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CO2 laser frequency generator module PM1.x

Module PM1.x is generator of PWM signal for Firestar f-series SYNRAD laser. By this signal laser beam is switched on and off. The frequency and pulse width of the PWM adjust the laser beam to fit the properties of workpiece.

1. Easy extension into laser field

Suppose one have XY axis CNC machine and no access to its hardware and software sources. Is it possible to extend it with CO2 laser cutting head ? With PM1.x module answer is yes - without any change to existing hardware and software. "Easy" here means that complete CNC machine (hardware and software part) is considered as a building block which is just integrated into laser system.

2. Integration

This is achieved by functions PM1.x is able to perform:

  1. it tracks continuously the X,Y positions of laser head
  2. it calculates the speed of laser head at any time
  3. generated PWM delivers constant amount of laser energy per distance

The key point of integration as presented on Figure 1. is that CNC (in green color) independently executes the G-code. The same G-code is also analyzed by PC program PMLaser which extracts the positions where laser should be switched on and off. That positions (along with some other data) are sent to PM1.x module.

Figure 1: Module PM1.x integration schema

Because module software calculates the real speeds and positions from X and Y rotary encoders, it can switch the laser on and off regarding to positions received from PC. It also adjusts the pulse width of PWM signal to deliver specified amount of laser energy per unit distance.

3. Module description

Module comes as a completely assembled and tested device (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Module PM1.x connections

Module is delivered with Windows program PMLaser so that integrator do not have to write a single line of code on PC.

Module can work in different modes. It can generate PWM signal:

  • CW (continuous wave)
  • fixed frequency and pulse width
  • fixed frequency with adjusted pulse width regarding to current head speed so that density of laser energy per distance remains the same

Table of points is organized as FIFO (first-in, first-out). When table is active, module looks for position of current first-out point and executes the action of that point at that point. Then comes the next point. So points are executed alongside of working path given in G-code file.

All this is maintained by PMLaser program. More information is available in the file predstavitev-pm1x_2.pdf which is available on request by email.

4. Module benefits

Because module can switch laser on the fly it is appropriate for engraving bitmaps. On the line move of full working speed laser can be switched at appropriate times. That way bitmap can be engraved much faster.

As density of laser energy per working path distance can be specified, cutting and deeper engraving is also possible on materials featuring not so wide laser parameters window.

5. New firmware for OEM integration

There is a new module firmware version for OEM integrators who have its own software and do not like to use PMLaser. Additional new features:

  • Change of laser parameters on the fly during work
  • New manual with a lot of C-code samples, user_manual_3.pdf, which is available on request by email

6. Module offer

ZAMISEL d.o.o. offers the following:

  • PM1.2x module with new firmware for OEM integration (new).
  • PM1.x module with Windows program PMLaser.
  • consulting hours regarding module integration and/or system design.

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