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1
Benbox / Re: Firmware problem please help me.
« on: Today at 08:25:23 PM »
I understand Jason!

I haven't worked with Benbox software in about a year so I can't offer any help -- but some folks will be along that can help you...!!!

2
Assembly Help / Re: Wiring home switches
« on: Today at 08:17:01 PM »
@ThothLoki - Thanks for posting the Nano adapters. Just ordered a couple. Look perfect for prototyping.

I think I'll grab a few myself...question: how do wires attach? screws or via spring clamp?

UPDATE: I see from another listing it is screw in to hold the wires.

3
Benbox / Re: Firmware problem please help me.
« on: Today at 08:14:18 PM »
If you're using T2 Laser, stay with it...it's vastly superior to the Benbox software and it comes with tech support right here on this forum...who could ask for anything more?  :)

4
General Discussion / Re: laser to work distance
« on: Today at 08:11:22 PM »
Bill,

The best way to focus your laser is to burn a line, turn the focus ring, burn another line at the same power and speed and keep turning the focus ring in between line burns until you burn the thinnest line...THAT'S your focus for that material...!!!

If you're using BCL, see attachment. I've made it super easy to get the right focus...!!!

5
Ron,

Try just mouse clicking at the top title bar and drag the whole app window slightly left or right...this will trigger the re-size event and it might do what your min/max step does...but I think just dragging the top title bar a bit might be easier and faster (if it will work).

6
General Discussion / Re: importing dxf to bcl
« on: January 20, 2017, 08:24:27 PM »
Hi Bill,

Here is the link to the BCL help file: http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,613.0.html

Also I just finished making a Quick Start Guide video on my Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/rfresh1011

See attachment showing the button to click to open up a file dialog to select a .dxf file to open.

7
Laser Accessories / Re: A Better Belt Anchor
« on: January 20, 2017, 06:03:22 PM »
 :)

8
BenCutLaser / Re: What's the Number One DXF File Problem? (OPEN)
« on: January 20, 2017, 04:32:32 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts George.

I think we have to also remember that these are the lowest cost (cheap in price and materials) laser machines you can buy and still say you have a 'laser machine'. Unfortunately, they all are made in China and there is a problem with the language, the lack of manuals and no assembly instructions (most of the time). So, yes, almost everyone ends up googling for help and finds this community support forum!

I'm still absolutely amazed at how much more complex and expensive it is to move up to a more powerful CO2 laser machine. You can find them all over Ebay and Amazon for $445.00 but that's only the beginning of what you'll end up spending to get a good, working CO2 laser machine with 40 watts of power. And the interface and software to make them work...ugly...there is just no other word for it. Talk about not knowing what you're getting yourself into, these CO2 laser machines are about as bad as our 2.5 watt DIY laser machines. Both classes of laser machines have steep learning curves.

When you buy a 40 watt CO2 laser machine, you actually think you're going to get a 40 watt CO2 laser tube. Not hardly. And if you buy a 50 watt CO2 tube, you actually think that you're not only going to get a 50 watt tube, you also think you're going to be able to push that laser to 80% 90% 100% of its power! These are far more complicated machines that what we are using now and what you're buying you ain't getting and what you think you can push them to, you can't. Now, enough about CO2 machines!

I've kept my 1.6 watt laser machine pretty stock because most of my BCL users have done that. I've not added any limit switches or Z axis capability because 98% of my BCL users have not.

The biggest problem I see with these laser machines is that users want to jump in and try to use them without reading all the background and understanding what it takes to get the advanced CAM software (T2 and BCL) working successfully. Then there are those so new they are still trying to figure out how to get Benbox software to work. Well, I've been there and done that...about a year ago! What a difference a year makes eh?

