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Question #: 603

Question: WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

Current Solution

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.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • 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.

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    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • what is the size/width of pulley and timing belt used in Blacktooth laser cutter ?

    The blackTooth uses MXL timing belt with 1/4" MXL Drive Pulley 20 teeth.

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    what is the size/width of pulley and timing belt used in Blacktooth laser cutter ?

  • What kind of cooling system should we set up for the Blacktooth laser cutter laser tube? Can tap water be used? Is water temperature critical?

    The blackTooth's 40 watt laser tube can be cooled with simple tap water. A bit of anti-freeze keeps the tap water clean and free of algae. The cooler the water, the better output you will get from the laser. A great source of information can be found here: http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3452

    Click the link to respond:
    What kind of cooling system should we set up for the Blacktooth laser cutter laser tube? Can tap water be used? Is water temperature critical?

  • What file types can the blackTooth Laser Cutter 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

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    What file types can the blackTooth Laser Cutter accept?

  • Can we order a preassembled version of the blacktooth laser cutter and what would the lead time be.

    We do have the option of assembled blackTooth CNC.
    For further information on lead time and quote; please email (customerservice@buildyourcnc.com)

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    Can we order a preassembled version of the blacktooth laser cutter and what would the lead time be.

  • 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.

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

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

  • WHAT CAN USE BELOW MY WORKPIECE AS SUBSTRATE IN BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    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.

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    WHAT CAN USE BELOW MY WORKPIECE AS SUBSTRATE IN BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • I was wondering what the max depth is for something to go into the 40W C02 Laser cutter and engraver with blacktooth

    Hello, I was wondering if the Blactooth laser cutter can engrave in 3d, different depths in the same piece of wood?

    Additional Information:

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    I was wondering what the max depth is for something to go into the 40W C02 Laser cutter and engraver with blacktooth

  • What size and length of cable carrier suits the BlackTooth laser cutter?

    The space within the blackTooth laser cutter is so tight that a cable carrier will not fit.

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    What size and length of cable carrier suits the BlackTooth laser cutter?

  • Does the blackTooth laser cutter can acrylic plastic?

    Exhausting the blackTooth laser cutter is a very important consideration and should be taken seriously, especially if you are cutting materials that give off toxic fumes when the material is burned. You will want a 4 inch hose to connect from the blackTooth to a blower, and another 4 inch hose to connect from the blower to the outside. The blower should be sufficient to provide completely negative pressure within the laser enclosure so there will be no escape of gasses.

    The connections at the machine, at the blower and at the location the hose exhausts outside should be thoroughly checked for leaks. Use a gasket, or silicone. Once complete, try cutting a non-toxic material that will give off an odor (wood, or non-toxic plastic) and try the system and determine if the smell is present.

    Click the link to respond:
    Does the blackTooth laser cutter can acrylic plastic?

  • how can I exhaust the blacktooth co2 laser cutter

    Exhausting the blackTooth laser cutter is a very important consideration and should be taken seriously, especially if you are cutting materials that give off toxic fumes when the material is burned. You will want a 4 inch hose to connect from the blackTooth to a blower, and another 4 inch hose to connect from the blower to the outside. The blower should be sufficient to provide completely negative pressure within the laser enclosure so there will be no escape of gasses.

    The connections at the machine, at the blower and at the location the hose exhausts outside should be thoroughly checked for leaks. Use a gasket, or silicone. Once complete, try cutting a non-toxic material that will give off an odor (wood, or non-toxic plastic) and try the system and determine if the smell is present.

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    how can I exhaust the blacktooth co2 laser cutter

  • HOW CAN YOU ENHANCE 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 respond:
    HOW CAN YOU ENHANCE THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • what are the specs of the blacktooth laser cutter (dimensions and weight) when assembled?

    The blackTooth envelope dimensions and weight:

    - Length and width: 37" x 34"
    - The height: 11.25"
    - The weight: 70 lbs.

    Click the link to respond:
    what are the specs of the blacktooth laser cutter (dimensions and weight) when assembled?

  • How to wire the Laser Power Supply with an arduino & GRBL ? (I'm not using a blacktooth laser cutter)

    There is a th or tl on the laser power supply that serves as the trigger on a high or low signal. There is also a potentiometer "in" terminal that will accept a variable signal from 0v to 5v to control intensity. You can use either of these features to fire the laser tube.

    If you have gotten grbl to work, then, no doubtedly, you have the expertise to know the output features of grbl. If grbl allows a pwm output, you can tie this to the potentiometer terminal on the power supply. Otherwise, you will need to use a digital output to control the power supply using th or tl.

    Additional Information:

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    How to wire the Laser Power Supply with an arduino & GRBL ? (I'm not using a blacktooth laser cutter)

  • I am building the Blacktooth laser cutter. What is the safest and most accurate way to test the output of the laser power supply WITHOUT connecting the laser tube? Can I use a standard multimeter and measure the voltage output of the laser power supply?

    You can test the power supply, but you will need to take extra special care since the voltage on the high tension line can be lethal. Go to this instructable to see all the step on testing the power supply:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-test-and-set-a-Chinese-China-made-CO2-Laser/?ALLSTEPS

    Additional Information:

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    I am building the Blacktooth laser cutter. What is the safest and most accurate way to test the output of the laser power supply WITHOUT connecting the laser tube? Can I use a standard multimeter and measure the voltage output of the laser power supply?

  • WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

    A standard 40W CO2 laser will cut up to 1/4" thick of material, be it wood, acrylic, card stock, leather, fabric, foam, cork, etc. (Decent speed and final cut are heavily dependent on a strong air assist upgrade)

    Metals cannot be cut due to the power level and wavelength of the CO2 laser. But it can be marked with special solutions like Cermark or Thermark.

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    WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

  • Hi, I live in Australia and am looking at purchasing the Blacktooth laser cutter and engraver. I am wondering what the cost to ship to Australia would be?

    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.

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    Hi, I live in Australia and am looking at purchasing the Blacktooth laser cutter and engraver. I am wondering what the cost to ship to Australia would be?

  • 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.

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