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BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: Today at 08:30:53 PM »
Yes...great progress was made today.

The G2/G3 g-code commands not working is the most serious issue to trouble shoot. Followed by the G20/G21 not working.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: Today at 04:20:20 PM »
OK time for another update.

1. Simon on the makeBlock forum gave me a link to the Marlin 1.1.0 RC-8 branch that has the 'flipped axis' modification.

2. I loaded the Marlin.ino file into my Ardunio IDE and complied the firmware files and successfully built the .hex file!! Big milestone completed here!

3. BCL couldn't flash it but I was able to use XLoader to successfully flash the bootloader version of the .hex file. I'll debug the BCL flashing issue later.

4. BCL was able to successfully connect to this new firmware and I confirmed the welcome message showing Marlin 1.1.0 RC-8. Another great milestone reached!

5. Doing some initial manual g-code testing I can move the laser head both ways in the X axis and both ways in the Y axis.

6. I can confirm the flipped axis is working as the 0,0 is now indeed in the lower left corner. A third great milestone to reach!

7. G2/G3 is working (no errors and not hanging) but is not working correctly. I will have to trouble shoot this one.

8. G21 (Inches) is not working.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: Today at 02:11:25 PM »
Thanks again Bill. So now we have their factory .hex files.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: Today at 10:15:25 AM »
I received a reply on the makeBlock forum from a member name Simon. He confirmed that I can use the Ardunio IDE to flash new Marlin firmware to the MegaPi.

I don't have the factory Marlin firmware, so once I flash new firmware to the MegaPi, I can't go back...but I don't think this is any loss at all since BCL won't currently work with that version. However, the impact to others who are using the laserBot may be bigger, as once you flash another firmware, you can't go back either and that means no more usage of mLaser. If laserBot answers my questions, maybe I can get their factory .hex file and then having that, one could flash back and forth and keep using mLaser if they wanted to.

I'm trying to get a link now to the 'flipped axis' branch of Marlin 1.1.0 RC-8. This should reset the 0,0 reference to the lower left corner and add support for G2/G3 as well as G20/G21 (units MM or Inches). I believe if this all works, we'll finally have some success!!

General Discussion / We may set a record today
« on: Today at 09:04:09 AM »
We might set a record today...110 online so far today and 112 is the most ever in the past.

BenCutLaser / Re: cutting plywood
« on: Today at 08:48:54 AM »
I buy Midwest Products 5305 Craft Plywood, 12 x 12 x 0.125 Inches (Pack of 6) on Amazon. It is 3mm thick and I can cut it with my 1.6 watt laser diode in about 10 passes. When I was using my 2.5 watt laser I think the passes to cut it was around 8 or so.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: Today at 08:30:53 AM »
Could this be a solution?


Hi Han,

Yes, this looks very promosing, not only in regards to new firmware but there is an option to flip the axis so 0,0 is in the lower left corner.

I'm going to make a post in that thread and introduce myself and tell them what I'm trying to do with BCL and laserBot.

Thanks again for finding this thread Han...!!!

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: Today at 08:24:22 AM »

If you go on Thingiverse, you'll find plenty of Prusa based lasers. Get your code working with Marlin and that will open up another market for your program.

Thank you for the tip...!!!

Kits / Re: iMaker STARTT 3D Printer US
« on: March 25, 2017, 04:34:07 PM »
Hard to beat that price!!


1. No heated bed. I know the price is very low but I don't think I'd want to use a 3D Printer without a heated bed.

2. What kind of controller board is THAT?

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: March 25, 2017, 04:30:39 PM »
I just shared everything I've found out so far about laserBot/Marlin firmware/g-code commands used, etc. with @Zax...he is interested in getting his T2 Laser working with the laserBot machine too.

I'm thinking it would be a sales benefit for makeBlock to work with us CAM software developers to get our software to work with their machine...they would sell more laser machines. So, let's see how and if they respond to all my questions.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: March 25, 2017, 04:11:56 PM »
I found their code on git and it is not normal Merlin. It looks like its a mix of a couple of things so taking the new Merlin code and trying to load it does not look realistic.

Again, thanks for that help. I agree, flashing (assuming I could do that) the latest Marlin wouldn't work. I've seen their 'custom' g-code when I hooked up my COM Port data sniffer and saw what mLaser was sending to the laser machine. Very custom stuff.

Well, I'm still waiting for them to answer my emails and reply to my forum post (on their forum) I'm very dead in the water at this point. Unless they jump in and give me some answers, things are looking dim for BCL to work with their laserBot.

The other possible problem for BCL has to do with their 0,0 being in the upper left corner and BCL working with 0,0 being in the lower left corner. If I get that far to test BCL generated g-code, this could be a big problem, but I'll have to just wait and see.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - LaserBot (OPEN)
« on: March 25, 2017, 04:05:51 PM »
I don't know what version of Merlin they are using, but I have the 1.1.0-RC8 Merlin and it this code does support G20/G21 commands and it also has support for G2/G3.

Thanks for that information Bill.

I updated my firmware inside mLaser (worked fine) and it reports

echo:Marlin 1.0.2+

so even that 'latest' firmware version is very out of date.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - Laserbot (OPEN)
« on: March 25, 2017, 01:03:01 PM »
That's my guess too...

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - Laserbot (OPEN)
« on: March 25, 2017, 11:21:04 AM »
So makeblock uses their own flavor of marlin.

Oh absolutely they do. They have disabled some features such as the Units of Measurement, which one has to ask, why? Their mLaser software allows you to select MM or Inches, yet they don't support G20/G21 commands. It just doesn't make sense.

BenCutLaser / Re: Makeblock - Laserbot (OPEN)
« on: March 25, 2017, 11:09:14 AM »
OK time for an update.

Jogging is now working fine.

Connecting requires the G28 homing command to be sent, otherwise, nothing will work (meaning sending any further g-code commands will get no response from the laserBot). So now connecting to a laserBot will connect and then Home and now it's ready.

So far so good. I'm working with the test shapes and the triangle and square have been adjusted to work now.

I added some radio buttons in Setup so you can select the MegaPi which is what the laserBot uses. This action sets up the many internal changes needed to make BCL work with this laser machine.

I've discovered this morning that Arc and Circle g-code commands (G2/G3) are not supported. This is really bad news. Apparently the Marlin firmware they are using doesn't support Vector operations. At this time, this is a show stopper until I can solve this problem.

I would say I am about 75% of the way through getting the laserBot to work with BCL but the lack of support for G2/G3 is really a huge wall I need to get over.

I don't know about you current laserBot users, but on my mLaser software, I only get one start up in English. After I shut it down and start it up again, it defaults to Chinese so I have to do a fresh re-install to get English back. So I'm having lots of fun installing mLaser every time I want to use it!!

While laserBot is trying to support me by sending me their laser kit, my emails and forum questions have, so far, gone unanswered.

If they won't or can't add G2/G3 support in their Marlin firmware, then I will have to attempt to flash Grbl 1.1e into the MegaPi and see how that goes. BCL must have G2/G3 support in the firmware it uses.

So I'll fire off email question #7 to the laserBot folks and ask them about G2/G3.

This is as far as I can go for now until this is resolved, as this is the last 25% that needs to work so I can complete my full cycle of testing on the laserBot.

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