15w laser upgrade questions

Is the thread already too old, which no longer reports?:Denken::enttäuscht:

Hello everybody,
nobody seems to be able to help with my problem. what a shame.
maybe someone can tell me, at which port on the control unit or power supply I need to connect the laser?
I am in laser, an absolute beginner.
Thanks in advance for your help and sorry for my bad english.
greet André

Most of the people here are probably just busy.
To connect this unit up you would need to have a switch to bypass the spindle so its not coming on when the laser is.
The PWM on the Xcarve can trigger the laser unit. However doing laser cutting means you will have to create special jobs. I am not sure if you can do that in Easel as I no longer use it. The laser can be controlled via power output to allow you to do cuts and engraving. This part must be solved as you already have the movement of the machine. I suspect using depth of cut could create output to change the laser output power. I just do not have one of these laser modules. I have used Epilog and other systems but they use special software for them and not an mill controller. If you lived close I could help better. But I think from your comments that you may be far away.

Here are some links to help.
Perhaps you can reach out to some of these authors to assist in how they did their setups.

Hi Stephen,
sorry first that I answer now.
But I had problems with the delivery of the laser.
Short update regarding the current state.
It is a 15w laser from China with a 3 pin plug.
I’ve soldered the plugs to the G-Shield as follows.
GND at GND and PWM at D11.
Picture below.
The 12 V I get directly on the laser via a separate power supply.
Furthermore, I flashed the Arduino Uno on GRBL 1.1g.
Now I have already tried a couple of things. (Pictures and cutting)
It works pretty well as well.
You have to do a lot of testing (how fast and how much power)
But there are a few problems and I do not think so
the settings in my software is. (use Lightburn)
I burned a few lines for testing. On the x and Y axis.
Since I had to notice that the X axis lines are dotted and if I burn it, for example in cardboard, it burns it full through but also only spotted and not (cut).
The Y axis is cut very well.
I used the cross with 50% power and 1200mm / min.
What I do not understand is that it is punctured as soon as it is already tilted 1 ° in the direction of the X-axis. The Y-axis looks very good. The difference can be recognized by the letter X, Y.
Is it perhaps on the G-Shield that the X-axis does not get enough power?
I’m not a technology professional.
What could that be

Thank you for your help.

Greetings Andre

I am not sure what your issue is.
When working with lasers you have to calibrate the beam.
Go get some of that thermal paper used in POS machines.
Then use very low power to focus the dot and adjust the lens to get the best dot possible without any blur.
You do this by triggering the laser for a very brief moment. You also need to make sure that your surface is as square to your laser as possible. 2mm off will make your cuts blurry.
Also check for vibration. Any vibration can cause the laser to jitter.
You will need to check to see if you have speed ramps when you start and stop motions. I know Mach3 has them but I do not know if your setup has them or not. They will reduce shake. You can live without them but it does help.
The dotted lines could be connector loose, or just that area being off where the focus was not as sharp.
If I had one of those lasers on my system to play around with I could give you more info. I just have not used one of those before. My experience comes from using those Co2 ones. Epilog etc…

Short update.
The focus is now set.
I did not notice any vibrations.
It is also fairly balanced.
I changed the G-shield now.
(I had one more in reserve)
On G-shield I think it is not.
the same mistakes come.
The laser should not really matter in which direction it runs.
Whether X-axis or Y-axis.
Or am I thinking wrong?
Could it be a bug in the software? possibly GRBL?

Slowly I despair.


Greetings Andre ’

Also with regard to vibrations at the CNC milling machine can not be.
Because if I cut cardboard in several steps, for example,
he scores at the bottom at every round in the same place.:disappointed_relieved:

Good Morning,
new update,
I have now turned the laser 90 degrees and made my test drives.
And it happens exactly the same, only this time on the Y-axis.
So no mistake of the CNC (frame). No shaking.

I have also taken another laser program, with the same cutting values.
So the wrong commands come from the G-shield ???
Or from the Arduino ???
Now I am really finished with my knowledge.

