The controller, or control card, is a centerpiece of the machine. The control system makes it possible to manage the parameters of the machine: power, height of the worktable, position of the laser head, launching of several successive tasks, etc. There are several on the market, the best known being the Ruida system. We take stock of this key component to choose your CO2 laser cutter.
The different types of laser cutting machine controllers
If you have opted for a cheap laser cutter and want to improve it, or if you decide to make it yourself, you may need a control system.
This consists of a motherboard on which are plugged various cables that connect to the components of your machine. The less sophisticated don’t have a screen, and all of the settings can be adjusted on your computer.
The Lihuiyu controller
The Lihuiyu controller, for example, works with a dongle (a small usb socket), and the settings are to be made on the Corel Laser software. This is typically the system found on inexpensive Chinese cutters, such as the K40 . This is what it looks like:
As for the slightly more sophisticated controllers (Ruida, Trocen, Topwisdom), they have a screen, and you can launch tasks directly from the Panel (which accepts a USB key). Here is the most famous, the Ruida:
The Trotec brand uses its own control system: Laser Job Control.
Choose your control system according to your needs
There are controllers at different prices, which do not have the same uses. To choose it, here are the elements to analyze:
- The number of axes supported: 2, 3, 4 or 5;
- The task (s): the GRBL controller for example is only dedicated to burning;
- The screen size (if available);
- Support for various operations and components: ability to manage several successive tasks (marking, engraving, cutting), management of a second laser head, USB port, etc.
- Focus on Ruida, the leader in control charts
- The Ruida system is specially designed for the laser. It is natively supported by RDWorks (free) or Lightburn (paid). The control panel is very sophisticated: it can launch successive tasks (they must be prepared with different colors).
There are several models of Ruida controller, to choose according to your need:
- Ruida S or Ruida G? : Ruida S can connect to two laser heads
- RDC6445: this 6th generation controller has a very large screen, and manages 4 axes.
- RDC6432: this version manages 3 axes only.
- RDC6442: 4 axes, and a small 3.5-inch colorful screen
- RDC6344: this has a touch screen and manages 4 axes.
The advantage of choosing this control system is that you can perform all possible tasks with a laser cutter. All of this easily and intuitively. It is not for nothing that Ruida is the market leader (and also the most expensive).