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Sunday, December 18, 2016

K40-S & LaserWeb3 startup

A K40-S/LaserWeb3 Quick Start

This post captures the process that I went (going) through to get LaserWeb up and working.
In my tool chain LaserWeb serves as the web based interface component of my K40-S tool-chain.

Check back here or at the links included below when the LaserWeb is updated as these instructions may change.


Please consider donating (button to the right of this post).
Your donations help fund additional research, tools and parts that I will return to the community as information.
For other information on the K40-S build use the  K40-S BUILD INDEX with schematics


Follow these instructions. Make sure you install GIT as the instructions suggest.

To Start LaserWeb3

cd \laserweb3
c:\ laserweb3\ node server.js

To Update

cd \
cd:\laserweb3>git pull

Clean the browser cache (CTRL-F5) after a git pull, because otherwise some code might be loaded from cache instead the new sources.

Initial setup values

Go to the settings menu and enter these initial values

Size Menu

X-length: 300 mm
Y-length: 200 mm
Laser Beam Diameter: .15 mm
Cutting Mat Thickness: 0 mm
Air Assist Noxzzle: Disable

Default Import DPI

Generic SVG: 72
Inkscape: 90
Illustrator: 72
Bitmap: 300


Optional entries (Opt) are ignored for now

Concatenate Raster x Moves: Disable
Start G-code: Opt
Laser ON Command:Opt
Laser OFF Command: Opt
PWM max: 1
Homing sequence: G28.2
NOTE: G28 will not home corrctly insure you use G28.2
End Gcode: Opt
Travel Moves: 100 mm/s
LaserTest Power: Opt
LaserTest Duration: Opt

Tool Menu

Safety Lock: disable
CNC Cam: Disable

  • NOTE: enable this when you are loading GCODE files
  • You cannot engrave when this is enabled
Origin location: bottom left
Use Touch Numpads: Disable
Use Webcam Video Overlay: Disable
Remote Webcam URL: Opt.
Quote Tab: Show

Jog menu

Home: homes the laser to whatever postion you have set in the Smoothie's configuration file
Run Gcode: runs the gcode in the Gcode tab. Make sure you have executed "Genrate G-code" from the CAM tab after you load a file.
Abort: stops the jog (after a delay) and a dialog will appear with instructions for continuing.
Set Zero: sets the 0,0 position to whatever the physical position of the gantry. Typically this is lower left for a K40.

Set Zero sets the work offset, not the machine zero point.
If you are on Grbl, you must set $10=0 to see work coordinates on the dro, otherwise you will not see any change in the dro, when doing a Set Zero.
Be careful, if you move the 0,0 away from lower left you could drive the gantry into the stops since the safe area is smaller than your configuration setting.

Jog somewhere, see the dro show X100, Y100 for example? Click Set Zero X under the dropdown next to X DRO. See how the DRO shows X:0,Y100? You just zeroed X.
Jog X back to say 100: Dro shows X100, Y100
Click the set zero button itself: see how X0 and Y0 is shown in DRO? That zeroed all axes

Check Outline: moves the gantry, tracing an outline of the object. Caution: if the part is positioned toward the top of the pallet the gantry could be driven into the stops.

Loading Native Gcode

Gcode files can be loaded directly onto the pallet and run from the Jog menu
Some anomolies:
  • These tabs will not always show the gcode toolpaths accurately as it will drive the machine
    • Gcode View, Tool Path View
  • Generally the tool paths will always show in the "All Layers View"

Backup Settings

I will update this later.

Setting up log files

You will notice that the Start command opens a dos window that is in the background on your desktop. This window will show the communications between your K40 and LaserWeb. It is useful to capture these conversations when something is going wrong. You can tell if LW is sending the correct codes (your G-code may not be doing what you think) or if the hardware is not responding as expected, or whatever. 

To set up a LW log file start this batch file:


{leave these brackets out
  cd c:\laserweb3 
  start "LW Started with log file [LW3log] on Desktop" cmd /c "node server.js ^1> c:\Users\Owner\Desktop\LW3log.txt"
  start chrome http://localhost:8000/

The above .bat will create and write the LW console output to LW3log.txt on your desktop.
When started this way the LW console will not be visible but you can open the .txt file to do any analysis you need.
Enjoy and comment,
Maker Don

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