FABOOL Mini 3.5W and Lightburn

I’ve got a Fabool Mini 3.5 w from Smart DIY’s. The included software is tedious and not terribly Mac friendly. Will Light Burn work with this machine?

I am a moderately tech savvy user - but have no interest in taking a deep dive into coding or other programing. Looking for a efficient workflow as I use this machine for work purposes and time is money.

doesnt say much about the controller and you need to know the controller to be able to tell if it works with lightburn.

Oh good lord - it’s based on the LaserSaur :man_facepalming:

Check out the firmware download on that page - it would appear the controller is just an Arduino Mega with a shield but then when you did into the firmware it’s a modification of the LaserSaur firmware (which was originally meant to run on an Uno/ATMega328p

Oh god - and they even use a hacked up version of the lasersaur web-based control software: https://manual.smartdiys.cc/smart-laser-mini-use-softwera-new/
No, just no…

Anyways - I used to have a LaserSaur and I am intimately familiar with the firmware and control software as I’ve hacked on it a lot.

The problem you are likely going to run into here is that while the firmware is based on grbl it’s REALLY old grbl (0.8 or 0.9 I think) and at some point they removed all gcode use and switched to a binary protocol.

Now, while the FABOOL firmware says it’s based on LaserSaur v14 which should be binary I don’t think it actually is because it looks like the gcode parser is intact.

What I would do is just try it with a LightBurn trial - connect using the GRBL M3 profile (DO NOT use the normal GRBL profile) and then go to the console and see if it connects. If it does, try issuing a couple commands like $$ or ? (config print and status print, respectively).

I don’t really have high hopes any of that will work - I had to replace the control board with a smoothieware board in my LaserSaur so I could use LightBurn. But if the firmware does still support normal gcode it might work. But honestly it’s never going to be a good experience. The LaserSaur firmware was a terrible choice on the part of FABOOL.

Many thanks for the intel. Much of it is over my head, but I can see that it’s a bit of a goat rodeo. I’ll give it an try, but maybe the best bet is to stick with their package and suffer through it. It wasn’t a terribly expensive machine and I’ll outgrow it soon enough… Short of that, is it feasible or sensible to source a new logic board and would it play nice with the motors, etc?
Many thanks for the help.

Never heard that one before, but def going to use it now :stuck_out_tongue:

In theory you could install diff firmware on that controller but without knowing all the pinout details it’d be a pain if you aren’t good with code…

My honest suggestion for making it LightBurn compatible would be to get a cheap smoothieware board and use that - can be had for ~$40 - the most complicated part will be that you have dual Y axis motors so you will need to either set those up on separate drivers that are slaved together or hook up to the same driver. In either case you will need to reverse one of them so they aren’t trying to move against. each other. There’s lots of docs online about how to do dual Y motors with smoothieware. It’s a pretty common thing.

Heck, I’d recommend you use my own board, but it would be harder to handle dual Y motors on it… so I’d still say smoothieware :slight_smile:

Having struggled with the default lasersaur stuff for 6 months, trust me the $40 and your time will be worth it.

Multiple people have upgraded the Fabool with a Cohesion3D LaserBoard, see:

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Gah! I see a rabbit hole looming… I’m actually foolish (and curious) enough to go down it. I’ll read up on all the links and keep y’all posted. Huge thanks.

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