..."
I've started a forum topic about this at http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8412&start=0
Good idea. Thanks.
When a direct solution is realized on buildyourtools, I will post it here.
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What are some good ways to control the vertical laser from a Linux machine?