Within the G-code there are 2 basic moves, rapids and cuts. The rapids are typically done at as fast as your machine can go or a little slower and the cuts are done at a much slower speed. The G-code has 2 "commands" for this -G0 for fast and G1 for cuts. Also, during milling (if this were a mill instead of a laser cutter) you would be raising and lowering your bit during the whole milling process. I.e. you need to raise the bit above the work to move around and you need to lower the bit into the work to actually do the cutting. Thus, within the G-code, there is always a "bit raise" command before a rapid (fast move) and a bit-lower command before cutting.
The laser cutter works exactly the same way, the only difference is that we want the laser off for rapids (moving to the next cut, the "bit" would be raised) and we want the laser on (bit lowered into the work) when we cut.
My solution (shown in the video above) is to simply turn the laser on with any downward movement of the Z axis and to turn it off when the Z is raised. All-in-all, the laser cutter works identically to a mill, the only difference being that the bit going up and down is replaced with a on/off of the laser. That's it.
The cutter lives again. It is actually running quite a bit better under Mach3 over the stock software.
Ok here is my question .How do you know when the laser should be on and off.
I mean you can see from gcode what the machine will do but you cant imagine the whole movement in your mind inorder
to put the right code snippet on the right place .
So how do you do that?
Secondly you could put a led somewhere to sign to you the state of the laser.
Fingers crossed, Chris!
Laser on off board. Things that make you go hmmmm.
Good work man!
It has been great to watch your video updates of the steps that you have taken to get the machine backup and running.
It is most deffinatly been inspirational and thought provoking to watch how you are using various test equiptment, drivers, software to find the problem and get your machine up and running in a true 'makers' fashion. Makes me think of how I can use the bits and peices l have lying around and in my junkbox to get my projects up and working faster and with what I already have!
I wish you all the best and hope your fixes get the laser cutter back up and running to your satisfaction shortly!