I’m lucky to have a couple of small CNC routers. The collection includes the ubiquitous Genmitsu 3018, a very affordable machine that’s a good toe dipping experience for those new to CNC routing. It has the somewhat odd but occasionally useful feature that you can swap out the small spindle for a laser module. The 3018 are often sold with small modestly powered lasers and it can be difficult to upgrade the module as the 3018 GRBL based control boards don’t supply the active low PWM signal many of the higher power aftermarket modules require. This PWM Laser Inverting Module solves that issue nicely, opening up many options for laser module upgrades.
Sitting between the GRBL controller board and the laser module board, this module is opto-isolated for safety and features a triple Darlington array design as the inverter. It’s supplied fully assembled and uses two pin JST connectors for the power, input and output connectors. It’s reasonably compact at 60mm by 40mm and the mount holes around the PCB give you options to mount this out of the way behind the Y axis assembly. This board should be compatible with all versions of the 3018 GRBL control board as well as many aftermarket laser modules. Project author JasonKits suggests that “Focusable High Power 2.5W 450nm Blue Laser Module TTL” is a search term that will yield compatible and affordable results.
If you’re looking to upgrade your GRBL, check out the product page!