This seems to be a question that has been asked countless times, though the answers can get outdated quickly. I have an distance friend that has an old CO2 laser cutter system that seems to be fully functional but the very import feeling and sketchy burn CD with a very outdated looking software “LaserCut” I would like to upgrade the controller to something compatible with Lightburn. It has external Stepper Drivers and I have don’t several non-Laser related projects using other G-Code GRBL hardware. As for the Laser ON/OFF I’m making an assumption that the Laser will be looking for a PWM output and that Most CNC boards support.
For back ground I’m running an Openbuilds Modified Workbee 1010 with 1.5Kw spindle or 7w Diode Laser that I use Lighburn and the OpenBuilds software depended on the job at hand.
I was thinking about simply using an UNO and GRBL board to run this laser. Sure It would require a dedicated PC.
After all that What Controllers are people upgrading into these days. We do have External Stepper Drivers.
If it’s using LaserCut the controller is mostly likely a Leetro controller. This would be in the DSP class of controllers.
Your best bet would be to swap this for a Ruida controller (also DSP). It would offer the most robust and most like-for-like swap. It would be possible to drive this with an UNO or similar but would require a bit more work and would results in a much less robust solution.
Also note that there was some talk at one point about possible LightBurn support for Leetro but haven’t seen anything more about that.