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Question #: 14322

Question: I have a double engrave in y_swing mode in my vertical laser machine

Current Solution

When engraving with the vertical laser, use unilateral movement for the y-swing. Unilateral engraving will allow the firing on the laser in one direction.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

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

    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.

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

  • vertical laser machine resolution ppi

    The Vertical Laser XL can have various PPI setting depending on your application and material that you are cutting.

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    vertical laser machine resolution ppi

  • MY LASER MACHINE VERTICAL DOES NOT ACTIVATE THE LASER TUBE, VERIFY THE POWER SUPPLIES AND THEY ARE WORKING WHICH THE PROBLEM CAN BE

    Same issue here -- TTL output from the AWC708C never seems to be pulled low. Still troubleshooting.

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    MY LASER MACHINE VERTICAL DOES NOT ACTIVATE THE LASER TUBE, VERIFY THE POWER SUPPLIES AND THEY ARE WORKING WHICH THE PROBLEM CAN BE

  • Can your 4' x 8' vertical laser/engraver be built with a 4th axis for engraving cylinders (baseball bats)?

    Absolutely, between the ribs that make up the structure, there is room to add other peripherals like an 4th axis.

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    Can your 4' x 8' vertical laser/engraver be built with a 4th axis for engraving cylinders (baseball bats)?

  • am interested in purchasing the 80 Watt Vertical Laser XL 4'x8' Laser Cutter and Engraver, what material depth can it cut?

    The Vertical Laser XL's 80 watt CO2 laser tube is capable of cutting lighter material such as wood and plastic at up to 1/2" or 12mm.

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    am interested in purchasing the 80 Watt Vertical Laser XL 4'x8' Laser Cutter and Engraver, what material depth can it cut?

  • I am wondering if you also supply plans for the bigger machines, also the vertical CNC that you have in your product range?

    The only plans we sell for any machine, are the ones that relate to the book we create found here, http://www.buildyourcnc.com/Book.aspx

    Here is the link to those plans that we sell, http://www.buildyourcnc.com/cnckitintro.aspx

    We do not sell any other plans, only full kits, with or without electronics.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am wondering if you also supply plans for the bigger machines, also the vertical CNC that you have in your product range?

  • I need to replace the on board computer of my laser engraving machine

    What model laser cutter and engraver do you have? What is the model number of the laser controller within the laser cutter and engraver?

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    I need to replace the on board computer of my laser engraving machine

  • How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

    It will depend on how you configure the machine to use the Laser and plasma. Is the laser on a separate gantry? That will determine the way you will connect the laser control system or if you use a typical CNC controller. The plasma will need inputs of THC on, THC up, THC down and outputs to trigger the plasma torch. I recommend the Pokeys57CNC for the plasma and you can also fire the laser with it, but you will not be able to do engraving with the laser unless you use a laser controller. If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using, or if you have the laser on a separate gantry, you can use a traditional laser controller connected to the stepper motor drivers on that gantry.

    Users response:
    I was planing on using same gantry, and installing plasma and laser module on z axis along the side with current router. Perhaps if it’s needed installing another z axis on current z axis. So that when I use plasma, router z will be homed and plasma z axis will be able to utilize thc.

    When you say “If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using,”
    If i install laser controller, pokeys and router motion card, do you mean all ( axis and router/laser/plasma) signals or just the one that controls router/laser/plasma?
    I was wondering if I could jump (parallel connect) axis signals from card to card without ?
    Also do you prefer ethernet card or usb?
    I really do appreciate your help :) thanx again.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    Not a problem at all.

    Remember that with all of that weight on the z-axis, you will not be able to do efficient raster style engraving.

    By putting the laser on another gantry, say at the far end of the table, then you would be able to use a laser controller that controls its own stepper motors and the nozzle can have fast swing motion for engraving. With the laser on the z-axis of the spindle (like see on the greenBull), you will only be able to do vector motions for the laser.

    You can also have a CNC interface and laser controller controlling the same stepper motor drivers, but you will need a few tri-state buffer chips where you can use a toggle switch for which controller has control of the drivers.

    Click the link to respond:
    How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

  • How thick can the material to be engraved will fit inside the BlackTooth machine

    The thickness of material that can be cut or engraved is addressed in other CSL answers.

