Commercially available laser controllers

Electronics related to CNC

Commercially available laser controllers

Postby lasersafe1 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:06 pm

Well, I just bit the bullet and purchased a commercial DSP controller. It's a pretty big investment so I hope it works out. I will use it to upgrade my cheap M40 type laser to a better system that can handle combined Raster and Vector direct from CorelDraw or AutoCad. I know that several people have other controllers very close to production, but I'm in a time pinch for having my laser produce a product. I'll keep this thread updated on the outcome.

http://www.lightobject.com/4-Axis-DSP-CO2-Laser-Engraving-Cutter-Controller-Support-CorelDraw-AutoCad-P321.aspx
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby bdring » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:52 pm

What is the status of this? Did you get it running yet? I would love to see your results.
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby lasersafe1 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:54 pm

Progress in testing. Some problems though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYbRnTonxrQ
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby bdring » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:12 pm

Yes, it looks like you have some problems.

One unrelated question. Why is your spot size so big? Did you defocus for visibility on the video. My "kerf" is almost invisible, like a fraction of a mm.
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby lasersafe1 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:21 pm

I have a really bad lens with lots of junk on it that cannot be cleaned. (before air assist) I have a new one on the way.

I am also getting some information from the user manual that might be of use for you in your programming. The typical range of acceleration for the Y axis on the commercial machines ranges from 800 to 3000 mm/s2 depending on inertia. The X axis which is usually very light weight has a typical range of 10000 to 20000 mm/s2 acceleration.

Things I like about the DSP:

Save files to run again without the computer.
Press keypad to jog around the workspace and fire the laser.
Use keypad to select jog interval size.
CorelDraw or AutoCad straight to output, so no Gcode.
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby bdring » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:38 pm

Thanks for the info. I took a few ideas from the manual too.
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby lasersafe1 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:50 pm

(Totally unrelated) Ahh, but will your final laser do this???
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby LeonS » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:05 pm

From your videos it looked to me like you were experiencing non-deterministic data communications errors between the computer and your DSP controller. The errors seemed to be different each time you tried to print. If it were a controller firmware or data formatting problem I would expect the errors to be repeatable.

Are you driving this via USB, parallel, or serial port? Are there options for communications speed, handshaking, and buffering? If you can slow things down with proper handshaking you may be able to get the data down to the controller successfully. If it is still messing up but consistently, you probably have servo drive speed and acceleration setting to adjust, as well.

I was very impressed with your improvements and modifications. Did you increase your cutting area or was that the original size?

Best of luck,
Leon
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby lasersafe1 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:27 am

I totally agree that it is a communication problem, but there is also a secondary issue that I didn't show in the video. This unit does not need to be connected to a computer to run. It can take a file from a thumb drive and process it or transfer it into an internal memory location. I created a raster job for it and carried it to the unit via thumb drive. I downloaded it and ran it. It still had problems where the laser would turn on in the wrong location. At first I thought it might be the motor losing steps, but running the file over and over the faults would always appear at the same location. I have been trying to work through this with vendor who is in contact with the manufacturer in China, but they can't see the Youtube videos because the Chinese Govt has blocked it.

The vendor in California is going to send me a replacement to try. I know that this unit should perform quite well in the end. This controller is the same one doing the job in this video and the others at this site:

http://s915.photobucket.com/albums/ac353/cdm8848/?action=view&current=ACRILICENGRAVING.flv

I have not increased the size capacity of my laser. My application will only need 5 by 7" engraving and cutting.
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Re: Commercially available laser controllers

Postby bdring » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:59 am

Any success yet? Last I heard you were waiting for a new board.
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