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Messages - RobotEyes

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RobotLaser / Re: Robot laser - power - speed - point
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:12:54 AM »
Please, verify that power curve is linear.
(Config -> power curve)
with power 1-2 laser MUST light up.
Just a question, laser light up pressing "focus" button in L7 board.
To test speed, please change dramatically 200 - 2000 in order to be evident
the change.

If laser cut only on corner, increase power and/or reduce speed (i.e. increase energy);
also may be helpful to increase acceleration until the machine loose step, in order to avoid the
enegy increase at start/end of vectors.

Obviously, the dynamic power fuction of GRBL 1.x (and RobotLaser 1.2.x) is a GREAT help.


RobotLaser / Re: About gray scale "Printing"
« on: March 15, 2017, 01:46:52 AM »

Good job,
however, as I said in the post, you can not expect to have more than 6/8 levels of darkening.
On your image I count 5 levels, and I think the result is of good quality

RobotLaser / Re: laser moves but won't shoot light
« on: March 12, 2017, 03:09:23 AM »

Just a little advice that I had forgotten in my previous post:
The lasers sold with BenBox machines have a small button
on the current regulator circuit (the one mounted in the top of the laser)
When pressed the laser goes into test mode and the power is reduced
as much as not to burn anything (but can still damage your eyes CAREFUL!)
Recommend to do all the tests in low power mode
and activate the full power only after you are sure that everything is OK.

RobotLaser / Re: laser moves but won't shot light
« on: March 10, 2017, 09:27:14 AM »
Instruction valid for Eleks board L7:

Carefully remove the Arduino Nano board.
The Arduino Nano board is the one with the USB connector
Under the board you found the jumper marked 0.8 and 0.9
move the jumper to 0.9
refit the Arduino Nano board the SAME position where it was before removing it.

If the card is not Eleks L7, there may be different procedures.

One more little note.
When you are experimenting with potentially dangerous objects (like a 5W laser)
It MUST take ALL the necessary precautions, keeping a finger on the emergency button.
It's normal that in early testing of new hardware something can go wrong.
But if the laser damaged the floor is because he had no protection and therefore would will still damage it.
Fortunately, you were not looking the laser beam.


RobotLaser / Re: laser moves but won't shot light
« on: March 10, 2017, 02:03:26 AM »
Are you sure you have positioned the jumper under the CPU to 0.9 ?.?
By default it is set to 0.8, which uses a different laser management pin.

Benbox uses its own firmware and operates the laser ON-OFF mode on pins D12.
Grbl ver 0.9 and above use the pin D11, in PWM mode.

RobotLaser / About gray scale "Printing"
« on: March 07, 2017, 04:41:03 AM »
Many people asked me how to make a gray scale engrave.
Follow some of my considerations and advice.

First some general observations about Laser engraving:
We must understand that we are not printing on a sheet of paper with a variable amount of ink,
but we are burning the surface of a material.

The key thing to understand is that we are providing some energy in a very small area ( 0.01 to 0.04 sq mm[size=78%]);[/size]
this energy is formed by a certain power (laser light) for a certain time (inverse to the speed of movement);

Each material reacts differently to application of energy:
at low energies simply absorbs without structural changes,
then, gradually the energy increases, it begins to change its structure.
In materials that we use normally it "burns", in other materials (metals, plastic etc.) blends, and so forth.
Another very important factor is the type of reflectivity of the material:
A kitchen aluminum sheet never fuse with a 5W laser, because it reflects almost all of energy,
with a 100 W laser can hope that 1-2 w being absorbed.
A sheet of white paper will need more energy in the same blackened sheet.
Moreover, absorption also depends on the wavelength.
The most "efficient" is the infrared, the violet laser that we use are born for
data transmission and point and are not very efficient
Further consideration to be made, with regard to the "burning" is the speed or time of application:

Although 1 Joules per 1 sec is the same energy of 1 MegaJoule for a microsecond,
the materials react differently, almost all require a certain time to "burn",
and the energy must exceed a certain threshold to begin the oxidation process called combustion.
Then (even for the same energy) the slower application (assuming that exceed this threshold)
Iwill result in a more "deep burn".
Finally comes in the  structure of the material:
for example beech wood  react oxidizing much more quickly than a sheet of MDF (compressed wood powder).

