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Newcomer - wanting to use Sphinx for Spindle and Laser

Discussion in 'Controller Boards' started by cmwwebfx, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. cmwwebfx

    cmwwebfx Journeyman
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    Hi,

    I am wanting to use my Sphinx that I am building to be used for both Spindle for machining timber boards, then a laser to etch the company branding on the timber board.

    Could someone please point me in the right direction to hopefully end up with just one control board with 4 steppers/drivers.

    I am hoping to ue Vectric Pro for the spindle side of things, and Lightburn for the laser.
    I am completely open to a better suggestion on the software.

    I would love some input on the simplest method of interchanging if need bebetween spindle control and laser control. I would be interested to see what any of you have done to make a multi task CNC like this.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Ciaran
     
  2. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Master
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    It depends some on what spindle you are using. I am using a Makita router mounted in an OpenBuilds spindle mount. I cut out a plate to mount my laser on the spindle mount. No change in electronics except for setting laser mode on my controller. The swapout is pretty easy for me.

    Laser Adapter for OpenBuilds Spindle Mount

    Here is a picture of it with the shield attached:
    lasershield.jpg
     
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  3. cmwwebfx

    cmwwebfx Journeyman
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    That is really cool indeed. It looks exactly what I am wanting to achieve. What control board are you using please?

    Also would you mind sharing some more details on how you took care of the switching. I think this is exactly what I will do.

    I'm looking to use a 1.5kw Chinese spindle with a 500w diode laser. I assume you have a similar setup other than using a Makita router?
     
  4. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Master
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    It won't be exactly the same. I do not use PWM speed control for the Makita, so I just leave the cord connection for PWM control of my laser plugged in to my controller (Gradus M1 Pro, but it's arduino based and runs grbl like many other boards). If you will be controlling your spindle speed with PWM, the laser will use the same pins, so you'll need to fix the cord to be swappable between the spindle and the laser.

    The only other thing I do is (in grbl) set $32=1 when using the laser and $32=0 when using the router. (Since I don't use speed control on the router, I'm not sure if there are other variables to set for that or not.)

    BTW, I will be changing out the Gradus controller soon, and replacing it with an Arduino Nano and TB6600 stepper drivers. I should still be able to do this with the proper pins on the Arduino (I'll know more when my parts arrive and I dig into it).
     
    #4 Scotty Orr, Jul 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  5. cmwwebfx

    cmwwebfx Journeyman
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    Hi Scotty, apologies as I have been away and delay on reply.

    I am unsure how I will be controlling speed of the spindle. I was thinking this was done using the VFD that come with them, however I may be wrong. This is my first time moving to spindle from a router.

    My current small CNC is using CNC shield and a simple makita trim router for working with foam and balsa. I just send commands to it using Universal Gcode Sender.

    As for Spindle and Laser setup to be able to use the same control board or a veyy simple way to switch between control boards I am at a bit of a loss on how to do this.

    I will be interested to know how you go on the Arduino with the external drivers as this is most likely the way I will go as well should it be a simple way to switch between laser and spindle.

    If there are any other ways to do this I am all ears. Do you have any links where people have done this? I have had a good google search but obviously my search terms are not correct as it isn't turning up much.
     
  6. cmwwebfx

    cmwwebfx Journeyman
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  7. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Master
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    Both of those appear to be G-code senders (and both appear to be compatible with controllers running grbl firmware). I've not tried either one. I have had good luck with LaserWeb/LaserWeb4
    (I only use it when running my laser. For my mill, I run UGS Platform - UGS)
     
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  8. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Master
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    One bit of clarification. LaserWeb also generates the G-code for burning - I'm guessing the 2 you listed do as well. (I use Fusion360 to generate G-code for my milling.)
     
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  9. cmwwebfx

    cmwwebfx Journeyman
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    I use fusion360 for generating my gcode as well. So by the look of it myu only real hurdle now is to figure out wiring of both laser and spindle to be hot swappable.
     
  10. cmwwebfx

    cmwwebfx Journeyman
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    Hi Scotty,

    Yes the two I listed run GRBL as well. So my thought is somehow connect both Mill and Laser to the same control board, but somehow in the Gcode swap between each of the two tools.

    I will like to make some sort of switch as well to enable either of the tools. I am hoping this is doable?
     
  11. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Master
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    Should be able to use the same control board. Not sure about implementing a switch since you have a spindle with a VFD. From what I've read, sometimes the wiring for a VFD can become more complicated than simply plugging in to the D11 pin (spindle PWM).

    Also, not sure you mean "gcode" when swapping. (I doubt you would want to change over while executing a g-code file.) All I change is in the grbl configuration parameters (grbl settings). $32 enables/disables laser mode and that's the only configuration parameter I change when swapping. LaserWeb makes it easier by allowing you to define machine "profiles", but since I'm only changing that one setting, I don't bother with profiles.

    Find out more about grbl's laser mode here: gnea/grbl
     
  12. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Master
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