If I was to purchase this upgrade laser kit for my Shapeoko 4 XXL would I still use Carbide Create and Carbide Motion as the software?
James, have you investigated J-Tech Photonics? I’ve been using one of theirs for a couple of years with no problems. You need to buy from somewhere that you can get some support for you particular equipment. I think you’ll save time and money going that route.
To answer your question, though, it depends. You need a post-processor that will save your laser specific details to the gcode file during the “saving” process. I use Vectric products with my 3XXL, and I have a post processor that is designed to do that. Notice how the laser will mount in an offset position to the router? That offset has to be measured and accounted for when generating gcode to cut your part.
ADDED: BTW, the company you posted a link to is based in Poland not USA.
Thank you Tex, I’m going to check them out today. I appreciate the feedback!
Hey Tex, still not sure if I’d still use Carbide Create for design, and Carbide Motion to run the laser.
While technically you could, CC and CM are really not geared towards laser jobs. I bought Lightburn, it’s cheap and worth every penny
Like I said, I use Vectric products. They have a laser module that integrates the laser vector generation and simulation display with the ones for wood. My sender is gSender by Sienci. This combination has features that allow the integration of the laser toolpaths with the router bit toolpaths within the same project.
If I were just using the laser, I would do what @Julien suggests and use Lightroom software.
So, you could use CC and CM for the wood part, and then change to Lightroom to do the laser part without moving your part from the table.
Unless shop space is at a premium, I would be hesitant to buy an add on for a Shapeoko.
Stand alone diode lasers are very cheap. You can get them for less than $500 - for $1000 you can get into the 20W level on sale.
The diode lasers are the expensive part of the system - the moving bits are maybe 20-25% of the cost.
I just don’t see the point in dropping $1000 on a 6W laser for the Shapeoko which then limits me to running one or the other.
For serious laser work you’re going to want an enclosed tube laser for the speed and power anyway.
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