Better experience with Lasers and Fusion 360

I am very interested and still trying to figure out my laser and trying to change coding to do laser instead of spindle… I definitely need a simpler solution!

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I am interested as well! I have just ordered my 3.8W laser from JTech. Still waiting on my back ordered X-carve controller too. sigh

I would love to learn how you do this. When do you think you will have the write up on how to do this?

Looks good! Where can I find the code? I’d like to try this myself rather than swapping programs.

I’m very interested in a post processor to work in Fusion360 for the J Tech laser I just ordered. Can you let me know where I can find it? I’m pulling all my hair out trying to figure how to use Fusion for producing my gcode. Thanks in advance!

Hey Dave… I’ll put together a tutorial this week and get it posted out on Instructables. I would have this weekend, but I’ve been down with the flu.

That would be awesome! If you could show me how to get the post processor working for Fusion, I would be so appreciative! I don’t really fancy the idea of learning a whole new program simply for the gcode for the little bit of lasering I plan on doing with the CNC.

Hey there. Have you had a chance to look at that post processor yet? I’m hoping to get my laser connected to my CNC in the next week or so.

No, crazy enough, on the 15th, I had 2 heart attacks. So, I’m just kind of getting back into the groove of everything. I had planned on doing it that weekend, but I was just down and sick… And then Monday I went in to the ER… Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten any of you guys.

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Sorry to hear about your illness. Hope you get better soon and get the time to do the things you want to. and also thanks for helping the community.

Life happens and gets in the way, hope everything will be fine from now on. I’ll be looking forward to see how you did it. A couple of questions, it looks like you were able to rasterize the image with Fusion 360, is that right? Are you capable of also cutting vectors?

Hey @DanRegalia did you had any chance to put a tutorial ?
I’m also looking into this kind of stuff…

I tuned a post-processor for laser “engraving”, but have no solution (yet) to burn, like a black and white image as you did…
I’m experimenting by using a 3D parallel pass with a 0.1mm tool… but I’ll have to update the post-processor to stop the laser during lead-in/lead-out phases…

Any comment/help is welcome.

Hey Sebastien,
So, I kinda dropped the project because I didn’t have a 1.1 version of the controller. As many people know, I had a heart attack shortly after posting about this, and it took me a while to get back onto my feet. Well, anyways, I’m back to 100%, and have been using lightburn. I have a completed version of the post processor for a .9 version of the GRBL Controller. I haven’t tried it out yet on my other XCarve that has a 1.1 GRBL controller yet.
I’d be interested in fixing it up to work with both if you’re willing to help me test. It works really similar to what you’re doing with a .01 bit.
My main concern is spindle speed, and if it still decides the laser strength. I have to talk with Jason over at JTech to see if that is the case now. Years ago, we had to tweak the build to get it to work. I don’t know if the controllers still work on the same 0-10000 scale or if it’s a 0-255 scale in the new GRBL 1.1… and what the switch is to handle it.

Thanks @DanRegalia.
I’ve been working on my own post-processor, with good results so far.
I’m still testing / tuning / documenting, so I would say it’s not ready, but it’s already opensource at https://github.com/pirate-makers/shapeokolaser

As it’s for Fusion360 it should be working whatever version of GRBL you’re using. At least, you can check the generated g-code… If someone want to try, just open an issue in github if you see anything special.

My two biggest issues right now are :

  • set the right “spindle speed”, which controls the laser power output… it’s working but I don’t know yet what is the max power… is it 100 (100%) or 256 ? or 1024 ?
  • stop the laser beam during lead-in / lead-out (it only stop on fast movements (G0)

For info, I totally removed all Z-axis movements, so you can set up your laser at the right height and play your g-code without worries. (I may have to change this to be able to detect lead-in/lead-out though…)

Power to the laser is controlled by values between zero, set on $31, and whatever you have set on your $30 GRBL parameter. If you set it at 255, then S255 will give you 100% power, if you set it at 1000 then S1000 will give you 100% power. If you set it at S500, then you will have 50% of power and so on.

In lightBurn the $30 parameter has to be set to the same value both in GRBL and in the S parameter on the LightBurn settings.

I’ve just went through this having installed the 7W JTech laser on my X-Carve a week ago.

Thanks @PeterJakab1, you just saved me some researches. I knew it was something like that as I did all that months ago :slight_smile:

Thanks @PeterJakab1, I’ll go thru and modify that in mine. I’ll just have to do a little math on it. I like using the 10 level scale of 1000, 2000, up to 10000, so I will figure it out.

@SebastienThomas,
I left my Z Axis in there, I use it for burning on different parts of different heights.

So, I have 2 versions completed and working.

One for version .9 GRBL and one for version 1.1 GRBL.

I’ve also dumped the .tools library for the laser bits I use so you can import them right into your tool library.

I would drop the post processors into your personal post processor library so they don’t go away every time there is an update.

Hi all,

First I want to wish you a happy new year and lots of good carves for 2020.

Then, I want to present the project I’m working on right now.
I bought a laser for my XXL Shapeoko last year, played with it a little but wasn’t happy very much. Not because of the laser performance, but because of the (my) workflow.

This is still work in progress, and things may change in the future as I still have lead in/out “issues”. Fusion 360 is not really meant for laser engraving…
Please check it on github at https://github.com/pirate-makers/shapeokolaser and leave me a comment here or an issue there.
I’ll keep working on it until i’m satisfied.
@DanRegalia I’ll check your own and see if I can improve mine with it. As you did, I will also add my tools into my repo.
Thanks again