Mini Me Fire the Laser!

I have a CNC that will be put out to pasture as it were when I build it’s bigger brother. I’m working with a company that sells lasers for other CNC systems to first get my old CNC running the laser then after that I’m going to try it on my Maslow.

I’m posting because I wanted to find out if anyone else completed a laser burner for their Maslow?

PS. Laser etching is truly playing with fire. Ignition is a Common event on Laser Etching systems.

Thank you


I have not but will be watching with interest. Down the road I want to try the same thing.

Please post videos of your progress! :grin:

Seriously, I know it has been discussed, but I’m not aware of anyone who has actually tried it. I hope someone chimes in and proves me wrong.


It will take a bit but once done it will be available for all Maslownians.

Thank you

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Can we add support for $32 to ground control ?

Lords, ladies and wizards of Maslow Land if it can be so , please make it be.

I know it is required for the laser unit I’m working with.

Thank you

Are you seeing the pauses that $32 is supposed to prevent?

Do the changes made here apply?

Spindle::setSpindlePower() has a local variable delayAfterChange that defaults to 1000ms, and should always cause a one second pause after a M2, M3, M4, M5 OR M30 command. Beyond that, there are many other changes to Spindle.cpp and Motion.cpp that would be needed to match the way that the grbl $32 changes gcode handling. Altering laser power based on present feedrate (actual rather than requested movement speed) for instance.

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I’m in talks with a company that makes lasers for CNC. I’m waiting for a laser currently. So I can’t speak to it specifically until I set it up. I can say the system it is designed for is running on a Uno clone. So there is no reason I can see it can’t be adapted. @blurfl brings up things I had not considered but I think there could be some simple work arounds as in very basic. Spindle On / Off to start then some PMW to very intensity after getting a basic model working for On/off. The laser as I see it is a marking tool. As such we need to consider how much detail we will be able to get and how far to go with attempting to get it to mimic a router. After putting thought into it I don’t think that is the best way to approach it. If need be the PMW could simply be a dial to tune the intensity in then start a Gcode file. The way it is being used on other CNC is to add photos or marking. I’m interested in say marking my center point or adding assembly instructions directly on the wood and labeling the parts. These are just a few quick thoughts on how to best use this on my Maslow.

Thank you

I’m in the finishing stages of building a laser cutter (based on Laser 2.X from

Putting a laser on the Maslow would of course give you a huuuuge working area but the precision - is it high enough?
I would probably go for a diode laser but you’re not building the laser module yourself?

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I’m curious as to what forms of laser shielding you will be using.

Laser-cutters require light-filtering systems so as to not damage your eyes, in a similar manner to using arc welding equipment.

Most laser-cutters are designed using an enclosure, both to shield the users/bystanders from the harmful light, as well as acting as a ventilation shielding, so you can add filtration systems.

It’s also worth talking about those, as the plywood that’s laser-able is made using different resin mixes.

If you use a laser-cutter on a standard builders ply, you get a very sticky smoke, which can be harsh on the lungs, not to say what it does to the lens of the laser modules.

Laser-able plywood, also has a consistent density, so as to get a consistent cut. The cheaper modellers plywood.has inconsistent density, through running the sheets of materials through a press to get it all to the same thickness. Because of the inconsistent densities that arise from this, you can get sheets of material where some parts will be cuttable, and some parts of the same sheet will not cut all the way through.

It’s also worth checking the materials you want to cut for chemical contamination. It is unsafe to cut anything containing Chlorine or Flourine, as the resultant smoke is very poisonous, both to people and to the surrounding environment.

This is also an issue with laser-cutting/etching leather, as some of the tanning agents used contain Chromium, which is another set of fumes to avoid.

You can find the safety precautions for the laser-cutter from my local workshop here,

It may also be worth checking out the safety precautions that are used in welding, as the extraction requirements/allowable materials are very similar.

Never laser-cut, or weld anything containing Zinc, Chrome, Chlorine, or Flourine.

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For ideas, check out the BuildYourCNC 4’x8’ vertical laser CNC machine with a huge 80w CO2 laser mounted to its gantry!

They build a case with plexiglass doors to house it and seems to address the toxic fume extraction, by creating a negative air pressure space around the machine. I remember seeing at least one Maslow posted here in the forums that had a similar enclosure around their Maslow.


That is @Johnny5 that made the fully enclosed Maslow. As my Maslow is outside I’m not concerned about toxicity as long as no one is standing next to it. I have extensive laser experience and materials handling. I often consult on material safety at this point. I appreciate your pointing it out here as many are indoors.

Thank you


The best thing to do is to allow spindle speed to be set and have an option to
output a PWM based on the speed.

Then we should look at grbl see how it allows changing the ‘speed’ on the fly
and copy that.

David Lang