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Author Topic: FSL Laser rebuild  (Read 1163 times)

Lensman

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FSL Laser rebuild
« on: April 29, 2015, 09:03:29 AM »
This thread is to document my rebuild of the Full Spectrum Laser.  The FSL laser was the first laser cutter that FamiLAB bought, and it was key to a number of early projects.  Through that time, it has had a number of problems, mostly relating to the controller board and the proprietary software used to control the laser.  After the purchase of the Epilog laser cutter, it became an orphan.

Lensman

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Re: FSL Laser rebuild
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 09:16:56 AM »
The current condition of the FSL is that it is inoperative.  A number of attempts were made to get around the controller problems, and one of the stepper motors was replaced.  At this point there is no controller board in the machine, so a replacement controller will need to be acquired.

The laser and power supply appear to be intact.  (The power supply still needs to be tested.)  The cooling system is clogged with lime scale, apparently due to someone running the system with tap water.  The pump is probably repairable.  The air assist system seems to be serviceable.  The laser optics appear to be serviceable, although they need to be cleaned, and there are issues with the stability of the mirror mounts.  (One of the mounts is attached to the cabinet, the others are part of the x-y table.  When the cabinet flexes, the optical system goes out of alignment.)

The x-y table although dirty, appears to be intact.  The carriage is driven by two tooth belts, and there is 3/4" offset between the two belts.  Loosening the coupler to the y stepper and realigning the carriage will fix this.  The steppers and belts appear to be serviceable.

The honeycomb grid is very dirty, but serviceable.  The elevation mechanism for the table is in relatively poor condition -- the nylon bushings are badly worn, allowing the elevation screws to bind under the tension of the toothed belt.  Some mechanical work will be needed here.

ki4swy

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Re: FSL Laser rebuild
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 11:21:41 AM »
Couldn't you use a 3rd party controller? Maybe something like LinuxCNC ?  It appears people have used it? then can just use standard stepper motor drivers?
"Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions. Hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - eeguru

If it runs on electricity, i have it :)

Lensman

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Re: FSL Laser rebuild
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 11:26:39 AM »
That's actually the plan -- I've purchased a TinyG controller board https://www.adafruit.com/products/1749 and will be using that to drive the X and Y axis, and the laser.  I've got first light on the controller, but I need to understand the configuration commands to see how I can adapt it to the laser.  It's probably going to involve some external hardware off one of the axes.

ki4swy

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Re: FSL Laser rebuild
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2015, 11:30:12 AM »
I planning on driving over my TinyG , They moved to some web based control software which doesn't work any better then the tgFX application ( i am constantly having to "Close", Reset, "Start', Close, Reset ) it.
"Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions. Hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - eeguru

If it runs on electricity, i have it :)

Lensman

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Re: FSL Laser rebuild
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2015, 11:35:13 AM »
My current notional toolchain is to write a filter to get from SVG to G-code directly, and feed that to the board.  None of this is tested yet, though.

ki4swy

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Re: FSL Laser rebuild
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2015, 11:52:22 AM »
as long as you handle the g-code sending to the tinyg, it should work ok.  I had an issue where the tinyg would also start to "choke" and run really show after processing about ~ 500 lines of gcode.
"Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions. Hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - eeguru

If it runs on electricity, i have it :)