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24 Beiträge
11 Benutzer
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Beiträge: 7
Active Member

Hello Every body,

Evenif I'm leaving in germany, I can't still write (talk) enough good german so as to express my self in a proper way. Luckily most of you will understand what I'm writting.
I bough, last christmass, a 420 model. I'm really happy with it. I build a cabinet for it (her), because I'm leaving in a flat. So I have to limit the durst and the noise.
Now I had the crazzy idea to go 1 step more. I would like to install a laser on it. There are to main application: engraving and cutting.
I was already on a lot of forum specific to laser. I learnt a lot (in addition to my professionnal knowledge in this field).
My problem know is, how to control the laser (PWM) from the CNC board. When it is not possible. I will have to manage an external card for it.
For your info, I'm have a Mach3 licence. From Mach3, there are trics to control the laser.

Is there any one who already tried to make it rather with a CO2 tube rather with a diode 445nm kit? Is there any spindle PWM signal on the board of the CNC (I guess no)?

Veröffentlicht : 12/09/2014 9:07 pm
Beiträge: 60
Trusted Member


if you are working with Mach3 why you don't use the camera plugin of



Veröffentlicht : 12/09/2014 10:12 pm
Beiträge: 384
Reputable Member

There is a PWM signal output for the spindle - it can be used to control the laser supply.
The problem is getting this to match the PWM signal for your laser power supply.

As the logic in the machine controller operated on 5VDC - a common way to get an analogue signal out (0-10V DC for a VFD for example) is to use the PWM based digital logic to control an external card for VFD control.

The other problem is the photo etching / raster setting. So getting the laser to "print" is tricky. Mach3 (from what I've read) can only really "cut" when controlling the laser. I could be wrong as no expert here in this.

be great to hear some direct experience with this - we have only worked with dedicated laser controllers that have all the functionality built into the controller.

Veröffentlicht : 13/09/2014 12:47 am
Beiträge: 7
Active Member

Thank's to both of you.
I'm still in my investigation phase. as soon as I'm geting deeply in this topic I'll let you know. For sure I'll perhaps have more question about this PWM signal (where to "catch"it). For now, I'm in the wave length investigation (vs application).
As you mentioned as well I've to investigate as well the software part of the "problem" (G code generator for engraving in 8 bit). I' e already seen some tuto on the setup of Mach3, but perhaps there is something more dedicated and simple.

To be continued....

Again thank you for the quick comment and interest.

Veröffentlicht : 13/09/2014 5:07 pm
Beiträge: 384
Reputable Member

The PWM for the spindle output on Mach3 works by making the duty cycle 100% for full spindle speed and 0% for 0 spindle speed.

The frequency can be changed - the period will then be changed to keep with the 0% 100% rule.

Can't commend on the resolution of the PWM output.
The UC100/300 have 12 bit resolution on this output (need to check this)

We use Mach3 and UCCNC to control VFD's for high frequency spindles and the signals work great.

Good luck with the project - we are all interested to hear how you get on.

Veröffentlicht : 14/09/2014 2:56 pm
Beiträge: 7
Active Member

Thanks for the Info. I'll update this post as sson as I'm further in my investigations.

Veröffentlicht : 21/09/2014 1:44 pm
Beiträge: 7
Active Member

The laser is ordered. I ordered a 2.5W "blue" laser (445nm) delivered with a driver which seams to be compatible with Mach3 (there is a tuto on how to set up Mach3 for the PWM on their web site.
Now, my problem is to "break out" the parallel port between the computer and the CNC to get the PWM pin free.

I found some Break out board, but they are only available in China. Rather I build mine with the CNC, rather there is a way to get directly the signal on the board of the CNC. Or is there any pin free that I catch "catch" from the board?

As soon as the first test is done, I'll let you know.

Veröffentlicht : 05/10/2014 4:47 pm
Beiträge: 312
Reputable Member

how mich have you paid for the laser

SC 420 SolidEdge--> FilouNC12--> Mach3

Veröffentlicht : 05/10/2014 5:03 pm
Beiträge: 7
Active Member

You'll find all the info here:

it is somhow the best compromise I found... I wanted to go in CO2 but I was scared by the miror alignement, the tube life time, and the durst (when using still the CNC as it is made for)

SO at the end, it is around€.

I still have to build the holder, but with the CNC it should not be a big deal.

Veröffentlicht : 05/10/2014 10:10 pm
Alex Robertson
Beiträge: 46
Trusted Member

Hello Every body,

... I build a cabinet for it (her), because I'm leaving in a flat. So I have to limit the durst and the noise...

Would you mind showing us a photo of your cabinet? Im thinking of building one, I'd love to see what you have done! 🙂

Veröffentlicht : 20/10/2014 11:35 pm
Beiträge: 384
Reputable Member

You can get a PWM signal from the output for the 3D printer / HF spindle. This is how the speed and fan strength is controlled. you do not need to split the BOB

you are intending to use the STEPCRAFT yes?

you MUST keep mirrors clean - and they must be aligned perfectly. Make sure you are extremely careful with the laser. Any laser beam in your eye - even for a fraction of a second and your blind. they are really quite dangerous.

A CNC / Laser combo is not a good idea. Dust form CNC will contaminate laser mirrors. it needs to be one or the other in my opinion.

what strenght C02 tube did you get?

Veröffentlicht : 21/10/2014 1:11 am
Andrzej Zywiol
Beiträge: 29
Eminent Member


I have PLH-5000 5W laser from Opt Lasers. I have replaced my UC100 controller with new UC400ETH and HDBB2 breakout board. Port #1 from UC400 is used to control SC and #2 control analog PWM for laser. Below few photos and link to video.

Video link

S600 v2, HF500, FME 1050, Industrial quality small HF spindle and many many other things.

Veröffentlicht : 06/07/2016 11:37 pm
Beiträge: 14
Eminent Member

Hey FaFiNoS,

Are you still happy with the laser?
I would cut soft foam with is as when I router it out it makes a real mess ...

Is it difficult to setup and manage?
Any other video's?

Any info is welcome.

Bart from Belgium

Stepcraft 2/840 - HF - WinPC-NC - VCarve Desktop

Veröffentlicht : 07/11/2016 11:43 pm
Beiträge: 7
Active Member

Hi FaFiNoS,

I am really interested in your setup.
I am willing to buy the new PLH3D 6W from Opt Lasers but I need to get some more information on how to control ON or OFF the laser using my Stepcraft 840V2.
I really dont need the ethernet port to deal with my machine.
Do you know how can the laser be controlled with the machine interface?

Also regarding the UCCNC software (the software i have), can you please detail your configurations? What pin/port is mapped to where? Maybe some prinscreens of the setup.

Jtech have some info on how to use the machine interface. They have some instruction as well:

Their setup is for Mach3 tough.

Any help, details will be very helpfull.

Thanks in advance.
Rodrigo Catarino

Veröffentlicht : 06/12/2016 2:29 pm
Beiträge: 7
Active Member

Hi all,

In fact jtechphotonics updated their manual with the UCCNC configuration as well.

I will have a look and will try to make a few tests simulating only the ON OFF command and a multimeter.


Veröffentlicht : 06/12/2016 2:33 pm
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