Topics

Laser etching #pcbgcode

bruce q
 

I have been using Eagle and PCB-Gcode for many years now with good results using a cutter to engrave the PCB traces.
For the past couple of days I have been trying a slightly different way of using PCB-Gcode to make these PCB tracings that I found
on another site (Hackaday or something like that) where a laser is used to cut thru a thin vinyl film to create a mask for etching.
I have done this twice now and the second time , learning from the first, came out much better even though it wasn't much in
traces and pads. I use a 2.3 watt solid state laser and the vinyl I bought from a sign making company. I use a Arduino UNO loaded with GRBL
for the controller and bCNC to send the Gcode to the controller.
I have had to modify the G-code generated to take advantage of the adaptive laser power depending on feedrate while it travels making
the outlines just as if you were using a cutter. So I guess this is a wish list item that perhaps someday can be added to PCB-Gcode for use
of a laser. One item in this case would be eliminate Z axis movement which isn't needed to using M4 rather than M3 to turn on the laser.
For now I guess I will start thinking about using a G-code editor to make the changes automatically if I can find one that will let me
do that sort of thing.
Thanks for reading,
Bruce

Marcus
 

Hi Bruce,

If its any help this is what I have done in bCNC for laser work:

I have added 4 user defined buttons on the control tab:-

            Laser mode on;                           $32=1

            Laser mode off;                           $32=0

Laser constant power mode;       M3 (Laser only switches on during G1, G2, G3 off during G0)

Laser dynamic power mode;       M4 (Laser power varies with feed rate automatically)

I set the Z to zero when generating the G-Code.  Then before I start the job, I just press the laser mode on button followed by the laser mode I want to use.  The software takes it from there.  Don’t forget to select laser mode off when you’re finished as it is stored in the Arduino and will still be active the next time you use it. 
Happy lazing,
Marcus

bruce q
 

Thanks for the info Marcus, I will give that a try.
Bruce
--------------------------------------------

On Fri, 3/22/19, Marcus <@marcustuck> wrote:

Subject: Re: [pcbgcode] Laser etching #pcbgcode
To: pcbgcode@groups.io
Date: Friday, March 22, 2019, 9:35 PM

Hi Bruce,
If its any help this is what I have done
in bCNC for laser work:
I have added 4 user defined buttons on
the control tab:-
            Laser mode on;            
              $32=1
           
Laser mode off;                    
      $32=0
Laser constant power mode;       M3 (Laser only switches on
during G1, G2, G3 off during G0)
Laser dynamic power mode;       M4 (Laser power varies with
feed rate automatically)
I set the Z to zero when generating the
G-Code.  Then before I start the job,
I just press the laser mode on button followed by the laser
mode I want to use.  The software
takes it from there.  Don’t forget
to select laser mode off when you’re finished as it is
stored in the Arduino and will still be active the next time
you use it. 
Happy
lazing,
Marcus