Ok guys, need some help before I mess up

So we finally had time to install and setup the laser.
I’ve run several standalone laser tests now, and it looks great…
But that is just for running the laser.
This is what I need. I need to know how to ‘reset’ or ‘rezero’ Y when starting to use the laser on the same project. I religiously use the Sienci touch plate (that thing is the greatest for me!)

I would like to use the laser with or after or during a project. For example. If I want to add flourish design on a raised flower… So imagine a flower raised by using a pocket cutout. So now I have this flower. But I would like to add some lasering effect to it.
Our laser resides in front of the router. I know Z is based on the laser guides. And X will remain the same.
Since I have to move backwards, is there a “great” way to rezero Y?
How are people adjusting the new Y zero…?

@chapklc I don’t have the Sienci laser, but I mounted mine to the front of the router bracket on a home-made bracket. Here’s how I am set up to run “hybrid” projects.

I jogged the router to an easy to see spot and set XY0. I put a 60° V bit in the router and made a very small divot in the spoilboard. Then, I turned on my laser at a very low setting and jogged until the laser spot was perfectly centred over that divot. I made a note of the change in X and Y. I wrote 4 macros. 2 for a job where I used the router first and 2 for a job when I ran the laser first. They are really just “mirror” images of each other.

In each case, the first macro jogs the Mill in X and the second in Y. Clear as mud? :grinning:

So, when I run a router job, when it is finished it returns to XY0. I set my laser height manually, then run the two macros. The Mill jogs in X and Y and the laser spot is directly over the XY0 spot of the router. Then I zero both X and Y.

Finally, I run the laser gcode. I’ve done several of these now. You can see one of them on the Show Off category - an Aztec calender. The process works very well.

If you need any help with the macros, let me know.


Oh my goodness…
I felt like that went waaay over my head.
I’ve never used macros except for a verrrry long time on a unix system! lol
I’m not sure I would know where to begin.

@chapklc I do an essentially similar process. However, in my Vectric software I can choose a different post-processor for any toolpath. So, I have (from wb9tpg Gary Mitchell) a post for the laser toolpaths that has the offset (that @gwilki is writing about) built in. So, when that creates gCode, the offset is installed when I want to burn that part of the project.

The advantage here is that my gcode for lasering is linked XYZ with my router cuts, and all I have to do in gSender is run the code.


@CrookedWoodTex That’s a cleaner solution than mine. Tex. I use the JTech post in vcarvepro for laser burns, When I tried adding $32=1 at the start of it, I got all kinds of errors, so I simply use a macro for that, too. I assume that you had to edit the post you are using to insert your specific offsets into it, yes?

Yes is the answer, but let me post the post processor when I get back to my workshop later today.

With gSender I think you don’t need the $32 values when you’re in laser mode.

@CrookedWoodTex You’re right about laser mode in gS, Tex. gS turns on $32 when you turn on laser mode. Tks.

so does it matter then which locations the laser is installed?
also does the offset vary with various diameters of bits last used prior to switching to the laser?

If you use macros, it does not matter. Of course, if you move the laser from the front to the side, for example, you would need to edit the macro. I can’t speak for @CrookedWoodTex (Tex), but I would think that it doesn’t matter using his post processor, either, as it would need to be edited to use specific offsets.

The laser offset does not vary with the diameter of the bit. XY0 are set to the centre of the bit, which is always in the centre of the router’s spindle.

Here’s the post-processor. I see that its still a bit messy. :smiley: Look for the part that has a comment about “offset”.

NOTE: It is NOT a zip file. Just remove the “.zip” at the end. That’s just to fool the forum software.

PS. I’m open for any improvements in the Post code. I’ve been too busy ( :smiley: ).

Tex_J Tech GRBL NoZ V4 inch.pp.zip (6.8 KB)

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thanks for the post processor.
but i guess I still don’t understand.
Let me walk through it.
We are moving the laser to the right side of the spindle anyway. So theres that.
Now when I add this post processor.
Any tool path that is directed as a laser pathway, should have this new post processor reflected.
So that being said.
When Gsender runs the files, that post processor will create the offset to reset XY datum. ?
So I guess I never read any code lines… So I really don’t know what to do.
I added the post processor, I can select the downloaded PP, and I was able to save with it… but now what?
I’m sorry guys… this is just kinda out of my league… but I’m trying.

Ok, so we returned the laser to the front of the spindle.
and on the test piece that we did, the offset worked, however it over offsetted! lol

So the circle of course was an 1/8 FEM. Then I switched to a laser pathway with the new PP accordingly.
The word “testing” was supposed to be centered in the circle.

I didn’t intend to suggest that you install a post for my machine. My post shows how you can add your machine’s offset.

As @gwilki posted before, determine what your offset is by comparing what offset it takes to laser burn into the center of a spot cut by your router. That offset for my machine/laser combo is what you see in my post processor.


@chapklc I’ll just try to add a bit to @CrookedWoodTex (Tex’s) post in an attempt to further clarify my previous post.

I had put forward a method to do what you wanted using macros. (You could do the same thing entering the commands in the Console window, of course.) Tex offered up a more elegant solution using a laser post processor. Using Tex’s method, you don’t need to create the macros, or remember to run them - bonus.

However, regardless of the method you choose, you still need to first determine what the offset for your specific machine and your specific mount location is. And, if you change the mount location from the front to side, you need to change that offset amount. You need to change it if you are using macros and you need to change it if you are using the post processor.

So, the first thing you need to do is determine what the offset is using the method that I described in my previous post and that Ted referred to.

And, not to confuse you further, but you also need to keep in mind that, using the post processor method pre-supposes that you originally set your XY0 for a router carve. Then, the post will offset the amount that you entered to, in effect, set a new XY0 for the laser. However, if you are doing a laser only job and you set the laser dot where you want your XY0 to be, the post will still run the offset and move your XY0. The macro method does not have this drawback - if it can be called that - since the offset is done manually. When I run a laser only project, I just don’t run the macros.

I hope that this has clarified things a bit.

Good point. Since all my laser work comes out of my Vectric software, I choose a laser-only post or a router-only post. The router-only post does not have the offset.

This way, my gcode for either is set up correctly. All I have to do in gSender is execute. (Sometimes my results do remind one of an execution! :smiley: )

Thanks to Gary Mitchell for presenting this method to me.

@CrookedWoodTex As usual, Tex, you are WAY ahead of me. :grinning:

@chapklc Kari. I was just educated by Tex on a feature of gSender that I should have known about. Colour me embarrassed. :blush:

On the laser tab in 1.0.5, you can input your X and Y offsets for laser mode. You will still need to determine your offsets as explained above, but you will not need macros or a custom post processor. I apologize for not bringing you that option sooner.

omg… thanks guys for being patient with me.
TEX I’m sorry, I misunderstood about the file you uploaded…
But i’m starting to see the light.

I will look into the laser offset in gsender.
One more clarification, I’m sure someone mentioned it… but I’m trying to understand in my way of thinking…

If I set the “offset” in Gsender. Do I still require a “PP” toolpath, or just the normal Laser toolpath allocation? I was assuming I can resume using only the normal PP since that would be two offsets. One in aspire the other in gsender.

@chapklc If you use the offset in gSender, don’t use the one that @CrookedWoodTex Tex provided in the post processor. You’re right, you would have two offsets. Just remember to turn it off in gSender when using your router.

:+1: thanks! I appreciate all your patience, advice and help!!!