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Messages - Zax

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Other Software / T2Laser Software
« on: March 08, 2016, 05:03:18 AM »
First some background:
I purchased a Banggood A3 2500mW laser for engraving and quickly realized the Benbox software had some limitations. I decided Grbl was the way to go, and started testing alternative software. The only one that came close to doing what I wanted was PicLaser, but the pro version with their sender program is over $100 and it's user interface could use some work (my opinion).

So, now what?
Well, I'm no programmer but I know enough to be dangerous so I started writing my own software.

The result... T2Laser!

(I am attaching a pdf showing some of the features and screens)

General Discussion / Re: Hello
« on: March 08, 2016, 04:47:37 AM »
It isn't clear to me what you are trying to do, cut or engrave?

If you are engraving, and have it set to discrete you need to lower the time value or just select continuous and it will be much faster.


Benbox / Re: What is the Benbox screen scale ratio?
« on: March 07, 2016, 10:22:15 AM »
You need to setup the PPM values (should be 320 for both X and Y) and then you will get the correct size. They are saved in the Nano so you only need to do it once.


« on: March 07, 2016, 10:20:33 AM »
From top down... (right click anywhere on the screen get's you out of them)

Move the view, mouse scroll wheel will zoom in/out.
Draw a line or group of lines.
Draw a circle.
Draw an arc.
Draw a bezier curve.
Write text (after placing the text, you can click the top right handle box to edit it).
Insert a bitmap (scale it by dragging the lower right handle, or click the top right handle to convert to 1-bit).


General Discussion / Re: Laser Safety do and don't
« on: March 07, 2016, 10:12:18 AM »
In general you want a filter of complementary color to the light, so for our lasers you would want orange.

Of course it is more complicated than that, as you need to ensure the filter is removing the exact wavelength, and attenuating it a sufficient amount. The glasses provided with the machine are rated OD4, my measurements show slightly less but still acceptable for normal use.

The reflections you are seeing from the aluminum rails and surrounding walls etc can be contained by building an enclosure or using plexiglass "shields". They won't block a direct beam but will suffice for reflected and scattered light.

As long as you mask the contact areas on the rails you could paint them, but I would find another way to protect yourself. If you have others in or around the machine, a simple enclosure is the best method.


General Discussion / Re: Hello
« on: March 07, 2016, 09:54:27 AM »
Welcome Bansil,

Yes, I think we all have the same type machines. There are several manufacturers, the ones from Banggood are made by eleks maker with software from Benbox.

The latest Benbox is 3.7.99, I suggest to download directly from Benbox. (scroll down past the change log and there's a link)

You are correct about "LaserDaemon" being detected as a virus, but you don't need it. Once installed just create a shortcut to Benbox.exe which is located in your Program Files folder (likely x86)\Benbox\3.7.99\bin directory.


General Discussion / Re: 5.5 watt LASERHEAD.
« on: March 05, 2016, 04:43:03 AM »
@Ross. Here's the outputs for the Eleks board.

It sounds like you have a plan now.


P.S.  I see you already found it, I will leave it posted here too.

Other Software / Re: Sender software list, with links
« on: March 04, 2016, 05:52:17 PM »
I have no idea if my software would run in a VM, perhaps you would like to be a beta tester?

I'm just adding a few more features but it is working very well for me so far. No vector at the moment, and not sure I will add it as I don't do cutting with this machine (I use my 40W CO2 for that).


General Discussion / Re: LENS FOCUS
« on: March 04, 2016, 09:48:32 AM »
I just use my fingers  :o (with the laser on very low power of course).

General Discussion / Re: 5.5 watt LASERHEAD.
« on: March 04, 2016, 09:47:14 AM »
Those specs are confusing, you'd better verify what input voltage it requires.

You would either need to have a control signal going to the constant current driver, or remove it and use the one on the Eleks board.


General Discussion / Re: 5.5 watt LASERHEAD.
« on: March 03, 2016, 09:47:54 AM »
The wire is too short, isn't that typical!

How is it interfaced to the board, it looks like it already has the constant current driver installed on top.

- Zax.

Other Software / Re: Sender software list, with links
« on: March 03, 2016, 09:44:53 AM »
Here is my Excel file

Thanks! It looks like standard gcode, so it shouldn't take much to get it working.


Other Software / Re: Sender software list, with links
« on: March 03, 2016, 09:43:15 AM »
Can I ask what you're using?

I started with Benbox, but quickly decided it was nice but had too many issues.

Tested Inkscape plugins and various other gcode generators, using Grbl Controller or UGS to send the files. None produced the results I wanted or were a single solution like Benbox. Then I tried PicLaser (commercial) which was promising but the user interface wasn't to my liking so I decided to write my own program.

At this point I am using my own software.

Other Software / Re: Sender software list, with links
« on: March 03, 2016, 04:57:28 AM »
Actually I've found a lot of software. Just a couple for the standard firmware, lot for GCode,

What I meant was there are few options that can take an image or DXF, create the gcode and control the machine - it seems you end up using several programs to do this and they don't all "talk" to each other well.

That is why I decided to create my own solution, I just want a Benbox replacement that has features I need to do engravings.

Your list sounds like a great idea, perhaps you have found some I didn't.


Other Software / Re: Sender software list, with links
« on: March 03, 2016, 04:53:30 AM »
Let me know if you still want me to post the Benbox gcodes and I will.

@Admin. Yes, I would appreciate if you could PM or post the code you captured.

It is true that Benbox doesn't control power using PWM, but it does simulate varying power by adjusting the feedrate which is quite effective. Images can also be dithered and printed using on/off laser pulses which also creates a similar result.

I am writing my own software; so far I can process an image and generate the gcode, control the machine (grbl 0.9) including PWM and have integrated a gcode viewer that works with different power settings. It's far from complete but I should have something to share in a few weeks (depending how much time I can devote to it).

If I could include the option to run with a standard Benbox firmware that might make it more usable for people that don't want to replace the Nano or are scared to flash it to a laser Grbl branch.


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