New build and Jtech 2.8W laser

Got my MPCNC built this weekend, still needs proper cable management, but some tape and zipties holds all the wires away from moving parts. I had this old table I could temporary mount it to, until I have a proper stand, not 100% square yet, but good enough.

Hooked up this 2.8W laser from Jtech, and downloaded the programs required to etch graphics, and went to work.

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Yeah, could look better.

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Image2gcode MPCNC etching Game of thrones (difficult to find good settings)

Being a CNC-operator for nearly 15 years, I figured I could use my goto CAM package, Gibbscam and see if I could make some toolpath’s there, so I found a simple mill post processor and start adapting it to MPCNC.

A few hours of coding later I have a near perfect postprocessor for laser etching on the MPCNC.

I used the spindle speed to set the laser strength, so in any operation in Gibbscam, you can fill or rough mill an area with spindle speed 200 and post processor outputs ‘M106 S200’

As a separate operation, I can contour the same area with spindle speed 255 and post processor sets laser to full 255

Most CAM packages have very advanced toolpath generation, so there is heaps of options to play with, stepover values, zig-zag and offset fill pattern.

Some pictures of the progress

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Ibanez logo, zig-zag ‘milling’ with 0° angle

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Post processor needed more work, didnt turn off laser on rapid moves

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3…2D Benchy…since everyone makes one

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Logo with ‘milled’ offset pattern and 10 contouring passes

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Same logo, washed away some burnt wood

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Coffe cup, zig-zag lines at 90° angle, with bigger stepover


Machine moves great and everything seems smooth, just wish I built it bigger.


Pictures from Gibbscam, its a great advantage to be able to save the project, so you can go back and see the settings used for different speed and strenght of the laser.

Since CAM programs are used on million dollar machines, they have exellent crash detection, so toolpaths are always safe and accurate, and part simulation enables you to see errors quickly.

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Can’t wait to get the Makita router mounted and do some light milling.

Man those images look great! I’m sure people are going to want to hear more about your cam software and what board you used and such. Well done! I just finished mine up as well and need to build a table. Once I get the table built and some routing out of the way I plan to explore some laser as well. Keep us posted on your work. Thats good stuff.

Thanks…yes I’m very happy with the results.

I’ll post some screenshots of Gibbscam and the how the parts above is setup

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getting alot of errors from when trying to attach pictures…trying 1 by 1

coffe mug

A quick laser focus calibration program

the ultimaker robot

Video of etching the 3Dbenchy (tried holding the laser goggles infront of phone, this laser is shitbright)

Early post processor test, its basicly just milling a pocket with a roughing operation.

Wow. That’s impressive. These posts with the lasers keep showing up and I’m going to end up ordering one…

Nice! Any idea what GibbsCAM costs are currently?

The picture issue is a size limitation, you should see your max filesize above your reply window. I tried to go higher but posts with a large number of pictures will choke the CPU while it tries to resize and compress them all and then you would end up with a timeout error. At his time I can’t afford a dedicated server and have to share CPU resources, but I am on the highest tier shared plan.

I tried to find a price. It looks like one of those, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” things…

Great work though. What did you do to wash the burnt wood? Just sandpaper?

Was the wolf at similar speed/power settings? It looks like the working CAM was much slower/higher power. The wolf looks like different parts of the grain aren’t burning as well as others when you are using the “soft” settings, but at the higher power settings, it’s burning everything about the same.

Anyways, thanks for sharing. I have a laser coming soon…

Gibbscam is a pretty expensive software package, but it’s what I’ve used for years so its quick to get it up and running.

Would have preferred to have used Fusion360, you can probably do most of the stuff there too, if there is a MPCNC post processor for it, you just need to edit it and take away the Z movements, and turn laser on for G1 movements, and turn laser off for G0 movements.

The wood is just pine, I just washed it with light wetted cloth to get some of the ‘ash’ off :slight_smile:

I need to revisit the image2gcode program, as I’ve learned more about laser strength and feedrates now, and it helps ofcourse to focus the laser properly, I think the wolf attempt was with a unfocused laser, I just saw it got brown and let it run.


It came in the mail today! It’s much smaller than I thought. Also, I got some lecturing from the wife. She doesn’t think using fire as a tool is safe for some reason…

You’re not using fire as a tool. Fire is just a byproduct of using photons like a sandblaster. If someone could invent photons that move slower than light in air, the stuff wouldn’t catch fire.

I don’t get it. See? I don’t remember any physics.

Did some more zig-zag patterns today, with 45° angle and -45° angle on the same geometry, ended up being a very nice ‘effect’. It almost looks like some coarse fabric, and the letters looks like they are ‘floating’ ontop.


Looks like I’ll never get to mount this router on, the laser is too much fun :slight_smile:

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That’s a good problem to have!

Im rebuilding my old 2012 Ultimaker Orginal and laser etched the heck out of the plywood :slight_smile:


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