Tool:Laser cutter

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Laser-cutter.jpeg

See Projects:40W Lasercutter for information about how the laser cutter was created/improved.

Getting started

First you need some tools to work with the lasercutter. For starters you need a drawing program like Inkscape that is capable of making 2d vector drawings.

The you need Visicut as a program to hook the 2 together.

Visicut has a plugin for inkscape so you can press 'Extensions > Lasercut path > Open in VisiCut' from Inkscape :)

For Visicut you need a definition file (xml) that contains the laser settings, you can get a rudimentary one here: Bestand:Hsnmgnlaser.tar.gz

Import this using Options -> Lasercutters, it is a good idea to change the job prefix under edit -> job to your own name so you can find your files again.

Basic operation

  • Turn on the machine AND the air assist compressor thingy.
  • Send the file using visicut (i'm not including an entire inkscape/visicut tutorial, plenty online to be found).
  • Turn on the power to the tube with the 'Engraving On' button, this only works if all lids are closed.
  • Using the Black&Blue dial (by pressing and rotating it) navigate to Play -> sd/ -> <your prefix><number>.gcode.
  • The program now starts.

Using the emergency stop you can turn off the entire machine if something bad happens.

Troubleshooting

  • Laser power very low/none, check if the 'Power regulator' isn't turned way down, you can check with the 'Test' button.

Materials it can cut/engrave?

  • Wood -> most types it can cut and engrave, up to about 5mm.
  • Plastics PLA/ABS/PET/PS are fine, PVC is a REALLY bad idea, cut and engrave up to 5mm.
  • Cardboard/Paper -> see wood, paper can catch fire, which is a lot better with airassist.
  • Metals -> No, but engraving is possible by removing a coating of $material such as paint.
  • Cookies -> Engrave Work fine, still eatable afterwards.
  • Chocolate/Sugary stuff engraves fine.
  • Wet foods -> No.

Firmware

The laser is currently running smoothieware version: edge a06bb6a Nov 30 2018 20:45:58. This is a cnc specific firmware version. The current configuration file is attached below.

To update firmware place the firmware file in the root of the sd card and name the file firmware.bin. Then power up the machine whith the card in the slot (reboot is needed). If the firmware update is succesfull the file will be renamed to firmware.cur. The firmware expects to find a config.txt also in the root of the sd card.

config.txt

# Smoothieboard configuration file, see http://smoothieware.org/configuring-smoothie
# NOTE Lines must not exceed 132 characters, and '#' characters mean what follows is ignored
## Robot module configurations : general handling of movement G-codes and slicing into moves

# this turn G28 back to what people from 3d printing are used to
grbl_mode                                    false

# Basic motion configuration
default_feed_rate                            2000             # Default speed (mm/minute) for G1/G2/G3 moves
default_seek_rate                            2000             # Default speed (mm/minute) for G0 moves
mm_per_arc_segment                           0.0              # Fixed length for line segments that divide arcs, 0 to disable
#mm_per_line_segment                         5                # Cut lines into segments this size
mm_max_arc_error                             0.01             # The maximum error for line segments that divide arcs 0 to disable
                                                              # note it is invalid for both the above be 0
                                                              # if both are used, will use largest segment length based on radius

# Arm solution configuration : Cartesian robot. Translates mm positions into stepper positions
# See http://smoothieware.org/stepper-motors
alpha_steps_per_mm                           158               # Steps per mm for alpha ( X ) stepper
beta_steps_per_mm                            158               # Steps per mm for beta ( Y ) stepper
gamma_steps_per_mm                           1600             # Steps per mm for gamma ( Z ) stepper

# Planner module configuration : Look-ahead and acceleration configuration
# See http://smoothieware.org/motion-control
acceleration                                 3000             # Acceleration in mm/second/second.
#z_acceleration                              500              # Acceleration for Z only moves in mm/s^2, 0 uses acceleration which is the default. DO NOT SET ON A DELTA
junction_deviation                           0.05             # See http://smoothieware.org/motion-control#junction-deviation
#z_junction_deviation                        0.0              # For Z only moves, -1 uses junction_deviation, zero disables junction_deviation on z moves DO NOT SET ON A DELTA

