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Topics - ggallant571

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General Discussion / Displaying recent posts
« on: November 01, 2018, 01:04:50 PM »
Is there a method to display the last N posts across all topics?

General Discussion / Homing switches
« on: October 24, 2018, 08:15:29 AM »
I have been using homing switches for a couple of years now and have an idea to improve the precision.

  1. Wire a CPU control line to the micro stepping mode pins on the controller
  2. Jog the machine using mode 16 till the switch closes.
  3. Back off till switch opens.
  4. Switch to stepping mode 1 and back off 2 complete steps.
  5. Resume stepping mode 16.

My thought is let the magnets in the motor force the alignment to increments of 1.8 degrees.

Not being a stepper motor or controller guru this is just an idea. Perhaps resetting the controller would do the same. Comments welcome!!!

Projects / Seasonal etching
« on: October 12, 2018, 09:37:26 PM »
Seasonal image for those of you in Northern climates. Etched nicely in wood with 1.6W laser with nice sharp focus. 0.1 resolution, 900mm/pin, full power. Original came from pinterest adult coloring book pages.

Custom Size Frames / Core-XY firmware for Arduino Nano
« on: October 04, 2018, 08:18:00 AM »
I am in the finishing stages of building a core-xy etcher and ran into a firmware problem. Built the grbl-1.f firmware from scratch and configured for CORE_Xy. Loads and runs on an Arduino UNO. Corrupts the bootloader on the Nano (tried 3 Nanos). I suspect the image is slightly too large. Does the update once and fails the verification pass, Unit is useless after,

Used an Arduino  UNO to install a new bootloader and can repeat the process. Changed the target machine from Nano to UNO and reloaded the bootloader. Now it accepts and run the grbl firmware.

General Discussion / 15 watt laser
« on: September 17, 2018, 08:31:03 AM »
I have purchased the components to build a 15W laser with linear slides. Two questions / concerns:

1. What do they mean by 50% duty cycle? Max PWM of 50% or run for 5 minutes and off for 5 minutes?
2. I am wondering if the HOME switch movement should be with no micro stepping to avoid the motor starting at a full step position.

Projects / World Map
« on: September 06, 2018, 05:45:31 PM »
I was away from home for a few days and came dome with LSAS - Laser Separation Anxiety Syndrome. Attached is a PNG map of the world along with an etching on scrap wood. I apologize in advance if I incorrectly adjusted the outline of your corner of the world. I was trying to get lines 3 pixels wide with 3 pixel separation. Feel free to make corrections and post better results.

Engraving / Stepper motor problem
« on: September 04, 2018, 04:46:42 PM »
I am having a strange stepper motor problem. The etcher has a single motor on the X axis and 2 motors on the Y. X is working fine, Either of the Y's by themselves is OK. Both Y's and they seem to be fighting each other. Lots of jitter and noise. Almost as if one motor was being driven as a generator. Swapped cables and driver boards. This fixture had been working very smoothly. I think all three motors are identical.

General Discussion / Adjustable wheel mechanism
« on: August 25, 2018, 05:14:52 PM »
Some time ago there was a discussion and a post about a mechanism to adjust the tension on the carriage wheels. When I run the X axis at high speeds (5000mm/min) there is a significant overshoot. Most evident when cutting a square. The trace corrects within 2mm so I am convinced it is mechanical. The wheels feel tight but the etch tells a different story.

Projects / Almost useless etching
« on: August 25, 2018, 08:20:04 AM »
We have had two grandsons for most of the summer. Neighborhood game was Pokemon. The younger designed and built an elastic band powered catapult. For a finishing touch we etched the attached image in the wooden frame. For the uneducated, it is Golem who has some value that I do not comprehend but was easy to outline. Also etches nicely on a 100x100mm slate.

General Discussion / G-CODE Error:25
« on: May 24, 2018, 05:15:46 PM »
I have been getting occasional error:25 messages with grbl 1.1f. This is on a core-xy etcher. The effect is usually an unwanted horizontal line.

Projects / Thermal measurement fixture
« on: May 13, 2018, 12:49:00 PM »
As a result of a discussion in another thread I have started work on a fixture to try an measure the energy disapated by a diode laser. The basic idea is to build a semi enclosed chamber that contains a temperature sensor. Fill the chamber with a known amount of water and shine the laser beam into the chamber. Hopefully it will result in a change in temperature with no damage to the chamber.

First prototype is on the printer. It consists of two parts, base and a lid. The inside diameter is 50mm and the height is 30mm. The lid has two holes. One for the laser beam and a second for a DS18B20 stainless steel temperature probe. The lid is finished and looks good. The base has 3 hours to go!!
Plan is to use an Arduino Nano and a small OLED or TFT display for posting results.

General Discussion / laser cutting chocolate
« on: May 06, 2018, 08:31:32 AM »

General Discussion / Image prep question
« on: March 29, 2018, 07:16:33 PM »
I want to do 9 etchings for a friend in slate. Unfortunately for me he is a talented artist with skills well beyond mine. The panels contain simple subjects with partial black outlines. The subjects proper are drawn with a pastel paint that quite artistically does not match the outline.

Could be etched in wood with varying intensity but need the black/white for slate. It took more than a full day for me to do the first image and I was not pleased with the result. I think they will look best with a simple complete outline.

Looking for ideas on how to reliably extract an etchable image with a uniform fixed width outline. Is there a tool to import a sloppy outline and output a clean one?

General Discussion / Etching Granite
« on: February 06, 2018, 08:39:48 PM »
I was at a kitchen counter shop this afternoon and got a couple pieces of scrap kitchen countertop granite. The black (with white speckles) is etchable with a 2.5W laser. Not great and the shine from the stone makes the camera picture useless. Etched their business name on both sides at both 240 and 60 mm/min. The rougher surface (forget the trade name) is less visible than the polished one.

Also got a light (almost white) chunk that I expect will remain unscratched.

Open to suggestions regarding taking pictures of faint images on a shiny background.

BTW - They have a few tons of scrap granite along with a large quantity of scrap birch plywood good for small images or testing.

General Discussion / Wine Glass Etching
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:29:06 PM »
I have enter the wine glass etching game. Built a fixture based on a small rotary table, two 8mm rails with linear bearings, and a 1.6W laser module. Glass is held in a vertical position in a 3D printed spring loaded clamp. This eliminates the need to support the far end of the glass.  Currently Y is vertical and X is rotational. Electro/mechanical components working smoothly. Starting on the etching. Questions:

1. Prefered ink/paint.
2. Laser intensity.
3. Burn speed.
4. DPI.
5. How to position/aim the laser.
6. Is it "better" to etch horizontal or vertical.

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