After all this preamble we begin to understand that there are so many parameters to take into account what to think of
"Print" a photo with our laser is more a matter of luck than technical ability.
(If you can, immediately play the lottery)

My advice to "print" through RobotLaser are as follows:
Get a good amount of material that we will use to make the tests;
the results obtained will be valid ONLY for that material.
Obtain an image with a gray scale to 8 levels.
Adjust the brightness and contrast parameters to 0, and gamma to 1 (that does not change the image scale)
Make a VERY ACCURATE focus of the laser .
Print with maximum power (255) and speed as to have parts not burned and parts completely burned ,
recommend print so that the laser scan do the full scale  0 - 255 , ie horizontal image, horizontal scan.
The ideal would be to have the point that changes from white to black in the image center.
Find the point where the material starts to blacken slightly.
Find the point in which the material and totally burned.
These two points will have a power deduced from the series: 0 32 64 96 128 160 192 224 255

In the power curve page assign :
the gray 0 (black value) of the complete burning power
the gray 255 (white value) a value slightly less than the power of the minimum blackening.
Distribute the remaining values gradually (on the graph below helps you to see the results)

At this point, try to regenerate the GCode and print again.
After a bit of trial and error should be possible to obtain an acceptable result.

Another solution is to use dithering (dots) as did the old linotype.
The results are decent only "big" images (more than 50 mm)
In this case the dominant factor is the writing speed.

Following are some of greyscale images made of solid board (Amazon envelope )
This is what I got in about one hour of tests.
The power curve is: 50 40 30 22 18 16 14 12 8

The first thing you may notice is that the material I chose supports 4 levels of gray.
Perhaps, by working more, still can improve and get to 6/8 levels, certainly not more.

Obviously, by changing the laser power, the curve is scaled

Hope to have clarified some unclear points.

For any clarification or ask are at your disposal


RobotLaser / Re: Robot Laser Final Version
« on: March 06, 2017, 05:53:32 AM »

No way.
G0 or G1 does not change anything
however S is a modal group command and MUST remain active until the next change
(Unless it did it .. it would be a serious bug)
In any case, even with the sequence:
G1X10Y10F1000S0 or (G0X10Y10F1000S0)
the laser lights in the movements.
and the laser stays on even sending M5 after move.
I have to send
M3S0 (or any S value)
to switch it off.
It's something I noticed at the very beginning,I had talked to someone (I forget who) on the forum
and it was told that it was a known problem.
So I no longer thought about it also because does not create damages.

With GRBL 1.1 the problem no longer occurs, and version 1.1 is definitely recommended;
has greatly improvement (especially on transmission errors).

In addition, I repeat, is not a software problem, it is a firmware problem.
It occurs sending commands by terminal  (Putty or Term)

No layers in the middle .... direct dialog with GRBL.
So.... nothing we can do.... (without entering in GRBL sources, not my job).

RobotLaser / Re: Robot Laser Final Version
« on: March 06, 2017, 01:37:21 AM »
May be it is not a bug, but it is definitely a fact; noted by many people.
And it is not a RobotLaser, Windows or Linux problem.
To verify:
Open a terminal emulator (eg. Putty, Hyperterminal on Windows - Term, Tilda etc on Linux)
Connect to Eleks board, press enter (sometimes more times).
the card responds:
"Grbl J-Tech Photonics 0.9g ['$' for help]"
write commands:
M5 -> The laser is off.
G1X10Y10F1000 -> The carriage moves in 10:10 WITH LASER ON at minimum.
The laser remains on.
M5 -> the laser remains on.
M5 -> the laser switches off.
with version 1.1f the laser it does not light up during movement.

Since during the movements of the laser is turned on to minimum power, is not a problem;
in these terms it is not a bug, but certainly abnormal operation.


RobotLaser / Re: Robot Laser Final Version
« on: March 05, 2017, 09:07:20 AM »
1) are you sure you have configured the board to version 0.9 of GRBL?
    Under the CPU, there is a jumper labeled 0.9 and 0.8.

