Laser/router job process question

I just got my laser and 2 months into my first cnc. Maybe im trying to do this wrong? please correct me. Say im making a egg shape cut out and on each egg i want my laser to burn a number inside where the egg will be. the egg’s are only .5" inch big but there are 500 egg’s so i get my 32" panel that im using i 0 X,Y and Z use laser make all the numbers and load my cutting bit use the probe i again 0 X,Y,Z not all my cutouts are lining up with the laser. so i loaded a 1/16th bit homed it made a mark on it in that spot put on laser onto the mark and noted position got my numbers. (Is that the best way?) but now cant find a tool offset in vcarve. I can offset the entire job but not the laser tool? im sure im missing it someplace. or I’m completely off ?

I think there is a laser offset in the software for the probe from charlie that made the probe. Not 100% on this but would be good to check out and see if you are using the probe. If not you could take a v-bit put it in the spindle and bring it down to push into some plywood or some other scrap stock to make a very small hole. And the you could turn the laser on with the m3 command (with enough S power to make a burn). Then measure the offset from the hole vs the laser burn. Just make sure you don’t move the X or Y axis from the spot where you made the v-bit hole. Then in vcarve when you first create a file you have to setup your job and in the XY Datum Position there is a use offset button to check and enter your value from the laser measurement. But again I think the software for the probe makes this much easier.

I’m trying to get away from the M03 S** I have to reboot the machine each time for it to work

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Yeah it’s very annoying. I hope it gets fixed very soon. But I was just saying you would only have to do that to begin with to find your offset value. But let me search the forum I think it was posted before that Charlie’s software for the probe let’s you probe with an offset for the laser.

Here’s the link to the post for the software. But if you click it and go to his website one picture shows laser zeroing but it may be a good idea to ask him if it makes it easier or possible to do what you need. @charleyntexas

Thank you. i forgot about that I rem when he did that give away. was hoping to fix it with out needing to pay:) but it is what it is ill send a mail to him

Yeah I’m sure you could do it manually but I’m not sure on the best method

My software will generate code that will allow you to zero you Laser with an offset. However, if there is a issue that is forcing you to reboot your machine then it won’t help that. If your machine is operating as it should without errors then there is no need to reboot to zero your Laser with the appropriate offset. Unless something has changed then that will hold true regardless of where your current offset is located or whether you have homed your machine or not.

I just upgraded to the latest firmware today and will test my code out tomorrow to confirm that it is still working correctly.

Charley Thomas
Triquetra CNC

The reason why i get forced to reboot is: when i home the machine then use the M03 S** command no longer works. i can not home the laser when the laser does not come on with the M03 S15 command. I have to use switch and use full power and make marks on my part.
I was hoping to use a tool offset so i could use the X and Y from the probe for the laser (my work piece is not moving) So i would not have to deal with the M03 command. If i send gcode to the laser it works fine. the way its setup now with me getting x and y 2x is no different then if i picked up my part and put it in my laser master 2.
starting to think i just had to high of a expectation for this. I thought once i put a laser on this cnc i would never have alignment issues again. from my cnc parts to my laser parts. If this is the case IT takes away the justification for me spending 700$ on a laser when i have a laser master 2. Thought save time, save on lumber never have misalignment none are true.
Sorry getting very discouraged.
I thought vcarve for sure had a tool offset…

Ok im done, laser mod I think it is time for me to start the return process on the laser. cant get things to line up. Vetric telling me its upto onefinity to come up with a offset. I dont agree with this. From Vetric support "Most often for permanently or semi-permanently mounted lasers, an offset in X,Y and Z can be entered into the control
or control software, so that the point of focus of the laser will use the same X,Y,Z coordinates as the tip of the CNC tool.

I would recommend that you contact your machine tool supplied as the first point of reference to see if this is possible
with the system that you have."

