Just before Christmas the driveboard on my lasersaur packed up. Not a good time for a laser cutter to stop working! The Lasersaur project is no longer what it was, and does not sell fully made up controller boards any more which is a great shame. So I did some research and decided to an Open Builds Blackboxe which with some very patient help from the OpenBuilds team I eventually got installed and working. Here’s how, in case any one is thinking of doing the same:
How I did it
I used the original ethernet cable because they are shielded. I mounted the Black box controller on the side of the Lasersaur cabinet, cut off the ethernet plugs passed the cables through the cabinet, and soldered short lengths of wire to make connections to the controller. All was looking good and I had to try out the softwares for making the g-code. It also became clear that the little magnetic end stops were being triggered randomly when trying to run a job. This was partially rectified by fitting two Openbuilds Extension limits switches at the top left of the machine frame and the right end of gantry beam, but I also had to earth the shielding. I used soft limits in the GRBL configuration to limit the travel of each axis.
Connecting the Laser PSU to the controller I found a little confusing. In order to continue to home the machine and position the work piece with the door open I made a circuit of the laserdoor interlock and the chiller sensor and connected one end to WP on the laser PSU and the other end to G on the laser PSU
It soon became clear that there were no open source laser cutting applications that were as easy to use as the Lasersaur app . Again a shame because Lasersaur was perfect for people who come to the makersapce. However I bit the bullet and bought a copy of Lightburn which is fairly cheap and really quite good.