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Messages - rpt007

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Yes, limit switches are already installed.
The line lasers are indeed helpful, provided they are precisely adjusted, to align rectangular pieces along the axis. Ok, might be a bit of luxury - but they look pretty cool.

And: I have some spare lying around from previous testings with my CNC machine, where I have mounted already a pair of them - which triggers the idea to mill a suitable mount plate, if I can't find a printable solution.

Anyway: I was a bit surprised, NOT to find a special thread around modding/upgrading our laser machines, or have I overseen something?

Hi all,

after a long absence from the "laser business" I am back and have begun reading and learning what happened over the past 20 months in this forum.
My T2Laser software is updated to the latest version and I am caring about the hardware to get the dust removed and the axies move smoothly. Having succeeded with the first little sample projects my laser system will get some enhancements:

# build a safe enclosure with vent fans and eye protecting acrylic windows
# mod my Eleksmaker A3 Pro with some printable enhancements (e.g. better belt fastening etc. )

One interesting feature might be to have a cross line laser pointer mounted around the laser engraver, which I saw here:

Unfortunately the model only fits onto a 5000mW laser - mine has only 2500mW and the length of one side is only ca. 32mm. Before I have to redesign or modify the existing stl-files (I am a beginner in CAD ... so this will take quite some time), here is my question:
does somebody of the community have already designed such a holder for a 2500mW laser, so I don't have to re-invent the wheel?


T2 Engraving / Re: Prevent fading by inserting cool down pauses
« on: May 10, 2018, 12:10:54 PM »
Stll not yet found the time to use my laser. Might take some more weeks until I can care about it and report back here.


T2 Software Updates / Re: changing from windows 10x32 to 10x64
« on: April 03, 2018, 04:52:12 AM »

I understand that your only harddisk comes with 2 partitions? You may check with a linux live cd as boot medium if there is a chance to expand your c-drive to a bigger size, say 100G by reducing the space of your d-drive on the same hd.

But be careful and if your pc/linux knowledge is on a low level, have a knowledgable friend do the procedure for you after first having made a backup of your c-drive.


General Discussion / Re: Steppers and rotary
« on: March 31, 2018, 08:46:04 AM »

just connect the two pairs to the A and B outputs. Test how the motor turns. If it turns in the wrong direction, you can either reverse the direction in software (if the software provides that feature) or you can disconnect JUST ONE of the two pairs (let's say A+ / A-) and reconnect it so that former A+ is now connected to A- and vice versa. This alters the direction of the motor.

Warning: before you connect or disconnect motor cables -> always make sure that you have switched the power OFF. Otherwise you can kill the stepper driver.

Your question about voltage:
- the stepper drivers are operating with constant current, no matter what voltage is used (as long as it is not exceeding the limits which you can find in the data sheet. So the only way to reduce the stepper's torque is to adjust the current with the little potentiometer on the driver. You could lower the current that way by half - but make sure you know what you do. You have to use a multimeter for that procedure and use a formula (resulting current by adjusting the reference voltage) which you can find here:

If you want to dig a bit deeper, I have started a thread about adjusting stepper driver current here:

Good luck!


Trouble Shooting / Re: Laser is Uncontrollable
« on: March 08, 2018, 03:01:15 PM »
To be a little clearer, the USB cable supplies 5V to the CPU, stepper motor drivers, and any on-board logic. The large external power brick supplies 12V to the laser diode.
Almost correct.

Only the stepper drivers' logic is powered by 5V; the motor circuit of the drivers is powered by 12V.

T2 Engraving / Re: I need help setting up this machine
« on: March 08, 2018, 12:29:23 PM »
Just to add to what @ggallant571 said:
1. think big, but start small

2. Get familiar with your system and the T2 software and let the x and y axis move into the right directions first (without the laser connected to the laser pins!)
3. Check, how fast you can go and if your system really moves back and forth flawlessly - belt tensions, wheels with just a mimimum of play to avoid backlash etc.
4. Simulate a first project and see how the x-carriage moves around and at the end comes back to the starting point

When I did my first steps with my laser system, after 1.-4. I took a blue LED (and a 1k resistor in series) and connected the LED to the laser pins on the controller board.
Then I could play with the software, move the axis, switch on and off the blue LED, increasing or decreasing the LED's brightness (later: laser power) etc.

