Video of the first cut from our LinuxCNC-controlled 500W fiber laser

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05 Mar 2024 03:47 #295185 by shasse
I'm happy to share a video of the first real cut with our 500W RayCus fiber laser controlled by LinuxCNC (QtPlasmaC). This project is basically a fiber laser control via LinuxCNC proof of concept at Sector67 (sector67.org), a hackerspace in Madison, WI USA. I've had a number of posts on this forum and the community here has been extremely helpful building this functionality. Some notable things about this machine:
  • Torch height control is implemented using a BCL_AMP capacitive amplifier integrated as an encoder. The output values were scaled to be roughly 50-75 at cutting heights. You can see the scaled output of the amp as arc volts in the user interface.
  • The QtPlasmaC interfaces was used basically out of the box with a fake "always true" Arc OK and using the capacitive sensor as a fake¬†ohmic probe. This works very well and you can see the probe process in the video.
  • We used a Mesa 7i92 ethernet card for I/O.
  • We expect to be able to cut up to 3/16" mild steel (maybe slightly thicker) but we'll have to actually prove that out. This machine is really just a test bed, and with the price of these laser supplies coming down we may end up sourcing a higher power laser source (and integrate it into our current much lager CNC plasma table) eventually.
  • Fiber lasers can blind you, so if you are considering something similar, please be extremely careful.
We still have some integration work to do, but this is a significant milestone! Thanks to the folks here who helped!


 
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05 Mar 2024 03:59 #295186 by phillc54
Great work, it is looking good.

You could change the ARC label by having a file in your config directory named qtplasmac_custom.py containing something like:
self.w.arc_label.setText('TORCH HEIGHT')
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05 Mar 2024 06:48 #295201 by Aciera
Is this an autofocus head or is that not needed with the capacitive height sensor?

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05 Mar 2024 14:51 #295234 by shasse
It is a manual focus laser, and a separate focus seems to be needed even with the capacitive height sensor. Taloot posted here a while back with a bunch of useful fiber laser information including the laser-materials.pdf file I attached here. That shows different values for cutting height and laser focus. We still have a lot of experimentation to do with that, but we expect to need to manually adjust the laser focus and then set a cut height in the QtPlasmaC material setting.
Attachments:
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29 Mar 2024 01:01 #297052 by caretech
Just chiming in here to express my supreme interest in this topic and show my support. Great work! I'm quite interested in a breakdown of the various parts and pieces needed to make this work. I can think of 2 tables right offhand that I'd really like to upgrade from plasma to laser.
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04 Apr 2024 23:15 #297608 by shasse
Thanks for the feedback :-). There's a lot of the info needed in various threads around this forum, but I'm planning to put more of an overall tutorial together once we have some parts cut with things actually tuned well. It is basically working though, and we've cut some real parts with it.
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07 May 2024 13:46 #300035 by shasse
Here's another video of the machine cutting 1mm stainless steel with compressed air assist gas:

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