Returning to the Shop

Soccer season complete. Winter is upon me in Maryland and time to get back into working the CNC! I made a few errors in the shop the last time I used my LR2 and have repaired my faults. Getting ready to move again into learning this machine. I’ve read into loads of the LR3 builds and am excited to get there - someday. But first I need to be better than a novice on this LR2 before I work on upgrades. I’m still needing to be very mobile as the military may shift me once in a while before I am complete.

So, the reason for this post - wanting to move into Lasers. I do enjoy the router cutting away, but I do wish to expand into laser cut and engraving of stuff. I currently have an Archim 1.0 (from 2020) board. I realize this might not be the best, but I am not picking up anything from the forum supporting Archim if it is good enough to use for laser too.

If you know of some posts to point me towards, that would be great. I could easily be a year out but it depends on how good I can get quickly. So let 'em rip!

Cheers makers and tinkerers!

For your laser, you want to be able to update to a recent version of Marlin, and you need a PWM pin to drive that laser. I thought V1 was having difficulties getting the Achim version of Marlin to build, but there is a release (untested) version on the V1 firmware page.

As for the PWM pin, see this topic. It appeared to be a real slog getting a working PWM pin. In the last few posts there are two solutions. One uses an opto isolator to create a 5V PWM output from a fan pin. The other is some compile magic that enables PWM on a 3.3V pin. It appears that the poster that got both of these solutions working but abandoned the Achim board before getting the laser module working. He was having trouble flashing the board.

Both solutions are simple enough that it is worth a try to get a PWM pin on the Achim.

In addition to getting a pen working, you will have to make some firmware changes to enable laser support and assign the laser PWM and the laser enable pins.

Yeah, I’m tempted to just pick up an SKR to solve it and maybe hold onto the Archim for a second CNC down the line later. I guess the biggest hurdle I see is the fact that I don’t believe there’s enough pins to support laser and fan, AND if the Archim can take a flash of GRBL to help run th elaser.

Which board are you using currently?

I have the Rambo 1.4 board. Installing my laser was plug and play.