Author Topic: Engraving Beta Test Thread (CLOSED)  (Read 821 times)

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2017, 06:26:38 AM »
>Went to Com tab and started by selecting 1.1e and then connected then uploaded your GRBL presets.

You only did this one time, right?

>Set Home to left front corner of the laser.

How are you doing this?
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mrehmus

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2017, 08:36:05 AM »
>Went to Com tab and started by selecting 1.1e and then connected then uploaded your GRBL presets.

You only did this one time, right?

>Set Home to left front corner of the laser.

How are you doing this?

Correct, Ralph, I only enacted the Preset Send function once. And I set the Home position with the function on the COM Tab.

- This morning, I decided I'd start as if it were a new system and reflash the Nano.
- Did this, connected and enacted the Preset Send function once with 1.1e.
- Immediately tried the diagonal test pattern which worked correctly.
- Then went to the grayscale laser tool setup and tried an up and down test pattern. Worked OK except the laser head traversed from right to left, front to back to burn the pattern. then tried the 45-degree diagonal test pattern and that burned OK too. Except it was still operating moving to the front as it traversed to the left. Then I tried the Left/Right test pattern and this time, the gantry moved to the front mechanical limit and the steppers stuttered and it started moving to the left mechanical limit when I hit the Stop button.
- I tried to move the carriage back to home position only to find the jog arrows were now reversed. Ran a diagonal test pattern and it ran from back right to front left which is a reversal.
- Disconnected and restarted BCL.
- Found that the jog arrows were still reversed. Unchecked the Reverse direction buttons which made no difference, Jog still reversed.
- Shut everything down again.
- Started up and reflashed the Nano
- Connected from the COM Port Tab and enacted the setFactoryGrblSettings 1.1e.
- Now the jog buttons work correctly.
- I can burn a standard diagonal test pattern.
- I stopped at that point.

So the bottom line is I got two OK test patterns in terms of them being burned at all. The third pattern, Left/Right for some reason changed the parameters and the system switched to undesired movements.

1. Have you reviewed the BCL 'Trouble Shooting Tips' on the www.BenboxLaser.us site: http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,861.0.html - Yes

2. BCL version. I must know what version you are on. 2.0 Beta

3. What is your OS? Win7? Win10? Mac VM? - Win XP

4. What drive did you install BCL on? C? D? E? - C

5. If you are using a .csv language file other than en-US I NEED TO KNOW that please! Don't assume just because you are working with nl-NL that I know that...I don't unless you tell me. - en-US

6. Not all popup dialog windows are errors. Many are informational or just warnings. Many users email me to report an Error Dialog window they get when they load a .dxf file: 'Some parts of the drawing are in the negative drawing space'. This is a warning that you might want to use your CAD program and move your drawing up and/or to the right, to get it back into positive drawing space. This is not an error window. - No error message

7. Please check for the Welcome Message when you connect BCL to your laser machine. I will say this for the 100th time: if you don't see the welcome message you cannot do anything else with BCL...so don't try...without a welcome message, any further errors you report are meaningless...no welcome message means BCL does NOT have a valid connection to the laser machine so all you can do is disconnect and try again until you do get a welcome message. Most of the time, you forgot to select the correct port your laser machine is connected to.

The Welcome Message is the last line of the connection string: Grbl 0.9i ['$' for help] - Grbl 1.1e ['$' for help]
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 08:38:04 AM by mrehmus »
mrehmus
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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 08:44:21 AM »
Thanks for that info Mike.

When you play with those checkboxes to reverse the laser head direction, you sometimes have to click it, jog, click it again and jog. I've found I've had to often check/jog/check/jog to get it to move in the right direction. Note the check/jog/check/jog sequence returns me to where I was (no checked checkbox) but the head is now moving in the right direction.

So, bottom line here is, make sure repeated jogs go in the right direction and be aware you might have to check and then uncheck to get it going in the right direction.

It has something to do with sending the Grbl dir command to the Nano. It's like there is a lag and it takes two send commands (two checkbox clicks) to get it set right.
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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2017, 07:34:43 AM »
MIke,

I still would like the answers to reply #14 in this thread...thanks...
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mrehmus

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2017, 10:21:00 AM »
How do you set the home position? - I set it on the COM Tab by positioning the head where I want it and clicking on the ResetHome button

Do you have limit switches on your machine? No

In you BenCutLaser.ini file, have you modified this line: No
mrehmus
editor, Model Engine Builder magazine
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BCL
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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2017, 11:47:32 AM »
Got it...thanks...
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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 03:25:52 PM »
I'm still looking for more 2.0 engraving beta testers if anyone is interested...please PM me...
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ggallant571

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2017, 06:16:08 AM »
I have some Motorcycle logos to etch in both 100mm x 100mm slate coasters and 120mm x 80mm oval wood panels. The artwork is png files at 254 dpi. Would try BLC if it would help. Same images centered on both materials. For slate I use speed 900 / 90, wood 1200 / 30.
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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2017, 06:14:56 AM »
So far with the engraving beta, I have done the gray scale calibration following the instructions on the website, and done a couple of test burns.  Everything seems to be working well so far.  I'm using a Banggood 2.5W non-TTL laser with the A7 board and a 3-element lens.

