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BenCutLaser / Correction to Shapes test files (RESOLVED)
« on: January 12, 2017, 08:35:15 PM »
Attached is a .zip file of all the shape test files. There were corrections to the inches test files for rounded rectangle.

Please unzip and copy all files into the Shapes folder.

LaserAxe / New Laser Product Announcement: LaserAxe
« on: January 11, 2017, 03:34:21 PM »
Novel Life of would like to announce the release of their newest laser machine called the LaserAxe.

Here is their new website:

The LaserAxe is not using Benbox software, but a different software called CNCC. I do not have any more information about CNCC at this time, but I know many members and guests of this form will have many questions about it. If I get any more information about CNCC I will post it here.

LaserAxe / LaserAxe: LaserAxe DIY Machine
« on: January 11, 2017, 03:32:55 PM »
Coming soon!

BenCutLaser / Quick Start Guide (RESOLVED)
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:28:17 AM »
Today I uploaded a new BCL Quick Start Guide to my Youtube Channel:

General Discussion / MOVED: Differences in filaments and nozzles?
« on: January 10, 2017, 08:04:42 AM »
This topic has been moved to Kits.

Sorry about the move...I did that by mistake...the link above still works however.

Projects / Text engraving on 3/8 thick clear acrylic
« on: January 07, 2017, 05:24:50 PM »
It's still a work in progress, but I wanted to share early proof of concept testing!

I wanted to see if my 1.6 watt laser could engrave Text on 3/8 thick clear acrylic such that I could insert the acrylic plate into a white LED base and light up the text. I'm interested in making award plaques using 6x6 inch acrylic 3/8 thick. The LED strips are 3/8 inches thick.

I'm attaching my first test results. It's just test data to validate if the laser burning will light up at all by the LED white lights...and the answer is Yes indeed it certainly does...!!!

Software used was BCL.

Benbox / MOVED: MOVED: inkscape .dxf
« on: January 02, 2017, 09:39:08 AM »

BenCutLaser / MOVED: inkscape .dxf (RESOLVED)
« on: January 02, 2017, 09:38:17 AM »

BenCutLaser / BCL now working with RAMPS 1.4 and Mega2560 CPU (RESOLVED)
« on: December 26, 2016, 09:17:54 PM »
I'm going to be providing a little more details later on, but I wanted to get this posted this evening.

For the last two weeks I've been working with one of my BCL customers who purchased a 3D printer from Gcreate and then bought a 3.6 watt laser diode from jtechphotonics and mounted the laser head to the Z axis.

His setup contains a RAMPS 1.4 controller with a Mega2560 microprocessor. gCreate did some small modifications to the Marlin Grbl software. Some of the gcode commands that we Benbox users are used to, have been changed on his setup and I've modified BCL to support it. His testing included Z axis testing and I am pleased to report that BCL is now working 100% on his new modified laser machine with a nice Z axis gantry.

He connects at 250,000 baud, which is an odd baud rate, but that is what is needed and that is what works.

More information to follow!

BenCutLaser / Add Text Feature Correction
« on: December 22, 2016, 10:14:09 AM »
Paul reminded me that your MText can be left flushed when you paste it into the text pane of the Fonts Properties dialog window and you can use the Anchor Point field to automatically center multi-line text. In the Add Text video I made, I didn't use that preferred method but instead I was manually centering the text which is not necessary to do.

Please see attachment.

BenCutLaser / Star Wars Fighter
« on: December 21, 2016, 10:23:54 PM »
One of my BCL users made this Star Wars fighter.

See photo attachment.

BenCutLaser / Grbl 11e is now supported by BCL
« on: December 17, 2016, 06:49:22 PM »
While Grbl 1.1e isn't really needed by BCL, to maintain firmware compatibility with T2 Laser, BCL now supports it. So if you use both programs, you don't have to change firmware if you run 1.1e.

BenCutLaser / Grbl to use with BCL: 0.9i, 0.9j and 1.1e ONLY
« on: December 12, 2016, 02:22:59 PM »
To help clarify all the confusion on what Grbl versions you should be using with BCL:

The following are the only Grbl versions I support:

Grbl 0.9i

Grbl 0.9j

Grbl 1.1e (to maintain compatibility with T2 Laser).

As I test and approve newer Grbl versions, I will add them to this sticky thread for all to see!

Please do NOT use other Grbl versions with BCL as I do not know if they will work or not.

Thank you...

BenCutLaser / What does a "Connection" really mean? (The Welcome Message)
« on: December 12, 2016, 09:23:11 AM »
I've received enough email questions from new laser folks that I think a tutorial on this topic would be helpful.

Let's look at what a "Connection" really is with BCL.

BCL is no different from any other app that tries to connect to a COM Port. If the 'settings' are correct, a connection can be made. Settings refers to baud rate, parity, stop bit, data bits and handshake parameters.

In human terms, these settings are like a key. If you're settings are correct, you can connect to a COM Port. If your key is correct, it will unlock a door to a hotel room (you'll see a minute why I chose to relate this key to a hotel with many rooms).

So, if you can connect to a COM Port with BCL, what does that mean? It simply means you've connected to a COM Port and that's all. Does it mean you've connected to your laser machine? No. Your laser machine may or may not be connected to that COM Port.

When BCL starts up, it fetches all the available COM Ports from Windows and populates these in the COM Port dropdown list. You may see more than one com port in this list. If you do, it simply means Windows has detected multiple items that are connected (hence available) to various COM Ports. Your laser machine is one of them. A USB drive may be another. Something else may be connected to a third COM Port.

But which one did you connect to with BCL?

Let's go back to our hotel key. Like COM Ports on your PC, you can have many and like a hotel, there are many doors to many rooms. So now with your key, you've unlocked a door to a hotel room, and you step inside the room. But who is in the room (which device have you connected to?). You won't know until you say "Hello, who's in this room?". If it's your laser machine, it will say back to BCL "Hello it's me, your laser machine and to prove it, here is my Grbl welcome message: Grbl 0.9i ['$' for help]". Ahhh so now you know you are connected to your laser machine.

Let's say by mistake, you've connected to the wrong COM Port. What will happen? What will you see in BCL? We don't know because we don't know which device you've connected to and we don't know how that device was programmed to respond, if at all, to a successful connection. More than likely you won't see anything in the BCL Receive window as far as a message from the device you've connected to.

So, the lesson here is this: when you try to connect to your laser machine, you MUST verify that you get the Grbl welcome message which is this: Grbl 0.9i ['$' for help] so that you know for sure that you're connected to your laser machine.

Another important reason to always read this welcome message is to make sure you have the correct Grbl firmware installed (flashed) on your Nano for BCL (0.9i or 0.9j). You might be switching back and forth with using different software and have forgotten to flash back to the correct Grbl for BCL use!

If you do not get this welcome message, do NOT try and use BCL as it will not work and any behavior (right or wrong) will not mean anything. If you don't get that welcome message, you've got to figure out why and work on getting it before you can start to use BCL.

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