RAMPS1.4 Laser Upgrade
The RepRap project has quite a bit of different electronics. Many of the popular machines use a variation of just a few boards. Here are the details for upgrading the RAMPS1.4 controller to output laser control.
The details of the RAMPS controller can be found at:
Hooking the Laser Up
So it is pretty easy to do this upgrade because the terminal that is used already has nice screw terminals to connect wires. We are going to use the output associated with the extra FAN output to control the laser. This is terminal D9. Simply connect the “+” wire from terminal D9 to the “+” input of H2 on the laser driver board. Then, connect the “-” wire from terminal D9 to the “-” input of H2 on the laser driver board. You are all ready to go!
If you are using the Molex Mini Fit Jr. Cable, then connect to the input laser driver connector H4. Connect the red wire to the positive terminal D9 on the Ramps1.4 board and the black wire to the negative terminal on the Ramps1.4 board.
Picture showing the terminal D9 connection.
Close up of terminal D9
The software is the same for all of the upgrades here. The commands to turn on and off the laser are:
LASER ON: M106
LASER OFF: M107
Using PWM to control the laser
You can have power control as well with the RAMPS1.4 board. Simply use “M106 Sxxx” command to turn on the laser where “xxx” is a number between 0 and 255. 255 is full power and 0 is off.
- M106 S255 = Turns the laser on at full power
- M106 S0 = Turns the laser off
- M106 S127 = Turns the laser on at 50% power
- M107 = Turns the laser off as well
Drawing Software with Inkscape
You can use Inkscape to do your drawings and then use the LASERENGRAVER plugging to convert it to G Code. Download the laserengraver pluggin that converts using the M106 and M107 commands. You can find them here on this page on the bottom: https://jtechphotonics.com/?page_id=602
Then simply run the file in whatever program your printer uses! Voila!