I admit BCL has a learning curve and I think its fair to say T2 does as well...but think about what these two software programs do: they allow you to take your low power DIY laser machine and do things never intended by the factory who made them. And never ever forget that the large majority of CAM software companies and developers will not support our low power laser machines. They just have no interest in what we are doing. Thank God for T2 and BCL is all I can say (I can say that because I'm doing things with BCL that Benbox software can't do in its wildest dreams).

So, back to my statement of users wanting to just jump in and starting burning on wood. The assumption is that all DXF files are created equal. Users understandably have no idea how many variations of formats there are. If you can download one from the internet, then by God it should work everywhere you want to use it. Right? Uhh, no. Not true at all.

I have 4 different CAD programs and they all handle DXF files with internal corruptions differently. Some won't load a corrupt DXF file, some will. Those that will load it won't display it, while others will. It's a real mess honestly, but one of the reasons is that the file format has been around for so long.

When someone downloads a DXF file from the internet, they assume it was done correctly. I think about 50% of the time it wasn't. As the topic of this thread, the biggest missing link in DXF files that 'won't load' is that they are missing the Units of Measurements. What makes it more confusing is that there are 3 settings that should be all matched...and each CAD program has a different name for them!

I think in time, users will get smarter about DXF files and check that the Units of Measurements are all set as they want them to be...!!!

As for me, I'm still thinking about adding a 40 watt CO2 laser machine to my workbench...ahhhh I've been warned about going down THAT rabbit hole...!!!

9
BenCutLaser / Re: Weird SCaling Problem (RESOLVED)
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:56:05 PM »
I don't understand how these could have changed, as I haven't messed with them  ???

BCL can set your Grbl settings (including those) for you with one click.

See attachment. Select your Nano and click the link.

And BTW, the line is 1 inch long in QCAD as well.

10
BenCutLaser / What's the Number One DXF File Problem? (OPEN)
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:25:58 PM »
The number one DXF 'file problem' I get support emails on, averaging about 3 emails per day, is shown in the attachment!

That is a snippet from my Trouble Shooting thread here: http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,861.0.html

11
BenCutLaser / Re: Weird SCaling Problem (OPEN)
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:17:24 PM »
Your units of measurements was not set correctly. See attachment.

You can't (shouldn't I guess is a better word to use) have MM set and then use Inches on paper as this makes no sense...but its not a major issue.

I set the Units to all Inches in my QCAD program. -2 dxf file attached for you. The line is 1 inch long. You're Golden now!!!

12
BenCutLaser / Re: Weird SCaling Problem
« on: January 20, 2017, 12:58:44 PM »
Hi Jim,

Let me see your dxf file please.

You've got a mis-match of units of measure.

13
Trouble Shooting / Re: CH340 USB driver not working
« on: January 20, 2017, 08:42:45 AM »
That Nano looks OK to use...I don't see the SainSmart label on it and it doesn't have the round reset button.

BenCutLaser (BCL) has a built-in com port presence/checker. If you install BCL, in the Com Port tab, watch the upper left corner which has the com ports list. Connect your USB cable to your PC and watch that area in BCL...you should see a red label saying 'Updating Ports' then a green label saying 'Ports Updated' and the list will be populated. Select the com port your laser machine is connected to and click the Connect button and see if you can connect. If you can connect, you'll the Grbl welcome message as shown in attachment 2.

If the BCL com ports list is empty, then you have a windows 10 problem. The com ports are kept in the Registry and that's where BCL looks to find and populate its own com port list. If the BCL list is empty, then windows 10 is messed up because it can't write the com ports it finds into the Registry.

You'll have to google on how to fix this as there are many different ways to fix it...and which one will work for you is not known ahead of time. I had the same problem on my windows 10 and it was a mess.

Let us know how you make out.

14
General Discussion / Re: importing dxf to bcl
« on: January 19, 2017, 10:11:33 PM »
Please post the dxf file and I'll have a look at it.

Thanks...

15
Trouble Shooting / Re: CH340 USB driver not working
« on: January 19, 2017, 03:17:39 PM »
When you order, tell them no SainSmart board...

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