So, I’m still trying to get the Eleksmaker A3 laser cutter to work as I need.
So far, I’ve come to the conclusion that the original version of GRBL installed on the cheap Arduino nano board the “Mana” board comes with, is just no good. I’ve flashed it to v1.1 :
brew install avrdude avrdude -c arduino -b 57600 -P /dev/cu.wchusbserial1420 -p atmega328p -vv -U flash:w:grbl_v1.1f.20170801.hex
Then I found LaserWeb for OSX, configured it, and had the print head slamming against the side of the case. It took me a while to work out that all my axes were inverted. After swapping the X-Axis carriage around, I was still left with an inverted y-axis, which I solved by sending $3=2 as GCODE to the board via the console in LaserWeb ($3=2 means invert the y-axis, where $3=1 would mean inverting the x-axis).
The next problem was that the “cuts” were three times larger than they ought to be.
The next secret is hopefully to send this set of gcode instructions to the board to configure the number of steps/mm correctly….
$0=10 ;Step pulse, microseconds $1=100 ;Step idle delay, milliseconds $3=2 ;Y axis direction inverted $10=0 ;send work coordinates in statusReport $30=255 ;max. S-value for Laser-PWM (is referenced to the LaserWeb PWM MAX S VALUE) $31=0 ;min. S-value $32=1 ;Laser Mode on $100=80 ;steps/mm in X, depending on your pulleys and microsteps $101=80 ;steps/mm in Y, depending on your pulleys and microsteps $102=80 ;steps/mm in Z, depending on your pulleys and microsteps $110=5000 ;max. rate mm/min in X, depending on your system $111=5000 ;max. rate mm/min in Y, depending on your system $112=2000 ;max. rate mm/min in Z, depending on your system $120=400 ;acceleration mm/s^2 in X, depending on your system $121=400 ;acceleration mm/s^2 in Y, depending on your system $122=400 ;acceleration mm/s^2 in Z, depending on your system $130=390 ;max. travel mm in X, depending on your system $131=297 ;max. travel mm in Y, depending on your system $132=200 ;max. travel mm in Z, depending on your system $$ ;to check the actual settings
If I type $$ I see that $100 is currently set to 250, which is certainly close to the 3X I’m seeing… So, let’s see how far this takes us…
Yes. Lovely. $110 and $111 are the pivotal instructions.
Sadly… The next problem seems to be that 2.5w just isn’t enough. I can’t get through 1mm card at 100% power only cutting 250mm per minute!
I’ll have to organise some test files to see which speeds/power ratios/repetitions work best.