Does anyone know about advice?

Greetings Andre ’

Hello everybody,
I am still on the troubleshooting.
Now I had no more nerve for it and have again milled something.
I had with UGS as a gcode transmitter, when sending the gcodes an error.
“error when starting the data stream zero”

and another mistake occurred in the middle of the mowing.
the CNC just stopped.
and on UGS was no mistake.
In the macro bar, there were only no more commands.
It also did not pause and start again.

now my question.
I’m not the expert sorry.
Can my mistake on the x-axis when working with the laser possibly synonymous to it?
Maybe I have a mistake in my wiring?

Thank you for your help in advance.

Greetings Andre ’

Hello everybody,

I read the posts, I just want to share my experiences so far, with the chinese “5,5w” laser.
First of all, i did not measure the true output, but i am pretty sure, that above 2,5w, they are the same, or a little bit more powerful but degrading faster.
I use it with a modified CNC router, running grbl0.9 (will upgrade to 1.1 later).
These lasers are not meant for cut, however, you can do it.
There is a HUGE difference between material and material.
For example: plywood. I read lots of feedbacks and discussions about cutting and engraving materials.
Plywood is basically made of thin wood layers glued together.
Your laser will be able to cut the wood part, however the glue will cause all your problems.
There are several type of glues. So far, I did not succeed in cutting any plywoods, but people told me that they can cut “plyLITE”, plywood made just for lasers. Also, there was a thread where a guy could cut plywoods that are not water resistant.
You can cut balsawood, up to 3mm thick, above that will be slow, takes several passes and the cut will be angled (~1°)
I also could not cut MDF, because it is mainly glue.
However, I could cut nearly everything I ordered from china, decor stuff like lasercut stars, rectangles and other shapes.
I think they are made of a special kind of MDF or plywood.
Also, if your X and Y lines are different, it is because of the laser focus. These cheap lasers are not focused in a dot but they are a bit ovalish, so where your oval is thicker, you get better result, the fat part will not be continous or less visible.

Sorry for my english, it is not my native language.

I upload some pictures of my works so far, so you can get a clue on what it is capable of.
Most of the engraves I used 100% power, 1200mm/min feed rate and the sharpest focus I could get.

Hello Renato Nagy,

thank you first for your tips,
I’ll try a few tests with a different focus.
Maybe it works with it.
But is not the cut wider if I broaden the focus?
I also want to apologize for my english, it’s not my native language either. :zwinkern:

Greetings Andre

Hello everybody,
I lead the thread on.
I did not get any further with my laser. The problem is still there. Even after Renato tips.
I’m considering upgrading my X-carve a bit with G-shield.
Since one thing has already broken. (After almost 1.5 years)
If I want to replace the G-shield, what do I need there?
Can you please give me a short list or tips (experience with your upgrades)?
I am very grateful for any help.
Maybe that helps with my laser problem. Maybe the G-Shield will not make it.

Thank you for your help in advance.

Greetings Andre ’

Unfortunately I do not own a laser module at this time.
I also do not use the G-shield either.
All I can do is offer my experience with other lasers I have ran in the past.

Thank you Stephen for trying to help me anyway. I think that’s great.
Maybe you can help me with another thing.
I have had a touch plate for z-Probe for 2 years.
However, I use the old version for x-carve with Arduino and gshield.
When looking for a solution to connect the touch plate, I read several posts here in the forum.
However, it is difficult for me despite google translator. (English in German) to find the connection options.
I know I have to use pin A5 on the Arduino, GRBL higher than v 0.9.
And there I found this post from you. Probe test on Arduino
Since you always try to help me, I thought I would just ask you about this.
Even if the post is a bit older.
Sorry for my audacity. :Augen: :Umarmungen:
I would like to use the touch panel after years.
I would be happy if you or maybe someone else could help.
I would solder pin A5 on the Arduino and lead it to the outside. Then I would make a single-pole connector on the cable from the Arduino and the associated mating connector on the cable from the touch plate. (Quasi mom and dad)
So that I can plug my touch plate on and off.
And the clamp then comes to the router. (Right?)