I will go into the shop today and figure it out today/tonight. Pretty sure what I said earlier should work fine. You won’t have to M3 Sxxx any after you figure out what your offset is. You only have to do that one time at the very beginning to just make a burn dot. Then you will just measure your X and Y distance from the endmill hole to the burned mark. That will be the offset you input into vectric as the datum offset everytime you want to use the laser after a carve pretty sure. The Z will always be different and you will have to lower the laser to the appropriate height bc different endmills will be longer/shorter. But that can be done easily by just lowering down to the acrylic guide. This seems like it should work since the laser should always be placed in the same spot on the machine. At least really close everytime. You can really just move the router by hand to the middle of the waste board while powered off. Put a v-bit in the router and put a scrap piece of wood/plywood under it. Turn the machine on (don’t home) and lower the z axis down with the router on until it just touches the wood to make a small hole/dot. Then raise the z back up, turn off the router. Remove the v-bit, attach laser then lower the z axis down to 1/8" above the wood, turn on your laser with M3 S255 command if you can Turn off with M5. If not turn off the controller then turn it back on (don’t home). Again turn on laser with M3 S100 then turn off laser with M5. This should make a small burn dot. Now you can get the wood you made the two holes on and measure the distance between them in the X and Y with calipers/tape measurer. This will be your offset values to enter into Vcarve when making your files. For the carving you will use datum location of your choosing. I use bottom left. Then when setting up the laser, use bottom left and check use offset and add the offset values you measured before. You will not have to M3 anymore if the measurements are good. I will test this method though to make sure it works for sure. In theory it should. But sometimes reality doesn’t match the theory. If you returned the laser just ignore this long reply lol.

So tested this tonight. I did what I said about measuring the two dots and got my offset values. My laser dot was down 62mm and to the left 2mm of my endmill dot. I tried using the offset datum in vcarve but didn’t really care for it. Instead I just chose my origin as the center of my stock. And placed a 6 point star with center at 0,0. Cut outside it for a depth of only 0.1mm with a 60° v-bit. Then moved that star’s center location to (2,60) which was my offset. Then just did a laser fill for that. Here’s my result. So for me it was just faster to get my gcode for the cutting. Save it, then move my design from (0,0) to my offset. And then calculate my laser gcode. Ran my cutting code first then attached laser and ran the laser gcode. Looking at it my offset for X maybe 1.5mm instead of 2 but it’s really close for a test cut. Also, instead of moving the design you could keep it at (0,0) and just move the X and Y positions on the controller to your offset values then hit the zero buttons when you move them there. All in all it’s pretty easy to do it.

I found what I was doing wrong. 0ing X0 Y0 hitting play then OK and starting my burn. What i found out is when I hit play and the laser kicks on low powered light that is not where the laser was set too. I don’t know if it’s from a height difference? but if i readjust from that point i can get on target. I was chasing my tail thinking we are in bis now:) I still want to do the offset thing but at least now I can do a successful laser and router job together.

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Nice! At least you got it working enough to get the job done.

You don’t know how happy it made me now that i can line them up today. thought once you set your 0’s it was set. when you hit play and you Z moves up if i use that position over my target I’m good. before i was over my target when i was setting Z X,Y at same time

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[quote=“rblur01, post:11, topic:4507”]
e very beginning to just make a burn dot
[/quote]I dont know if you can repeat this (I can) I tried to take a picture but i found what i been fighting. load your file 0x,0y,0z make the laser mark. Now hit start your laser will lift up (I assume should stay in home spot?) then hit stop then run the M03 S15 is it still in the original marking? mine is not.

its really hard to see but if you look about a 45 deg from the laser you can kinda see the burn mark where i full powered the laser when i 0x 0y and z
2nd pic little clearer

Your laser should not lift up. It should never lift up if you are using the right post processor for the laser and not the post processor for the router. Unless you are making deeper cuts. But in general if you are engraving your z never moves for the laser. If you are cutting something out with the laser then it can move down after each pass. But yours shouldn’t move at all after you move it to your starting position then lower the Z to the focus point then hit Zero Z. Then you should be able to run your gcode and it should not raise or lower the Z axis

That post processor for the router

This post processor for the laser

I downloaded the postprocessor from Jtech’s web site for the 7W vectric onefinitycnc Vectric Laser Module Post Processors - J Tech Photonics, Inc. ill give that one a shot. the one you linked

Ok, I would think they would be the same thing but not 100% sure.