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Question #: 14436

Question: How do I interface to a laser with the Pokey57

Current Solution

We have a video that shows the connection and implementation of a CO2 laser on the youtube channel here:

&t=17s

That video should show how I'm connecing the Pokeys57CNC to the laser tube power supply TL/TH terminal. I also show how to configure Mach3 to trigger the laser on and off using the M7 and M9 codes.

Let me know if this helps.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • 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

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

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

    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 BREAKOUT BOARD?

  • How do I connect a Z-Axis touch plate to the Planet-CNC USB interface?

    "Semi automatic" measuring is possible.
    1. Place movable tool sensor (touch plate) on material.
    2. Click "Measure Offset Z". Tool will move down, touch sensor and move up.
    3. "Measure Offset Z" button is still down.
    4. Click "Offset - Current Z" - this will set offset Z
    5. Click "Measure Offset Z" again to release it and restore normal mode."

    The connections to the USB interface is as follows:
    - The spindle is connected to the gnd terminal (which is also connected to the end mill). Alternatively, you can connect the gnd directly to the end mill is access is permitted.
    - The touch plate (movable tool sensor) is connected to the Z-- terminal.

    What will happen: When the end mill (gnd) is in contact with the touch plate (Z--), there will be a connection from gnd to the Z-- triggering this Z-- action and the software will recognize the connection (like a button press, or a limit switch triggering).

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    How do I connect a Z-Axis touch plate to the Planet-CNC USB interface?

  • Will the mach3 usb interface card work with Windows 7?

    Yes, Mach3 (the software profram) will work with Windows 7, and windows 10 when coupled with the Mach3 USB interface. If you intend to use the parallel port driver, stick with Windows 7 in 32-bit mode.

    Click the link to respond:
    Will the mach3 usb interface card work with Windows 7?

  • How to use the power supplier with laser an commands ? Where is the documentation ?

    Dealing with our laser power supplies you can find a simple schematic/wiring diagram here ((Parallel)https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/LaserWiringParallel.jpg / (USB)https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/LaserWiringUSB.jpg),
    Now you can also find steps for our blackTooth laser cutter/engraver from steps 55-68 on our website here (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx).

    One of our previous customers gave us a courtesy of making a detailed forum on our blackTooth laser cutter assembly (http://blacktoothlaser.blogspot.ca/2013/04/index-for-blacktooth-laser.html?view=classic).

    Click the link to respond:
    How to use the power supplier with laser an commands ? Where is the documentation ?

  • Hi i am interested in the greenBull 6x with Hybrid Laser/Spindle Head (includes Spindle/VFD and Laser Components) - USB Interface (Long Z). I was wondering how much it would cost to get this machine to NZ?

    You can use our shopping cart to determine the shipping. Add the machine and the parts you want to purchase, enter your shipping address and click on the Calculate Shipping Button to get a price for shipping. The shipping charges are determined directly from the carriers at the time of pressing that button.

    Additional Information:

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    Hi i am interested in the greenBull 6x with Hybrid Laser/Spindle Head (includes Spindle/VFD and Laser Components) - USB Interface (Long Z). I was wondering how much it would cost to get this machine to NZ?

  • how much would your vertical laser kit cost without the wood components and door plastic shipped to Canada

    Good question. I will need to add up the cost. However, the complete kit with the wood components will cost in the range of $300 to $500 using freight.

    Additional Information:
    I will add a price option on the Vertical Laser XL page that shows the assembly price without the wood structural parts. Are you wanting the rails included in the price?

    Additional Information:
    Hi, I was expecting an email answer, I did not know that you answered. Also I am in Fiji, not Canada. There is a flaw with your question form, It would not accept Fiji because we have no postal codes, so I put in my old Canadian code so that it would accept my question.

    Yes we would need the rails and any mechanical and electrical components. Our plan is to build it against a wall in a shipping container.

    If you do not have a suitable freight forwarder I can ask at this end because people frequently receive shipping containers.

    Thank you,

    George

    Click the link to respond:
    how much would your vertical laser kit cost without the wood components and door plastic shipped to Canada

  • Using a Pokey57 CNC and Mach 4 can you tell me how to connect my laser. The laser has three wires.. Ground - 12V Power and PMW.

