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Question #: 2383

Question: What is the acceleration limited to with the laser tube vertical?

Current Solution

With our new Laser/Spindle Combo Head for our greenBull, we kept the acceleration the same and had no issues at all with the tube (regarding chipping breaking etc.). So there is no specific limit to the machine (take into affect the weight of your gantry and the overall output of your motors), but here is the setup we have now:
(with a custom greenBull gantry (4' x 8'))
X-axis
SPI: 910.069
Vel: 400.02
Acc: 12
Y-Axis
SPI: 911.023
Vel: 400.02
Acc: 18
Z-Axis
SPI: 1632.653
Vel: 79.98
Acc: 5

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • What issues will a user need to be prepared to solve with the vertical laser that they wouldn't normally see with a horizontal bed?

    I personally haven't noticed any issues with horizontal and vertical (slanted). If there is no backing on the vertical laser (something behind the workpiece), then the parts do tend to fall out. Just keep something behind the workpiece.

    On a horizontal bed, you may be able to get a bit of a better vacuum hold down, but with a machine the size of a 4'x8', there really isn't a great way to get vacuum hold down, and I haven't seen the need for it anyway.

    Click the link to respond:
    What issues will a user need to be prepared to solve with the vertical laser that they wouldn't normally see with a horizontal bed?

  • what is the total envelope of the vertical laser xl?

    The footprint (necessary floor space) for the Vertical Laser XL is: 123 inches x 26 inches or 3124.2 mm x 660.4 mm

    The height of the Vertical Laser XL is 87 inches or 2209.8 mm

    So, the envelope of the Vertical Laser XL is:
    length: 123 inches or 3124.2mm
    depth: 26 inches or 660.4 mm
    height: 87 inches or 2209.8 mm

    Click the link to respond:
    what is the total envelope of the vertical laser xl?

  • 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 respond:
    WHAT IS SHIPPING DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT FOR 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!

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

  • what is the footprint of the vertical laser xl?

    The footprint (necessary floor space) for the Vertical Laser XL is: 123 inches x 26 inches or 3124.2 mm x 660.4 mm

    The height of the Vertical Laser XL is 87 inches or 2209.8 mm

    So, the envelope of the Vertical Laser XL is:
    length: 123 inches or 3124.2mm
    depth: 26 inches or 660.4 mm
    height: 87 inches or 2209.8 mm

    Click the link to respond:
    what is the footprint of the vertical laser xl?

  • 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?

  • What CFM capacity fume extractor is necessary for vertical laser?

    We have used a 1600CFM air blower. You may not need that much power, but it is always better to be safe!

    Click the link to respond:
    What CFM capacity fume extractor is necessary for vertical laser?

  • 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.

    Click the link to respond:
    How would LinuxCNC be used with the vertical laser?

  • What file types will the vertical laser xl accept?

    LaserCAD and the Anywells Laser Controller used in our BlackTooth and Vertical Laser XL laser cutters and engravers can accept these file types:

    .nc (Gcode)
    .ai (Adobe Illustrator)
    .svg
    .pdf (Adobe Acrobat)
    .dxf (AutoCAD and Drawing Exchange)
    .plt
    .dst
    .dsb
    .uds (UD)
    .bmp (Bitmap image)
    .gif (Image)
    .jpg (Joint Photographers)
    .png

    Click the link to respond:
    What file types will the vertical laser xl accept?

  • 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

  • Is there any precision or accuracy difference between the vertical and blacktooth lasers?

    I will address the two separately (precision and accuracy):

    Precision (repeatability):
    This is most closely related to the resolution. The blackTooth uses the same mechanical drive (timing belts and pulley) of the same ratios and specifications, so the two machines will be the same in this respect.

    Accuracy:

    The output of the machine (the final physical work) matching the input given to the machine (the design data or instructions for the machine to product the physical work. This has to do with both resolution and how well the machine will hold up over time and through environmental changes.

    With that said, both machines have very similar attributes in mechanics and structure. The overall structure is made of MDO (Medium Density Overlay) and has a very low coefficient of linear expansion with regards to temperature change, so accuracy will not be affected in any appreciable manner over time with the two machines. The Vertical Laser XL does use more industry standard rails to hold the heavy gantry, but this will be differ appreciably since the blackTooth will exhibit rigidity by virtue of its size.

    It really is best to consider the application and size as the main aspects of deciding between these two machines.

    Hope this helps.


    Additional Information:
    We're looking at getting the vertical so we can run both large and small jobs on the same machine. It sounds like running a small job on the vertical (using a positioning jig) would provide results at least as
    good as running the same job on the blacktooth. Does this sound about right?

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there any precision or accuracy difference between the vertical and blacktooth lasers?

  • While motor tuning what are the recommended steps per inch, velocity, and acceleration for the GreenBull CNC?

