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Question #: 723

Question: WILL THE LASER ENGRAVER WORK ON NON-ANODIZED ALUMINUM

Current Solution

no, it will only work on anodized aluminum

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • WILL THE USB BREAKOUT BOARD WORK WITH MACH3?

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WILL THE USB BREAKOUT BOARD WORK WITH MACH3?

  • 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.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT THICKNESS OF MATERIAL CAN THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUT?

  • I AM USING A XYLOTEX 3 AXIS BOARD AND WANT TO ADD ANOTHER MOTOR SLAVED THE X-AXIS. WILL DRIVE CW230 WORK?

    If the pins from the terminal block on the side of the board are outputs, or at least 2 of them are outputs, then you can connect our modular driver to the board (example: cw230). If they are all inputs, then you would not be able to connect an external driver.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I AM USING A XYLOTEX 3 AXIS BOARD AND WANT TO ADD ANOTHER MOTOR SLAVED THE X-AXIS. WILL DRIVE CW230 WORK?

  • DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON AN APPLE?

    There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
    I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
    Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

    CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    EasyDNC for OSX
    www.dnc-x.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
    My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON AN APPLE?

  • HOW DIFFICULT IS IT 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 add information to this solution:
    HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO BUILD THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • WHAT ARE THE SHIPPING DIMENSIONS FOR VERTICAL LASER

    Shipping crate size 121" X 36" X 92"

    Weight 511 LBS

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT ARE THE SHIPPING DIMENSIONS FOR VERTICAL LASER

  • WHAT MATERIALS CAN THE GREENBULL MACHINE CUT? LASER ETCH?

    The Greenbull machine can cut a very wide variety of materials ranging from foam to aluminum. We recommend the use of our 2.2kW spindle to allow the greatest flexibility. Aside from that, the most important thing is to use an appropriate end mill for the material you are cutting and to use appropriate speeds and feed rates.



    BYCNC Response:
    Our 40W laser can cut up to about 1/4" materials ranging from wood and acrylic down through lighter materials such as leather, fabric, foam, etc. Speed and final cut are greatly enhanced by an air assist upgrade. We also offer an 80W laser which has approximately twice the capabilities of the 40W.

    Additional Information:

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    WHAT MATERIALS CAN THE GREENBULL MACHINE CUT? LASER ETCH?

  • WHAT IS THE SYSTEM PASSWORD FOR LASER CONTROL UNIT?

    The password is: 608

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    WHAT IS THE SYSTEM PASSWORD FOR LASER CONTROL UNIT?

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON A MAC?

    There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
    I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
    Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

    CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    EasyDNC for OSX
    www.dnc-x.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
    My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON A MAC?

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    HOW CAN YOU ENHANCE THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • HOW TO KNOW IF THE POWER SUPPLY OF THE LASER TUBE IS DAMAGED

    This video will illustrate how to test for laser power:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW TO KNOW IF THE POWER SUPPLY OF THE LASER TUBE IS DAMAGED

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS SHIPPING DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT FOR THE VERTICAL LASER.

  • CAN BOOST THE POWER OF MY BLACKTOOTH LASER?

    Upgrade your mirrors to SI coated mirrors, using a HQ ZnSe lens and even pushing up to a beam expander will all boost power. The ideal order of experimenation for lowest cost would be changing out for a higher quality lens labeled HQ ZnSE lens. Next would be SI mirrors, which will absorb less heat and reflect better, the last would be to use a beam expander which expands the beam, reducing the heat signature on the mirrors and makes a tighter focal width.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    CAN BOOST THE POWER OF MY BLACKTOOTH LASER?

  • WHAT IS D.O.F OR DEPTH OF FIELD FOR THE BLACKTOOTH LASER AND LENS?

    Depth of Field. This is how far the focal point goes before re-expanding again. With a 2" lens, you have approximately 2-3mm of DOF. This means that you'll have 2-3mm of perfectly focused laser before it starts to re-expand again. If you have a 4" lens, you will have up to 7mm of DOF.

    Additional Information:

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    WHAT IS D.O.F OR DEPTH OF FIELD FOR THE BLACKTOOTH LASER AND LENS?

  • DO YOU GUYS SELL THE POTENTIOMETER FOR YOUR LASER SYSTEM BY ITSELF

    Yes, it is found in laser components section

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    DO YOU GUYS SELL THE POTENTIOMETER FOR YOUR LASER SYSTEM BY ITSELF

  • HOW TO COOL THE BLACKTOOTH 40W LASER TUBE

    Cooling is not as tricky as you might think. There is 3 ways to approach this, only 2 really matter for a low scale 40w setup. First one is the cheapest and easiest. The higher the temp of water the worse your performance will be, from what I understand anything in the 30C range is about the most tolerable it gets. Lower is better. But not frozen...from what I've been told a very experienced cutter, he found 8C was the highest power he achieved.

    1. Use a 5 Gallon resovoir system which gives you a fairly large space of water to heat up before you need to tend to it. Add about a cup of anti-freeze to the mix of DISTILLED water. You don't want ANY minerals in the water that might build up in your system. The anti-freeze works to keep algae and other ickies from growing in your water.

    2. Use a smaller resovoir system (or even closed loop) and install 1 or more radiators found in CPU cooling systems with 120mm fans attached. This will continously cool your water system to ambient room temperatures, but with a tiny resovoir it will be difficult to add things like ice-packs to drop the temps if the ambient is quite hot.

    3. Using an industrial coolant system. Overkill and unless your cutting A LOT, this is a very expensive option to take. You can also explore the idea of Peltier cooling but it is extremely expensive electricity/BTU wise compared to an industrial cooler.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW TO COOL THE BLACKTOOTH 40W LASER TUBE

  • 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.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT CAN ADD TO MY BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER MEASURE THE TIME OF USE?

  • WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS THAT WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?

    Lettuce, or any vegetable. Also drink a cup of water before meals, it'll make you feel fuller.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS THAT WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?

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