# Cartesian axis speed limits
x_axis_max_speed                             30000            # Maximum speed in mm/min
y_axis_max_speed                             30000            # Maximum speed in mm/min
z_axis_max_speed                             300              # Maximum speed in mm/min

# Stepper module configuration 
# Pins are defined as  ports, and pin numbers, appending "!" to the number will invert a pin
# See http://smoothieware.org/pin-configuration and http://smoothieware.org/pinout
alpha_step_pin                               2.0              # Pin for alpha stepper step signal
alpha_dir_pin                                0.5!              # Pin for alpha stepper direction, add '!' to reverse direction
alpha_en_pin                                 0.4              # Pin for alpha enable pin
alpha_current                                0.5              # X stepper motor current
alpha_max_rate                               20000.0          # Maximum rate in mm/min

beta_step_pin                                2.1              # Pin for beta stepper step signal
beta_dir_pin                                 0.11             # Pin for beta stepper direction, add '!' to reverse direction
beta_en_pin                                  0.10             # Pin for beta enable
beta_current                                 0.5              # Y stepper motor current
beta_max_rate                                20000.0          # Maxmimum rate in mm/min

gamma_step_pin                               2.2              # Pin for gamma stepper step signal
gamma_dir_pin                                0.20             # Pin for gamma stepper direction, add '!' to reverse direction
gamma_en_pin                                 0.19             # Pin for gamma enable
gamma_current                                0.5              # Z stepper motor current
gamma_max_rate                               300.0            # Maximum rate in mm/min

## Extruder module configuration
# See http://smoothieware.org/extruder
extruder.hotend.enable                          false          # Whether to activate the extruder module at all. All configuration is ignored if false
extruder.hotend.steps_per_mm                    140           # Steps per mm for extruder stepper
extruder.hotend.default_feed_rate               600           # Default rate ( mm/minute ) for moves where only the extruder moves
extruder.hotend.acceleration                    500           # Acceleration for the stepper motor mm/sec²
extruder.hotend.max_speed                       50            # Maximum speed in mm/s

extruder.hotend.step_pin                        2.3           # Pin for extruder step signal
extruder.hotend.dir_pin                         0.22          # Pin for extruder dir signal ( add '!' to reverse direction )
extruder.hotend.en_pin                          0.21          # Pin for extruder enable signal

# Extruder offset
#extruder.hotend.x_offset                        0            # X offset from origin in mm
#extruder.hotend.y_offset                        0            # Y offset from origin in mm
#extruder.hotend.z_offset                        0            # Z offset from origin in mm

# Firmware retract settings when using G10/G11, these are the defaults if not defined, must be defined for each extruder if not using the defaults
#extruder.hotend.retract_length                  3            # Retract length in mm
#extruder.hotend.retract_feedrate                45           # Retract feedrate in mm/sec
#extruder.hotend.retract_recover_length          0            # Additional length for recover
#extruder.hotend.retract_recover_feedrate        8            # Recover feedrate in mm/sec (should be less than retract feedrate)
#extruder.hotend.retract_zlift_length            0            # Z-lift on retract in mm, 0 disables
#extruder.hotend.retract_zlift_feedrate          6000         # Z-lift feedrate in mm/min (Note mm/min NOT mm/sec)

delta_current                                    0.5          # First extruder stepper motor current

# Second extruder module configuration
#extruder.hotend2.enable                         true         # Whether to activate the extruder module at all. All configuration is ignored if false
#extruder.hotend2.steps_per_mm                   140          # Steps per mm for extruder stepper
#extruder.hotend2.default_feed_rate              600          # Default rate ( mm/minute ) for moves where only the extruder moves
#extruder.hotend2.acceleration                   500          # Acceleration for the stepper motor, as of 0.6, arbitrary ratio
#extruder.hotend2.max_speed                      50           # mm/s

#extruder.hotend2.step_pin                       2.8          # Pin for extruder step signal
#extruder.hotend2.dir_pin                        2.13         # Pin for extruder dir signal ( add '!' to reverse direction )
#extruder.hotend2.en_pin                         4.29         # Pin for extruder enable signal