    In the customer service live, just enter "motor tuning" and it will give you a list of all the recommended or default settings for our machines. However the acceleration and velocity for the greenBull(other machines) will be an actual determination on your trials. You will want the highest possible acceleration and velocity without the motors stalling, so you can do increments of ten to be on the safe side, if it is too slow try increments of 25.

    The steps per inch is dependent on the microstepping:
    Steps/Inch for the x and y
    Steps = 200 motor steps per revolution x 16 microsteps = 3200 steps
    Inches = sprocket number of teeth x pitch of the sprocket = 14 x .25" = 3.5 inches
    steps/inch = 3200 / 3.5 = 914.28
    This is really a starting point. You will then need to use the mach3 calibration function to get the perfect steps/inch value. Use as long a measurement as possible when calibrating.

    Velocity:
    Start with a value of 1000 ipm. Increase this value with a relatively low acceleration at about 10. You will notice at a particular velocity that it will stall. This is your stall velocity. I would take the stall velocity and reduce it by about 30% to 50% which should give you a good final safe velocity.

    Acceleration:
    Once the velocity is found, raise the acceleration until it start to stall at a low velocity. Reduce the acceleration by about the same percentage to stick with a safe acceleration.

    The acceleration is mostly dependent on torque (current) and the top speed is dependent on the amount of voltage.

    Give some tests with all of the axes running at the same time. If you notice and stalling, reduce velocities and acceleration depending on when the stall happens (top end, or acceleration curve).


    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

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    4th axis


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    While motor tuning what are the recommended steps per inch, velocity, and acceleration for the GreenBull CNC?

  • WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    If you take the standard parallel cable BoB (Break Out Board), then you will need control software (Mach 3 or EMC2) and CAM software to make your G-Code (such as CamBam). Personally I use CamBam and Mach 3, they work beautifully but don't expect to turn them on and know how they work out of the box. Give yourself a few weeks to get familiar with the basics. CamBam is VERY powerful software for it's price. I'm surprised how much I keep learning on what I can do with it...I highly recommend it if you want as much control as possible.

    Mach 3 + CamBam as a bundle costs $310. EMC2 will give you a free replacement for Mach 3 and is exclusively for Linux.

    If you use the USB BoB, it will cost an extra $75 + $75 for the software. This is an all-in-one package so no need for Mach 3 or CamBam.

    For etching rasters (jpeg, bmp, tiff, non-vectors, photos), I highly recommend PicEngrave. It has been a labor of love for the past 9 years and John has done a wonderful job with it. It easily compares in quality compared to software that is in the $200-$300 range. John's software runs $40 and can be found here: http://picengrave.com/ (don't let the modest website fool you, this stuff can do amazing things). DotG and the Mach3 engrave plugin are two other options and instructions can be found on Dustans page in the gallery on buildyourcnc.com website.

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    I would say mechanically, between the official build instructions, Warren's awesome blog (http://blacktoothlaser.blogspot.com/) and the tips in the forum, the blackTooth is a really simple build. The challenges come with electronics and software. There's a number of different ways to drive the laser and motors. A decent understanding of electronics and computers is a must.

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • GreenBull 5x10 X axis shutters and spins out with acceleration at 1 in StepCon, is there anything else I can check?

    If your axis shutters and will not move unless moved by another force, that sounds like your acceleration is set too high. Lower the acceleration until it works well, then lower it a bit more to have a margin of safety.

    Users response:
    I've lowered my acceleration to 1 in the StepCon program and it still shutters when I jog it, anything else I could check?

    Buildyourcnc response:
    IF that didn't work, try swapping the X and Y drivers. That way you will pinpoint if the issue is the driver. If the proplem persists, then there may be an issue with the motor itself.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    The X and Y drivers can be easily swapped by swapping only the motor wires.

    - Remove the x-axis motor wires from the X driver.
    - Remove the Y motor wires from the Y driver.
    - Insert the X motor wires into the Y driver.
    - Insert the Y motor wires into the X driver.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    Now the Y-axis will move the gantry. Test the Gantry movement by moving the Y axis using the up and down arrow keys (mach3).

    Users response:
    Problem is now solved, I switched the X and Y at the redFly and got the same problem, so then I undid the wires going to each motor and switched them there and it I had a bad solder point in the X axis connector, thank you for the help

    Buildyourcnc response:
    You're very welcome. We will make sure to thoroughly check the solder points on the cable connectors prior to a redFly delivery.

    Click the link to respond:
    GreenBull 5x10 X axis shutters and spins out with acceleration at 1 in StepCon, is there anything else I can check?

  • How long should it take to build the vertical laser kit?

    Assembling the Vertical Laser XL machine will vary depending on your specific abilities. The length of time can be as short as one weekend, or as long as two weeks.

    Click the link to respond:
    How long should it take to build the vertical laser kit?

  • What is the wavelength coming from your laser tubes?

    The CO2 laser tubes that we sell have an output light wavelength of 10500 nm (nanometer). Our goggles provide protection for this wavelength of light.

    Click the link to respond:
    What is the wavelength coming from your laser tubes?

  • 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?