I’m new here and wonder if someone could help. A few months ago I bought the famous Chinese “blue box” laser engraver. It was the cheapest 40w laser I could find just to test the technology hands on hoping that I could build myself a bigger, more powerful unit. After reading all information I cared to do at the time, I was conscious that I would receive a piece of s***t for that price so I ordered it anyway. 2 weeks later I was opening the big cardboard box shipped to Portugal from a warehouse in the UK and so I did not have to pay import duty.
As expected, the problems started right away. The mirrors were visibly miss aligned. The “table” bent but the first real startle was when I connected the power. My main RCD tripped immediately the moment I powered up the unit. I measured the input line to ground and all I could find was the line filter capacitor connection to ground was the culprit. An 230/230v insulation transformer solved the problem. After the initial steps and tests, the main components were working fine so, I would keep the unit and get it working my way. After squaring the axis, mirror alignment, air assist, motorized focus table and timing belt tightening, I was able to do some real cut and engraving.
I was ready to tackle the next “so called” nightmare, the Corel Draw plug-in. I must admit that I never tried the Corel software and still don’t use it as the main drawing package but it imports ok and does not need any processing other than separating the engraving and cutting layers. The best package I ever used (and only one :D)
I was prepared to build a new machine with a 600x500mm table with a bigger laser (60w) , using the hardware from this machine but after replacing the mirrors and focus lens, it was as if I had bought a new laser tube.
I’m going to build a new machine with this tube but although I don’t dislike my original controller and software, the stepper drivers integrated in my board are obsolete and don’t reach the stepping speed I’m hoping to.
Now the question(s):
How does LASERWEB work?
Does it take the drawing and work it’s magic and control a Smoothie board directly?
Do I have to fiddle around with G-code?
Does it recognize the engrave part for raster and the cut part for engraving automatically by the drawing’s line color?
If so, does it generate information to control the laser power?
I think it’s enough questions for one post and would appreciate some help, thank you.