Author Topic: Request for Assistance on a Big Project  (Read 1349 times)

Zax

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2018, 03:41:55 AM »
That's a mechanical issue, most likely backlash which is from the belts being loose. It could also be some wobble in the wheels (carriage or gantry).

wveagle81

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2018, 05:30:26 PM »
Thanks, @Zax.  I had tested the belts an didn't think they felt loose, but I went ahead and
tightened them up some more anyway.  Looks like things are *much* better!  I think I'll
go ahead and burn the real thing now.

Any reason I shouldn't?
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wveagle81

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2018, 09:48:09 PM »

I'd like to thank you all for your help and advice.  I've got a finished product
(the front, at least) and I think it turned out fantastic.  I believe it'll be well
received in the charity auction.  I'll be making two of them for the auction,
and a third for the manager of the charity.  The file name is "plaque_final.jpg"
in the link below.

http://www.spotteddragon.com/files

Now I'm thinking of making a couple of sets of slate coasters with a simplified
version of the logo, and maybe a light-up mirror with the logo.  Maybe too
ambitious, but I've got to learn this somehow!

Next, though, I need to get the lettering on the back to look right.  I originally
built the back in Paint Shop Pro but it's not converting to an SVG very well and
it takes forever to engrave as a JPG.  So I believe I'll end up rebuilding it in
Inkscape as a native SVG file.

Cheers for now.

Thanks again!
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Zax

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2018, 05:26:34 AM »
It looks improved but you should get perfectly concentric circles, I see you have some gaps too which may indicate lost steps. This can be caused if the belts are too tight or you have some friction in the wheels, also have you checked the motor driver current?

ggallant571

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2018, 06:38:11 AM »
It is much easier to tune a laser fixture using simple squares, circles, & triangles. I prefer the gcode versions where I specifically set the sizes, speeds and power.
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wveagle81

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2018, 06:54:39 AM »

Thanks, guys.  The gaps could be caused by the wood I was burning on.
It's a very light Basswood plank which does have some grain.  I had one
pass which was light, so I did a second pass.  One of the logos (the Chris
Kyle Frog Foundation which @nottingham82 provided) for some reason
did two passes all by itself, so I turned the laser to low power when it did
the second pass on that one.  Other than that, I left it alone for the second
pass.  I like the result of the second pass.

As for the belts, when I pressed on them next to the wheels, there was some
play on two of them.  So I tightened them down a bit so there wasn't any play.
Should I leave some play in them?  How can I tell what the best tightness is?
I didn't notice any play in any of the actual structure.  There is occasional wheel
debris on the cross beam.  Not so much on the side beams.  I didn't feel any
play in the laser piece.

Here are the stats for the first go on this piece of wood:
Speed : 1000/2000
Power : 200
Resolution : 0.08

I'm going to have another go at it tonight with a lower speed and full power to
see if it comes out darker on one pass.
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ggallant571

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2018, 08:26:17 AM »
There are 3D printable belt tension adjustable fixture. Have a set on my A5 machine and they work great. I can deflect the belt about 3mm (0.125 inch) between the wheel and the gear. Disconnect the wires to the motors and you should be able to move the carriages by hand. I use a 100 x 100 mm square  and  a 50mm diameter circle to verify the operation.
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wveagle81

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2018, 07:30:42 PM »

Created two images, both 100mm x 100mm.  One two squares and one two circles.
Engraved them both at 100% power and 800 speed.  With the circles, the outer one
looks correct but the inner one has a "jog".  With the squares, both look correct but
the outer one has a small gap.  I'm not sure if that's where it ended, I wasn't
watching that closely.  See the results below.

Secondly, I created a list of the fallen soldiers from the missions on the front of the
plaque.  If I convert it to a DXF file, the letters are outlines.  I'd rather have them
filled in.  If I convert it to a PNG file, the letters are filled, but it takes over 400
minutes to engrave.  If I import the DXF file and do a Sketch (Filled) option, it fills
in the letters but still takes over 400 minutes to engrave.

Suggestions?
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ggallant571

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2018, 08:26:20 PM »
Please post the design files.

Are the circles done with gcode arcs?

I would expect a busy 100x100mm image to take about 25 minutes. I cleaned up your png to remove some of the background color (wood)  and scalled to 100mm size. Etching on cardboard at 1200 mm/min. It has taken 15 minutes to etch about 50%.
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wveagle81

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2018, 09:02:29 PM »
Here are the DXF files for the circles and squares.  I made them in Inkscape.
I don't know how to write straight GCode.
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nottingham82

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2018, 09:31:34 PM »
I'm gonna go with my age old problem. Xaxis wheel tension.
Here is a video about what I mean. Go to the 1minute mark.
https://youtu.be/ZzO9skEYqwY

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Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
OS: Windows 10 all in one pc
Software: T2
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

Zax

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #56 on: September 18, 2018, 05:03:48 AM »
It looks to be wheel related to me, backlash would occur on both circles.

wveagle81

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #57 on: September 18, 2018, 06:13:00 AM »
Thanks, @nottingham82, that's a fascinating video!  I don't have access to Thingverse
at work, so I'll have to wait until I get home to look at those tensioners.  However, I
don't have a 3D printer (yet), so can those parts be purchased already made?

I can move the carriages by hand with the power cables disconnected, at least the Y axis
ones move pretty freely, but not as easily as in your video.  I haven't tried the X axis one
yet.  Also, I've noticed that I have the laser on the wrong side of the X axis frame.  That's
probably why I have to keep manipulating the cable to keep it from getting burnt :-)
I wonder if that's part of my problem.

I've ordered longer cables from Bangood, and they should be here very soon.  I'll be
replacing my existing cables and moving all of the parts to the older (much larger) frame
I had for my 2000mw laser.  That frame has a completely different setup for the belt tension.
I really have some work to do to set up my laser in the garage (full of crap at the moment)
so it's more stable and consistent.
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ggallant571

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #58 on: September 18, 2018, 09:04:54 AM »
Attached is a test gcode file. It does a square, rounded square, circle, and triangle. Outer rectangle is 90 x 90 mm.I have it set at a burn speed of 1200mm/min and a power setting of 100 out of 255. You can use a text editor to adjust to you liking.

Notes:
   1. The triangle is not a perfect equilateral!!
   2. Exposes some minor problems with my 2.5W fixture.
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wveagle81

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Re: Request for Assistance on a Big Project
« Reply #59 on: September 18, 2018, 03:10:58 PM »
Thanks, @ggallant571.  I ran you test file thru my machine unmodified on a piece
of scrap cardboard.  I think it came out pretty good.  See picture.

I just disconnected the cables from the X axis motor and laser.  It does move back
and forth freely, but not... easily... I guess would be the correct word.  There is
wheel debris on the track.  See picture.  Do I have the wheels tightened down too
much?
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