I am in the processor reviewing an Atomstack A5 Pro laser engraver:
While I have worked with 3-D printers and large vinyl cutters, this is my first laser gadget. I already like it. A lot.
Assembly was very easy, though I had to redo a few steps because I wasn’t paying enough attention to the instructions.
To use the device, you have to download the free LaserGRBL program for Windows:
I initially tested the machine out on my old Lenovo Windows 10 machine. It was pretty easy to figure out how to do the basic things.
Next, I wanted to run it on my Mac, but LaserGRBL is Windows only. Since I run Windows 11 (Arm) on my Mac, I thought I could just do that. While LaserGRBL runs, the CH340 serial driver is not compatible with Windows/Arm. I was not able to find an Arm version of that driver, so it looks like it’s only possible to use this on an Intel PC (or Intel Mac). I guess I didn’t realize Arm windows machines like the Surface tablets couldn’t run all the same software.
Next I moved on the LightBurn, which is a commercial program available for Windows, And and Linux:
I played with the trail a bit on an Intel Windows PC and it looked like it offered a lot of extra features that LaserGRBL did not have. When I tried it on the Mac, I couldn’t talk to the engraver because it needed the CH340 driver.
I did some searching and found a Sparkfun page with a download to “some” CH340 driver. That worked, but I wondered how up to date the driver was. I did some searching and found all kinds of places with random Chinese device drivers for the CH340.
I *think* the source of the CH340 (maybe the company that created it, originally) is this:
And from there, I found a Mac 1.5 version, as well as a newer (from 2022) 1.7 version:
They also have Windows versions, but I did not see a Windows/Arm installer.
This version is much more updated from the one I got through Sparkfun. It installs an app that, when it runs, installs the driver. On modern Macs you have to do the normal “restart, tell the computer it’s okay to run this unsigned mystery driver from China” stuff to be able to use it. I found it interesting that, once it’s installed, it has an application that you just delete to remove the driver. I’m not sure how that works, unless it’s installing something that points to that application somehow.
But anyway, in case anyone else is looking for the CH340 driver for Mac, that’s where I found it.
And if you find an Arm version for Windows, leave a comment and let me know where you found it.