Thus I avoided to burn unintentionally holes in my desktop, avoided being exposed to unhealthy smoke and eventually took over control before I attached the real laser to my system.
After that I knew that my machine was set up right and I only had to deal now with finding the  focus, speed and laser intensity to get the first results, which still is sometimes an issue of its own (provided that the power supply is strong enough and not adding one more complexity level).

Maybe this gets you started a bit. If you have questions, don't hesitate.

General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 06, 2018, 08:31:32 AM »
ok, sounds good.

Let me know when you enter next steps; I am currently looking for a simpe/lightweight rotary axis for my laser.
There is some discussion here and some experts have already printed a rotary axis. I will check, if my new Cetus 3D printer can help me.
It will only be for smaller, lighter things, so the rotary axis stepper won't have too much load and I hope I can go with either the A4988 in the Eleksmana SE board or upgrade to either a DRV8825 or TMC21xx driver to handle the rotary.


General Discussion / Re: Made for my wife today
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:38:23 AM »
.. and what about this: ?


General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:30:25 AM »
Sorry, but I have no experience with power supplies from Banggood.

The only Chinese power supplies which I currently use, are from Meanwell.
I did have some issues with "normal Chinese" power supplies and as I am using these power supplies in an industrial environment I can't take any risk (and complaints from my customers). So I stay with Meanwell. Sometimes Banggood offers power supplies as replacements for laptops. They usually come with about 19..20 V and 4.. 6 Amps. But I have no experience with these units.

Anyway, normally Banggood delivers a pretty good quality and the risk for you is much lower than going with a cheap noname Chinese supplier.

But before you invest, I would try to deal with the existing A4988, giving them a good heatsink and active cooling. As said earlier, as long as there is no big load on the rotary axis (the laser is not working against the grain as a CNC bit would do), you might be well off. Just in case you could try to adjust / increase the current on the driver (but be careful, a lot of people fried their A4988 with not knowing what they did). If you need some deeper information on how to adjust the driver's current, pls let me know.


Engraving / Re: T2L not responding
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:19:34 AM »
That doesn't sound good.
Did you read what the people tried in the Arduino forum?
I found another link where somebody (towards the end of the discussion) succeeded in first istalling successfully the driver on another PC and then copied some files back to his Win10 system. But this is a very unusual practice and on your own risk.

Question: do you use USB3 ports? They could be one source of the problem; some people, who have laptops w/o USB2 ports, connect USB hubs with USB2 ports to connect their Arduinos to.
Another, maybe my last trick: what happens when you exchange the Nano chip with another one, if at hand?

General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:27:52 PM »
Let me know if you need some help to connect it to the controller board.

General Discussion / Any CETUS 3D users here?
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:59:49 AM »
Hi all,

I recently bought a Cetus 3D MKII printer. I am very happy with the first prints. They look somehow better than the pieces I saw from my neighbour's MakerBot, which is around 10times more expensive ... (You can imagine the jealous expression in his eyes).
The only thing I am not happy with is that the Chinese manufacturer uses a closed source controller, so the Cetus can't print G-Code oob. But I am waiting for the delivery of a smoothie board which will serve as 1:1 plugin replacement board. I expect a bit of tweaking to get the new board work with a 3rd party slicer, so I was wondering if somebody here has already done something  similar with his Cetus and share the knowledge and experience.


General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:33:54 AM »

I wouldn't go with a simple bridge solution. Take a chopper based driver, where you could use microstepping.
You can find cheaper products (Leadshine clones) from China, take a look at eBay, Amazon etc. and search for TB6600 driver and you will find clones of the Leadshines for much lower prices.

Another source, which I often use, is (alos available via Amazon); I think their DM332T could be sufficient for your application as you will use it just for turning the rotatory axis, right?


General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 05, 2018, 01:07:36 AM »

I bought the driver a while ago in Germany. But if you google for Leadshine DM442, you will get a lot of hits. The drivers are not low price, but very reliable. As I am using them on a CNC machine I have another breakout board to connect to the external drivers. But it is no problem to use them from any other board as long your board can provide: DIR, STEP signals (plus optionally: ENABLE).

Btw: one can find out stepper motor wire pairs with just turning the shaft by hand and connect any two wires. If you feel resistance,turning the shaft, you have found one wire pair which is connected to one coil. And the remaining two wires are connected to the second coil. If no resistance, let loose one wire and connect with the next wire, until you feel the resistance.


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