Author Topic: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods  (Read 844 times)

ggallant571

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2018, 07:59:41 PM »
It is becoming eminently clear that my skills with laser etching are well below the norm!!!
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kibodwin

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2018, 04:08:48 AM »
Ian, fantastic write up, thanks for the how to. Unfortunately I dont think I have any botanicals I can engrave at hand but I will keep my eyes open for anything suitable to be lasered!
Excellent workflow.. I really like the scanning part to get as much text as possible on the pod.

 As for the grain of rice... my god you guys are nuts. I am not even sure I can get my laser to focus so accurately so as to engrave a grain of rice...
What foodstuff is next? corn? Wheat? popcorn? ham? dried mango?
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ianchia

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2018, 04:46:10 AM »
Thanks @kibodwin!  ;)

In terms of focusing, this is how I explained it to someone else asking the same question about focusing on the rice grain.

Quote
Itís possible with a 2.5W<= laser. I donít think itís possible with a 5W diode because the focal point is too big. Iíve found that lighter materials will shine around the focal point *within* the material or reflect too much to focus accurately. There are various ways of focusing, like doing a ramp test, but all I did was place a black sheet of origami paper on my bed. This seems to work really well at absorbing the reflections and I end up with a tiny spot. Itís also thinner than black card. Then I just twist the lens until I got the smallest dot possible. The rice is probably 1mm higher than my focal point on the origami paper but it didnít matter much in this case. If I went to more trouble, I could probably focus an even finer beam at the height of the grain of rice and it may be necessary when I get around to trying to engrave a portrait on a rice grain. (-;

I think I will have a go at teeny tiny portraiture. It is after all a Chinese tradition of engraving or painting on rice grains, and although I've lived 42 years in Oz - I was originally born in Hong Kong. Wish me luck!

- Ian

ianchia

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2018, 04:49:09 AM »
What foodstuff is next? >>>>>>> popcorn?

Ummm... wouldn't popcorn, you know... pop?  ::)

kibodwin

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2018, 05:48:03 AM »
well I thought the corm would pop into popcorn...
=)

Good luck
a drawing on a grain of rice.. you wont make any friends if you go down that path, we will all be far too jealous of your accomplishments!
Also, do you use special XXXL rice grains? this is the only way I can imagine it being done!!
I will stick to the slate I have been working on recently.
Seriously though, do the motor controllers allow such tiny and precise moments to be able to engrave a picture on a grain of rice?? I suppose you go slow to minimise vibration?
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ggallant571

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2018, 07:28:44 AM »
The typical x/y motion is 80 steps/mm. I typically engrave at 0.1 mm which is 8 steps. Without changing the drive I suspect we could go to a single step. I have home-brew firmware the rounds to 8 so I really don't know what standard grbl is capable of.  Dummy me, I didn't know rice comes in large sizes!!!
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ianchia

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2018, 04:33:06 PM »
a drawing on a grain of rice.. you wont make any friends if you go down that path, we will all be far too jealous of your accomplishments!
Also, do you use special XXXL rice grains? this is the only way I can imagine it being done!!
I will stick to the slate I have been working on recently.
Seriously though, do the motor controllers allow such tiny and precise moments to be able to engrave a picture on a grain of rice?? I suppose you go slow to minimise vibration?

Awww... don't say that. I thought we were all in this together.  :o

I just used the rice we had in the pantry. I have on hand sushi rice and long-grained jasmine rice. The jasmine is a little thinner but longer, and sushi shorter but taller. I didn't pick any particular size, just an average grain of sushi rice. When I have some time later today, I'll try some prototypes. My thinking is that the engraved initials were 1.4mm high and still very readable, and T2Laser allows for 0.1mm jogging, so that gives me *probably* at least a 0.2mm "pixel" resolution if not 0.1mm depending on the power of the burn. That's at least 7 pixels high. You could do a lot with 7 pixels (or if we're lucky, 14 pixels or more.) I'll do a prototype with some pixel art and report back.