#extruder.hotend2.x_offset                       0            # x offset from origin in mm
#extruder.hotend2.y_offset                       25.0         # y offset from origin in mm
#extruder.hotend2.z_offset                       0            # z offset from origin in mm

#epsilon_current                                 1.5          # Second extruder stepper motor current


## Laser module configuration
# See http://smoothieware.org/laser
laser_module_enable                           true            # Whether to activate the laser module at all
laser_module_pwm_pin                          2.5             # This pin will be PWMed to control the laser. 
                                                              # Only pins 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 1.18, 1.20, 1.21, 1.23, 1.24, 1.26, 3.25 and 3.26
                                                              # can be used since laser requires hardware PWM, see http://smoothieware.org/pinout
#laser_module_ttl_pin 	                      1.30            # This pin turns on when the laser turns on, and off when the laser turns off.
#laser_module_maximum_power                   1.0             # This is the maximum duty cycle that will be applied to the laser
#laser_module_minimum_power                   0.0             # This is a value just below the minimum duty cycle that keeps the laser
                                                              # active without actually burning.
#laser_module_default_power                   0.8             # This is the default laser power that will be used for cuts if a power has not been specified.  The value is a scale between
                                                              # the maximum and minimum power levels specified above
laser_module_pwm_period                      2              # This sets the pwm frequency as the period in microseconds

## Temperature control configuration
# See http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol

# First hotend configuration
temperature_control.hotend.enable            false             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all.
temperature_control.hotend.thermistor_pin    0.23             # Pin for the thermistor to read
temperature_control.hotend.heater_pin        2.7              # Pin that controls the heater, set to nc if a readonly thermistor is being defined
temperature_control.hotend.thermistor        EPCOS100K        # See http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#toc5
#temperature_control.hotend.beta             4066             # Or set the beta value
temperature_control.hotend.set_m_code        104              # M-code to set the temperature for this module
temperature_control.hotend.set_and_wait_m_code 109            # M-code to set-and-wait for this module
temperature_control.hotend.designator        T                # Designator letter for this module
#temperature_control.hotend.max_temp         300              # Set maximum temperature - Will prevent heating above 300 by default
#temperature_control.hotend.min_temp         0                # Set minimum temperature - Will prevent heating below if set

# Safety control is enabled by default and can be overidden here, the values show the defaults
# See http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#runaway
#temperature_control.hotend.runaway_heating_timeout      900  # How long it can take to heat up, max is 2040 seconds.
#temperature_control.hotend.runaway_cooling_timeout        0  # How long it can take to cool down if temp is set lower, max is 2040 seconds
#temperature_control.hotend.runaway_range                20   # How far from the set temperature it can wander, max setting is 63°C

# PID configuration 
# See http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#pid
#temperature_control.hotend.p_factor         13.7             # P ( proportional ) factor
#temperature_control.hotend.i_factor         0.097            # I ( integral ) factor
#temperature_control.hotend.d_factor         24               # D ( derivative ) factor

#temperature_control.hotend.max_pwm          64               # Max pwm, 64 is a good value if driving a 12v resistor with 24v.

# Second hotend configuration
#temperature_control.hotend2.enable            true           # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all.
#temperature_control.hotend2.thermistor_pin    0.25           # Pin for the thermistor to read
#temperature_control.hotend2.heater_pin        1.23           # Pin that controls the heater
#temperature_control.hotend2.thermistor        EPCOS100K      # See http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#thermistor
##temperature_control.hotend2.beta             4066           # or set the beta value
#temperature_control.hotend2.set_m_code        104            # M-code to set the temperature for this module
#temperature_control.hotend2.set_and_wait_m_code 109          # M-code to set-and-wait for this module
#temperature_control.hotend2.designator        T1             # Designator letter for this module

#temperature_control.hotend2.p_factor          13.7           # P ( proportional ) factor
#temperature_control.hotend2.i_factor          0.097          # I ( integral ) factor
#temperature_control.hotend2.d_factor          24             # D ( derivative ) factor

