Laser Attachment on a CNC Router - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Default Laser Attachment on a CNC Router

I own a Laguna SmartShop 2. I would like to install a laser on it. I have checked with some companies but had no luck. Does anyone know of a company that could help?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 04:12 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Chris! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel.

I haven't looked at the Laguna specifically but there are dozens of videos on YouTube about adding a laser to a CNC. Have you checked any of those out?

We do like photos so you can show us your shop, tools, projects, etc. whenever you're ready.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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I have looked on YouTube but they have been specific to the name brand of machine that is being displayed on the video. I have not been able to find one with the Laguna SmartShop 2.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 05:23 PM
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Chris most of the add on laser attachments are made for the hobby industry. They are diode lasers with very little power and are made for etching and not cutting items out.

With the quality of the machine you own, I question if you would be happy with an add on laser attachment. Maybe you should be looking at a CO2 stand-alone laser

What do you really want to do with the laser?
Will your design and control software support a laser addon?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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So far I cannot find one that is compatible with the router I have. I am only wanting to etch. If you have any ideas I would appreciate it.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 07:24 PM
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Chris I have no idea what companies you have checked with so here are a couple I would check with:

https://endurancelasers.com/

https://jtechphotonics.com/

Talk to their tech department and see if they can provide a post processor that will work with your control software. You might also need design software if your design software is not compatable.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 09:02 PM
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Jtech offers a spindle mount laser up to 7W now. It will fit in a .25" collet. It was designed with coordination of Probotix and JTech. There are a couple of guys that I know of that have the retrofit laser kits on their Probotix machines.

I think the biggest challenge at this point is finding a post processor that works like a typical laser working in a bidirectional scanning mode from top to bottom (or vice versus) for fill patterns. Vectric's software toolpaths don't have that capability, yet. Lightburn is a very good laser software, but I think it only works with USB controllers. I use it on my GRBL laser and it works great. You could check it out as they do have a trial period.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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I tried both of those companies and had no luck.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. Thanks!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 12:46 PM
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chiming into this late but some things to think about when converting a CNC machine to laser. One really should take a methodical approach.
- What is the controller interface? i.e. is it open GCode or some captive interface. This makes all the difference. Unless you can run open GCode, you are at the mercy of your vendor's laser support. FWIW, the Laguna site says nothing about software interfaces so I can only assume it's captive.
- What are you trying to do? engrave? cut? What materials? Answering these questions will help you understand what power of laser you need to get.
- What working area size do you need? And the corollary, flat or 3D if you are engraving? This affects things like size, clearance and the need for a 4th axis.
- A low power laser, <10 Watts, will allow you a fairly simple spindle replacement approach to retrofit a CNC machine.
- A high power laser uses a tube and really wants a purpose built machine. The good news is it doesn't need to be all that strong/rigid as you aren't moving a heavy spindle around and there are minimal opposing forces (no bit dragging through protesting material).

And by the way, those Laguna machines look pretty nice but are way outside the hobbyist envelope. If you look at their site, they have several laser machines. Compared to the cost of a Smartshop II, they are amazingly cheap!

Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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