I didn't go particularly slowly. I used T2Laser and the speed was 300mm/min with the laser power set to full. The total engraving speed was 1sec(!). I didn't do anything particularly special with the "GG" grain and was just lucky with my settings. It was just done on a lark. I'll go slower and at lower power and do some proper calibration and focusing and see how finely controlled we can get.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 04:45:44 PM by ianchia »

ianchia

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2018, 04:44:42 PM »
The typical x/y motion is 80 steps/mm. I typically engrave at 0.1 mm which is 8 steps. Without changing the drive I suspect we could go to a single step. I have home-brew firmware the rounds to 8 so I really don't know what standard grbl is capable of.  Dummy me, I didn't know rice comes in large sizes!!!

Rice comes in all sorts of shapes, but sizes don't vary all that much. You can get long grain, mid-grain, or squat-ish shapes but it's only a couple of mm variance AFAIK.

Speaking of your great explanation of steps though, I've tried replacing the A4988 with the Trinamic SilentStepStick TMC2130s. I wired the 2130 in standalone mode to mimic the 2100s, and it works beautifully for about 5sec before my Y-axis starts hiccuping and then totally stopping - I suspect it's a thermal auto-shutdown problem, so I'm waiting for some tiny heatsinks to arrive from my US Filastruder order. I'm still using the stock A4988s. The beauty of the SilentStepStick driver boards is that they use micro-interpolation, potentially giving me up to 256 microsteps!

When I was testing the Trinamics, I created a test pattern of concentric circles from 5mm up to 140mm in increments of 5 and 10mm, burned them onto origami paper to give a fine engraving with a very precise focal point. When I looked at the result from the A4988 drivers, the circles look great, but when I compared them against the Trinamic 2130s, the difference was clearly visible - the circles with the microsteps are beautifully rendered where A4988 jaggies became visible. I imagine that rice engraving will be even more beautiful once I get the Trinamics working properly.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 03:08:51 PM by ianchia »

Zax

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2018, 07:50:20 AM »
You must have your machine "dialed in", the results speak for themselves. I'm not sure we can allow you to upgrade to the Trinamic 2130s, you're already making us look bad with the standard drivers  ??? .

ianchia

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2018, 02:58:02 PM »
Hmmm, maybe Iím shooting myself in the foot here. The point of starting this thread was to see what other folk were up to with their projects?   :-X

Thanks @Zax. 🙏 Itís taken more than 12 months but Iím getting happier and happier with the improvements and adjustments on my machine. Advice from various folk on the forum, including yourself, has been invaluable to get it working properly. Itís been much appreciated. Iím about to embark on 3D printing some mods for my machine, an older L7 A3 frame.  I donít have the newer, fancier ďProĒ model.

Thank you for your great list of 3D printed upgrades Steve Nottingham!

- Ian
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 03:05:25 PM by ianchia »

ThothLoki

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2018, 10:20:29 PM »
Yeah, you and Nottingham will become good friend......at making most of us look like rank armatures  ;)

He does have a good list, especially one of those rotary axis machines  ;)

I need o get back to finishing my air assist/focus ring that I started

This place is great for 3d questions as well. Everyone here helped my when I got my printer
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ianchia

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Re: Autumn is here... Engraved curly wisteria seedpods
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2018, 04:43:08 AM »
@ThothLoki - I bow at the feet of *real* engraving experts like @mauriceman and @jtice - I'm just having fun making art and stuff...

I'm kinda interested in rotary, I've been engraving a variety of eggs (hens, quail, emu) with a dremel on and off over the past decade, just for fun. I'm interested to see what the laser will do, but due to the curvature of the shell, it'd probably be some frankenstein eggbot that shoots lasers out of its eyes  8) If you're interested, there's a few images buried in my Instagram feed. You'd have to scroll back a while though.

I just learnt how to 3D-print today(!) through a local startup-space, and printed @pawpawpaw85's focus ring, which works really well. Unless you're into doing your own design, his works beautifully off the shelf. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1654597 I had originally used his focus ring that was part of his radial fan air assist, but I find this other design more effective.

And IMHO, the bees' knees in air assist nozzles to be printed is Chip Estrada's design on the "Eleksmaker EleksLaser A3 / A5" FB group. I don't think it's on thingiverse yet, but you should take a look. It's *really* lovely and folk are using it to do 2 pass cuts through 3mm ply etc. This is the link to the FB group if you're interested. https://www.facebook.com/groups/107222596696733/

- Ian


« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 04:44:37 AM by ianchia »