#temperature_control.hotend2.max_pwm          64              # Max pwm, 64 is a good value if driving a 12v resistor with 24v.

temperature_control.bed.enable               false             # Whether to activate this ( "hotend" ) module at all.
temperature_control.bed.thermistor_pin       0.24             # Pin for the thermistor to read
temperature_control.bed.heater_pin           2.5              # Pin that controls the heater
temperature_control.bed.thermistor           Honeywell100K    # See http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#thermistor
#temperature_control.bed.beta                3974             # Or set the beta value
temperature_control.bed.set_m_code           140              # M-code to set the temperature for this module
temperature_control.bed.set_and_wait_m_code  190              # M-code to set-and-wait for this module
temperature_control.bed.designator           B                # Designator letter for this module

# Bang-bang ( simplified ) control
# See http://smoothieware.org/temperaturecontrol#bang-bang
#temperature_control.bed.bang_bang           false            # Set to true to use bang bang control rather than PID
#temperature_control.bed.hysteresis          2.0              # Set to the temperature in degrees C to use as hysteresis

## Switch modules
# See http://smoothieware.org/switch

# Switch module for fan control
switch.fan.enable                            false             # Enable this module
switch.fan.input_on_command                  M106             # Command that will turn this switch on
switch.fan.input_off_command                 M107             # Command that will turn this switch off
switch.fan.output_pin                        2.6              # Pin this module controls
switch.fan.output_type                       pwm              # PWM output settable with S parameter in the input_on_comand
#switch.fan.max_pwm                          255              # Set max pwm for the pin default is 255

#switch.misc.enable                          true             # Enable this module
#switch.misc.input_on_command                M42              # Command that will turn this switch on
#switch.misc.input_off_command               M43              # Command that will turn this switch off
#switch.misc.output_pin                      2.4              # Pin this module controls
#switch.misc.output_type                     digital          # Digital means this is just an on or off pin

## Temperatureswitch
# See http://smoothieware.org/temperatureswitch
# Automatically toggle a switch at a specified temperature. Different ones of these may be defined to monitor different temperatures and switch different swithxes
# Useful to turn on a fan or water pump to cool the hotend
#temperatureswitch.hotend.enable              true            #
#temperatureswitch.hotend.designator          T               # first character of the temperature control designator to use as the temperature sensor to monitor
#temperatureswitch.hotend.switch              misc            # select which switch to use, matches the name of the defined switch
#temperatureswitch.hotend.threshold_temp      60.0            # temperature to turn on (if rising) or off the switch
#temperatureswitch.hotend.heatup_poll         15              # poll heatup at 15 sec intervals
#temperatureswitch.hotend.cooldown_poll       60              # poll cooldown at 60 sec intervals

## Endstops
# See http://smoothieware.org/endstops
endstops_enable                              true             # The endstop module is enabled by default and can be disabled here
#corexy_homing                               false            # Set to true if homing on a hbot or corexy
alpha_min_endstop                            1.24^            # Pin to read min endstop, add a ! to invert if endstop is NO connected to ground
#alpha_max_endstop                           1.25^            # Pin to read max endstop, uncomment this and comment the above if using max endstops
alpha_homing_direction                       home_to_min      # Or set to home_to_max and set alpha_max and uncomment the alpha_max_endstop
alpha_min                                    0                # This gets loaded as the current position after homing when home_to_min is set
alpha_max                                    200              # This gets loaded as the current position after homing when home_to_max is set
beta_min_endstop                             1.26^            # Pin to read min endstop, add a ! to invert if endstop is NO connected to ground
#beta_max_endstop                            1.27^            # Pin to read max endstop, uncomment this and comment the above if using max endstops
beta_homing_direction                        home_to_min      # Or set to home_to_max and set alpha_max and uncomment the alpha_max_endstop
beta_min                                     0                # This gets loaded as the current position after homing when home_to_min is set
beta_max                                     200              # This gets loaded as the current position after homing when home_to_max is set
gamma_min_endstop                            1.28^            # Pin to read min endstop, add a ! to invert if endstop is NO connected to ground
#gamma_max_endstop                           1.29^            # Pin to read max endstop, uncomment this and comment the above if using max endstops
gamma_homing_direction                       home_to_min      # Or set to home_to_max and set alpha_max and uncomment the alpha_max_endstop
gamma_min                                    0                # This gets loaded as the current position after homing when home_to_min is set
gamma_max                                    200              # This gets loaded as the current position after homing when home_to_max is set

alpha_max_travel                             500              # Max travel in mm for alpha/X axis when homing
beta_max_travel                              500              # Max travel in mm for beta/Y axis when homing
gamma_max_travel                             500              # Max travel in mm for gamma/Z axis when homing

