Author Topic: Vinyl LP Records  (Read 1395 times)

Poppas Workshop

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Vinyl LP Records
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:28:46 PM »
Hi there all. This is my first attempt at using any type of forum, so please forgive me if I make any goofs.
I have recently purchased a 3000mW machine from China, and it comes with the BenBox software.
I would like to use it to make vinyl art, particularly clocks, from my old vinyl LPs.
I have tried various settings in the software, with very mixed results, mostly not great.
If there is anyone out there who has tried this with any success I would very much appreciate hearing about how they got on.
If anyone would like to contact me directly, I can be emailed at: poppasworkshopnz@gmail.com.

Thanks in anticipation.

Steve

Zax

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 04:35:39 PM »
Welcome Steve!

I take it your trying to cut designs from them?

It will take several passes but should be possible.

Poppas Workshop

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 05:05:19 PM »
Thanks for getting back to me.

That's exactly right.
Question? Can benbox be set to automatically make a pre-set number of passes?
I've found that a speed of 20 and a time of 2500 will just about cut through on one pass, but the results are pretty ugly.
I normally have the Engrave Type to "Scan By Lin", "Continuous" and "Laser".
I'll keep trying some other setting and see if I can come up with a satisfactory result.

Steve

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 05:28:46 PM »
I have no idea about the settings but I don't think Benbox supports multi-pass. It's an obsolete program that uses a very old version of Grbl.

Is it following the path and cutting or scanning back and forth?

If you increase the feed rate and use multiple passes the result should be much better.




Poppas Workshop

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 06:30:20 PM »
Thanks Zax.

Yea - I agree it must be fairly old. The people I bought the machine from (HCZ - Alan's Store) on AliExpress have advised me that Benbox is the ONLY software to be used with their machine. Anything else is likely to "brick" the controller board. Obviously, I'm unaware if this is correct or not, but I've naturally been a bit reluctant to try anything else just in case.
I have attached a picture of the controller card that came with my machine. If anyone can tell me if it's safe to use other software with this board, that would be fantastic.
Obviously, I would take full responsibility if anything went haywire and I ended up with a dead board.

Re your question, if I use .dxf drawings, it follows the path all the way through. Bmp, jpg, and png all scan back and forth.

I have tried upping the speed rate and using multiple passes, but the issue becomes putting the LP back in exactly the same spot with exactly the same orientation otherwise it doesn't cut in the same spot. I guess the best way to overcome this will be to put a number of "registration marks" on the LP and the background board to assure correct alignment.

Hopefully, once I get this all sorted, I can provide some feedback to others with similar issue/s.

Regards

Steve

mrehmus

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 07:56:25 PM »
I was informed that cutting vinyl records with the laser will release toxic gasses. So I will leave the Tijuana Brass disk alone. How about cutting CDs? The reflective layer out to be really hard.
mrehmus
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Poppas Workshop

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2017, 08:41:42 PM »
Hi mrehmus

Yes, I was made aware of that. I always make sure there is excellent ventilation and fumes extraction at all times.
Checking on the web, there doesn't seem to be any cases of fatal exposure, or anything like that, but I think I'll play it safe anyway.

Regards

Steve

Zax

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 05:13:14 AM »
It looks like a pretty typical clone of an EleksMaker system, but probably hard wired to the non-PWM pin (D12) which means you can only have on or off control of the laser (no big deal for cutting). If you have the original firmware (which may just be the standard benbox lx firmware) you could try others with no risk as you could just swap back. If not, I would suggest getting a replacement Nano or the whole board if you want spare motor drivers etc.

If you wanted, you could replace the board with a real EleksMaker Mana SE ($26).
https://www.banggood.com/2-Axis-Stepper-Motor-Driver-Board-Controller-Laser-board-For-DIY-Laser-Engraver-p-1015557.html

or you could just remove the Nano and put in another (~$3.50).
https://www.banggood.com/ATmega328P-Arduino-Compatible-Nano-V3-Improved-Version-No-Cable-p-959231.html

If you put in another Nano there's no risk as you can always go back, then you could flash the new one with Grbl 1.1e (non-PWM) from my custom firmware folder in T2Laser.

T2Laser is software I wrote to replace Benbox, it isn't free but for $39.95 it does have a lot more features. You could test the trial to see if it helps. It supports multi-pass cutting with optional cool down between passes, no issues with alignment unless you have a mechanical issue with the machine and are losing steps. It may be more complex than you need though.

Note: links just provided for reference, you may be able to find better products or prices

mrehmus

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 08:55:10 AM »
I ended up buying a 'real' Nano. No special drivers made it easier to hook up. But when I finally figured out the driver setup for the Chinese clone, I swapped back to it and it seems to work just fine.

I think I noticed that the newer Nano clones have even a different USB chip from those of 6 months ago. Don't know if that is causing problems or not.
mrehmus
editor, Model Engine Builder magazine
Elekslaser A3 2.5 watt via Banggood
BCL
Qidi X-one 3D printer
Machine Shop with manual and CNC machines

Poppas Workshop

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 01:33:56 PM »
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas.
I will certainly try the options you have offered, and report back on my findings.

Poppas Workshop

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 03:29:10 PM »
Hi Zax
Please forgive a newbie, but how do I find your custom firmware folder to try the Grbl 1.1e you mentioned?
I've tried searching, but with no luck.

Zax

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Re: Vinyl LP Records
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 03:53:14 PM »
They are in the Machine menu.