We have gotten a lot of requests for upgrading the CNC shark by Rockler. It is a nice woodworking tool that can do a lot of projects in your woodworking shop. Now how about adding a laser? Of course you can! It is not very hard. It simply uses the same relay that turns on and off the spindle, but just in a slightly different way. Here are the instructions on how to upgrade your CNC shark.
There are several versions of the CNC shark that have been developed over the years. You need to look at your controller and see if it has an output for the spindle to turn it on and off. Many of the newer models like the MAKO have this feature. If you do, then you are in luck! The spinde control uses a relay to switch the power on and off to the spindle. This relay is controlled by a DC voltage signal. This is the signal we need to turn on and off the laser.
If you open up your controller box, it should look something like this:
You are going to use the signal from the control board to the spindle relay and connect it over to the laser driver board input. Here is a more detailed picture:
Attach a wire from the relay “+” signal to the laser driver “+” terminal H2. Attach another wire on the relay “-” signal to the laser driver “-” terminal H2. Or, you can use the 3′ Molex Mini fit cable and connect it into terminal H4 on the laser driver:
That is it, you are done!
Controlling the laser
You now can control your laser on and off using the same spindle commands of M3 to turn on the laser and M5 to turn it off.
Remember Safety First!
The laser used in this project is very powerful and all safety precautions must be taken. Use proper safety eyewear to prevent injury to eyes. This is a project and J Tech Photonics, Inc. is not responsible or liable for any and all damage or injury caused to people or property. The use of these instructions to make a laser cutter is under your own discretion and all safety precautions should be followed. J Tech Photonics, Inc. is not affiliated in any way with Rocler and they may change hardware and software at any time making these instructions invalid.