I think most of the issues I'm having are related to my wood, not the software.  I've only got some Home Cheapo "poplar" (which is actually Tulip tree), and some leftover oak flooring (which is textured on the non-finished side).  However, I'm fairly pleased with the results on both the poplar and western red cedar.

I'm using 5%-10% laser power, feed rates of 400-800 for dark and 2200-3200 for light. Beam width is set between 0.20 and 0.16, depending on the wood.

The only issue I've come across so far is in the Toolpaths tab, the Toolpath Operations window's text drops down into the toolpath list, and I can't resize this (or the toolpath) window.

Comments: for text, some justification options would be nice (left, centre, right), rather than relying on spacing for multi-lined text or having to do multiple text objects.  For my tired eyes, even with progressives, on a 14" screen the text for the menus etc is a little small.  The way the windows are formatted, I can't change the system font size without disrupting the displays.  Being able to adjust the font size would be nice.

With the cedar, there's enough variability in the tone of the grain that calibration becomes challenging.  As Ralph mentions, these "marbled woods" are not so good for engraving gray-scale. The calibration curve for this looks like a poorly made set of stairs.  Even gamma correction really can't fix it.

Other than that, things seem to be working well.  I'm going to get some samples of other wood to experiment with, and see how that goes.

I've mainly used the machine for cutting, but I have some engraving projects to do, so I was surprised by how much material is removed for the darker shades.  On reflection it makes sense, but is there any way to maximize darkness and minimize material loss, or is it just a balancing act?


 

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2017, 06:54:07 AM »
I'll have a look at the Toolpath Operations window's text drops down into the toolpath list issue.
What is your screen resolution?

>for text, some justification options would be nice.
You have that now. Check the Text Settings window. See attachment.

>a 14" screen the text for the menus etc is a little small.
Yes, unfortunately, there is a lot of information to display and a 14 inch screen is a challenge. I need to know your screen size and I'll what I can do.

>is there any way to maximize darkness and minimize material loss?
I don't think there is. To get dark shades, you have to burn into the wood. The darker the shade the deeper the burn. There is some degree of a balancing act yes, as I've backed off on the shade of dark to lessen the depth of the burn. I've settled for a lighter shade of black vs pure black.

My comments on your pattern:

1. You could go a little darker I think.

2. You could go a little lighter as well.

Regarding your test image:

What direction is your laser tool calibrated for: Up/down, left/right or 45 degrees?

It looks looks like the burn with the text was done left/right? If so, that's the last option to use really. Up/down (against the grain) is my first choice and 45 is my second choice. Be sure and create a laser tool for each one. Don't use the same tool to do both directions...you need a dedicated tool for each burn direction you calibrate your laser tool for.

Post your image as I'd like to try engraving it and see what kind of detail I can get from it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 06:59:49 AM by Administrator »
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MarcusJ

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2017, 07:13:32 AM »
1. What is your screen resolution?
2. What direction is your laser tool calibrated for: Up/down, left/right or 45 degrees?

Ralph:
1. the screen's native resolution is 1920x1080.  Running anything less cuts the bottom part of the program window off, and I can't scroll down to see it.
2. I've been using 45 degrees. On the softer wood it gave more consistent results.

I tried going darker, but didn't see much change in the tone even dropping to a quarter of the feed rate.  I'll try lighter, and see what that does, and I'll also play with direction and see how that works.

I've attached my (somewhat hastily) edited image.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 07:15:40 AM by MarcusJ »

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2017, 08:36:11 AM »
That seems odd as my screen resolution is the same: 1920 x 1080 and I don't see the same cut off issue as you do. See attachment.

I'll bet 1920 x 1080 is the highest resolution that you can set, right?

Thanks for the bike image, I'll see what I can do with it.
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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2017, 08:45:35 AM »
The image is not sharp and has no definition to it. Can you improve it at all?

You want some sharpness and definition to an image, such as the example I have attached.
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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2017, 09:28:35 AM »
Very likely.  I just did a  quick edit job to remove background.  I made the image grayscale in my photo editor.  Would that make a difference?  Is there a minimum resolution you recommend?

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Re: Engraving Beta Test Thread (OPEN)
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2017, 09:54:43 AM »
GS should not matter. The dpi is 96 and that's OK. The size is pretty small, maybe that's the problem with it. You can't really increase the size (zoom) and keep the definition you have, which is poor to begin with.

Is there another bike photo that would work for you? Something around 600 x 400 that can be scaled down inside BCL?

BTW I squeezed the links together more vertically in the hopes this would help you some. See attachment.
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