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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Been using a Red Chinese made USB Breakout board on my Home Built CNC Router for a long Time,
    It works great for that purpose, I have Added a 40w AtomStack TTL Laser,
    I created another Mach3 profile, Named it "Laser" .
    I have DONE ALL I know to do and can NOT get it to run the Laser,
    So my question is? Are there any Mach3 Breakout Boards that actually have a PWM Output?
    Thanks for your input fellers,
    Cubs

  2. #2
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Hi,

    So my question is? Are there any Mach3 Breakout Boards that actually have a PWM Output?
    To my knowledge there are no cheap USB motion control boards that support laser operation. The Ethernet SmoothStepper is ethernet connected,
    but has laser PWM linked to XY axis speeds. It has laser ops for Mach3 and a much enhanced set for Mach4, like rastering etc.

    Craig

  3. #3
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Craig, I been reading and researching all evening, And I am Going to Try a couple Things, One is To Use Mach3 as it is, Just do some tweaking for the PWM part,
    If that doesn't work, I will Install, A PWM between my Breakout Board and the laser TTL input, Bringing it off and on with Mist Control, in Mach3 to control an external Relay for Laser Power, I will Post, if it works out, so it might help someone in the future, , I am Used to Mach3 and don't want to learn another software,, Too Old!!
    Dale

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,



    To my knowledge there are no cheap USB motion control boards that support laser operation. The Ethernet SmoothStepper is ethernet connected,
    but has laser PWM linked to XY axis speeds. It has laser ops for Mach3 and a much enhanced set for Mach4, like rastering etc.

    Craig

  4. #4
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Hi,

    A PWM between my Breakout Board and the laser TTL input, Bringing it off and on with Mist Control, in Mach3 to control an external Relay for Laser Power,
    That has been tried and it does not work that well. The problem is that the PWM lags the motion, consequently you get burnt or overexposed points throughout.

    There are two M codes in Mach3, M61 and M62, if memory serves, that turn on and off respectively the laser EXACTLY at the instant the axes start moving thereby avoiding over exposed
    points. The M codes must however be supported by the motion controller and I don't believe the run of the mill USB controllers do it. The ESS does, and works with Mach3.

    Craig

  5. #5
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Craig,, I ordered this Control / Breakout Board,, It had Good Reviews,, and I think it will work ok,, Hopefully it will,
    Have you heard of it,, AXBB-E Ethernet Motion Controller And Breakout Board Combined,
    I have never used an ethernet controller, do you need other drivers? I downloaded the manual, It should be here by the end of the week,
    Dale

  6. #6
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Hi,
    the AXBB-E is made by CNCDrive and is really made for their software, UCCNC. I understand it has a Mach3 plugin but I don't know whether it includes
    laser ops.

    You need to do some research. I don't know for instance whether UCCNC has laser ops. I don't know whether the Mach3 plugin has laser ops. I don't know if they even
    have a Mach4 plugin....let alone whether it supports laser ops.

    Craig

  7. #7
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    What I read Craig, is it does work with Their Software, But Also with Mach3 and Mach4, I has Laser out on the Controller,
    I'll send it back if it doesn't work,
    Dale

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    the AXBB-E is made by CNCDrive and is really made for their software, UCCNC. I understand it has a Mach3 plugin but I don't know whether it includes
    laser ops.

    You need to do some research. I don't know for instance whether UCCNC has laser ops. I don't know whether the Mach3 plugin has laser ops. I don't know if they even
    have a Mach4 plugin....let alone whether it supports laser ops.

    Craig

  8. #8
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    This topic comes up a lot. Mach 3 isn’t designed to drive the fast PWM inputs needed for the laser. So if you set the PWM external to Mach using some fixed voltage, then you can trigger the laser on-off using the Z axis motion. This is vector cutting only. Won’t engrave pictures.
    As far as I know this is custom electronics. You would drive the laser on-off using the stepper direction signal. Also put it in parallel with some other signal, to control when the laser is activated. It’s possible that someone made an interface by now, but the safety issues when working with lasers might prevent that. Good luck.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Hi,
    yes Mach3 is somewhat limited with respect to laser ops. It was developed long before lasers were a possibility for hobbyists, and all development of Mach3 ceased seven years ago,
    so its got all it's ever going to have..

    Mach4 has a much more complete set of commands for lasers but requires those commands be supported/enacted by the external controller. The Ethernet SmoothStepper has laser rastering
    for example and has sufficient PWM resolution and bandwidth for laser engraving.

    I am not familiar enough with the AXBB-E, it's relatively new on the market and I am dubious that it has a complete Mach4 plugin, after all their UC300 and UC400 products still lack considerable
    realtime functions with Mach4 and they have been around for years.

    I hope OP has done his research, realtime functionality with different control software is very much the nitty-gritty of the controller spec and is seldom published.

    Craig

  10. #10
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    You using Mach4 Craig?

  11. #11
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    Hi,
    yes, I switched to Mach4 from Mach3 seven years ago. Light years ahead.

    Craig

  12. #12
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    I just skimmed over the smoothstepper stuff on how to setup a laser. Thanks for letting us know that this exists. Sadly the software to support it is weak. Not referring to Mach4 but using that relatively new vectric laser module. Although vectric makes good stuff
    This concept of using router hardware and software to drive a laser would be similar to trying to get your clothes washer to clean your dishes.
    There must be a better way.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Re: Mach3 USB Control Board?

    If My Mach3 doesn't do what I am doing, just simple engraving of Text, I will Go to Mach4 also,,
    I just didn't want to have to learn a new Software all over again,
    Thanks brother,,
    Dale

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    yes, I switched to Mach4 from Mach3 seven years ago. Light years ahead.

    Craig

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