I’m new to laser engraving having only recently acquired a cheap diode laser engraver. It came with a generic arduino nano type controller. I flashed the board with GRBL 1.1f and have been running LaserWeb software quite succesfully over wifi with the LaserWeb server running on a Raspberry Pi. Also running the pi camera over a web interface.
Now that I’m getting the hang of it I wanted to try Lightburn which seems to have much richer features and the camera support is what I’d really like to try. However, I really want to avoid having a PC attached to the engraver.
So after gleaming as much info as I can from the forums and documentation, it seems I have a couple of options:
For gcode sending only
- Replace the controller with something that’s network capable and Lightburn compatible. Seems expensive and more than it’s worth for my cheap engraver.
- Keep the LaserWeb server and feed it gcode files generated by Lightburn. Slightly more complicated workflow but very doable.
- Setup an ESP32 as a bridge to present the controller as a direct USB connection over WiFi. Again doable and a simpler workflow but an interruption in WiFi traffic could be catastrophic perhaps? Discussed in this thread but no evidence of this setup actually working.
For the camera, my only option seems to use the pi camera (or some other IP camera) as it is, as a webcam, and use some extra software to present it to Lightburn as a USB camera.
Have I missed anything? Is there a simpler route to achieving a wireless setup? Is anyone else running something similar?