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Messages - RobotEyes

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RobotLaser / Re: DXF Import
« on: June 01, 2017, 07:29:18 AM »

Unfortunately, what you say is extraordinarily true !!!
The programs that so far have given me less problems are those of AutoDesk,
Ie those who first created the standard.
(Maybe also because I used their documentation to write the software !?!?)
Unfortunately many users can not afford the cost of AutoCad;
If I did not use it for work ..... I would not buy it either.
And surely I do not recommend pirated copies.


RobotLaser / Re: DXF Import
« on: June 01, 2017, 02:09:03 AM »

The BULGE property has been implemented since the first release of the software.
Without it, only straight lines can be traced, no arcs and curved fitting.

In any case it does not help with the malfunction reports of the DXF import.
ALL the cases that were reported were due to the fact that the DXF file was created with new type standards.
Currently DXF has become a very complex language with nesting, subroutines, internal databases and a lot of other things
that I do not have any interest in developing.

In ALL cases, I solved very simply by opening the DXF file (with Autocad) and saving it in LT2000 (R13) format.

There are a lot of programs that generate DXF files,
and each one uses its own methodology.
To have the universal interchange format, you must consult the manual of your program.
Actually DXF means: Drawing Exchange Format, but is so evolved as to be no more universal.
I have kept the original draft that is universal and readable by all the programs.

More ... the entities
Even though they are part of the Draft R13, have NOT been implemented
because I find it absolutely useless in the case of laser marking.
I do not want to build a DXF viewer, but a laser engraving manager.


RobotLaser / DXF Import - Addendum
« on: May 31, 2017, 06:10:13 AM »

To better explain problems with DXF files

The base draft of the dxf (R13 - Autocad LT2000) provides a single layer structure.
Nesting is not supported...
Therefore BLOCK entities are NOT implemented.

If you generate the DXF using Autocad, apply the command "EXPLODE" before saving.

DataBase entities are NOT implemented
Then the following example DOES NOT WORK:


Ellipse entities are completely implemented only on complete ellipses (360 )
Arcs of ellipse work in most cases,
but some combinations of main axis and ellipse arc generate errors,
(usually when the major axis and arc have opposite signs and intersect X axes)

I repeat that, at present, the entities fully implemented are only:

While the ELLIPSE entity suffers from the limitations already mentioned.

I repeat also that
the DXF versions after the R12 might work or not.
Always check to save in DXF R13 or AutoCAD LT2000.

Best regards.

RobotLaser / Re: RobotLaser Beta (Free) end of life cycle
« on: May 07, 2017, 08:53:18 AM »
comparison chart

Demo        : GCode Generation | NO GCode View | Max 5000 Lines | Max 30 min/session
Limited      : GCode Generation |       GCode View | Max 5000 Lines | Max 30 min/session
Light/Edu  : GCode Generation |       GCode View | Ulimited Lines    | Unlimited Session Time
Full/Pro     : GCode Generation |       GCode View | Ulimited Lines    | Unlimited Session Time | Save/Load | DXF | GRBL 1.x | Marlin Firmware
Enterprise : GCode Generation |       GCode View | Ulimited Lines    | Unlimited Session Time | Save/Load | DXF | GRBL 1.x | Marlin Firmware | MultiUser (Max 100)     

Sorry for presentation, but is IMPOSSIBLE to create a formatted table

Light - 10
Full    - 30 (first license) - 15 (Additional licenses to same user)
Upgrade from Light to Full on the same license (same hd) : 20

Regards, Carlo

RobotLaser / RobotLaser Beta (Free) end of life cycle
« on: April 30, 2017, 05:55:19 AM »

As many times mentioned
is too much effort to maintain two versions simultaneously, so...
the Free (Beta) version is no longer supported since January 2017,
but, up to yesterday, was freely available and distributed.
Nevertheless, many people ask to be assisted...........
Also, many people have exchanged the Free Version with
Unlimited Licenses.......That is not the case.

As explained several times, the FREE license is limited to one license for user !

Some people came to ask for a lot of licenses on different devices
arguing that reformatting the USB Key changes its (hardware) serial number . ?!?!?!

For all these reasons I decided to end the distribution of the free version.

In substitution you can download version 1.0.x and request the Demo or Light License

(functionality similar to Free Version), light license will be free until 31/05/2017.

From 01/06/2017 the versions will be:

Demo:       Free of charges:
Functionality limited to demo only
                   (GRBL 0.9, no Save/Print, max 5000 rows of gcode, max 5 minutes each session)

Light:          Cost: 10 for license, limited functionality, without expiration.

Full:             Cost: 30 the 1st license 15 the next, free upgrades for 1 year

Enterprise: Cost:1,500 - 100 self-managed licenses, free lifetime upgrades

Upgrade from Light to Full on the same license (same hd) : 20

during the month of May a comparison chart between versions
will be published.

I regret having to make this decision

but I fear that it was not clear when I said that the Beta Phase was over

and that the Free Version (aka Beta 0.9) would have been available Free
only for single license and WITHOUT support .

See you soon

« on: April 09, 2017, 01:54:24 AM »
At the risk of being boring .....  :P
I repeat the instructions to install and REGISTER Your RobotLaser copy.

Foreword ... just for example.
A hypothetic user(we can call it, for example, Mark J.R.) decide to purchase a License
it made the donation through PayPal
and then has sat waiting to be able to use the software ..........
Not receiving the code, I send the instructions to generate it ....
and Mr. Mark.j.R open a dispute for non-delivery.
If I do not receive the identification code
I CAN NOT SEND the validation code.
Alternatively is possible to buy the Enterprise version
(at cost of 2,000.00) which allows to receive a program to validate on their own
up to 100 copies of RobotLaser for life.

* Download the package
* Unzip the package on the favorite hard disk or USB Stick.
* Start program RobotLaser.exe
* Press registration
* Complete the form with true and functioning email
* Press generates code
* Press Send by email

You will receive the activation code within 48 hours MAX (usually a few hours)

If you don't have Outlook or Outlook Express automatic generation of email may fail.
So send a email to (not other addresses)
with "Installation Code for application RobotLaser (V.1.x)" as subject
and the installation code (ALL caracters please) in the body.
Some message will be welcome, but not mandatory.
If you send e-mail to the address indicated , namely:
I receive a email and i can reply
if you send email to (for example) mylaser@some-address.something.....
I DO NOT receive and I CAN'T answer !!!!!!


Many people asked me what is the best support for RobotLaser;

Normally a USB stick is the simplest choice.
Easy to move and compatible with all PCs.

The size can also be very small (RobotLaser takes 4-5 Mb at the moment, certainly less than 10Mb in the future)

Many people use the key also to keep images and drawings.
You can use a 2 - 4 GB stick that is very cheap, and can contain lots of drawings.
If you plan to use very complex drawings you may also use a larger one,
but remember that with a 0.2 mm resolution a 100x150 mm engraver requires a 500 x 750 pixel image
that (in grayscale) occupies about 1-2 Mb.
It makes no sense to use images with much higher resolution (you can, of course, but the result does not improve)

The important thing is that the key is reliable,
if it breaks, the license dies with the stick.
While if it gets corrupted, it's not a problem you can ever reformat and reinstall in the same stick with the same license.


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.

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