Trying out the Laserboard on a 6040 cnc machine

So I got a 6040 cnc machine from my brother a while ago and I recently decided to actually try it out. The machine needed some tlc and the original controller had been left outside in a shed for about 2 years and when I tried running I ran into a bunch of issue. I decided to change the brains and use the laserboard instead. So far so good. I’ll be updating with more picture and a few videos soon. This is still an on going project.

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Sweet! Where’s all the RGB LEDs? It. Needs. More. RGB!!! :slight_smile:

Some years ago, I got a 3040 CNC with ballscrews.

At the time, the going rage was to buy the full machine and replace the electronics with a TinyG board so that Chilipeppr could be used.

As you can see here, it invalidates a good chunk of the stock electronics:

As such, I found a seller that was selling the frame only, I added stepper motors, wiring, and TinyG donated me a board as thanks for my volunteer involvement with Chilipeppr.

Anyways, some time later I managed to blow a driver, haven’t used the machine since, and have been meaning to install a laserboard with external drivers in it since I designed the board :slight_smile:

Keep us posted on your build!

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I picked up one of these locally a few months ago and haven’t got around to using it yet. It’s been retrofitted with a GRBL Board, which works well enough, but I’m curious about spindle control/speed. Any insights you can spare? I can’t remember where I left off with it as I’ve been in a laser build mindset but I want to use it to make some parts for my laser frame.

Having seen what you’ve done with yours when I do get back to it I’ll definitely have to up my game!

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It’s going to get some RGBs for sure. Digging through my random arsenal of accumulated computer parts.

That’s also awesome about the 3040. I had an extra Laserboard laying around and I’ve been itching to do something with it and I’m glad this cnc project gave me a reason to use it. I’ll keep updating with the progress as I go along.

That map of gotham was accidental but its staying.

I’m building this whole cabinet to hold two different machines. Just about done with the wiring then testing and then finish the sides and front by adding doors and drawers and lights and other random totally unnecessary things.

And this rats nest that I have to work on

And the is is how it looked when it all began


I still haven’t gotten to the spindle yet. Still working on a few other things on the overall cabinet but I’ll be looking into it soon. It will probably stump me which will then probably become a headache for @Cohesion3D Ray after I don’t stop bugging him with questions.

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Ok finally adding some RGBs to the doors. I still have to dress up all the cables so don’t judge me harshly.

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She’s alive! Still testing things and got a touch plate dialed in.

So far this thing is working like a boss. I’m using lightburn to control the machine. I can move it, home it, save positions etc, I can easily input commands using the console and when I’m nice and ready I can use lightburn to run the gcode. The last thing I need to figure out is how to control the spindle but first have to do some research.

So far so good.


Alright so I moved to home switches to the top. I can adjust them at lot easier this way if I had to.

I also went ahead and made my own dust shoe.

I really like the way it turned out. I happen to have an extra lightburn camera laying around so the next thing I want to do is get that camera mounted on the inside of the show and maybe throw some lights in there because why not.

So far I’m pleased with the performance. Some tool marks are still showing up and if I try the same gcode in a different machine they don’t show up but it could be a billion and one different things including being off on the precise steps, something physical with the machine but Laserboard is rock solid.

Soon I’ll be asking questions about the VFD, this came with a nowforever. As far as I understand it uses 3 cables, one for On connected to X1, ground connected to COM, and 0-10v (or 0-20mA I think) connected to AIN1

So, uh, I’ve recently acquired a much larger shop space (in the form of a 2500 sq ft basement in my new house) and now I guess I have no choice but to do this on my previously mentioned 3040 CNC.

You know, once I have fixed the place up, moved in, and caught up on sleep… I’ll add it to the project list :slight_smile:

Mine has a much simpler spindle though, it’s just a 300w motor, and there’s a little module connected with a potentiometer on it to turn it on and control the speed. I could circumvent it, but I’d likely want to use an external MOSFET module like those for a 3D printer bed, and control that from the LaserBoard PWM out. I wouldn’t want to run ~13 amps directly through the LaserBoard’s MOSFET.
In any case, it’s worth looking into whether that’s a good idea.

These may help you:

This is the one that applies to me:

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That’s awesome. I operate out of a 340 sqft apartment garage. I built my RGB laser here with limited tools and having to be mindful of the noise. With a 1200 sqft basement id be building spaceships. In reality, I probably would just be twitching in a corner not knowing how to comprehend so much room.

I’m going to check those links and do some further reading into the spindle and see what I come up with but like I mentioned before it’s not a priority. It really isn’t too much of an inconvenience to turn a dial up or down at the beginning of a job and in reality most things I’ll be using the same speed.

Take your time pimping out your 3040CNC, I’ll selfishly benefit from that project.

On a side note, for a project like this do you prefer smoothie or grbl?

I can only imagine - noise concern in apartment is not fun.

I gave this a fair bit of thought.

“I understand the value in using GRBL for a CNC application.”

I would start with Smoothie for the easier configuration, and make absolutely sure that I had soft limits working to not crash the head unintentionally (more than the standard amount of times this already happens for other reasons).

Once things were nailed down, I might want to switch to GRBL for the instant stop mid job. But I would start with Smoothie until I hit a limit of it (no pun intended).

Ok, I’m highly interested in this.

  • Is that a PCB? Colorful hand drawn traces?
  • How did you bond the conductive path to the magnet? Soldering is extremely difficult to magnets in my experience. Or to batteries. I remember a tack weld being the recommended way to hook up to a battery directly.

Just, all the details, please.

I’m working on that PCB right now. I had some double-sided copper-clad sheets here but had never used them before. After some googling and a few days learning the basics on kicad I roughly came up with the design I needed, modified it for the CNC, and did a few runs.

I’m still in the testing and improvement phase. For the magnets, I’m currently using low temp solder paste and a temp-controlled heat gun. It’s all a pain in the butt. If the magnets get hot for too long they lose their magnetism, they slide all over the place or raise up which can become problematic when you need 5 magnets making clean contact. My saving grace is that after I make the pocket and put the PCB in the shoe, I’m then sealing the PCB in place with poxy which gives the magnets all the extra support they need to stay in place and not move. After I’ve settled and I’m happy with the design, I’ll get a few boards fabricated properly so I don’t have to worry about painting the boards to cover all copper.

I’d use a conductive epoxy (like MG 8331) on the magnets to avoid any loss of magnetism by raising them above their curie temperature. It’s way easier to work with than low temp solder and will adhere to, well, anything.


this might be crazy but if we can get SPI out of the C3D then it can be connected to an rPi running LinuxCNC. I’m currently doing it with some other LPC1768/69 boards on 3D printers and a K40 laser cutter.