2) Verify that the laser power curve is correct:  Config -> power curves, press [Linear].

Quite all versions of GRBL 09 has a bug and turn on the laser with minimum power when moving.
Normally this will not be a problem, just a pointer,
but, if the card is set for version 0.8 (which only has ON and OFF),
even minimum power is enough to activate it at full power.

Let me know if you need to investigate more thoroughly.

RobotLaser / GRBL 1.1 is now supported !!
« on: March 01, 2017, 01:07:02 AM »
Goodmorning everyone.
RobotLaser version  1.0.1 is online !! (
The major update of version 1.0.1 is the support to grbl 1.1.
The new version of grbl has some fundamental options!
The most interesting are:
1: LaseMode
2: Dynamic Power
3: Power Scale.
4: Jogging

In laser mode, motion is no longer stopped at any power variation
(Previously was interrupted to wait on the spindle
reached the set point, but with the Laser is immediate)

But the most important thing for our applications is the dynamic mode.
I.e. the laser power is modulated according to the speed.
This is very important at the edges of the image, when the carriage
decelerating and then accelerating it again in the opposite direction.
With static power mode this caused an increase in the "burn" on the edges,
for this reason RobotLaser has the option to add a white border of some mm
around the image, which in a Dynamic Mode is no longer necessary.

NOTE: compared to the static power mode will be necessary to increase the
laser power or reduce speed. I'm still experimenting on what.
The Dynamic Power option can be switched on and off by configuration (tab Various)
OR with the new button on the main toolbar at the top.

The remaining two options have not yet been implemented.
The Power Scale allows you to set the power to the desired scale, instead of 0-255.
In any case, however, it is only a fictitious thing,
because it is always transformed back into 0-255 within grbl (the pwn works in 8 bits)
At the moment, on RobotLaser is FIXED to 255, it will be made variable in next releases.
The jog mode implementation will be covered in next releases.
(Stops immediately each movement to release the jog button).

Finally, in the 1.1 version of grbl it has also improved the data streaming,
I noticed a discrete reduction of transmission errors.
Unfortunately, the chips used on Arduino Nano does not allow to do much.

After starting RobotLaser_1.0.1
* open config-> firmware.
* Select the version 1.1f grbl
* Select them the type of card (normally Duemilanove / Nano / ATmega328)
* press [Flash] and wait for firmware to be written.
* Remember to set the Version field to "1.1"
* Test the installation with Serial tab -> [Test], the answer should be "grbl 1.1f ['$' for help]"
* Close Config, connect equipment and reopen config
* On the Parameters page, set the parameter $30 (Max Spindle) to 255, press [Save Parameters]
  Personally I strongly suggest, after flashing firmware, you press [Default] and then [Save Parameters]
  to be sure that the grbl setup is compatible with RobotLaser.
* In the tab Various, set Laser Mode and Dynamic Power at will (both ON is my advice)
* close Config

The maximum power (Max Spindle) can also be set from the "Manual" page by sending the command $30=255

I REPEAT, IS IMPORTANT The setting $30=255

The version 1.1f default in 1000 and we would find us to have a laser with 1/4 power.

For further information and help please write to and I will answer as quickly as possible.


RobotLaser / Re: Maximum Laser Power not Asjustable
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:37:50 AM »

First of all a general consideration:

RobotLaser works with GRBL 0.9.
GRBL 0.9 has a power range 0-255, because Arduino has an 8-bit PWM converter (0-255).
In GRBL version 1.x  is possible to use the parameter $30 (not available on 0.9), which sets the maximum power value.
Setting for example $30=1024 sending a command S1024 the value is divided by 4 and becomes S255. setting $30 = 65536,
the value is divided by 256 and back to 256.
The division has integer result, so whatever value between, for example 32513 and 32768 becomes 128.
Therefore is quite useless increase the resolution with $30 because it still is internally reset to 0-255.

Furthermore, most of the laser are not linear, more a 0-255 scale is much higher than the range of contrasts achievable from a laser of the type used by the benbox machines.
on most materials no more than 4 levels of "burning" can be distinguished.

for maxcoros

It is not the laser that has a range of values.
The standard hardware laser interface operates at 12V;
0V = off, 12V = maximum power.
The elemaker board powers the laser by pulse turning it on and off at high speed.
S0 = always off, S255 = always on. S128 turned on for half of the cycle etc.