I am mainly concerned with whether I have to pay attention to anything after connecting to the Arduino.
I am not a great programmer. Sorry.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Greetings Andre ’

Hello Andre,

I re-read your article, maybe try to mount your laser rotated 90°, so if I am right, now your X will be perfect and Y will be faulty. My tip is that your laser’s lens is somehow not good.

Hello Renato,
I had already tried that and then it was faulty on the Y axis.
I also tried your tip with increasing the focus.
That didn’t work either.
In the meantime I think that the error comes from my G-shield.
it transmits quasi pulsating.
Because the points are always in the same place even if there are several cuts (rounds).

Hello everybody,
I screwed up again.
Since I am still looking for a solution to my X axis problem, I decided today to upgrade my X-Carve after 3 years.
I finally managed to connect my x-y and Z axis limit switches to the g-shield. as in this guide http://x-carve-instructions.inventables.com/xcarve2015/step14/.
I also installed a Z touch plate (on Arduino pin A5 and GND). Then I tried the touch panel in UGS first. And what can I say, it worked wonderfully (I’m very proud of myself as an unskilled electrician)
But then my problem came when I was looking for or setting the XYZ home switches.
UGS went into ALARM and it was no longer possible to write a command to the console.
I’m going to attach the bug.
Sorry for my english.
Maybe someone has an idea what I did wrong.

Greetings Andre ’

Waiting for connection …
Waiting for connection …
Port opened, waiting for response.
Grbl 1.1h [’$’ for help]
[MSG: ‘$ H’ | ‘$ X’ to unlock]
[MSG: Caution: Unlocked]
$ 0 = 10
$ 1 = 255
$ 2 = 0
$ 3 = 3
$ 4 = 0
$ 5 = 1
$ 6 = 0
$ 10 = 115
$ 11 = 0020
$ 12 = 0002
$ 13 = 0
$ 20 = 0
$ 21 = 1
$ 22 = 1
$ 23 = 3
$ 24 = 25,000
$ 25 = 750,000
$ 26 = 250
$ 27 = 1,000
$ 30 = 255
$ 31 = 0
$ 32 = 1
$ 100 = 40,000
$ 101 = 40,000
$ 102 = 188,976
$ 110 = 8000.000
$ 111 = 8000.000
$ 112 = 500,000
$ 120 = 500,000
$ 121 = 500,000
$ 122 = 50,000
$ 130 = 790,000
$ 131 = 790,000
$ 132 = 100,000
Starting stream
Stream completed in 0:00
[MSG: Reset to continue]

Ich glaube ich habe den Fehler gefunden.
$22 stand auf 1 für Referenzfahrt.
Das habe ich aber noch nicht eingestellt bzw gemacht.
Jetzt kommt auch keine Fehlermeldung mehr. Ich hatte zwischendurch sogar die Endschalter abgeklemmt.
Und trotzdem kam der Fehler.
Damit müsste ich mich morgen mal befasen.
Dann schaue ich morgen mal ob ich irgenwo eine einfache Erklärung finde (am besten in meiner Muttersprache Deutsch), wo beschrieben ist wie man eine Referenzfahrt auf einer X-Carve einstellt bzw macht.
Oder wie das überhaupt funktioniert.

Greetings Andre’

Small update.
Today I exchanged all cables that go to the limit switches.
Limit switch with the multimeter checks whether they are all connected the same way.
Have you been.
Then a new attempt with reference travel.
Nothing worked.
The limit switches did not trip.
Then I removed all cables from the limit switches and triggered them manually during the reference run.
And now it’s getting weird.
X axis cables were together and triggered when I separated them.
Z axis were disconnected and triggered when they touched.
Y axis did not respond at all. (Not when closed or open).
All solder joints on the Gshield v5b were also checked and switched through.
All connections checked again at github.

I just wanted to finally completely upgrade my X-carve.
But what does my friend Charles always say “don’t change a running system”.

Greetings Andre ’