Building a Laser Cutter: Part 3 – Electronics and Control

After completing the machnical construction of the laser cutter, it was time for the control circuit. I used a perfboard PSB and soldered headers for the Arduino and stepper motor drivers to it.

On the bottom, I connected everything up.

Close up of the control board. Note the MOSFET and voltage converter with heat coupling against the aluminium cover plate, and the capacitors needed to smooth the signals coming from the limit switches.
Control board and limit switches installed.

The limit switches needed some simple debouncing and smoothing on their signals, because the cables were so long and the motors produced a lot of EMF noise.

Software

As I mentioned, I used the GRBL firmware. Setup is really easy, just make sure to deactivate any spindle speed up / slow down timings. I think GRBL even has a laser mode. I use a maximum travel speed of 300 mm/min.

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