Combination CO2 and Diode laser in same machine

Another question here got me to thinking about combining a CO2 laser and Diode laser in the same machine. I know some Ruida controllers have the ability to control 2 laser heads. Would controlling the Diode laser be simple?

This is just a silly idea but curious if anyone has considered it or tried it.

I have that setup, the only drawback my led needs different power supply settings than then co2 tube and the ruida cannot change on the fly.
Meaning you can use either one or the other in one project

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If you could find a diode that both a PWM input and a TTL enable pin (on/off) then it would work in the same way as a standard CO2 power supply, and you could support both in a single job.

Ruida controllers, in CO2 mode, ramp the power up before the cut starts, and then fire by enabling the TTL pin (the L-On output from the controller). That pin isn’t used for RF excited tubes, and a lot of diode setups just have a single PWM or analog pin, and don’t have an enable as well, but some do.

The diode laser having TTL enable is of no consequence. It doesnt care. The PWM will work as normal.

You can set up the Ruida as a 2 tube machine. Use the diode on the second PWM output and set the min and max values accordingly. This is done via the vendor settings.

When using with RDWorks this is as simple as selecting which laser is operational for the layer and setting appropriate power levels. Also apply any appropriate physical offsets if you plan to use them on the same job. If not using on the same job, just set your position as normal.

I am unsure what Enno refers to it not being able to change on the fly. It certainly can switch from one tube to the other (diode in this case) on the fly based on the one selected for the operation in the layer parameters.

It works absolutely fine for me using RDWorks.

I am however unsure how it is handled in LightBurn. I have not seen a selection in LightBurn for which tube to use per layer. Is this not available in Lightburn anywhere?


It is if your controller is configured to have both tubes enabled.

In my own experience, the RF tube output differs from CO2 in that the ramp-up for PWM happens before the L-ON line is fired, whereas with RF, the PWM ramp up is effectively gated by the L-ON internally, so you only need the one output. I’ve seen scope measures of this happening, though I haven’t personally measured it.

What Enno is saying is that you can’t specify one glass tube and one RF tube. You can only specify both of the same type.

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with my first diode laser it did not turn off during movement, thats why I used them with rf psu settings.
Can try the new one with co2 settings see if it works correct, never done that so far.

Yes, you are correct in the difference in operation. I am saying to just use a diode with CO2 settings in this case and only use the L-PWM or L-AN outputs without the L-ON. I never mentioned or suggested using the RF type setting.

With my 6442G, the L-ON comes up before PWM. This has been analyzed with a scope. Done so in an effort to implement a circuit to maintain a minimum input to the PSU (much like preignition) to allow proper scaling of power settings.

I also suggested that it would only be possible with both tubes enabled.

Yes, you cannot use both types at once. I understand what he is saying now. I did not pick up on that in his writing.

Enno, it would not turn off even if you selected RF with no preignition? In that case it should work basically the same as DC glass, just without the L-ON. Should allow a zero % PWM or analog value in this case.

I’ve decided to go this route myself, mounting a 7W NUBM44 diode to my laser head, but I don’t know how to wire the diode and power supply to the Ruida controller. The diode has only two wires. The last time I used one it was connected to an AXBB-E motion controller on my last CNC router. I had excellent documentation on that controller, but not so much on this new Ruida RDC6445.

Can anyone advise how to wire these two components correctly so I can use the diode as the second laser tube?

you would need a driver with pwm input and 12v input to be able to use the diode,
then 2 wires go to the diode, 2 wires to the ruida output

I thought the Ruida controller would function as the driver in this case?

Evidently not. I do have a driver that will serve both of those needs, and I can connect the diode to it but I’m not sure where the wires from the driver should connect to to Ruida controller?

what connections do you have on your led driver then?

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