I’m working on a custom LED laser design and I’ve run into a problem that I’d like to solve, it’s not a design problem or a laser driver problem, but the software needs to be able to solve it. The point is: LED lasers with an optical power of 10 or 20 W are not at all suitable for detailed engraving, on the other hand, 2.5 or 5 W lasers are unsuitable for cutting.
I would like to build a machine with two different laser heads - each on its own X-axis, with a common Y-axis.
I want to be able to choose which head to use for which layer in the program. To choose a laser head with high power for cutting, but for fine and expressive engraving, I can choose a laser head with less power.
Would it be possible to add such a feature in Lightburn? I imagine the section layer will use the X1 axis and the X2 axis for engraving - just need to be able to specify the offset for the Y axis so that the beam hits exactly the right place and be able to select the section layers for each specific individual X axes.
Marlin firmware should support this, with 3D printers this feature is used for multi-color printing, with LED lasers it would also make a lot of sense given their recent performance jumps, as high power LED lasers engrave really poorly and low power lasers
on the contrary, they cannot cut, or only very poorly.
PS: I’m really sorry for my English.
Your English is perfectly fine.
LightBurn has a Feature Suggestion site - Click the Blue text to jump to there. I didn’t see your suggestion previously mentioned there. By all means, please do post it.
Some of the the Ruida industrial controllers have a two headed design that deploys a second head on the gantry or X-axis.
The larger CO2 engravers are more prone to poor engraving detail because the tube requires a minimum energy to activate it. The laser diodes use PWM control and because of the fast switching you can turn them down much further.
It may be worth several material tests to confirm that your 20W laser can’t provide the engraving detail that you are pursuing.
Thank you for answer. I copied the post there.
By the way - reducing the power for better engraving with LED lasers does not help - the problem is precisely in the PWM regulation - there is no reduction in power - the beam still has 100% power, but it only pulsates on the wood for a shorter time - unfortunately the temperature of the laser point on the wood with 2 or more diode lasers makes it impossible to engrave black as well as the weaker 2 and 5W single diode lasers - for this very reason I would very much like to equip my machine with two laser heads. The idea is one 4 diode and one weak specialized for engraving. I think that in terms of the software, it should be a fairly trivial upgrade - it should be enough to say in the gcode that the second head is on a different X axis (in FW Marlin marked for example as the K axis) and only determine the offset for the Y axis. Structurally, I have it figured out so that on one side of the 4020 ALU profile X Axis there will be one head and on the other side another head - so there will be not possible collision.