    The thickness of material that will physically fit into the machine is limited by the distance from the bottom of the cabinet to the laser nozzle, which needs to be at a distance from the workpiece determined by the focal length of the lenses used. (2 inches is standard in our machine.) The standard cabinet of our blackTooth has a cut out section about 25 inches wide designed to allow a sliding tray to be used to easily change workpieces. You could allow for material of any reasonable thickness by adjusting the thickness of this tray so that the surface of your workpiece is the proper distance from the nozzle. You could also modify the cabinet as needed to accommodate special sized work.

    If you need to lase very large workpieces, you might consider our Vertical Laser XL, found here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-vertical-laser-xl, or adding a laser tube to the spindle of one of our conventional CNC machines, such as this: https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head.

    Click the link to respond:
    How thick can the material to be engraved will fit inside the BlackTooth machine

  • can these machines etch/ engrave glass and granite

    Sure, come on by! You can come and see some of our machines in action; pose difficult questions and hopefully we can answer them; and even have some tests done with stuff you bring.

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    can these machines etch/ engrave glass and granite

  • I am looking at buying the blacktooth-laser-cutter-engraver-40w. Can you give me some idea of the types and thickness of material this machine will cut and/or ingrave?

    Considering that "materials being lased by may emit gasses that are harmful to humans (corrode human tissue and cause damage to respiratory organs). Always read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the material to be lased. You can find these MSDS from manufacturer websites for the material you are considering for use in the laser system."
    We successfully have worked on Thin sheets of Brasswood, glass, foam, plexi-glass. The thickest materials you will be able to successfully cut is 1/4".

    Click the link to respond:
    I am looking at buying the blacktooth-laser-cutter-engraver-40w. Can you give me some idea of the types and thickness of material this machine will cut and/or ingrave?

  • IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

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    IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

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

    Shipping crate size 121" X 36" X 92"

    Weight 511 LBS

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    WHAT IS SHIPPING DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT FOR THE VERTICAL LASER.

  • Can the leangreen vertical laser be adapted to attach a spindle as well?

    At this current time we only have the laser hybrid available for the greenBull. Due to the weight that is on the z-axis for the greenLean and the spring load, we have not tried retrofitting it just yet.

    However, with enough skill and patience anything is possible. Please let us know if you try this and any lessons learned along the way.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can the leangreen vertical laser be adapted to attach a spindle as well?

  • where is the build manual for the blacktooth laser? online? I didnt get one with my machine

    For our machines our steps for the build process can be found on the actual machine page with images to reference (please read carefully all the instructions) (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx).
    You can get further help here (http://blacktoothlaser.blogspot.ca/2013/04/index-for-blacktooth-laser.html?view=sidebar) a post made by one of our customers!

    Click the link to respond:
    where is the build manual for the blacktooth laser? online? I didnt get one with my machine

  • MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

    Click the link to respond:
    MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

  • WHAT ARE THE SHIPPING DIMENSIONS FOR VERTICAL LASER

    Shipping crate size 121" X 36" X 92"

    Weight 511 LBS

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT ARE THE SHIPPING DIMENSIONS FOR VERTICAL LASER

  • How would LinuxCNC be used with the vertical laser?

    It is possible to use LinuxCNC for laser cutters and engravers but not advisable. The efficiency and control with traditional CNC control programs cannot match that of Laser controllers. This is because laser controllers are very good at matching speed with power, especially with raster image burning. Moreover, controlling the laser tube while cutting and engraving is very built in with gcode. Special software can be used, but the processing and execution is not efficient.

    Laser controllers and associated software have matured well and can do cutting and engraving very well and is worth the extra expense.

    If you are still interested in getting LinuxCNC to work with the laser, let me know and we can discuss this in great detail on this FAQ.

    Additional Information:
    A better question might be "What are some good ways to control the vertical laser directly from a Linux machine without having to hop through Windows?" Let me know if you want me to post this as a separate question.

    If I were buying the blacktooth, I'd order the parallel port board for it and skip the anywells controller -- I notice that you don't show that as an option on the vertical, which is what's generating this question.

    Some background: All of our CAD/CAM is done in Linux (openscad, freecad, librecad, cadquery, blender, pycam, python gcode generators...), we use git and Makefiles and other automation scripts extensively, and we need to be able to avoid doing the double-hop from Linux via Windows to get files sent to the laser.

