Author Topic: First post for me, of course I have questions!  (Read 1306 times)

SteveK

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First post for me, of course I have questions!
« on: October 27, 2016, 09:39:53 AM »
At 66 years old I just purchased the 2.5 watt 30X40cm machine from Banggood. I have it assembled and after a few hours of struggling with the software I was able to burn some holes in a piece of wood. It's my intention to use this machine to embellish some of my wood turnings. I have a little experience with cnc machines, enough to understand the concept. No experience programming or writing code so most of the lingo is very foreign to me.
I was delighted to find this forum as I now understand enough to burn a few simple patterns. The post by Carolyn'sDad was a god send to me as the settings he described have been working well to this point. There are some things I think I understand, several I don't. Please correct if I'm wrong.
The machine can't do gray scale or shading with the benbox software, is that right?
I burned the "benbox" bmp that is included with the software but it's a mirror image, I'm thinking that is just a couple switched cables?
I'm using a windows 8 machine and I can't get it to do anything with outline selected, even with the included images, any suggestions?
I put my machine together a couple days ago and feel pretty good about where I'm with it but I know there is a big learning curve ahead of me. Thanks for any help or suggestions

Steve

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 09:44:30 AM »
Welcome to the forum Steve...!!!
Admin -- Ralph -- support @ BenCutLaser dot us
http://www.BenCutLaser.us/BenCutLaserSetup1.8.4a.exe.zip
BCL Paid license: $39.95
via Paypal to bclpp@primemail.com

nottingham82

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 10:08:57 AM »
Hey Steve, Im sure zax will be on here later.  I never could get benbox to install on my pc so I cant speak on it too much.  Zax has a software he has written (T2) which can do grey scale and dithering for shading.  You can download it and try it for free.  there are a few caveats, like it will only run for 30 minutes at a time and it wont do a huge file but you can try it out for as long as you like.  It will require a small adjustment to the little computer board.  If you got the machine together, you have the skills to do the adjustment.  Its the .9 adjustment talked about in the t2 posts.

I had problems with mirror image when I first started too.  I actually have my stepper motors miss wired.  In T2 this isnt a problem because when you go to send an engraving you can select invert y axis or something like that.  It also remembers this setting so you dont have to do it every time.  I could just rewire the machine.  It would take all of about 10 seconds but T2 makes it so it isnt even an issue.

For the outline thing, I could see how that would be a problem.  I lean heavily on the outline in T2.  But since I cant get bangbox to install i cant tell you how to fix it

From one Steve to another.  Give t2 a try.  Zax doesnt pay me to support him here, I just like things that work.  T2 works for me and Zax is very quick to help you out if something goes astray (I'm sure you already know support from benbox is nonexistent).
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 10:10:37 AM by nottingham82 »
Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
OS: Windows 10 all in one pc
Software: T2
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

Lob0426

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 10:18:55 AM »
Benbox does not support greyscale.

You probably have the Y cables backwards. That is the problem with NO Instructions. Some people find the stock software works well for them and some move on to T2 Laser and BenCutLaser. It depends on what you need your Laser to do.

Reverse the second and third cables from the right. Then give that image another try!

Welcome to the Forum!
Richard
A5 2.5W w/homing switches on L7
A5 2W diode self upgraded from stock 500mw

Experimenting with Mega2560 board upgrade

Zax

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 10:21:40 AM »
Zax doesnt pay me to support him here, I just like things that work.

Thanks, your referral bonus is in the mail  ;D

Welcome SteveK!

You are correct that Benbox won't do grey scale but for black and white engraving it does a good job but takes forever.

I've seen several posts about the outline feature not working on anything but Win7 so perhaps that's an issue with the program rather than you, I haven't used it much so can't say for sure.

Lob0426

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 10:27:37 AM »
Outline works in my Win10 machines.

I run Benbox elevated, as an administrator. It would not save the language settings without it!
Richard
A5 2.5W w/homing switches on L7
A5 2W diode self upgraded from stock 500mw

Experimenting with Mega2560 board upgrade

Zax

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2016, 11:01:47 AM »
I run Benbox elevated, as an administrator.

You are very trusting. So what was your bank account number again?  ;D

Lob0426

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2016, 11:43:22 AM »
I am married, there is not enough money in the account for anyone to steal!
Richard
A5 2.5W w/homing switches on L7
A5 2W diode self upgraded from stock 500mw

Experimenting with Mega2560 board upgrade

Agastar

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2016, 12:28:28 PM »
I am married, there is not enough money in the account for anyone to steal!

lol, I thought I was the only one with that problem.

SteveK

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2016, 12:40:39 PM »
Thanks for the quick replies!!
 I imagine a different software program is in my future. I've watched a few of the videos in the starter series but should I just forget about learning the basics and jump in or would it be better to learn a little about the machine first?

Steve

Lob0426

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2016, 01:50:54 PM »
Benbox will give you the feel for what you need. It is good at working your machine when new to make sure everything works right. And some people like, @carolynsdad, his daughter, uses it exclusively for her handicraft business.

Play with it awhile then decide where you want to go next!
Richard
A5 2.5W w/homing switches on L7
A5 2W diode self upgraded from stock 500mw

Experimenting with Mega2560 board upgrade

Madmark

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2016, 02:49:22 PM »
I have real good luck with the benbox software.

For the outline to work your bitmap file needs to be a size multiple of 8. This is a known bug.

I cut a piece of thin (1/4" ~ 6mm) ply to fit under the frame and glued a 90 stop block in the 0,0 corner. This holds my alignment well as long as no one forces the laser head.

M
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Lob0426

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2016, 03:03:42 PM »
I use homing switches! Very accurate and easy to use.

I need to burn some ledger marks on the cutting board my Laser machine is bolted to.

My next wanted upgrade will probably be a homing "button". Just have to figure out how to get the press of the button to equal $H command for the firmware. I would also like to have a "load" work button. Sends the gantry to the far back corner to clear the area to insert work pieces. A firmware based weak Laser button would be nice also.

We have a lot of knowledgeable users here. I have received a lot of help with my projects.
Richard
A5 2.5W w/homing switches on L7
A5 2W diode self upgraded from stock 500mw

Experimenting with Mega2560 board upgrade

Zax

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 03:43:37 PM »
jump in or would it be better to learn a little about the machine first?

Jump right in, it's fairly intuitive (says the developer). Benbox won't support limit/home switches either, so give the trial a go and see what you think. It's obviously best to use Grbl 0.9 or 1.1 but you can test it with the Benbox firmware and settings (as is).

SteveK

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Re: First post for me, of course I have questions!
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2016, 04:57:20 PM »
Zax, be patient with me, if I understand correctly, the only hardware  change I need to make is a jumper switch?

Steve