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laser firing issue

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laser firing issue

Post by Seniorgeek on Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:33 am

This is a supplement to my post in the "laser etching issue" section of the forum. This is actually a hardware issue so it should be here.

There are 5 servos on the Formaker. The 5th servo in line is the laser servo and when this servo is on (only when laser etching) it sends 12vdc to the laser controller board. The laser board fires the laser through a cable from the laser board to the laser connector on the back.

I am not getting any voltage from the laser board to the connector in the back.

I have been in contact via email with CTC trying to solve this problem. I ask them to send a new laser board and now waiting for a reply.

-Update- March 17 12:55AM

I am now waiting for a new laser board from CTC. The final diagnose is a bad laser board because there is no voltage out at the Vout connector on the laser board when the laser is running.

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laser issue

Post by Seniorgeek on Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:13 am

I got a notice from DHL that my new laser board should be here today. When it comes I will install it and give it a try and report back.

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received replacement laser board

Post by Seniorgeek on Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:11 pm

I received the replacement laser board yesterday and installed it today. The first laser etch worked perfect with no issues. I switched to do a CNC cut on some plastic and then back to try a new laser etch I just finished in Inkscape. The laser would not fire.
I checked the voltage on the board that the 12V input voltage was zero. Checked output from the power supply and no 12volts. There was a small bolt hanging out of the power supply which I am sure shorted out the 12volt supply.
Attachments
Hanging bolt.jpg You don't have permission to download attachments.(175 Kb) Downloaded 11 times

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by slackmaniac on Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:05 pm

Did you switch the power supply to your country's voltage when you first got it If not then that would have also blown it.

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by Seniorgeek on Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:40 am

That is the first thing I checked when  I opened the unit. I am waiting on new power supply and other parts to arrive so I can put it back together.

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by TobiWan on Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:58 am

Hello together,

until now I only worked with the 3d Printing head but now i want to try the laser.
Which Power-Supply are you talking about and where can i find a switch or something to check if its right for my country voltage? 

Also can someone help with the process of creating x3g files for laser etching while using SD Cards? At the moment i am afraid of plugging the formaker to my computer until they solve the USB Issue..
Thanks a lot!

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by gregster on Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:15 am

Regarding the Later etching/cutting procedure:

Use the Inkscape version provided by CTC. The included laser extension is required. I was unable to get the process working with other extensions like the JTech Photonics Laser tool http://jtechphotonics.com/?page_id=1980 - maybe someone else was successful.

Anyway, the extension CTC is providing is working fine. If someone wants to take that extension to another platform (like I did as I'm working on a Mac), get the laserengraver_laser.inx and laserengraver.py files from the windows installation and import them on another inkscape instance.

The basic procedure is as follows:
1. new inkscape file
2. set document size to 220x110 mm
3. execute laser extension (Extensions -> Laserengraver -> Laser) - file path may need to be set
4. an object is placed on the drawing board - move it to the center of the document (x:110mm, y:75mm)
5. draw whatever you want - bitmaps can be transformed to paths (Bitmap trace), text also has to be transformed to paths (Path -> Object to Path). Everything that's not a path will not be processed by the Laser extension
6. Execute the Later extension once again. This time the actual moving paths are generated
7 you're done with Inkscape. Take the latest .nc file which was generated and convert it with the CTC_TG program (Laser -> Outline(Inkscape)). I have no clue what this tool is doing - maybe someone knows; would be interesting. Anyway, that step is generating a gcode file out of the nc file from Inkscape. In addition you can set the travel speed of the laser head. That way the "intensity" can be adjusted - more or less. Real power adjustments would be much better. The lower the number the slower the head moves, the deeper the cut goes.
8. convert the gcode file to x3g with ReplicatorG
9. save on SDcard - start Formaker Laser Machine
10. do Z-axis adjustment (head has to touch material/paper to fit between)
11. please be aware, as soon as z-axis adjustment is done, the job starts - so have your protection goggles ready!

Hope that helps - took me some time myself to figure that out - would be great if other people can share their experience and provide improvements/other ideas for good laser engraving processes. Still have not figured out the laser etching of pictures/fill instead of outline objects.

Cheers,
Gregster

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by Seniorgeek on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:07 am

Gregster, you must have one of the few Formakers that don't have any issues. I wish I could say the same.

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by gregster on Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:37 pm

Besides some loose screws I can't complain - especially compared to issues reported by others.

But haven't tries CNC yet - and USB.
I'm just wondering if it's just a matter of time until more and more models will break and we all end up with defekt hardware which is out of warranty :-/.

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by Seniorgeek on Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:44 am

I am tired fighting with this poor manufactured product.
The last power supply they sent blew up in the middle of etching the mushroom from the SD card. I now have 2 worthless power supplies. I have been in constant emails with them. I now just want my money back.

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by John L on Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:31 am

This is for grester this ct gt file where did u find it. I see u guys talking about reshaping the print size how are u guys getting ur laser to work. Mine fires but it's way off I'll send pics soon

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Re: laser firing issue

Post by gregster on Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:18 pm

Hi John L,

Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean with "ct gt file". If you mean the CTC_TG program - that was shipped with your formaker on SD card - where all the other software is located.

But in the meantime @chef2 has provided a great modification of another laser engraving extension that directly generates code for the Formaker - no need for the CTC_TG tool anymore: http://formaker.forumotion.com/t48-inkscape-plugin-formakerlaser
There are also some details about possible scaling issues .
Regards,
Gregster

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Re: laser firing issue

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