Team Laser/Controller

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The laser is getting a controller upgrade to prevent it crashing. This should help alot.

Thus far it has shown it self to be most capiable of doing high complexity tasks without crashing.

Please not that untill it is fully installed it should only be worked on by a "trained professional" (i.e. someone who vagely knows what they are doing)

The upgraded controller

The new and improved controller is a BigTreeTech SKR v1.1; a mostly open source smoothieboard derivative, running an LPC1768 at 100MHz.

The new and improved firmware is a version of Marlin 2.0; and is currently being pull requested in to the main Marlin branch here

It is recommended that the code be compiled in VSCode using PlatformIO. Please note that compilation takes time so Get your wooden swords ready

Connecting the controller

Warning icon This COULD damage the laser cutter, make sure you know what you are doing

Hokay, so you want to run the laser in super fancy smart mode. It's not the hardest thing in the world to do, but make sure you asked someone beforehand if you can, and also check no-one else is using it.


What you are going to be doing

The laser cutter currently has a LAOS board in it. The schematic is on github here. It looks scary and has many pins; thats because there are 40 in total.

Of those 40 you need to connect ~12.

The SKR V1.1 pinout is avaliable here, but you really don't need to care about that too much unless you lose some wires; since most of the pins are labeld for you on the board. If you do lose some wires, the wires you need to care about are:

  • The 5V line, taken from the LCD/SPI connector
  • The 0_15 line from the LCD/SPI connector
  • The 0_16 line from, you guessed it, the LCD/SPI connector
  • Others TODO

Prior to setting up

Prior to setting up you need to ensure the laser is off at the wall. The fact that 230v isn't the highest voltage in the cab should be enough to convince you to do so.

Upon doing this, you need to remove the following things from the LAOS board:

  • The main microcontroller - This is expennsive because it has MBED on it, so be careful
  • The LCD cable, connected at the bottom.
    • If it falls off the LCD panel, re-attach it, remembering to use the non-ferite end, and that the side of the connector with the silver tabs faces the edge of the PCB
    • This is a pain to do so always ask for assistance, and double check your orientation; both sides are labeled
  • The SD card
  • The ethernet cable

Upon finising it should look like this (TODO Add pictures)

Actual setup


Cleaning up


Controlling the controller

The control board runs a modified version of the Marlin, that supports many standard marlin commands

Pronterfaceis a good tool to connect to the board with, but lacks a lot of automation

Using the SD

Due to the bandwidth limitations, and lack of Real Time processing on most operating systems, the SD Card is the prefered way to run any non-trivial cut

The relevent commands are:

  • M22 - Unmount the SD Card - This will make it show up as a USB flash device
  • M21 - Mount the SD Card
  • M20- Enumerate SD files - Returns files in 8.3 file names
  • M23 <Filename>- Select a filename - Must be an 8.3 Filename
  • M24- Run file
  • M25 - Stop file

Usefull/Notable commands


Feature list