    Do you have a TL or a TH for triggering the laser? If you power the digital side of your laser power supply with 12V and tie the gnd with the PWM gnd on the pokeys57CNC controller, you may be able to use the PWM on the pokeys57CNC controller. Before you do this, I would suggest that you contact polabs support (http://support.polabs.com/) and ask them if this is possible.

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    Using a Pokey57 CNC and Mach 4 can you tell me how to connect my laser. The laser has three wires.. Ground - 12V Power and PMW.

  • Do you have a laser system that works with the 4.1 blacktoe system?

    We do not currently offer a laser kit specifically for the blackToe, however we do offer a combination spindle/laser tube mount for our greenBull machine here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head. You could probably modify that mount to suit your needs, or you can contact us directly to discuss a custom mount. We also offer all the additional equipment needed to begin lasing -- tube, power supply, mirrors, etc.

    Click the link to respond:
    Do you have a laser system that works with the 4.1 blacktoe system?

  • 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?

  • How difficult is it to put the medium laser machine together with limited tech skills?

    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!

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    How difficult is it to put the medium laser machine together with limited tech skills?

  • How long does it take to build the 40 watt laser kit?

    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 respond:
    How long does it take to build the 40 watt laser kit?

  • im considering purchase of black tooth laser cutter, have vectric pro software what interface do i choose

    The Vectric software is very good software for CNC related machine operation applications; however, I am not familiar with a "current" line of software that would be best for laser toolpath application. It is best to use the laser controller for this machine as it will provide the best movement for laser cutting and engraving (especially for rapid raster (bitmap) style motion and lasing (engraving an image or design from top to bottom).

    This is the laser control system you should purchase with the blackTooth Laser Cutter and Engraver:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Laser-Component-Laser-Control-System

    Click the link to respond:
    im considering purchase of black tooth laser cutter, have vectric pro software what interface do i choose

  • Does the USB controller come with driver installation instructions so we could create our own user interface to communicate with the motor?

    You can use a Pickit 2 programming to load firmware onto the usb driver. The USB use a Microchip pic microcontroller. If you can manage writing a program for the Pic microcontroller and have a Pickit 2 firmware uploader (programmer), you should have no problem.

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    Does the USB controller come with driver installation instructions so we could create our own user interface to communicate with the motor?

  • How fast can I cut 1/4" wood with the 40 watt CO2 laser?

    CO2 laser will not cut wood material fast at all. This is just the nature of the laser energy. The wood is a very low absorbent of the laser energy and you will need to run probably around 10 ipm to cut through the wood. CNC is much more efficient for cutting and laser as more efficient at marking or slowly cutting if you need the small kerf. You will also need a relatively high output air source to cut efficiently. The air will blow away the char (carbon) on the wood. The black char will absorb most of the laser energy not allowing the wood to be cut well. We use a compressor for the air source, but you can use a commercial hydroponic air pump instead.

    Click the link to respond:
    How fast can I cut 1/4" wood with the 40 watt CO2 laser?

  • How long does it take to build the blackTooth Laser Cutter?

    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 respond:
    How long does it take to build the blackTooth Laser Cutter?

  • Is there a downloadable manual for the usb Mach3 interface board? I'm not sure one came with my Redleaf. Cheers.
  • Can I use the driver's I have with the Pokey57

    Since the Pokey57CNC outputs standard pulse and direction signals, you can use any stepper driver. So, you do not need to use the Postep driver to operate your stepper motors.

    The Pokey57CNC control board is extremely feature rich and can be use to control very complex light or heavy CNC systems. Since most CNC system use high current drivers, the Pokey57CNC can be used with these systems.

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    Can I use the driver's I have with the Pokey57

  • Does USB Controller Breakout support Linux Ubuntu and does the software support command line interface (to control it with python scripts for example)

    The usb controller will only work with the planet-cnc software which is software that will work in Windows.

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    Does USB Controller Breakout support Linux Ubuntu and does the software support command line interface (to control it with python scripts for example)