Control Software

For the past several years I’ve been attempting to find control software that suits my purpose. I’ve not been successful and it’s getting to be beyond frustrating. One of the largest issues is that the moment you search for Marlin firmware compatibility, you get overwhelmed by results that talk about configuring the firmware itself.

So, what am I looking for and what have I found:

  • Open Source
  • Linux compatible
  • Able to talk to Marlin Firmware
  • Able to distinguish between a 3D printer, CNC and Laser
  • In-Built calibration tools or wizards
  • In-Built tools like platform surfacing, calibration printing, laser test patterns

I didn’t think that this would be so hard, but it appears to be the case. Things I’ve tried:

  • Luban - while it talks to the SM natively, there are no “wizards” to do anything useful. It is all predicated on generating G-code and sending it. While there is a console, this really doesn’t help solving more compund issues like multi-axis calibration.
  • Octoprint - ideally suited to 3d printing, there have been some aborted attempts at implementing CNC functionality, even by a fellow SM owner, but I haven’t seen any progress in that space. Setting up three printers, one for each module is an option, but they’re still printers with hotbeds and nozzles inside Ocoprint.
  • Openbuilds - this looked promising, right until one of the moderators essentially stated that a user shouldn’t waste their time with Marlin and instead buy something else after asking the same question that I was wanting to resolve, ie. is Openbuilds compatible with Marlin?
  • cncjs - I’ve not yet installed this, but I find no references to 3D printing, and while there are users lodging bugs in relation to Marlin compatibility, the website does not include it as a compatible controller.

So, what options have I missed?

Am I really going to have to run three different pieces of software to control the same device?

If that’s the case, what should I be using?

Once you move over to Artisan, you will ask the question again. As far as i know, Artisan is not Marlin any longer.

Artisan is GRBL. SM 2.0 go that way too.

I don’t think there are many programs that control the three. There are not so much machines that can do the three.

For printing octoprint on a RPi.
For laser Lightburn.
For milling Deskproto. Not used on the SM yet but on another CNC miller.

Which is not Marlin as the TO asked for.

What “wizards” are you looking for? As far as i see also things like Lightburn doesn’t have them.
I am running Luban only and it works as i need it, especially with the rotary module.

And GRBL use some Marlin codes too. From the GRBL website.


The greatest problem is that the SM commands wiki isn’t up to date. There are commands that SM and Luban use and aren’t documented yet.

At the moment Lightburn works with the rotary encoder for Marlin and the programmers make the rotary usable for GRBL.


With my Lightburn rotary settings I must only put in the R value as material thickness and the laser do what he must do.

Some code doesn’t change the Artisan to a Marlin device.

Correct. It works as intended. I am trying Lightburn from time to time. And i am always struggling. Creating things in Inkscape and upload the SVG to Luban works for me.

Within a few weeks, the SM works 100% under GRBL with Lightburn. Lightburn is developed since many years for thousands of (professional) users.

Nothing to struggle in Lightburn. Drawing in Sketchup, export 2D DXF file. Import in Lightburn, place it on the grid, choose the right cut or carve layers from the material library and go.

The only ‘struggeling’ is find settings for new materials. If found, add to the library and OK for the future.

Different ‘machines’ are possible for the same machine. SM with 1,6W, 10W or 40W with or without rotary is only a choice. Lightburn works the same for the C02 (900mm*600mm) laser with Ruida controller that I’m building.

You are describing exactly how it works in Luban :innocent:

Within a few weeks, the SM works 100% under GRBL

Are you stating that SM2 is moving to GRBL? I have not seen any evidence of this. Can you point to your source?

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Read on one of the SM treads. And it isn’t illogical. At the moment de SM developers must update 2 different systems. Every new tool they must do the same job 2 times. One times in Marlin and one times in GRBL.

For my CO2 laser too? Laser something with Lightburn costs me less then 5 minutes to setup all the layers. Luban was struggeling a whole day for nothing. I have deleted version 3.12 from my PC. The installer is on the PC. I must clean up that download map. You’re maybe the only one that claims that Luban is better or at least so good as Lightburn. When I google on the best 10 laser applications, Luban isn’t in the lists.

And the same for a Sorotec CNC with EdingCnc CNC720 controller? Deskproto supported both.

Snapmaker doesn’t offer CO2 laser. So why should they support it with their software?

And that is exactly the reason why it is not on the list. They are all generic fitting to all lasers which make them to the list.
I am sure you find native tools for dedicated lasers where it firts the same.

I am not saying luban is better than Lightburn. But it works better for me and the Artisan

You are running Luban 3.12? This may be a source of some of your problems.

I have deleted all installed Luban software. I have only the installer in the downloads map. I’m not planning to try every new version. I stand by my known programs and I’m not the only one. Only for me, Lex from Deskproto, don’t add a Snapmaker postprocessor. The same for Lightburn and Octopi.