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Topics - GD George

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Assembly Help / Rebuild
« on: May 15, 2020, 12:32:33 PM »
Hi Folks,

This thread started as a question in Zax's T2 support thread.  As I move further into the project though, it has become clear that I'm doing a bit more than adapting T2 so I've moved the thread here. 


About five years ago, I purchased a Gear-Bbang-Best 5W laser kit. I think it sat for about six months before I assembled it. I didn't use it much, but as time passed I've had several cool projects including engraving some wooden challenge coins, clocks, and coasters.  I built a 3D printer last year and printed some upgrades that I want to add to my machine, and  I want to put a set of limit switches as well. The other thing that has happened is that due to moving work online, I repurposed my shop computer for my wife's use and I don't see myself getting it back anytime soon. 

The Gear

  • 5W laser (no idea of the specs beyond that.)
  • Generic XY axis aluminum frame with acrylic joinery
  • Dual Y axis, single X axis stepper motors
  • Benbox L7 card with GRBL .9 flashed
  • Raspberry Pi4 controlled (software TBD)

The Project(s)
  • Add focus knob
  • Add air assist
  • Add limit switches
  • Move from Windows box to Raspberry Pi for control
  • Add web cam

So that's where I am, gang. I've started with a lot of this but will try and write up each step as I implement it.


T2 Engraving / T2 G-Code to Laserweb 4
« on: May 13, 2020, 01:20:42 PM »
Hi All,

Been working on my laser a bit and I've run into some issues. I lost my garage computer when my wife and I had to move classes online.  I don't think I"m going to get it back any time soon, and it's where T2 lives. What I want to do is set up a Raspberry Pi with Laserweb to control the machine and still use t2 to generate the code. Right now I'm trying to get the machine to function away from T2 and this has led to some issues. The machine, which runs fine from T2 would not do anything when I first connected it to LW4. I pulled the card, took it in to the other computer, flashed it the GRBL 1.1e version from T2, and X axis works, Y axis is inverted, and the laser is always on.

So what I'm looking for right now is some guidance, I guess. I don't mind compiling GRBL myself, but I think this is something pretty basic. Any ideas appreciated.


General Discussion / Controller Card Swap Out...
« on: April 12, 2020, 04:30:49 PM »
Some time ago, the MOSFET controlling the bed on my printer stick open.  As I've been printing PLA, I didn't really need the bed, so I disconnected it and continued on my merry way. At some point, I ordered a couple of MOSFETs and another ramps board.  Fast forward to yesterday.  I'm working on a prototype touchscreen to replace the audio head in my car, and I want to print it in ABS.  So now I'm replacing the ramps card. I swapped out the card, plug by plug and have checked my wiring but there's weirdness...

Steppers on manual control from the LCD are intermittent. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.
Neither the bed nor the top will heat.
The LCD seems to be getting power from ramps. BUT... It's also getting power from the USB, if I connect it.

I'm getting power to the ramps card from the PS. (And my multimeter just crapped out.)

So tomorrow, I'm off to pick up a new multimeter. Any ideas what to check next? I can go back to the old card for a bit, but I am going to need the hotbed eventually.

Any suggestions greatfully accepted.


T2 Engraving / T2 and PWM
« on: November 30, 2019, 02:29:51 PM »
OK, so I'm not really sure whether or not this is a T2 question.  I have a GearBest 5500mw laser.  I remember that when I set it up, I had issues getting sort of intensity control beyond "on" and "off". I think that the issue was that the laser itself didn't  support modulation. Or is it the card?  Is the fix limited to replacing the laser? Is there a software fix through T2?

Zax, I know you've been over this before but I can't find the posts, so please fell free to chime in!


T2 Engraving / .dxf file size
« on: November 17, 2019, 02:36:34 PM »
Is there a limit to the dxf file size?  Mine is pretty big and T2 is "not responding" sometimes.  I think I've finally figured out the output settings in Inkscape but the file is 12 megs -- too large to attache here. The .svg is 2,147K so it's large as well.

I can zip 'em up, or post to my server if someone wants to look at them. But I think I'm missing something basic.


Trouble Shooting / Laser Focus
« on: November 10, 2019, 12:16:42 PM »
My three year old machine, a GearBest 5500MW, has been boxed, moved, unboxed, sitting on a bench, hung on the wall, and back on the bench since I last used it. Everything seems happy except I'm not getting a really tight focus. It's engraving OK, but things seem a bit fuzzier than when I last used that machine. Any tips for getting the focus better? Is my lens hosed? (If so is it replaceable?) I've gone in both directions until I wound up with a line rather than a dot.


T2 Engraving / Little Help Please? Engraving Wooded Coins
« on: November 08, 2019, 11:48:14 AM »
Hi folks. Taking a break from the 3d printer world and trying to get some coins engraved for Sunday night. Now I can do these one at a time, but I'd really like to lay out 10, run the obverse, flip them over and run the reverse side. So, what I'm not clear on is how to get T2 set up to do this. Right now I have the images as Inkscape SVG files (attached), but I'm not sure that's the way to go. The circle doesn't get printed, it's for set up and sizing.

Thanks in advance!

General Discussion / Prusa I3 V2 X-Min wire path
« on: September 14, 2019, 12:02:04 PM »
How did you folks route the wires for this switch. I had sent it through the lower hole in the acrylic but it caught the hot bed and I lost a long-running print last night.


General Discussion / Rescue Project
« on: August 30, 2019, 03:01:29 PM »
Hi all,

I got a "for parts or repair" Rep Rap Guru Prusa I3 V2 on eBay.  Not quite the deal I'd hoped for but I certainly wasn't abused!  The unit arrived yesterday and I'm faced with figuring out what is wrong with it.  There are some obvious faults, like broken pieces that I will probably either purchase from the vendor, or fabricate locally out of baltic birch plywood.

My question is how to troubleshoot the electronics. I think I can just plug the stepper motors up to my laser engraver one at a time, but there's also a heated bed, stop switches, the Arduino board, controllers for the steppers, and a power supply.  Is my best bet to assemble it and then plug it in and look for the magic blue smoke? Any suggestions welcome!


T2 Engraving / T2 and Stencils (resolved)
« on: August 19, 2019, 11:20:25 AM »
Hi All,

Trying to cut some stencils based upon "hand-drawn" .jpg images.  My methodology has been to convert the images to vectors (using Inkscape) and then import them as DXF into ProgeCAD. I then add the necessary bridges as 3mm wide polylines and voila! Or not. When I save the image as a dxf and import it into T2, I lose the polyline thickness and my bridges become cut lines. I also tried saving the edited drawing image back to a raster file and still no-dice. What am I missing? Will T2 add the bridges and then skip the CAD?


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