Controlling an auto focus on a laser cutter

I am looking to buy a laser cutter from china, but I need to control it via linux, so will be replacing the control board with the smoothieboard. One of the projects I will be focusing on is laser etched skateboards, so with the kicks of the deck I need to be able to auto focus. The model I will be buying has autofocus, but I am unsure how this will work with the smoothieboard.

Has anyone had any experience of using auto focus with the smoothieboard?

Imported from wikidot

What kind of signal is required for the laser autofocus?

Hey.

Can you tell us more about how that autofocus works and any information you may have about it ?

Cheers.

I don’t know about that yet.
The smoothie board is to replace a Leetro board.
I will see if I can find out which one and get a manual.

I have not been able to find any more information about the auto focus. My plan is now to get the machine with the Leetro control board and then replace it with a smoothieboard, bit by bit. When I have the autofocus in frount of me I will be able to work out how it actually works and how best to interface it with the smoothieboard.

Hi !

You can wire the smoothieboard and the leetro board in parralel, and use a switch to select which one is active.
I can help you setting that up, and it should make the transition very easy.

Cheers

Hi !

You can wire the smoothieboard and the leetro board in parralel, and use a switch to select which one is active.
I can help you setting that up, and it should make the transition very easy.

Cheers

That sounds like a plan. I will let you know when I am ready and I will be sure to ask your help!

What kind of Laser? Do you have a link to the machine? I’m very interested. I’ve built a laser engraver/cutter and considering the smoothie to run my machine also.

I am first repairing and older machine, to tied me over, until I have justify a larger machine, which I will buy new from china. If all goes well with the smoothieboard, then I will order new machine without a control board saving me £200 :slight_smile:

The Old machine is…
It’s an Epilog 6000/35.
www.epiloglaser.com

It has DC motors with rotary encoder, that I am swapping out for new steppers.
Which brings me to a new question. I am planning to replace the x-axis motor with a NEMA 17, like the below one… and an external driver for the Y NEMA 23.
Won’t let me post links, so if you search on aliexpress “NEMA17-CNC-stepper-motor-stepping-motor-42-x-48mm-1-68A”
It is rated at 1.68A per phase, so with being 2 phase, does that mean I need an external driver, as it passes the 2amp limit??? Or as only one phase will be power at once, it will conisdered as 1.68A?

Nah you’ll be fine, Smoothie is 2A per phase.

1.68 is lower than 2 so it’s fine.

I actually sold machines with 1.68A steppers and smoothieboards in them.

Sweet! I will get them ordered tomorrow… :slight_smile: