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Topics - sapling

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EleksMaker Mana SE / Switch under the Arduino on the Mana Se 3.2
« on: April 08, 2019, 08:43:25 AM »
Anyone know what it is? It just says on for one direction nothing for the other and by default it was delivered with it off. So not sure what to make of that.
Also is the barrel jack on this smaller than the older Eleks Maker boards L2 -L5 etc...?

General Discussion / Laser stepper smoothers or replacements
« on: March 11, 2019, 06:38:11 AM »
I was looking around and noticed a few things that supposedly smooth out the waves on the stepper motors themselves. Obviously I could just upgrade to the tmc2130's these are predone with the pins on top for the modifications that are required to make them work on the eleks board by default.
Without buying those I was thinking my default A4988's might benefit from just adding in either the or the
Not sure if either of those types of modules will be of value or not so was wondering if anyone else has done any mods like that to smooth out the steps etc... As far as the silent aspect of the 2130's I really couldnt care less if its quieter as long as it seems to step nice and smooth.
I dont have a scope to test the differences with these in place as well as testing some of the other drivers out there such as the DRV8825's , MKS-LV8729

The main thing I really care about is plug and play as much as possible and smoother steps.
I am using T2 software not sure if that will play into any of this as well not sure how deep a microstep it can go into etc...

Trouble Shooting / Blew out the arduino...
« on: March 09, 2019, 08:18:21 AM »
So as some of you know I have been upgrading my rails to a larger scale unit. I finally got a chance to start testing that everything was in good working order and so I was moving the motors around 50 steps at a time to make sure it was able to smoothly move etc... For safety reasons I have the laser disconnected so that it wouldnt accidentally test fire as I was not prepared for that to happen.
So after about 200 steps forward the comm port showed disconnected and I saw a small puff a smoke. The Arduino seemed to die and even disconnected from the main board it doesnt show up. I reset it etc.. no go.  BTW I was using T2 software through all of this
So the question is before I replace this sucker what do you think caused the arduino to pop like that?
The only thing that sort looks like it could be fried is the USB diode on the back under c7 capacitor.
I just tested the diode and it seems to be dead its reading .958 in one direction and 1.290 in the other indicating its no longer working properly its so small I dont want to resolder and a replacement should be cheap.

Anyone have any ideas how that popped?

Ordering off Amazon 3 new nano's 16mhz presoldered for 13 bucks hopefully it doesnt happen again or worse another component fails or failed at the time...

Laser Parts / tapped rails for sale and rotary setup?
« on: February 06, 2019, 03:40:00 AM »
Anyone know where I can find some new rails for the engravers? Should be 20x40 and 20x20 rails and I am not sure if they should be tapped with M5 or M6 but I want them pre-tapped as I cant tap the rail to save my life when I have tried in the past.
If anyone knows if it should be M5 or M6 that would also be very helpful as well.
I bought the baby rails a long time ago and I am finally at the point where I cant stand the small profile anymore. Probably going to use the little guy to cut myself out some new legs as well.

I also was interested in getting or building a rotary setup so that I can engrave some cylindrical objects. Thinking of trying to engrave some wooden cups etc...

T2 Engraving / images are mirrored
« on: September 15, 2017, 06:53:05 AM »
Been a while since I have played with my engraver due to moving etc...
So I dont have the latest version which i will probably download and install in a bit but I noticed the minute I tried to run a new image I have that image was being printed well in reverse...
So unless I were to burn all the way through the wood you wouldnt be able to read it as its backwards and reversed...
Any idea whats happening this seems a big crazy but I will go ahead and update to make sure that isnt the issue.

Projects / Wedding Engraving projects
« on: September 09, 2016, 08:39:55 AM »
First picture of what I finished

So yesterday and last night I was lucky enough to get some really good support from Zax when working on a project that I have a really tight time line on for my wedding. Funny enough I bought from Micheals (Local hobby store) a little cigar box that I was trying to engrave. The first thing to note is that its wooden and the wood seems really light and like it would burn really easily.
This was not the case...
I went through a ton of time and effort and for whatever reason that I couldn't figure out the stupid board just wouldn't take the burn anywhere but the very edges of it. I was getting very annoyed quickly and reached out to Zax who went out and bought the same thing to test with.
Tip 1.) Its always a good idea to sand your wood as if it was sanding down to be smooth with some really high grit paper it might have just enough reflection, sap, or other conditions to help keep the laser from burning in certain spots.
So came the next problem I ran into is that my laser diode module seems to be on its last leg or just faulty. It would never stay hot enough to burn the center of this very large drawing thus I had to start keeping my laser on at a level that wouldn't burn into the wood but keep the power stable enough to make sure the ramp up time would be less.
Tip 2.) Keeping your laser on will indeed shorten its life more as I am sure I will see soon enough.
Tip 3.) Always Always Always make sure you take the time to focus your laser when working at different heights and new projects. I find that after a project because I have focused that beam to many times it isnt as focused right after use. I have to refocus it a lot which is a pain but you gotta do what you gotta do.

So the tale had a happy ending as I did manage to get the laser to burn into the wood in the end and all was right in the world again. This is a huge shout out to Zax for all his help in this effort and I really don't know what I would do without his help here.
I will post some pictures of all the little projects I worked on for the wedding either this week or after the wedding this weekend.

Some of the projects as a teaser were:
This custom Cigar box from Michaels that is being turned into a jewelry box, stained, and sealed with a custom image on the front of it.
Custom Wine boxes (several gifts for those who put a lot of work into my wedding) With a custom insignia on them.
Several small wooden hangers that say Reserved on them to show which rows are reserved for guests instead of using paper.

There were several other things we wanted to get done but I just didnt have the time to fiddle with them all. As you can imagine its been a learning experience.

T2 Engraving / Notice hotter burning but its probably physics
« on: August 28, 2016, 06:56:50 AM »
So I notice that when I have a long straight line the edges of it tend to get burned more because the laser adjusts and shifts down another line and continues thus the wood is still hot and gets burned more.
Obviously this is mainly physics and makes me wonder if for more consistent results but a longer run time it would be better for it to always start from one side when running. So always begin each line left to right or right to left never continue the next line like a printer.
Just a thought as you can see the differences for sure when you do things this way. And even if you go back over it multiple passes then its really deeply engraved in certain areas versus the other ones.

Also this became a real challenge the other day when I was trying to do a box for my wife and I tried to use the masking tape trick to prevent burn marks. (I should have just stained it and sealed it then engraved that way I could have easily just wiped the surface clean with cleaner. When I used the masking tape full power on my 2.5W it never even managed to burn through the tape on longer lines infact only in the areas that were shorter runs on the edges did it even burn through. I was very disappointed and wished I had more power behind that sucker. I even tried slowing it way way down and it just wasnt enough heat to burn through the tape in most cases. I was also thinking about getting and using paper transfer tape but I fear that I would run into the exact same issue unless for some reason its not quiet as thick as the masking tape and would manage to get a clean burn through.

T2 Engraving / diagonal vs horizontal when to use each one?
« on: August 28, 2016, 06:50:27 AM »
When it is better to use each one of those and what are the effects that it causes?
Will my edges not be as clean or what?
Is it faster to do one versus the other?

Spare Parts Sources / Motor and Laser Cables
« on: August 25, 2016, 11:27:45 AM »
Looking for some longer motor cables and an extension that will work for the Laser cable as it doesnt disconnect from the laser itself. I would like to not have to make the cables in any way shape or form. I need them to reach 2ft and if anyone knows of a place on amazon to buy them that would be great as well. Otherwise any source works for me. I thought someone had already posted links for the cables but for whatever reason I cant seem to find the post.

Projects / A cool project lock box
« on: July 26, 2016, 06:14:04 AM »
Its not my project but really neat I wonder how well our little laser cutters would do trying to make it. It might be a little too thick overall but maybe gluing thinner pieces together would work as well.

T2 Engraving / A5 sizing with T2
« on: June 30, 2016, 01:07:32 PM »
So I have the A5 the smaller surface area. When I turn on the laser and try and engrave I have to have it in the lower right corner for it to be ok. Then it tries to go larger then my surface area. So the belt is slipping like crazy and I hit emergency stop...
How do I tell it I have a smaller surface area so that it wont do this and is something else wrong with the way I have it for it to be needing to start in the lowest corner?

Trouble Shooting / Laser head mount wobble
« on: June 20, 2016, 05:31:49 AM »
Hey all I have the A5 2.5W laser from gearbest and I assembled it correctly the belts are good and tight but I noticed a small issue.
When using benbox software and doing certain things such as names the laser mount head shakes when it stops for a second to use the laser and then moves again immediately. This causes the entire machine to start shifting slightly and by the time its done it gets closer to being about 2 mm off.
So when you grab the mount I notice that it doesnt move up or down that is solid however forward and backward it jiggles.
I was considering adding in something or trying to find smaller washers to put on there so the plastic is on the metal or and maybe even using some dry lube like graphite on it to make sure it still moves smoothly.
Any thoughts or ideas on this are appreciated.

Engraving / A new technique that you might like
« on: June 18, 2016, 10:34:25 AM »
So I am engraving some wine boxes for my brother's wedding as a gift and I have been experimenting heavily to make them look good.
Regardless for those of you who like the look of a very light burn with some cool definition on just the standard benbox software give this a try on an letter image of some sort. I will post my pictures when I finish.

Pass 1
PPM 360 x 360 for actual dimensions
Speed 2000
Time 0.5

Pass 2
PPM the same
speed 500
Time 3 or 4

If i dont like the outline definition because of the wood grain sometimes I will do one finally pass
Pass 3
Outline PPM the same
Speed 800
Time 1
Z shaped

Let me know what you guys think and how it works out for you. I still have to stain these wine boxes but the wood grain on each of them is different which does cause issues a lot of the time just FYI.

T2 Engraving / Unauthorized key code
« on: June 15, 2016, 11:16:20 AM »
Just opening up the program not doing anything I just this error shortly after the program has been open.

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