C3D on GCC Mercury 1 laser engraver

I have an old (1999) GCC Mercury 1, 12w laser engraver.It is now controlled by an pc with win 98!!!
I would like to have a new controller. Can I switch to C3D? My machine has servo motors, not stepper motors.

Additional question: What would you think about changing the laser? Now I have a synrad laser. Can it be changed in an affordable way?
Or should I just buy a chinese 100w machine??

Servos are just steppers with encoders. With some clever rewiring we can ignore the encoders and run the steppers directly, but it depends on what steppers they are.

Can you take some detailed pictures of the machine, including all boards, supplies, wiring and connection points, motors, and panels? There’s a very good chance we can make the machine work - it’s just a question of how much effort and tinkering you want to do.

Changing out the laser itself - is it one of those synrad all in one PSU/laser tube combo units? I’d have to see more pictures of the unit and such to be able to make a recommendation here.

This sounds like a fun conversion :smiley:

Fun indeed, and maybe too expensive, but I´ll give it a try to at least get an estimate. I´m considering if it is better to buy a brand new chinese 100w laser cutter. I feel totaly lost in this laser jungle.

Anyway I´ll send you some picks within some days.


Reidar Vik

I expect it will be a large undertaking. We will look forward to the pics.

When you have an RF excited laser, there is the additional requirement for “tickle” which is discussed here: Universal laser

I have came across something called servo motor driver. Could that be a solution in addition to your product. I have the impression that servos are better/more precise than steppers and I don´t want to destroy something that could be nice to have. Picks are coming soon. Sorry for the delay.

Servos aren’t necessarily any more precise than a stepper. Servos are simply stepper motors with an encoder that provides feedback to the driver to assist the driver in determining whether or not the motor moved when the driver commanded it to do so. In certain cases they can help with positional repeatability, but I maintain that for laser applications a servo provides no real meaningful benefit over a stepper when the stepper’s properly tuned. The reason for this is because a lot of what’s important is rate of motion in laser control, not necessarily ensuring something gets back to a repeatable position each time it moves. If the servo driver detects the motor has skipped one or more steps, it will generally as fast as it can attempt to make up those steps. That, in the real world, translates to ruined projects just the same. They’re just ruined in slightly different ways.

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Pictures: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-1HTWHH-5-w8hNQGj0GkQs6AKgaNaMUU
Give me a reply if you need better pics or if there are spesific things I have forgotten.

The pictures you have provided show some complex wiring and systems that I do not have the time, mental energy, or desire to deal with figuring out, even if you were paying me a hefty hourly rate to help.

I also learned today that shipping to Norway has become extremely expensive by UPS, and USPS has been very slow.

I think it is best if you purchase a Chinese laser with a DSP controller that LightBurn supports and that will be for the best, and you can purchase the DSP version of LightBurn from our shop if/ when this happens.

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