# Optional enable limit switches, actions will stop if any enabled limit switch is triggered
#alpha_limit_enable                          false            # Set to true to enable X min and max limit switches
#beta_limit_enable                           false            # Set to true to enable Y min and max limit switches
#gamma_limit_enable                          false            # Set to true to enable Z min and max limit switches

# Endstops home at their fast feedrate first, then once the endstop is found they home again at their slow feedrate for accuracy
alpha_fast_homing_rate_mm_s                  50               # Alpha/X fast homing feedrate in mm/second
alpha_slow_homing_rate_mm_s                  25               # Alpha/X slow homing feedrate in mm/second
beta_fast_homing_rate_mm_s                   50               # Beta/Y  fast homing feedrate in mm/second
beta_slow_homing_rate_mm_s                   25               # Beta/Y  slow homing feedrate in mm/second
gamma_fast_homing_rate_mm_s                  4                # Gamma/Z fast homing feedrate in mm/second
gamma_slow_homing_rate_mm_s                  2                # Gamma/Z slow homing feedrate in mm/second

alpha_homing_retract_mm                      5                # Distance to retract from the endstop after it is hit for alpha/X
beta_homing_retract_mm                       5                # Distance to retract from the endstop after it is hit for beta/Y
gamma_homing_retract_mm                      1                # Distance to retract from the endstop after it is hit for gamma/Z


# Optional enable limit switches, actions will stop if any enabled limit switch is triggered (all are set for delta)
alpha_limit_enable                          true            # Set to true to enable X min and max limit switches
beta_limit_enable                           true            # Set to true to enable Y min and max limit switches
#gamma_limit_enable                          false            # Set to true to enable Z min and max limit switches

# Optional order in which axis will home, default is they all home at the same time,
# If this is set it will force each axis to home one at a time in the specified order
#homing_order                                 XYZ              # X axis followed by Y then Z last
#move_to_origin_after_home                    false            # Move XY to 0,0 after homing
#endstop_debounce_count                       100              # Uncomment if you get noise on your endstops, default is 100
#endstop_debounce_ms                          1                # Uncomment if you get noise on your endstops, default is 1 millisecond debounce
#home_z_first                                 true             # Uncomment and set to true to home the Z first, otherwise Z homes after XY

# End of endstop config
# Delete the above endstop section and uncomment next line and copy and edit Snippets/abc-endstop.config file to enable endstops for ABC axis
#include abc-endstop.config

## Z-probe
# See http://smoothieware.org/zprobe
zprobe.enable                                false           # Set to true to enable a zprobe
zprobe.probe_pin                             1.28!^          # Pin probe is attached to, if NC remove the !
zprobe.slow_feedrate                         5               # Mm/sec probe feed rate
#zprobe.debounce_ms                          1               # Set if noisy
zprobe.fast_feedrate                         100             # Move feedrate mm/sec
zprobe.probe_height                          5               # How much above bed to start probe
#gamma_min_endstop                           nc              # Normally 1.28. Change to nc to prevent conflict,

# Levelling strategy
# Example for 3-point levelling strategy, see wiki documentation for other strategies
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.enable         true        # a leveling strategy that probes three points to define a plane and keeps the Z parallel to that plane
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.point1         100.0,0.0   # the first probe point (x,y) optional may be defined with M557
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.point2         200.0,200.0 # the second probe point (x,y)
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.point3         0.0,200.0   # the third probe point (x,y)
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.home_first     true        # home the XY axis before probing
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.tolerance      0.03        # the probe tolerance in mm, anything less that this will be ignored, default is 0.03mm
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.probe_offsets  0,0,0       # the probe offsets from nozzle, must be x,y,z, default is no offset
#leveling-strategy.three-point-leveling.save_plane     false       # set to true to allow the bed plane to be saved with M500 default is false

