Ok first the good news.
It arrived with a GRBL board. Open source, and lots of documentation. The CD had a version of Inkscape pre-configured for the laser and the GRBL flavor of gcode it takes.
Basically the machine runs on standard code 2 axis with spindle on and off commands.
So I hooked it up, got the drivers working. Tried the spindle on command and jogged the machine leaving a nice deep satisfying engraving in the piece of plywood I was using.
It is only half a watt laser but boy it does engrave nice if a bit slow.
It arrived with the x and y axis motor plugs reversed which was obvious when the jog controls were reversed in the included GRBL control software. GRBL btw is free open source and good stuff.
So I ran a test file made in Inkscape, saved the gcode, imported it to GRBL controller and ran it.
3 min later the laser diode died.
Notes on the machine. The power supply is 2 amps, and the frame is made from a cheap version of Bosch 20x40mm extrusion except the grooves are 6.35 mm (1/4 inch) instead of the standard 6mm Bosch stuff.
The roller bearings are 6mm wide so there is a considerable amount of slop in the thing although, it did not seem to affect output quality as the low power
The laser takes a very slow speed. Frankly one could have powered it with threaded rod instead of belts for a better effect.
The software was well configured but they could have benefitted from someone who spoke English better to do the manual.
As a 3d printer frame it is not acceptable. Too sloppy at the high speeds a printer needs.
Meanwhile I bought a professional grade 40 watt co2 laser to do jobs around the shop.
My new employee is working out well. By far the most enthusiastic about what I make and do. He offered to come in today on his own time just to learn the machinery.
Tomorrow is yet another attempt at delivering the CNC plasma. Lack of a big enough truck is hampering efforts on that front.
I put one of my old 3D printers back into service yesterday. It had broke and was in need of a few parts which I replaced. I then used it to print a better X axis for itself as the one I have on it is held together with super glue
Pics to follow.