If your laser takes a maximum value of 1000, you probably have a GRBL firmware v1.x,
Robotlaser officially don't supports ver.1, but officiously seems to work.
To find out what version of firmware is installed, simply press the test button on the tab [Serial] in Configuration.
In case of ver 1.x, you have to adapt the firmware to the software by following the excellent advice of Zax (thank you)
and give the command $30 = 255 (in manual mode page).

As soon as the current work commitments (very pressing in recent months) will allow me,
I will add complete support to the firmware GRBL 1.1.

Greetings to everyone.

RobotLaser / Re: Robot Laser Final Version
« on: January 18, 2017, 03:21:50 AM »

Just for information....
The liberation code of version 1.0
will be sent only after receipt of the PayPal  notification of payment.
Thank you for understanding.

RobotLaser / Re: Robot Laser Final Version
« on: January 18, 2017, 02:11:12 AM »

Normally the grayscale provides acceptable results only after an accurate calibration.
It depends greatly on the linearity of power of the laser and the sensitivity of the etched material.
For example, if I make a 256 mm long line, and change the power of the laser of units each mm, in theory I should have a line that goes from white to black in a gradual way,
Indeed I will have a long white part (the laser did not have enough power to burn the material) followed by a short section in which the stroke darkens (the true linear part) and then a completely burned portion (the laser power was higher than necessary to achieve the "black")

To fully utilize the GrayScale need to match the white (255) to the power just lower than the needed to mark the material and the Black (0) to the power beyond which the material is burned at the maximum.
All this for a particular material, if I change it need to redo everything.
For calibration, adjustment controls of Gamma and Bright  may be used, or better the power curve in configuration.
If it is of interest to more people, I can realize (after February half) a tutorial on how to adjust the power.

For large areas dirthering  can be usd (Dirthering born to compensate for the non-linearity of the rotary press),
but on small dimensions, pitting is very apparent.

RobotLaser / Robot Laser Final Version
« on: January 16, 2017, 04:39:08 AM »

Goodmorning everyone

The Beta version of RobotLaser has finished its cycle, and will no longer be managed, nor issued license after its expiry.

Before January 20 two versions will be available:
1)   RobotLaser FREE, which is derived from the last beta version (0.6)
2)   RobotLaser Standard, currently v.1.0.0

The FREE version will continue to be available for free, but no new features will be implemented. It will remain frozen as is.
To use it you will need to make a new registration of a duration of one year (of course always free)

The standard version will be available for purchasing.
There is a trial period of 15 days (instead of 10 as the beta) after which, will need to buy it.
In case of necessity, the test may be extended for another 15 or 30 days,
Please contact with the reasons for the request of the extension.
It will be possible only one extension of the test period.

The Standard license will be entitled to free download updates for all 2017.

The license, as usual, will be tied to disk on which RobotLaser is installed when requesting the activation code.
If you think you want to use RobotLaser on multiple PCs (one at a time)
we recommend you install on removable media (eg USB Key)
In this case, moving the key from one PC you can always use the same activation key that will be valid on all PCs.

If instead it is necessary to install the product on multiple PCs that operate simultaneously
an additional license (50% of the first) will be purchased.
For more than 3 licenses, contact me and we will find a solution.

Within one / two months, PRO version (with new features) and the Enterprise version will be availables.
Enterprise version enable to have RobotLaser installed and operational on all PCs of a company (max 25)

At the moment the license fee for RobotLaser Standard (with 1 year updates) is fixed at
promotional value of 30.00
For payment please click on the "Buy Now" button on the information page ([?] Button on the main menu)
From here you will be redirected to the PayPal payment page.

For any other types of payment, please contact me.

Last Note.
Those who have made donations for the Beta version, are entitled to a discount on the the license fees.
Please contact me for instructions on how to get the discount.

Have a nice day

RobotLaser / Re: Installation Media
« on: December 06, 2016, 03:46:31 AM »
The program LicenseKiller MUST BE placed in the same directory of RobotLaser.

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