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Messages - Zax

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I don't think anything needs to be changed out, just make sure you have a good cooling source. Use DI (or at least distilled) water in a closed system with a few drops of clear ethylene or propylene glycol (anti freeze). It will eliminate any bacterial growth.

The Chinese pumps usually don't last long, so a flow and temperature interlock switch on the coolant are very important, they will save your laser tube should something fail.

If you want the tube to last a long time, never use more than 90% power.

That looks fantastic, well done.

The firmware needs to match the software and your hardware, as I said Benbox only works with a custom Grbl 0.8 version. If you install 0.9 or 1.1 you'll no longer be able to use Benbox.

I wrote T2Laser as an alternate software and it comes with the COM driver and firmware as a complete package.

T2 Engraving / Re: Question on Grayscale
« on: July 13, 2018, 04:31:41 PM »
There are several options for the “view”, it sounds like you are seeing yellow for laser 0 power.

Resolution is usually set for the quality and speed, the “correct” setting depends on many factors.

You will see the complete result immediately, running the simulation is only necessary on vector when you want to see the paths. Yes you can change the speed.

Check the manual for all the keys associated with the simulation view.

254 dpi and 0.1 resolution is correct for sizing.

I’ve had good results with birch but many woods are acceptable.

Benbox / Re: 15W laser problems
« on: July 13, 2018, 11:25:35 AM »
TTL is a 5V logic signal (usually direct from the ATmega328 chip), from the looks of that board it only has a 12V output (laser/spindle) but I don't know that for sure.

If you can figure out how to tap the TTL signal from the microcontroller you could use that board.

Your laser has 3 or 4 inputs / wires? It must have a separate power (12V and Ground), and then a TTL signal (sometimes another ground for the logic rather than power).

You wouldn't use the spindle/laser connector at all as that's a switched 12V.

I believe the Endurance lasers have a TTL input which works with 12V - so not really a TTL input at all but it would work with your board without modification (at least that's my understanding, I don't have one so you'd need to confirm).

Benbox / Re: 15W laser problems
« on: July 13, 2018, 08:26:39 AM »
I don't see a TTL output?

Wow that is interesting, I will check the calculations - something is obviously not right. Thanks for the detective work!

*edit: I don't see the same problem, when I change vector speeds it calculates correctly... more investigation required.

Benbox / Re: 15W laser problems
« on: July 13, 2018, 06:56:42 AM »
I'm not familiar with the Woodpecker CNC board, does it support TTL?

Is the "15W" laser wired for TTL?

Does your software send the required codes for Grbl to change laser power?

T2Laser will work with Benbox firmware and any clone board, but it is much better to update to Grbl 1.1. I provide firmware and options for old and new boards so something should work.

If you want to use Benbox you can only use their old firmware.


There are a couple of reasons the estimate would be inaccurate.

The calculations are based on the distance remaining to be traveled. It's relatively simple math based on your feed rate and acceleration / deceleration, however, I use my default values for the latter so if you've changed them in Grbl parameters it can make a huge difference on a large file. There's some black magic that can distort the estimate, as not all direction changes require slowing down, acute angles do but larger obtuse ones do not. I set an arbitrary value to determine that where in reality it's much more complex. It is an estimate after all but on larger jobs it may be inaccurate.

Grbl doesn't report when commands are complete, only when it has sent them from the input buffer to the motion planner so that's not accurate when you are down to the last few moves. It may have more or less moves still in the internal motion planner buffer but has acknowledged they were processed.

If you have a particular file, send it to me with the times you get and I will test it to see if I get closed to my estimate. When I created it I did many tests and it was close.

It should be possible to export compatible DXF files from Illustrator, or at least convert them with another program but that would add another step. I can see how this PDF to DXF is useful.

If you want to email that file as DXF to me I will take a look.

What software / firmware are you using?

If you are using my T2Laser then the default firmware (Grbl 1.1e) supports TTL.

Yes, but you will need to solder wires. The TTL signal comes from D11 on the Nano, and you would also want a 12V power and ground. If you are not comfortable doing that and want a plug and play solution, look at the EleksMaker laser and Mana board.

T2 Engraving / Re: Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 11, 2018, 05:28:12 AM »
That's great news! I wrote the software and still refer to the manual  ::)

Always select Dithered last, as if you change some parameters (especially resolution) it will affect the result. It's supposed to re-generate before sending but I'm aware of a bug where it doesn't always do that. Check the "view" to make sure it's correct, then you should be OK.

It looks like different thickness of material or at least different density causing the pattern. Once you remove it fully it should be OK, which I think is what you achieved in the latest image.

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