## Panel
# See http://smoothieware.org/panel
# Please find your panel on the wiki and copy/paste the right configuration here
panel.enable                                 true             # Set to true to enable the panel code

# Example for reprap discount GLCD
# on glcd EXP1 is to left and EXP2 is to right, pin 1 is bottom left, pin 2 is top left etc.
# +5v is EXP1 pin 10, Gnd is EXP1 pin 9
panel.lcd                                   reprap_discount_glcd     #
#panel.spi_channel                           0                 # SPI channel to use  ; GLCD EXP1 Pins 3,5 (MOSI, SCLK)
#panel.spi_cs_pin                            0.16              # SPI chip select     ; GLCD EXP1 Pin 4
panel.encoder_a_pin                         3.25!^            # Encoder pin         ; GLCD EXP2 Pin 3
panel.encoder_b_pin                         3.26!^            # Encoder pin         ; GLCD EXP2 Pin 5
panel.encoder_resolution                    4
panel.click_button_pin                      1.30!^            # Click button        ; GLCD EXP1 Pin 2
panel.buzz_pin                              1.31              # Pin for buzzer      ; GLCD EXP1 Pin 1
#panel.back_button_pin                       2.11!^            # Back button         ; GLCD EXP2 Pin 8

panel.menu_offset                            0                 # Some panels will need 1 here

panel.alpha_jog_feedrate                     6000              # X jogging feedrate in mm/min
panel.beta_jog_feedrate                      6000              # Y jogging feedrate in mm/min
panel.gamma_jog_feedrate                     200               # Z jogging feedrate in mm/min

panel.hotend_temperature                     185               # Temp to set hotend when preheat is selected
panel.bed_temperature                        60                # Temp to set bed when preheat is selected

## Custom menus : Example of a custom menu entry, which will show up in the Custom entry.
# NOTE _ gets converted to space in the menu and commands, | is used to separate multiple commands
custom_menu.power_on.enable                true              #
custom_menu.power_on.name                  Power_on          #
custom_menu.power_on.command               M80               #

custom_menu.power_off.enable               true              #
custom_menu.power_off.name                 Power_off         #
custom_menu.power_off.command              M81               #


## Network settings
# See http://smoothieware.org/network
network.enable                               true             # Enable the ethernet network services
network.webserver.enable                     true             # Enable the webserver
network.telnet.enable                        true             # Enable the telnet server
network.ip_address                           auto             # Use dhcp to get ip address
# Uncomment the 3 below to manually setup ip address
#network.ip_address                           192.168.3.222   # The IP address
#network.ip_mask                              255.255.255.0   # The ip mask
#network.ip_gateway                           192.168.3.1     # The gateway address
#network.mac_override                         xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx  # Override the mac address, only do this if you have a conflict

## System configuration
# Serial communications configuration ( baud rate defaults to 9600 if undefined )
# For communication over the UART port, *not* the USB/Serial port
uart0.baud_rate                              115200           # Baud rate for the default hardware ( UART ) serial port

second_usb_serial_enable                     false            # This enables a second USB serial port
#leds_disable                                true             # Disable using leds after config loaded
#play_led_disable                            true             # Disable the play led

# Kill button maybe assigned to a different pin, set to the onboard pin by default
# See http://smoothieware.org/killbutton
kill_button_enable                           true             # Set to true to enable a kill button
kill_button_pin                              2.12             # Kill button pin. default is same as pause button 2.12 (2.11 is another good choice)

#msd_disable                                 false            # Disable the MSD (USB SDCARD), see http://smoothieware.org/troubleshooting#disable-msd
#dfu_enable                                  false            # For linux developers, set to true to enable DFU

# Only needed on a smoothieboard
# See http://smoothieware.org/currentcontrol
currentcontrol_module_enable                 true             # Control stepper motor current via the configuration file