Electronics

10/25/2012

initial soldering of wiring components.  Added nylon wiring sleeves to help keep things from getting too tangled.



10/26/2012

Turned a old computer power supply into the 12v power supply for the laser cutter.  The laser module needs about 3 amps, so a higher output power supply was necessary.

instructions on using a computer power supply as a 12volt power supply:


Added an on/off switch and a load resistor (10w/10ohm).


Added molex connectors (from old computer parts) to the power feeds,etc.  This makes it easy to unplug wires and reroute them.

Installed some software, and tested the steppers, and stepper drivers from the arduino:

using the easydriver with an arduino:



  

The easydriver has the option for Microstepping, but I haven't enabled it yet, I will evaluate if I want to enable that in the future.  It's pretty easy to enable, just bridge power for some pins on the easydriver .

After testing the EasyDriver setup, I descended into the software area of the arduino.

From the tutorial at instructables about the pocket laser engraver, I used the precompiled GRBL hex file and uploaded it to the arduino.


the pinout from the stock GRBL is important for wiring up the stepper drivers, etc.  Here is the default pinout from GRBL:

Here are links to the software to interface with your arduino.  The G-code sender program requires .NET 3.5.

Software:



10/27/2012

in order to not stress the wiring connections, I attached the electronics to a mother board (an oak scrap).



Initially, I was going to do something akin to a printer setup for the cutter, but now I am thinking of an overhead Gantry setup for the different axis.

11/4/2012

Got all the axis together and tested the Laser Cutter.

First thing I found out was that the Laser is completely infrared with no visible spectrum.  This makes it a bit harder to focus, as I need to use cameras.  Once I accurately determine the focal length, then I'll just leave it there.

Secondly, after doing a couple test cuttings, it was apparent that the laser was going too fast on the straight stretches, and will need to have the feed rate adjusted.

Below are some notes on various GRBL commands:


M3, M5 - laser on off
G92 X0 Y0 - Zero GRBL

$4 = default feed rate - try 300
$5 = default seek rate - try 300
acceleration = 25? - try 20 (currently at 100)

Some commands for GRBL v0.8a:
Type in some motion command and hit '!' for feed hold. 
'~' for resuming. 
'ctrl-x' will reset/abort. 
'?' will give you a reply with Grbl's position.






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