    An example use case is that of being able to say 'make' in a project's directory on any Linux machine on the network to ship the file to the laser, including power settings etc. Needing to ship it to Windows first, and then manually mouse around to set power etc. is what I want to avoid.

    With Epilogs, I used to always bypass the Windows/Coreldraw toolchain by using Gershenfeld's cam.py, sending PCL from Linux straight to the Epilog.

    Something equivalent to that -- being able to run a script in Linux to convert and ship the file straight to the laser -- is what I'm planning to do here. I mentioned LinuxCNC because it's what I'm already using for our mill, and I'm comfortable hacking on it. I'm not wedded to LinuxCNC for a laser, but I am looking for open-source flexibility and future-proofing.

    We don't even have any Windows machines any more -- we got rid of the last of them years ago, and I'd like to avoid going back.

    Additional Information:
    I've split the more general Linux use case out as a separate question at https://buildyourcnc.com/FAQ/13989

    Additional Information:
    Starting to find some answers -- forums have a thread which addresses some LinuxCNC questions at http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3452 for instance.

    Additional Information:
    Example LinuxCNC config for the buildlog 2.X laser is at https://github.com/jv4779/2x_laser

    Additional Information:
    I'm going to need some time to digest this information. Curious, are you able to develop a program to change the g-code if need be? Will you be doing vector style cutting operations only? If so, the process may be pretty straight forward.

    Additional Information:
    Before we adapted the blackTooth laser to use the laser controller, we operated the machine using Mach3 and the z-axis direction signal was the chief mechanism to fire the laser (down=on, up=off). It worked like a charm. It would be better to use one of the output triggers to do this for safer operation; however.

    Additional Information:
    Blacktooth adaptation of the above buildlog config can be found at http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=18157#p18157

    Additional Information:
    Answering the earlier comment (is that you Patrick?) -- yes, we'd be doing vector primarily, though my wife (and CEO) is salivating over the potential for raster. I've got no problem writing a python script to massage gcode if that's what it would take to make things work. CAM is always a problem on Linux but I've been using a mix of things to generate gcode for milling (including just writing it by hand), and can get by as needed. Expect to spend this weekend looking around to see what others are doing.

    Additional Information:
    Yes. This isn’t Patrick. I manage the Customer Service section. I will try my best to help with this over the weekend and balance family time. Haha.

    I will check the links. If raster is a must, you can have two controllers controlling the machine using tri-state gates to the drivers. I did this for a customer a while ago to run CNC and laser with an external switch. You could use an external switch to switch between LinuxCNC operation and laser controller.

    Additional Information:
    This is Patrick. Auto correct on my phone turned the "is" to "isn't". Ha!

    Additional Information:
    The buildyourtools links doesn't really have much to do with LinuxCNC and the buildyourtools information on that thread (by MUK) implements a very similar configuration that I introduced when I first started selling the blackTooth (with the parallel control board). That style of configuration may work well with a LinuxCNC scenario.

    I would rather jump-in cold with the LinuxCNC solution and see if we can address each step. What CAM program will you be using? I ask this question because that program may have the ability to inject g-code at specific points where we can turn on and off the laser.

    Also, I'm going to merge the two FAQs once we pick the one we use the most often to figure this out. I'm also more comfortable using this Customer Service system to address the question for many reasons, one of which is I can tie these questions to the products directly to benefit many others.

    Additional Information:
    For laser CAM on Linux we have used cam.py in the past; it's just a python script, so modifying the gcode it generates is easy.

    I think we've reached a purchase decision; your responsiveness here has helped a lot with that, Patrick. It looks to me like we're going to be able to make this thing work, one way or another.

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    How would LinuxCNC be used with the vertical laser?

  • engraving timing and power settings vertical laser

    The rate at which the nozzle moves across the surface to produce a specific depth and how much power is needed for this will depend on the material that is being lased.

    Shallow engraving in a raster like operation is quite rapid where the nozzle is swinging back and forth very fast. Deeper engraving for vector type of designs will depend on the depth, which also relates to cutting. The thicker the material to cut, the slower the feedrate, and higher the power will be necessary.

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    engraving timing and power settings vertical laser