Help! Up/Down automatic laser head

I am looking to buy a Chinese CO2 laser machine that offers an automatic up/down movement to engrave and cut curved or irregular shaped objects. I guess this would be a ‘Z’ axis.

link to youtube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju9lhe3CsE0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds9ty4IwSo8&list

Question: Can I use Lightburn software with this feature?

Typically those setups are independent of any software Z axis control. The up/down motion of the laser head is controlled directly via the distance sensor. So, yes, it should work just fine with LightBurn in that LightBurn won’t care about or interfere with that feature.
Whether or not that machine actually has a Z axis that can be software controlled by LightBurn is a different story that depends on the machine.

That is an interesting concept. Never seen it before.

Is this an actual product or is this a proof of concept? I could not find it on their website.

At the end of the video you can see that they lift the cardboard and the Z-axis moves up, following the height of the cardboard. To me it looks like a closed loop system which was put on the machine without using the Ruida controller.

I might be mistaken though. This is of course highly dependent of speed. I am not sure if they choose to limit the operating speed for the closed loop system to function?

That is very cool!

Ruida calls it “Live Focus System”. It is expensive (roughly $2,000 for the complete package).

Two examples are:

Ruida LFS-ANM-T43 for non metal material

Ruida LFS-AM-T43 for metal material

They have other systems as well found on their web site:


http://www.rd-acs.com/sy

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LightObject also sells one and yeah… it’s expensive: $1800
https://www.lightobject.com/DIY-KIt/Real-time-tracking-Auto-Focus-Laser-Head-RTAF

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Thank you for the responses. I’m looking at a 1300 x 900 mm working area with a Reci 100 watt W4 laser tube. I want to be able to engrave and cut wood and acrylic. The ‘z’ axis appears to be a cool additional feature. It removes the need for a rotary device to some extent.

The controller they have suggested is the Ruida RD6332M

So I guess from what people are saying above Lightburn will work as expected and the Ruida control system will manage the auto-focus up/down system.

I have also asked for Hybrid Drive rather than conventional stepper motors - because I saw a recommendation on YouTube. Does anyone have any thoughts on this upgrade?

Placed order today for our new machine. Will report back when we have everything up and running.