lightbulb Frage How to ....Connect a Laser to WinPC-NC

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24 Nov 2020 10:03 #59902 von CNCMiller
How to ....Connect a Laser to WinPC-NC wurde erstellt von CNCMiller
Install and connect a Laser module on your Stepcraft machine.

Used hardware.
- Stepcraft 1/420 CNC
- NEJE 20Watt blue (5.5Watt optic) laser 450nm.
- NEJE laser tester and control
- DS15 connector (male normal and female breakout type)
- Several 3D printed parts

Make the laser fit.
The laser dimension are 30 x 30 x 80 mm and that doesn’t fit in the 43 mm diameter toolholder.
So let’s make an adapter for this.
I made one designing it in Solidworks and then printed it on the 3D printer.


The STL file can be found on Thingiverse : www.thingiverse.com/thing:4650032

The tight fit depends on the printer quality but with a piece of sticky tape on the laser it can be made a tight fit in the adapter.

Hook the laser up to the Stepcraft.
Now we have make the connection between the Laser and the Stepcraft.
This is done by the Sub D 15 connector on the back of the Stepcraft machine. Because this auxiliary port is also used for the spindle control I made a Laser control box (will be added in the future) with an Sub D 15 out connector so that both laser and spindle can be used without changing connectors.

Hardware used for this:
- SD 15 Male connector soldering style
- SD 15 Female connector breakout style
- Old unused SCART cable


The SCART cable has 20 wires and we only need 15 of them just connect the wires on all the pins to make an extension cable. The male side goes in the Stepcraft machine and the female we mount in the control box. On this female we plug the Spindle connector now the spindle can be used when the laser is dismounted and vice versa.

Now we have to connect the correct pins on the female breakout connector to the laser tester print. Two extra wires are add to the breakout connector.
This is done on pin 2 or pin 10 (GND) and pin 13 (PWM on relay 1) and connect them to the PWM/TTL input pins (JST XH 2.5 2 pin connector).

Next setup the CNC control program.
This valid for WinPC-NC USB ver. 3.40/82.

Step 1.
Click on Parameters, then on basic settings:
- Now navigate to the equipment window and activate the laser.

Step 2.
The output signals must be assigned according to their functions.


The following logic scheme applies:
Enable LaserQ244 Dispensing / Laser (e.g. Pin1)
Power LaserQ218 Sp. speed PWM (e.g. Pin17)

Switch to the Signal Wizard in parameters-basic settings and search for the corresponding signals in the lower output table. After that, every signal can be assigned with an output pin over the pull-down menu. Confirm each selection by clicking Accept.
Now all basic connections and settings are made and the Laser should work and the power control is made by the toolpath file.

Note: Power setting is done by the G-code S command (0 = 0% - 255 = 100% power). This can also be done in the toolpath generator program by setting the spindle speed accordingly (0 – 255 speed).

To adjust the correct feed rate and laser power run before every different material the 2 laser tests under tab "Special functions":
- Greyscale Speed test
- Laser Cut test
The calculated feed rate is inserted in the Laser tab file:


Note: This value overrides the G-code “S” speed setting!!
So if you want to change the feed rate is must be done in the WinPC-NC Laser tab "Laserspeed".

(To switch to the G-code setting the value of 0 should be entered in this field, only for now there is a bug in the software (reported to developer) so that doesn’t work yet.)

Now you can run your first test runs, have fun.  

SC 1/420 + Gantry extension, Kress 1050 FME-P, NeJe 20W Laser, WinPC-NC USB v3.40, Vectric Aspire 9, SolidWorks 2021

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Folgende Benutzer bedankten sich: Rom16

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20 Dez 2020 09:36 #60114 von CNCMiller
CNCMiller antwortete auf How to ....Connect a Laser to WinPC-NC
To control your laser I made a control box that fits into the enclosure.

The complete files and PDF can be found: www.thingiverse.com/thing:4686693



SC 1/420 + Gantry extension, Kress 1050 FME-P, NeJe 20W Laser, WinPC-NC USB v3.40, Vectric Aspire 9, SolidWorks 2021

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18 Apr 2021 15:02 #60951 von kekstuete
kekstuete antwortete auf How to ....Connect a Laser to WinPC-NC
Hello,

great guide.
I have an Endurance LASER with a control box, which can control the laser via PWM or TTL. I would like to connect this to my Stepcraft. Hence my questions.
Do you have the Stepcraft USB module for WinPC NC in your Stepcraft 1/420 CNC or do you have the ncUSB box? Perhaps irrelevant if the next question applies.
Do you plug the SubD-15 into the spindle connection of the Stepcraft?
Can I just plug in a SubD-15 for the laser and unplug the spindle?

Best wishes
Daniel

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19 Apr 2021 13:18 - 19 Apr 2021 13:24 #60956 von CNCMiller
CNCMiller antwortete auf How to ....Connect a Laser to WinPC-NC
kekstuete,

I use a USB connection direct on the Stepcraft motherboard.
and on both questions the answer is Yes.

Here you can see how I connected the spindle and the Laser on one D15 plug.


and some foto's of the wires



Good luck

SC 1/420 + Gantry extension, Kress 1050 FME-P, NeJe 20W Laser, WinPC-NC USB v3.40, Vectric Aspire 9, SolidWorks 2021

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Letzte Änderung: 19 Apr 2021 13:24 von CNCMiller.

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19 Apr 2021 14:12 #60957 von kekstuete
kekstuete antwortete auf How to ....Connect a Laser to WinPC-NC
Very good job. Thank you.

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29 Okt 2021 02:46 #61543 von EJ
Hi;

I am looking to upgrade a 2.8W laser to a NEJE laser. Your adapter will be very helpful. Do you also have a file for the connector for the air assist ?

An unrelated question--I have made some acrylic shield surrounds for my current laser. In terms of where the shield needs to be: is a full enclosure needed, or can you simply have a base plate with a central hole for the laser that would block all of the reflected light? Is there danger from laser light difussion or exposure from the lens to the engraving/cutting surface?

I'm hoping to have something with air assist (from my old spindle which had forced air) and to make other shielding unecessary. The base I assume would have to be broad enough to block the dispersed light (if standing at the machine).

Thank you for any help & advice!

Evan

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29 Okt 2021 11:10 #61545 von CNCMiller
CNCMiller antwortete auf How to ....Connect a Laser to WinPC-NC
Hello EJ

You can find a air assist/smoke exhaust especially for the Stepcraft D-series on:
www.thingiverse.com/thing:4650047

But in a few days there will be an improved design posted.
On the universal baseplate there is an smoke/chips exhaust an air blast assist and a laser pointer mount.
So there is no need to switch the baseplate when changing you work from Lasering to Milling or Cutting.

There is no need for a fully enclosure in colored acrylic.
The main safety issue is NOT to look into your laser beam whit out the safety goggles!
Also there is no damage to the object by diffusion laser light. Just make sure the smoke is blown or sucked away this will save your lens.
See my article on:
www.lewetz.de/files/HowTo/HT39_LaserSetupFuncke/HowTo_E_Make_your_first_laser_project.pdf

Whatever you do.....SAFETY FIRST

good luck

SC 1/420 + Gantry extension, Kress 1050 FME-P, NeJe 20W Laser, WinPC-NC USB v3.40, Vectric Aspire 9, SolidWorks 2021

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