I am a complete newbie to lasers, but a novice with CNC Routers. I acquired a home-built CNC using a Xylotex driver and Mach 3 as my GUI. Simple Gcode. I was curious if LightBurn can produce gcode for Mach 3 or what is needed to have this compatible.
There is a gcode version of Lightburn which I suspect has a post processor that will work on Mach3. However is your question is can I use LIghtburn to design parts for my cnc machine? And then post them to Mach3?
Essentially yes, that is my question whether or not it posts out to Mach 3. My setup is a CNC Router rather than a stand-alone laser engraver so to say. I would like to have a plug-and-play option to do both with my setup, driver, and motors.
I don’t know how compatible Mach3 is to its LinuxCNC roots but LightBurn does have LinuxCNC as a supported device type. There’s an off chance that LightBurn could communicate to Mach3 directly.
If not, it’s possible that you could have LightBurn generate g-code to the closest compatible device type and then manually make the necessary edits to make this compatible with Mach3. Then either try running the modified g-code from LightBurn or other gcode sender or from Mach3 itself if that works.
Aside from the ability to talk to Mach3…Lightburn isn’t designed to control cnc routers. It has no way to set (or more specifically vary) the cutter depth, at least that I know of. I’m sure someone will point out otherwise, if that’s not the case.
I am curious why your trying to go in this direction.
I don’t think @CSec12 is asking about using LightBurn for CNC routing operations. He wants to use a Laser on his CNC device.
LightBurn can’t dynamically set Z height for a non-planar burn as would be normal for a routing operation. However, LightBurn can drive Z height changes for material depth or on a per cut layer setting or on a per pass adjustment. For example if you wanted to lower the Z height on a cutting operation so it goes down a certain height for every certain number of passes.
@CSec12 let us know if this is not what you’re intending.
I’m guessing that both means use LB for laser and routing? It can change Z height between layers. Good point.
So if I had a 12mm thick board. I want to put a 12mm X 4mm counterbore and a 6mm thru hole. Can you program LB to do that?
Or better to have @csec12 state the desired cut?
You could probably hack something together if you were a masochist. However, LB has no concept of different milling bits. And the counterbore you’d have to calculate completely manually as LB would have no concept of bit geometry. And to me the biggest issue I’d see is that LB can’t really handle single point operations. Meaning, you can’t say fire the laser on this one spot for 3 seconds as you plunge into the material. You could maybe get LB to approximate bit width through kerf. Or you could alter your design with specific bits in mind. But again, nowhere close to ideal when there are other packages actually made for this purpose.
Finally found a topic your not really that knowledge about😀
One of the reasons why cnc routers are so versatile is that you don’t need hard tooling. You need a 6mm hole? then cut it out with a 3mm bit. Use the same bit for the counterbore
I mainly use 3mm and 6mm end mills.
I’m pretty sure LB isn’t designed to interpolate the inside of a circle.
But again maybe that’s not what this person is looking for.
Haha. That area is vast and endless. Many things yet to learn.
But… in this case I did happen to know about milling operations. Your example would essentially be the same as cutting out a circle in a laser operation. I was focused on pointing out that LB essentially thinks of the laser bit as infinitely small, other than for the consideration of kerf which is largely ignored. So in order to emulate a 3mm bit you could hack that by creating the equivalent kerf size in LB. Then LB would follow a smaller path to account for the kerf when in fact you’ve got a 3mm bit at the end of a router.
It will actually do this to accommodate for kerf. It’s essentially the same code that is used for offset and only works on closed paths. It interpolates for both inside and outside cuts.
Yes agree for the outer wall of the counterbore… but how would it remove material inside that?
I guess you could cut a series of circles, and make it work. Glad we solved that.
Oh sorry. I wasn’t clear on that. I was assuming a separate operation with a counter-bore bit. Sounds like you were assuming a milling operation with dynamic Z. No, the latter would not work, again, unless you manually created multiple layers in LB for each pass. So you’d be basically mimicking CAM tool paths through manually created layers. Yuck.
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