Adding z axis to Chinese laser

So I’m looking into adding z axis stepper with controller that hooks up to Ruida. I also would like to add a sensor to the laser head that can do auto focusing when it lasers. Any suggestions?

There are two types of auto focus available. The first is a simple probe that sets the distance to the work piece. They are easy to install, however most people get rid of them as they are more hassle than they are a help. Better to just use a simple gauge block. The second type of auto focus follows variations in material height and adjusts the height of the laser head on the fly. These heads cost between $1000-$3000 and are very difficult to install and get working correctly.

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Interesting. I saw it in action and thought it would be worth the money. But, if what you’re saying is true then I might as well just add the z axis stepper without the auto focus. Would you recommend the nema 23 controller for Ruida?

If the Z bed is like most, I would definitely go with a Nema23. Takes a fair bit of power to move them.

Perfect! Then I just have to find the adapter plate for mounting the motor and a new belt. Any suggestions there?

You can cut your own adapter plate out of plywood or acrylic.Just measure things up and design away, then cut. 1/4" should be sufficiently strong in acrylic, 3 or 4mm plywood should be good.
Belt I would look on ebay, or amazon.

Thanks for the help. Made things make more sense

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Just a thought… I have an auto focus syetem on my second head, yet I still manually set the focal length. It’s faster, and frankly more accurate unless you stay on top of it… Motorized Z seems to get “off” slightly over time for whatever reason. I prefer to get my bed dead on, and adjust my snoots. Everything I cut is between 1/16" and 1/2", so it’s not a big deal. They are a pain. I have a ruida, but I also got the Lightobject one to try… ended up selling it on ebay… If they were more plug and play, I’d be into it, as I use my laser 8 hours a day 6 days a week. But as stated above, they’re kinda’ tricky. Same with my motorized Z tables on my machines… I have a 20" travel, but only ever really moved it an inch… the thing I didn’t like is that if your speed is too fast, it’s quick to move, but hard to get exactly where you want it… If you have it slow and accurate, it takes forever… I guess it all depends on your work flow. I cut a few focus tools, and that’s what I use…

Good point. I use mine close to the hours you do but I’m doing big items