I am in the process of setting up my Endurance 10W DPSS laser to run on a Sherline Mill, the mill is running a proprietary version of Masso Gen 2 controller. As such (the proprietary nature) it does not support dynamic PWM but rather I have an external PWM controller. Will Lightburn work with this in GRBL mode or do I need to change to a controller that will allow for lightburn to control the PWM?
I’m not familiar with the Masso Gen 2 controller but if it can reasonably emulate GRBL then you may be able to use GRBL-M3 which is intended for order GRBL versions that don’t support variable power.
It claims to be grbl compatible from what I can tell from the site.
It is setup for a CNC so it does have some type of ‘spindle’ or ‘speed’ (power) control and it must be ‘dynamic’. Probably applicable to lasers.
Software needs to control your lasers power, so a manual control will really be difficult for anything other than a ‘line’.
Have you tried Lightburn on it?
I am awaiting delivery of the laser (due this Friday) then I have to design a mount to take the place of the spindle. The spindle control was limited to VFD even though the G2 controller will support both VFD and PWM. The question is if my external PWM is connected, can I run with presetting the power and simply turning the laser on and off with gcode. Will this break using your software?
Many of these lasers work that way. One of the reasons the gcode stream can be so long.
To have a more precise answer I think one of the Lightburn people should probably answer you. Maybe someone does something similar here.
I have a grbl laser and cnc and my original laser didn’t have pwm, it relied totally on grbl code.
So just looked at some documentation from MASSO. As you say, the controller can in fact provide PWM.
MASSO provides 0~10v, PWM and STEP/DIR control signals to control a variety of VFD and DC spindle and Servo or stepper drivesstrong text
If this is the case is there any reason you can’t directly drive the Endurance laser from the controller? I don’t see the need to have the VFD involved in the laser process. Or am I missing something?
The issue is this is a bespoke application for Sherline, they have a proprietary motor speed control that uses a feed from the Masso running VFD. Because they have no need for PWM they chose not to implement it. I have been told if I want to separate the main board from the full size daughter card, solder wires to points on the Masso controller then route those signals out I can probably have PWM, if I do not screw up. If it comes to the point that an external PWM will not work for running gcode that Fusion 360 creates (and I will have to edit the living bejesus out of it) then I am prepared to CNC up my manual DRO mill using BuildBotics or Acorn Controller. I am leaning toward the BuildBotics as it is a clean product having the stepper drivers built into the box rather than requiring a second box like my Masso. That,and like the Masso that it has its own processor so a PC is not required to run and finally that it has status LCD display is really talking to me. I just have to sell this to my better half. The controller, the limit switches, the addition of an NC ready kit will be a major selling job.
Take a look through this post before settling on Buildbotics. I’m not familiar with their offering but the potential limitation described in this post would be a dealbreaker.
Huh, I had an issue similar to that but not from slow traverse speeds but from rapid ones. I found that the controller’s maximum speed was close to what Fusion 360 had set for the feed rate. Went in and adjusted the feed rate to 1/2 of the maximum and the missed steps went away. Other thing that comes to mind would be to check and see if the gibs are set too tight. I had to address that with my lathe when I changed it to cnc, Nema 23 motors do have limits on how much they can push/pull.
Thinking about the poster’s issues, I am getting more convinced that the problem might be a rough(tight) area in the way. Upping the feed rate would let our old friend momentum carry you over an area that you cannot traverse at a lower speed. Sort of like trying to climb a small steep grade with your bicycle, if you are slow at the base it is a ton of work, if you plan ahead and speed up prior to the climb, not so bad.
Honestly no clue on the min speed thing. I was gobsmacked, especially as it supposedly came from the manufacturer. Just wanted to bring to your attention.
Meaning it’s there, but they didn’t put it out to the user
It must be there and functional for you to be able to ‘wire’ it up and use it…
It seems there is never enough room in the ‘box’ when you get down the road a bit…
My dumb $150 cnc machine does not require a PC. SD card with gcode can be plugged into the control head and the machine can be run sans PC.
I did notice that the Masso can load up to 4gB of gcode on board. Most grbl are serially streamed but as these 32/64 bit processors get ‘cheap’ they have the memory available to store more of the code on board.
Some of the comments you’ve made of statements from the manufacturer are very questionable…
this question: how can I run my mill/router and laser on the same machine keeps coming up. I have separate machines, but smoothstepper (warp9) is a well established controller for CNC routers and also has the capability to control a laser. possibly also exists in some GRBL based controllers?
Good luck as this does not seem to be well supported by hardware and software yet.
There are lots of the more hobbyist 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 desktop machines like Sainsmart Genmitsu that have popularized this. GRBL itself which is widely popular for laser machines started out for CNC machining so not surprised to see some convergence.
1st as I state this is a bespoke application, Sherline chose not to make the PWM addressable with an external connector, as I state I am hesitant to tear the two boards apart, solder wires to the Masso board, and then have to punch a hole in the case to add another connector, as Sherline has populated the spaces that would be assigned to the PWM. Additionally I still want to run my Sherline as a mill so I need to maintain the VFD output.
My comments on not needing a PC are based on the other options that Sherline has which are Linux based systems. That and the antique system that initially came with my cnc mill and lathe from Flash Cut.
I am interested on what comments you feel are questionable.
The crux of my issue with this post, after all of my explaining my problem is can I run light burn without have direct control by the software of the power settings on the laser. I was and still am looking for an alternative to posting gcode from Fusion 360 telling it I am running a mill to do engraving, then having to go in, remove all spindle control calls, z axis motions and add in calls for flood cooling (which would be for laser on/off). Additionally I am hoping to find a method to be able to engrave more that single line text, The ability to call for cross hatching for a laser would be nice, I have not tried to create cross hatch lines in my model and then post them as etching. I guess I need to try that post haste to see if my designs I am creating in Fusion 360 have any hope of being able to be processed by my laser.
I think my initial reply still stands. GRBL versions <1.1f didn’t support variable power using M4 so setting device to GRBL-M3 may work. Are you able to test it?
How do you send g-code to run the Sherline today in laser mode?
I do not as I am still awaiting the laser to mount it and interface it. I have been told by both Masso and Sherline, no PWM. So my question still stands to the group as a whole, does anyone run with PWM being external to the main controller? Endurance says this will work. The second question resolves around how am I going to run this if I can. I am hesitant to do what I have been doing when I use a 30 degree included angle four flute engraving tool run with Fusion 360 creating post for single line engravings. The depth variation has killed my earlier attempts, .030 thick stainless steel was just not flat enough a .005 out of flat across the part made for major variations in the engraving width.
I would say ‘no’. That is how the laser is controlled and part of the controllers function. The controller has to be able to tell the laser when to fire.
External hardware for your pwm couldn’t be controlled by a package like Lightburn, since it’s clueless on what the Ruida, or the controller is actually doing in time.
What is the source of the PWM? How would the PWM be controlled or coordinated with laser movement?
The Endurance laser itself is fairly simple. If it receives voltage at any range between 3.5 - 24V it will fire at full power. The duty ratio of the signal is what will change the power level. It’s not going to care where necessarily that signal comes from.
Can you describe what you plan to engrave with the laser? You won’t be able to get a v-carve look with the laser but you also won’t be limited to the single line fonts or single line engravings that you were previously. However, you won’t have the same flexibility of materials that you have with the router. Stainless is certainly out of the picture.
A potentiometer attached to the PWM pin is external PWM control. You just can’t vary it other then by hand. So no roster scanning of photos. But you could rig up something external to turn on your laser and off.